biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
THOMAS H. WHITACRE, M. D., of Black Oak Township, is a native of Ohio, born in Stark County, July 15, 1822. His father, John Whitacre, was a native of Loudoun County, Va., and was born Feb. 19, 1790, but when twelve years of age removed with his parents to Columbiana County, Ohio, and Nov. 2, 1814, was united in marriage with Miss Lydia Bye, who was born in the State of Pennsylvania, July 23, 1795. To them were born four children: Rachel Ann is the wife of Dr. James Jackson, of Hanover, Ohio; Thomas H., the subject of this sketch; Daniel B. is a loan and real-estate agent in Chicago; Sarah C. is the wife of Thomas J. Arter, who resides in Columbiana County, Ohio. John Whitacre was educated in a district school, but afterward studied surveying in Wayne County, with Joseph Larwell, a Government surveyor, as preceptor. This was prior to 1814. After his marriage he kept the Hostetter House five years. it was in what is now known as the town of Gilford, in Columbiana County. Disposing of that business he removed to Stark County, in December, 1819, and built a sawmill, flouring mill and distillery combined. In 1833 he laid out what is now the town of Minerva. During the fall of 1826 he was appointed County Surveyor, to fill a vacancy, and served in that official position forty consecutive years, with the exception of three years, when he removed from the county, but, on his return was again elected to the position, and held it until his death, which occurred in 1866. His wife died in the year 1867. The subject of our sketch at the early age of twelve years began to assist his father in surveying, and at the age of fifteen was made Deputy Surveyor of Stark County. He followed surveying and civil engineering until he reached the age of twenty-two years, when he decided to apply himself to the study of medicine, and began a course of reading with Dr. D. L. Gans, of Magnolia, Ohio, with whom he studied and practiced until the spring of 1847, with the exception of the winters of 1845Ä46, when he attended the medical college at Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1846Ä47, when he attended the medical college at Willoughby, Ohio, from which he graduated in March, 1847. After graduation he was located for a short time at New Harrisburg, but soon returned to Magnolia and continued his practice there for six years. In September, 1847, Dr. Whitacre Was united in marriage with Catharine E. Ellson, a native of Stark County, Ohio, born Jan. 29, 1828. To them have been born seven children; one died at the age of three and a half years, and one at the age of twenty-one. The five living children are as follows: Sarah Ida, at home; John J., who has been attending the law department of the Michigan University, at Ann Arbor, will graduate in June, 1887, and expects to locate in Detroit, Mich.; Richard E. has for the past five years successfully managed the home farm; Clay Corwin is a telegraph operator in the employ of the C., M. & St. P. R. R. Co. at Council Bluffs; Katie is attending school and resides at home. In the year 1853 the Doctor went to California via the Nicaraugna route, leaving his wife and two children in Ohio, and there remained engaged in surveying and the practice of medicine until the fall of 1856, when he returned via Panama, and rejoined his family. In 1857 he removed to Burt county, Neb., residing there for six years, during four of which he was the only physician, in the county. He surveyed and platted the town of Decatur in that county. In the spring of 1863 he removed his family back to Magnolia, Ohio, and gave his entire attention to the practice of medicine until the year 1880, when he came to Iowa and settIed where he now lives, upon 368 acres of land purchased by him in 1879. The Doctor gives his entire attention to farming, practicing only occasionally, not desiring to do much in that way. In 1882, on account of unsettled business in Ohio, the Doctor and his wife returned to that State and remained until 1885. Politically Dr. Whitacre is a stanch Republican, and is a member of the G. A. R. Religiously he belongs to the Christian Church. He was in service in the army for 120 days in 1864, and served as First Assistant Surgeon of the 162d Regiment, Ohio National Guard, having charge of the regiment for ninety days at that time. The Doctor's home farm is well improved, and be is the possessor of enough means to enable him to take life easy for the remainder of his days, surrounded by friends and neighbors whose confidence and esteem he enjoys in an unlimited degree.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy