Carroll County IL Biography


Joseph Withhart (deceased) was for several years a resident of Savanna, where he was prosperously engaged in business as a provision dealer, and in his death, Feb. 5, 1885, this city lost a useful citizen, whose name was well-known and honored in business circles as that of a man who was singularly honest and upright in his dealings, and whose life-record, without blemish, entitles his memory to the reverence accorded to it. He was born on the boundary line between Germany and France, Oct. 16, 1832. He was very young when his father died, and soon after his mother brought him, her only son, to the United States. They resided for a time in the State of New York, and from there went to Wisconsin. Our subject was trained to be self-reliant and self-helpful, and from his good mother received those high principles of truth and honesty that were the guides of his life. At the age of fourteen he went to live in Racine with a family named Woster, and made his home there some years. Living so near that vast inland sea, Lake Michigan, he acquired a fondness for the water, and in early manhood became a sailor on the Lakes, and thus employed for several seasons. In 1858 he determined to devote himself to farming on the rich, virgin soil of Chickashaw County, Iowa, and emigrated there for that purpose. For four years he was actively engaged in agricultural pursuits in that State, and then returned to Racine where he followed teaming for a year. At the expiration of that time he went back to Chickashaw County, but after farming there two years, he came to Savanna and was employed by the St. Paul Railway Company for some years. By frugality and industry, aided by the economy and cheerful assistance of his good wife, he managed to lay up money enough to go into business on his own account, and he opened a meat-market in the city, and was engaged as a provision dealer until his death. He attended strictly to his business, and had the satisfaction of building up a large and profitable trade. In 1884 he had been so prospered that he was enabled to erect a fine brick building, 25 x 60 feet, two stories in height, the lower part occupied by the market, and the upper story used as a dwelling, the building being located advantageously on Main Street. His two sons, Julius and Fred, who inherit in a marked degree their father’s excellent traits, now carry on the establishment, which they have neatly fitted up and conveniently arranged, and well supplied with all the appurtenances of the trade.

Mr. Withhart and Miss Rachel Parker were united in marriage Aug. 16, 1857, and six children, three living, were born of their pleasant wedded life – Julius F., Fred, and Ralph. Julius married Minnie A. Parkinson, and they have one child, Adelle. Fred married Fanny Parkinson, and they had one child, Ivy, now deceased

Mrs. Withhart and her family are people of good social standing in this community, where they are held in respect and esteem by all. She is a native of Ohio, born in Chautauqua County, October, 1838. Her parents, Samuel Fletcher and Priscilla (Baker) Parker, were natives of Ohio. Her paternal grandparents removed from New York to the Buckeye State in its pioneer days, and the grandfather passed away while on a visit to Racine, Wis. After his death the grandmother removed to Wisconsin, and spent her last years in Madison. Mrs. Withhart’s father learned the trade of carpenter in early manhood, and, removing to Racine, worked at his trade there until his death.

Contributed by Carol Parrish - Portrait and Biographical Album of Jo Daviess and Carroll Counties, Illinois (1889), Pg 849

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