Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


LEWIS B. WHINREY, Bois D'Arc, Mo., is one of the best known and respected citizens of West Centre Township, springing from an old Colonial American family of Irish descent. Patrick Whinrey, first of the race in America, so tradition runs, was kidnapped and brought to America. Thomas Whinrey, grandfather of our subject, was born in Randolph County, N. C., and was reared and married in that State. Of his children, John, Joseph, Margaret, Sarah and Nancy are remembered. He moved to Tennessee a few years after marriage, settled on a farm in Greene County, and passed all the remainder of his days there. He lived to be over ninety years of age, his wife having died many years before, and he did not remarry. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and an honorable, industrious farmer. Joseph Whinrey, his son and father of our subject, was born in 1796, and was one year of age when brought to Tennessee. He learned the batters' trade, and also became a farmer. He married Jane Likens, daughter of William Likens, of Greene County, Tenn., and to Mr. and Mrs. Whinrey were born eight children: Hannah, Nancy A., Lewis B., William C., Alexandria, Mary J., Benjamin F. and John, all born on the farm in Greene County, Tenn., and all now living except John. Mr. Whinrey was an old line Whig in politics, was in comfortable circumstances, an industrious, honorable citizen, and died at the age of about seventy years. Lewis B., son of above and our subject, was born November 10, 1825, in Greene County, Tenn., on his father's farm. He received the common education of his day, and learned the hatters' trade of his father. In 1848, at the age of twenty-two years, he came to Greene County, and followed his trade. In 1853 he, with William and Charles H. Likens, organized the firm of Whinrey & Likens, built the mill which he now runs, and engaged in the milling business. The firm continued about twelve years, and then Charles H. Likens, son of William, bought out his father in company with Mr. Whinrey, and since that time they have continued the business. The mill has the now roller process, and does a good business manufacturing good flour. This mill was the first in West Centre Township, and the flour was at first bolted by hand. It was the only mill for miles around, there was none at Springfield, and the citizens came from as far west as Kansas before 1856 and afterward. It is one of the oldest mills in Greene County, was rebuilt in 1867, and moved to its present location. Mr. Whinrey is well known to the old settlers far and wide. He was a member of the State Militia, Company A., Seventy-second Regiment, Enrolled Militia, and was called out several times, and was in several skirmishes. The mill prospered, the firm bought land, and now own 819 acres, largely timber land in good condition. Mr. Whinrey married July 28, 1855, Elvina Likens, daughter of William and Sarah (Squibb) Likens. The Likens are of German stock, and old Tennesseans who settled in Greene County in 1843. To Mr. and Mrs. Whinrey were born seven children: Hannah J., Amanda, William A., Joseph H., John Charles, George F. and Thomas C. Mrs. Whinrey died March 6, 1875, and Mr. Whinrey married in October, 1884, Rebecca J. Carter, nee Yeakley, the daughter of John Yeakley the pioneer. (See sketch.) To Mr. and Mrs. Whinrey has been born one child, Fred. In politics Mr. Whinrey is a Republican, and Mrs. Whinrey is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Whinrey is one of the substantial citizens of Greene County, and has passed most of his life here.

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