Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
WILLIAMSON PORTER WHITLOCK. A name known to everyone who has had the slightest acquaintance with the business history of Springfield during the generation that is past, is that of the late Williamson Porter Whitlock. During his active life he filled a large place in certain lines of industrial affairs of the city, and as an energetic, enterprising, far-sighted man whose judgment and discretion were seldom at fault and whose influence made for the substantial upbuilding of the Queen City of the Ozarks he earned a reputation among his contemporaries. He is remembered as a man who possessed a broad, inquiring mind, who was keenly alive to everything that tended to improve general conditions here and benefit those upon whose shoulders fell the burden of making possible the phenomenal progress resulting from the development and success of the industrial evolution of this section of the country during the past half century. Although modest and unassuming, he had a strong and vigorous personality and was fitted by nature to manage important enterprises. He was a representative of a sterling old pioneer family of Greene county, the Whitlocks having been influential in the growth of the same from the early period of her history to the present time and they have borne untarnished reputations.
Mr. Whitlock was born in Greene County, Missouri, July 21, 1841. He was a son of Thomas J. and Elizabeth (Montgomery) Whitlock, who located in this county in the early thirties and here became well established and well known. To them eight children were born, namely: Lambert, Mrs. Adaline Huff, Samuel, Mrs. Clementine Snyder, Mrs. Susan Bedell, Williamson Porter, of this sketch; Mrs. Mary Leathers, and Thomas Jefferson. They are all now deceased.
Williamson P. Whitlock grew to manhood on the old homestead in this county and he received such educational advantages as the early-day schools afforded. When the Civil war came on he enlisted in the Home Guards under Colonel Holland, at Springfield, in 1862, and he saw considerable service, including the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, and of other minor engagements. He was mustered out in 1863, and honorably discharged, after which he went to St. Louis and engaged in the mule and horse business there for two years. Returning to Springfield, he devoted the latter part of his life to the livery business, in connection with handling horses, mules and general live stock and was very successful and one of the most widely known stock men in the county.
Mr. Whitlock was married, November 20, 1865, to Elizabeth J. Ross, a daughter of David and Louisa (Robinson) Ross, who came from Kentucky to Greene county, Missouri, in the early thirties, when this territory was inhabited by Indians and white settlers were few and far between. Mrs. Whitlock's mother was a native of Tennessee. Mr. Ross devoted his life to the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, had charge of a church in Springfield for many years in the early forties, and he was one of the most prominent pioneer ministers in southwest Missouri. His family consisted of twelve children, an equal number of sons and daughters, namely: L. A. lives on a farm near Willard, Greene county; William, M., deceased; Dr. Francis E., for over a quarter of a century a leading physician of Springfield, is deceased; Elizabeth J., widow of our subject; Mrs. Mary Louise Skeen, of Ash Grove, Missouri; Mrs. Sarah M. Watson, of Morrisville, Missouri; David W. lives on a farm near Willard; Mrs. Henrietta Josephine Robinson lives in Texas; Bennette J. lives near Willard on a farm; Mrs. Cordelia Robinson lives in Oklahoma; Laura Emma is the wife of Dr. Robert Appleby, and they live in Topeka, Kansas; Dr. L. C., a Springfield physician, lives with his sister, Mrs. Whitlock, at 315 West Center street. The father of the above named children owned a large farm near Ebenezer.
To Mr. and Mrs. Whitlock nine children were born, namely: Mrs. Ina Belle Fawcett, of McAlester, Oklahoma; Mrs. Lela Louise Hubbard is deceased; George David, deceased; Thomas Ross was next in order; Emma Jane died in infancy; Mary Jessie is a teacher in the local public schools; William Porter, Jr., was next in order; Mrs. Lydia Layton, deceased; Georgia Elizabeth is the wife of John Cassity, and they live in Kansas. City.
Politically, Mr. Whitlock was always a Democrat, although he was a Union sympathizer during the Civil war. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, of which his widow is also a member.
Mr. Whitlock was called to his eternal rest on August 18, 1895.
Springfield-Greene County Library