BOAZ R. WALTON, a pioneer of Wayne Township, is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Northampton County, July 7, 1807. His parents, Thomas and Rebecca Walton, were also natives of Pennsylvania, and of English ancestry. Of their eight children five survive - Boaz R., Jacob, Delilah, Matilda and Joseph. Our subject was reared on a farm until he reached his eighteenth year, when he was employed on the public works of Mauch Chunk, and continued there twenty-eight years. Subsequently, for several years, he superintended the shipping of coal by the train-load from the mines. His early advantages for obtaining an education were very limited. He married Miss Mary Musselman, daughter of Peter and Magdelena Musselman, of Pennsylvania, and of German descent. Of their children the following survive - Thomas, Wilson, Alfred, Peter, Joseph S. and Alice, the latter being the wife of Judge E. V. Long, the present Chief Justice of New Mexico. Mr. Walton came to Kosciusko County in the fall of 1851, coming the entire distance by team and wagon over very unpleasant roads. He settled upon section 29, of Wayne Township, and has done much pioneer work in the way of clearing and improving his land. He has been a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church for more than thirty years, and for many years has officiated as steward. Four of his sons, Wilson, George, Justus and Peter participated in the late civil war, George having served as Captain. They all returned home safe, although Peter was slightly wounded. Mr. Walton was at one time a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and politically affiliates with the Democratic party.

Source: "History of Kosciusko County"
Date Posted: January 29, 2001

ISAAC T. WHITNEY was born in Jefferson County, New York, February 11,1812. His parents were George W. and Deborah Whitney, both of English ancestry. Only two of their nine children survive - Isaac T. and Sarah. Isaac spent his early years in his native State, receiving a limited education in the district schools, having to travel two and a half miles through the winter snows. At eighteen years of age, he engaged in saw-milling, which he subsequently followed thirty-three years. He has worked by the day for others, been sole proprietor, and has run the mill with partners. He was quite successful in the milling business, but owing to a severe wound which he received in his hand in 1867, he was obliged to retire from that business. September 21, 1832, Mr. Whitney was married in New York, to Rachel Reed, by whom he had ten children, eight of whom are living - Edward N., of Wolcottville, Indiana; Harriet, wife of John Allen, of Warsaw; George W., of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Julia A., now Mrs. Orsamus Booth, of Clay Township, this county. William H., of Pierceton; Addaline L., wife of George Ridley, of Van Buren County, Michigan; Franklin P., of Wayne Township; Alice O., wife of S. S. Pidgeon, now living in White County, Indiana. The deceased are Mary L. and Elvira. Mrs. Whitney died August 23, 1885, and I. T. Whitney was married March 18, 1886, to Mrs. Mary A. Jenkins, widow of the late Benjamin F. Jenkins, of this county, and daughter of Jacob and Julia Judy, of Page County, Virginia. Mr. Whitney has served as constable of Wayne Township for several years, and also as school director. In politics he is independent of parties, always voting for whom he believes to be the best men. He had two sons who were soldiers in the Union army, during the late civil war, and both were wounded. He has passed the years of three score and ten, and may yet survive many winters, being hale and hearty. He is well known throughout his township, and resides on section 34. Mrs. Whitney was married to Mr. Jenkins in November, 1851. He served in the Mexican war, and lived in this county many years. They had eleven children - Albert J., of Warsaw; Sarah E., now Mrs. Dallas Holbrook, of Wayne Township; Virginia C., wife of Daniel N. Gallentine, of Warsaw; Adella, Charles A. and Lula. The deceased are - Balfour W., Mary S., John F., George W. and Clarinda. Mr. Jenkins died in 1883.

Source: "History of Kosciusko County", 1919
Submitted: September 17, 2000

J. WHITTENBERGER, was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, in the year 1831, a son of William and Joanna (Sippy) Whittenberger, who were natives of Pennsylvania and Virginia respectively. They immigrated to Fulton County, Indiana, in 1836, and settled on a farm near Akron. They reared a family of ten sons and one daughter, all of who have families living in Indiana, except John, who resides in Kansas. Of their children, A. J., William, Jacob, Joseph, John, Daniel, Stephen and Thomas were born in the State of Pennsylvania; Isaac N. and Hiram B. in Medina County, Ohio, and Clarissa E., who is now Mrs. Dr. Harter, of Akron, Indiana, was born in Fulton County, Indiana. The parents lived on their farm in Fulton County, Indiana, until their death. Mr. A. J. Whittenberger went overland to California in company with five others, leaving Akron March 10, 1852, and arriving at Marysville, California, September 10; and of their party only two returned, A. J. and his brother Thomas. They met with fair success in their mining investments, and after staying in California for two years returned home via the Isthmus of Panama. This trip formed one of the most romantic pages in the life of our subject, to which he now refers with pleasure. On the return trip they narrowly escaped death by the vessel taking fire, and many are the humorous incidents he relates in connection with the same. Landing at Panama, the passengers were obliged to walk to the railroad, which at that time had only reached half way between Aspinwall and Panama, at which place they embarked for New York. In 1854 Mr. Whittenberger came to Kosciusko County, Indiana, and in partnership with his brother started the pioneer store in Sevastopol, and engaged in the general mercantile business. In 1859 he was married to Sarah J. Lay, a daughter of Joseph and Adaline Lay. His wife died one year and a half later, and in 1862 he married Miss S. E. Christy, of Roanoke, Huntington County, Indiana, her parents, James P. and Rosanna Christy, being among the early and prominent settlers of that county. A. J. and wife are the parents of four children - Sumner B., William C., Rosa A. and Dessie C. The sons have received a good practical education. William C. and Rosa are now students at the Fort Wayne College. Mr. Whittenberger remained in business at Sevastopol till 1865, most of which time he was postmaster, and in the fall of 1865 removed to Larwill, Indiana, where he was also appointed postmaster. He was engaged in the mercantile business at that place till 1869. In 1874 he came to Claypool, Kosciusko County, and opened the first general store in the village, which, in connection with dealing in grain, he has since continued, and is still the leading merchant the place. He was appointed postmaster of Claypool in 1874, which office he held till 1885, making him the second longest term postmaster in the county. As a citizen Mr. Whittenberger has been one of the foremost in the development of the business interests of Claypool, and his name carries with it the confidence of the entire community. He is a member of the Odd Fellows' order, being the first noble grand of Sevastopol Lodge, No.403, and also the first noble grand of Claypool Lodge, No.515, most of the time serving as deputy department grand master.

Date Posted: February 27, 2000

JOHN D. WIDAMAN, ESQ., by Col. J. B. Dodge

John D. Widaman was born in Westmoreland County, Penn., on the 15th of June, 1851. His father, Michael Widaman, was the son of an eminent German military officer, who, for ten years previous to his coming to this country, had charge of the French military school that corresponds to our West Point.

He came to this country and settled in Lancaster County, Penn., where he married, and then moved to Westmoreland County, in the same State, and died there in 1835, his wife surviving him until 1866, when she died, aged eighty-seven years. John's father married Miss Catharine Miller; she died when John was only eleven years of age. Her father and mother are both still living, having been married almost seventy years.

Mr. Widaman received a good education, which was finished by a course at Mount Union College in Ohio, and he came to Warsaw in 1874, and entered the office of W.S. Marshall, Esq., and studied law. He was admitted to practice in 1875. On the 29th of November, 1875, he was united in marriage with Miss Estella Saine, only child of Allen and Lucinda Saine. Mr. Saine died in 1867, and Mrs. Saine in 1877.

Mr. Widaman owns the fine iron-front building of which an illustration is given, and it is called the "Saine Block," in honor of Mr. Saine, who for years was one of the most prominent business men in this county. He was a native of Maryland, and previous to his coming to Leesburg, in this county, where he first settled, he had lived at Tiffin, Ohio, where he had moved after his return from California in 1850.

In 1851, he came to Leesburg, and to Warsaw in 1855, and was a heavy dealer in grain. He shipped the first car-load of wheat from Warsaw on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad, that was ever shipped from this county. He was a member of Kosciusko Lodge, No. 62, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has received the highest honors in its gift, and has represented his Lodge in the Grand Lodge of the State.

Submitted by: Cheryl Hawley

William D. Wood, dealer in drugs and groceries, Leesburgh, was born in Allen County, Ohio, October 8, 1834, son of William G. (deceased) and Elizabeth Wood, early settlers of that county, the father having been one of the first officers of the county. William G. Wood was a native of Kentucky, and his wife of Pennsylvania.

They came to this county in 1844, settling in Plain Township, on what is now known as the old Musquebuck reserve. The father here opened up a farm, and, like other pioneers of this county, endured all the hardships incident to the settlement of a new country. He died April 24, 1856, mourned by a large circle of friends. The mother died at Leesburgh November 20, 1886, in the eighty-first year of her age.

The subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools of this county, and for a time taught school during the winter months, attending to his farm duties during the summer. April 30, 1863, he was united in marriage with Delilah Ritter, of this county. To this union were born four children--Ida, wife of O.J. Chandler; John E., Martha E. and Mabel

Mr. Wood has served as justice of the peace and assessor of Plain Township, and is at present filling the position of president of the board of trustees of Leesburgh. He was postmaster of Leesburgh for several years and was relieved of his office in November, 1885, by the present administration. He engaged in business at Leesburgh in 1868, and is classed among the successful and enterprising merchants of that old and once ambitious town. His store-rooms are large and commodious, and the public telephone is stationed there.

He is prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity, and is a consistent member of the Baptist church. He is the present candidate on the Republican ticket for county clerk. Mr. Wood ranks among the first men of the county, being a man of sterling integrity and of unimpeachable character. Himself and wife are both leaders in social circles.

From Biographical and Historical Record of Kosciusko County, IN, Lewis Pub., Chicago,1887, p.421.
Submitted by: Philip Ritter

Deb Murray