Macon County, Illinois History – First Marriage
Formed in 1829, the county of Macon in Illinois was where our ancestor John Parlen Whittmore wed Delilah Miller, their’s being the first marriage in Macon on 20 January 1829. John who was born in either Connecticut or Massachusetts was the son of Sarah Parlin and Josiah Whittmore most likely of Massachusetts. Whittmore Twp. is named for John P. Whittmore (see Place Names of IL – Edward Callery; page 375).
John W. Whitmore – Medal of Honor Recipient (USA – Civil War)
John and Delilah Miller Whitmore were the parents of nine children, one of which was John W. Whitmore b. 03 July 1844, m. 05 Nov. 1865 Des Moines County, Iowa. John was served in the Civil War as a Private, Company F in the 119th IL Infantry and was the recipient of the Medal of Honor for capturing a flag.
*Note – The death date on his headstone is incorrect, as he died February 26, 1913. The VA who supplied the stone was given the wrong year by the man who arranged the MOH Ceremony for a veteran’s group. The stone and ceremony were placed and attended respectively in 1997.
In his lifetime, after the war, two of his homes burned and it is entirely possible that the actual medal was consumed in one of the fires. We do still have documentation of his service, and his cemetery headstone at the Shinar Presbyterian Church at Pleasant Grove, IA gives further proof.
Most recently, one of our Wilkerson cousins was instrumental in getting John Whitmore’s photo and military record on display at the Hall of Valor at Ft. Benning, GA Infantry Museum. John’s photo in the museum is only one of 27 currently shown. Illinois should be proud of her native son. It’s highly unusual for a Private to have been awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War. More often, they went to officers.
After the end of the Civil War, John Whitmore married 05 Nov 1865 Mary Elizabeth DeSpain, daughter of John and Mariah Perkins DeSpain also of Pleasant Grove, Iowa. They were the parents of six children, five of whom lived to maturity. A daughter, Mariah M. Whitmore married William Henry Wilkerson.
I wasn’t sure how to really title this blog post because it encompasses so many topics: Illinois history, notable ancestors, **The Face Of Genealogy, and military history.
**Applicable article to follow
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