White County, Illinois


Benjamin Mobley, born 1822, White Co., IL was the son of Charles Mobley, born 1796 KY and Elizabeth "Betsey" Hanna, born abt 1801, White Co., IL.

Benjamin Mobley had two wives. First wife was Rachel, born in Illinois in 1825. They had one child; Charles. born 1849. Benjamin married Sarah Culbreth, October 15, 1851. They had four children; Malinda, born 1855; Robert, born January 15, 1860; Benjamin F., born December 13, 1862; and Celesta, born November 19, 1864.

At the age of 39, Benjamin enlisted in the Union Army: Co H. 48th Reg. of Junior Volunteers Infantry of Illinois. The Muster Roll (Credit: Nick Culbreth) describes him as: age 40, 5'6", blue eyes, fair skin, with dark hair. He served 3 years and re-enlisted as Pvt. He was captured by the Confederate Army and died in Andersonville Prison in Georgia, of starvation, on October 11, 1864. He died before his last child, Celesta, was born.

During his three year campaign, his regiment fought under General Grant in January 1862 and under General Sherman in 1863. He is buried in the Andersonville Cemetery and his grave marker is number 10,645. Sarah Mobley, widow of Benjamin, married James H.W. Buttery, September 16, 1869 and Buttery assumed full guardianship of the four minor Mobley children.

Source: "Federal Census, White Co., IL 1850 & 1860"; "Civil War Records"; "History of White County"; "Illinois Marriage Record Index".

Submitted by Betty York Mobley

From History of White County (IL) Gallatin County – Bear Creek Township (ca 1882-1884), P.  967

Joseph H. Moore, M.D., was born in Catawba County, N.C., in January, 1856.  His great-grandfather came from Scotland in early colonial days.  His grandfather was one of the early pioneers of Western North Carolina, and was one of the minute-men in the Revolution.  Mr. Moore was educated at Rutherford College, Happy Home, N.C.  He taught school a year and then went to South Carolina, and worked in a saw-mill, and ran a cotton-gin, by which he earned the money to begin his medical education.  He studied with Dr. Ferrell, of New Jersey, eighteen months, and then attended the United States Medical College at New York City.  After practicing a year at home, in Hickory, N.C., he attended the American Medical College, St. Louis, Mo., where he graduated in May, 1879.  After settling up his business at home, he went to Lincoln County, Ky., and practiced a few months.  In September, 1880, he bought the property of I. M. Asbery, in Omaha, and has since resided here.  He has built a fine drug store, and is running it in connection with his practice.  May 18, 1881, he married America J. Bradford of Pendleton Co., Ky.

Submitted by:  Linda Roberts

From History of White County (IL) Gallatin County – Bear Creek Township (ca 1882-1884), P.  971-972

Thomas Martin, born in West Franklin, Posey County, Ind., Oct. 1, 1836, is a son of Alfred and Rachel Martin.  His Grandfather Martin emigrated to Indiana from South Carolina in 1810.  He lived on his father’s farm, attending the subscription schools during his early life.  He followed flat boating and trading on the Ohio River three years.  In 1863 he commenced buying stock in Illinois and driving it to Indiana.  He thus made acquaintances in White County and located at Brockett’s Mill.  After a residence there of about eight years he came to Omaha and is at present one of the partners in the firm of Martin & Rice.  He first married Sarah V. Riley, daughter of Charles Riley, editor of the Cairo Sun.  She died in 1863, leaving a daughter – Ratie, now assistant teacher in the Omaha schools.  He next married Nancy C. Rice, of White County.  Mr. Martin’s maternal grandfather was a member of the Constitutional Convention that drafted the Constitution of Indiana and was a member of the Indiana State Legislature.

Submitted by:  Linda Roberts

Source:  History of White County, IL, Phillips Township (ca 1882-1884) p 933

Absalom Malone, blacksmith; post office, Crossville; son of James and Christine (Hunter) Malone, natives of Kentucky and Pennsylvania respectively.  Absalom was born in Gibson County, Ind., Sept. 7, 1821.  He was educated in Indiana, and learned the trade of a blacksmith,  which he has followed forty-nine years.  In 1849 he married Pamelia, daughter of Lewis and Ellenor (Cater) Williams, natives of South Carolina.  They came to Indiana at an early day, and died there.  Pamelia was born Sept. 5, 1824.  There have been twelve children by this marriage, four living – Charles, born Aug. 16, 1861 (married); William Thomas, born June 30, 1859 (married); Anna; Fannie, born Nov. 22, 1863, wife of John Higginson; Stephen A. Douglas, born April 25, 1869.  Mr. Malone and wife are members of the Regular Baptist church.  Mr. Malone votes the Democratic ticket.

Submitted by:  Linda Roberts

I don't have a birth page, so here is one record:

I would like to submit the following register of a birth to the White County GenWeb:


Date of Return:  2-22-1871
Name of Child: MOORE (4th child) MARTIN
Date of birth:  1-21-1871
Place of birth:  CARMI
Nationality of Father: AMERICAN
Place of Birth:  IL
Age: 31
Nationality of Mother: AMERICAN
Place of Birth:  INDIANA
Name of Mother:  ELLA MARTIN
Maiden Name:  ELLA MILLER
Occupation:  (illegible) MILLING"


Please e-mail:  [email protected]

From: Debbi Geer <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]

I don't have any ancestors who connected with White
Co, but in researching a line of my husband's another
researcher found where there was a White Co IL native
who made it to the pro level in baseball. I'm sure
that if you give credit to both of us she wouldn't
mind the information being placed on the White Co IL

Elizabeth Noble purchased an autograph on eBay several
years ago of one Frank McElyea. She obtained
information from the Baseball Almanac:

Frank McElyea was born on Sunday, August 4, 1918, and
began his Major League baseball career on September
10, 1942, with the Boston Braves. The 24 year-old
played for 1 season on one team and ended his big
league playing career in 1942. His biographical
information is:

Bats Right Throws Right
Height: 6'6" Weight: 221 lbs.
Debut: September 10, 1942
Birth: August 4, 1918 in Hawthorne Twsp., IL.
Died: April 19, 1987 in Evansville, IN.

I found further information in the 1920 and 1930
census -

father Dexter D McElyea
mother Ella J McElyea
siblings - Charles W, Maud O and Myrtle E

I'm not sure who Dexter's father was but there were 3
McElyea boys who married in White Co. One (Sylvanus)
married twice and based on the dates of his two
marriages, I'm guessing that he is Dexter's father.
I'll have to check the 1880 census for some
verifcation. If that proves inconclusive I'll somehow
check the 1900 census. Unfortunately I don't have
access to FTM's 1900 census index. Sylvanus is not in
the 1920 or 1930 census index unless indexed by
another name due to misinterpretation by the indexer
or the census taker.

Submitted by Elizabeth Noble ([email protected]) and Debbi Geer <[email protected]>

Major William McHenry~Major William McHenry~
contributed by Donna Buechler
(Thank you so much, Donna!)

 I do not know where my great, great, great Grandfather, William McHenry was
born or who his parents were.  I do know that he passed away at a boarding house
in Vandalia, Illinois on the third of February, 1835.

The next day Senator Davidson rose to announce to the Senate, the death  (which
occurred since the adjournment the evening before) of his friend Major McHenry.  
In the Journal of the Senate of the 9th General Assembly his address on behalf
of his colleague stated in part, “He now sleeps with his fathers.  In the death
of my much lamented colleague, Illinois had lost one of her earliest and most
devoted friends,” and he concluded, “And Sir, he died as he has lived, in the
service of his country.”
The following day Senator Edwards proposed a resolution that told of the
adventurous pioneer and gallant ranger that for years had fought against
ruthless Indian invasions.  He also related how much he was endeared to a
numerous circle of mourning friends.  On February 7th 1835, the House eulogy was
printed in the Illinois Advocate and in part reads: “Sir, he was among the most
prominent of those bold and enterprising pioneers of whom we speak so much, and
of whom we are sometimes disposed to think, perhaps too lightly; who first
disputed the mastery over these fair plains and their un-subdued forests, with
the ferocious beast of prey, and still more ferocious savage.  He was among the
first to scatter far and wide the seeds of civilization over this fair portion
of the fairest of thee earth; and to risk his life in battle his health by
exposure, and toil, that the present inhabitants of Illinois may plant their
farms in peace, and garner up their bountiful harvests in safety.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
William McHenry, of Scot-Irish descent, was born October 3, 1771.  In the late
1790’s in
Logan County Kentucky he married Hannah Ruth Blackford, who was born in 1772.  
place of birth and parents, like William’s, are still being researched.  To this
union nine children
were born, John, George, Henry H., William Jr., Martin G., Lucinda, Mary Jane,
Elizabeth, and another son who may have been killed by Indians.
We do not know were William spent his childhood or became a young man. The area
McHenry’s settled in was primarily bounty land country and was settled by
Revolutionary War
veterans from the Virginia and the Carolina’s.  It might be that William’s
family came from one of these areas.  We do know in the in the late 1790’s
William and his brother Daniel resided in
Kentucky.  The brothers held title to numerous land holdings in both Kentucky
and Illinois.
In 1794 William joined Wayne Anthony’s Cornstalk Militia and served as a
Private.  The name
of “Cornstalk” was given this unit because many of the young men, who could not
afford guns,
drilled with cornstalks as their weapons.  The soldiers furnished their own
guns, horses and
equipment.  In Price’s Battalion of Mounted Volunteers he held the rank of
Lieutenant and
participated at the battle of Fallen Timbers. This is the rank he held when he
moved to Illinois.
In the book, “Portraits and Biographical Album of Henry County, Illinois” there
is a biography of George McHenry, William’s second son.  It states in this book
the family came to Illinois
Territory from Henderson County Kentucky, in 1810.  They located in White
County.   It claims
at the time there was but five white families residing in the county before the
McHenry’s arrival.
William McHenry’s family settled on the edge of the prairie on a major trail
between Vincenees,
Indiana and US Saline’s, Illinois Territory.  In both Kentucky and Illinois the
procedure was for a resident to be appointed to lay roads.  William was
appointed to view and mark a road between Carmi & the US Salines; in 1825 he was
commissioned to lay out the Carmi-Vandalia road and in 31 the road between Carmi
and Albion.
The US Salines was an area of approximately ten by thirteen miles.  This was a
salt spring that
was like white gold to the early settlers.  It was a labor-intensive operation
and required huge
amounts of fuel to produce the salt.  Over a thousand men worked the springs to
prepare the
brine and furnish the fuel.  The fuel supply around the springs soon stripped
the vast woods.
Eventually new furnaces had to be set up farther away from the springs and
wells.  The brine was sent to them in hollowed out trees.  This was thought to
be the first pipelines in the country.  The white settlers preferred to settle
on the land and raise profitable crops, thus requiring slaves to keep the
salines in operation.
A blockhouse was converted from a mill on the trail between Vincennes, Indiana
Territory and
the US Salines in the Illinois Territory.  William McHenry delivered a letter to
the territorial
Governor William Henry Harrison of Indiana Territory. The settlers had heard of
an Indian War. Eleven tribes were rumored to join the Shawonese in this action.  
They asked for information the Governor might have in order they could prepare
for the danger.  Out of forty-two or more families fifteen had elected to stay
at the fort. William McHenry, his brother Daniel and nine other gentlemen,
signed the letter. The Shawonese in the letter were the great leader Tecumseh
and his half-brother Tenskatawa, called the Shawnee Prophet.
 In June and July 1811 there was reason for alarm in Illinois.  Several murders
and kidnapping had occurred and many horses stolen.  In September 1811 the
Illinois Territorial Governor, Ninian Edwards, appointed William McHenry Captain
of the Militia. The 4th Regiment was formed and he and the twelve men who served
under him daily searched a range of twenty to fifty miles in search of possible
Indian troubles.  Raids continued to plague their area.  William was transferred
to the 3rd Regiment, the Rifle Battalion and on the 18th of June 1812 war was
declared between this country and Great Briton. This year also brought the
attack of the Kickapoo/Pottawtomie Village, which was fought at the head of
Peoria Lake.  Though on a bluff, the approach was made through swamp covered
with tall grasses.  The governor himself and the troops found themselves mired
down.  A foot pursuit ensued and several Indians were killed and the rest
fleeing.  The village was fired and horses taken.  Apparently the raid did not
do any good and Indian raids continued and the next year sixteen whites were
killed or taken prisoner.  1814 was a time the Indians continued their attacks
with renewed ferocity.  An act was passed to promote retaliation offering a
large reward for the killing of an Indian.  It was a time of terror.
A petition, which was signed by William McHenry, was circulated in 1812 asking
that Illinois be
made a second-class territory.  White males that were twenty-one years of age or
older, and
who paid taxes and had lived in the territory for one year would be able to
vote.  Congress
granted the petition.  Illinois wanted statehood but the population requirement
was for 40,000
citizens.  The census in 1818 showed the territory short of the needed number of
people but
Congress affirmed statehood anyway.  William McHenry was a delegate to the State

Constitutional Convention and elected to the House of the First Session of the
First General
William was in Carmi for the voting on July 6, 1818.  The voting was done by
voice (viva voce
voting), each man told the sheriff his vote and then the sheriff announced it
publicly and recorded it.  This saved an embarrassing situation if you could not
read or write. The fifteen men who framed the Constitution used in part the
constitution of the nearby state of Ohio, which prohibited slavery.  Voting was
delayed for a second reading and the part prohibiting slavery was changed. The
new part was rewritten which prevented the introduction of future servitude and
reserved the right to use slaves at the salines for one year. Willis Hargrave
and William McHenry voted against making this change.  They were the two men
that signed the original Constitution of Illinois from White County.

William was a popular man and well known because of his military service.  His
military service included three major Indian conflicts, The Battle of Fallen
Timber, The War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War. He was elected and served in the
House or Senate for all but two terms.  He was serving in the Senate at the time
of his death.
In February 1832 Black Hawk and his Prophet White Cloud representing the Sauk’s
& Foxes
met with the Pottowatomies and Ottawas at Indiantown, (near Peoria) and tried to
organize the
nations to save them from further encroachments by the whites. The Black Hawk
war began in
April.  By May, once again William McHenry was enlisted as Captain in the
Illinois Militia.  The Federal Government listed him as a Major in charge of a
Spy Brigade in the Mounted Volunteers and he and his men were mustered in at
Dixon. A large crowd gathered in Carmi to see the soldiers off and listen to
Major McHenry’s address.  He told the wives, mothers, and friends to “be of good
cheer; there was nothing more noble than to give a life to one’s country.”
Black hawk by now was rather peaceful and just wanted to farm the land.  The
greater part of
the two month search was for the elusive Black Hawk.  There was some
justification for anxiety
on the part of whites; Black Hawk was known to be still in the employ of the
British in Canada.
His Indians had been very aggressive and he had never signed a treaty unlike the
other tribes.
William’s spies accompanied by some Indian guides covered many miles to find if
Black Hawk
had moved from their last reported location.  This was his last action.  He
became ill in late July
and with others who were sick was ordered behind lines.  There was a great deal
of sickness,
probably from bad water and inadequate food.  William McHenry was mustered out
sixty-one years old on the 14th of august 1832.  On the 27th of August Black
surrendered, and on the 6th William McHenry had again been elected to the
Illinois Senate.
There is much about William McHenry's life we do not know.  There are years that
what he did or where he was is unknown.  There was a problem between him and his
son William Junior. We do know he filed a lawsuit asking for payment for a loan
and in it he stated he did not know where William Jr. was living.
  William McHenry had not yet been home for two years before his death.  In the
book “Lincoln’sPreparation for Greatness”, Senator Paul Simon mentions that
William’s wife was suing him for non-support at the time of his death.  In 1804
he deeded personal property “with love and affection” to three of his children,
John, George and Lucinda.  After his death his heirs were ordered by the court
to pay their mother Hannah a sum of eight dollars a year each.  He
apparently was against slavery, and voted against it, but among his estate were
a woman, three
children, one boy and one man. He had slaves but we do not know where they
lived.  After his
death, his children purchased them, and we do not have any information on what
happened to
It was an end of an era in Illinois when William McHenry died; there was no
threat of Indian
reprisals.  The frontier was changing.  The early pioneers were no longer very
active in politics.
There was a shift in population and once again the General Assembly voted to
move the capital,
this time to Springfield.
William McHenry did not have the pleasure of knowing the County of McHenry was
named for
him.  This certainly would have been an honor for a proud man, who loved people
and politics.
And the house eulogy concluded, “But it has been his lot to die as he lived, in
the service of his
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
McHenry Family Genealogy
 The search for my family history continues and has been a fascinating and
interesting time.  I have found that according to different versions there is a
conflict in some information and dates, and even first names. This happens when
history that is taken from memories. The order of births may also be incorrect.  
I lived for sometime with my Grandparents, on the McHenry family farm in Henry
County I heard many stories of family long gone.  I am thankful for the
information I have been able to obtain from many sources.  They include,”
Portraits and Biographical Album of Henry County, Illinois”, “Lincoln’s
Preparation for Greatness” by Paul Simon, the White County Archives, “The
History of Henry County, Its Taxpayers and Voters”, and Nancy Lee Grau’s
wonderful book, “William McHenry -Soldier,Statesman,Frontiersman".  There are
many web sites that have been a valuable tool, I urge anyone seeking additional
information to use this source for research.                                     
       Donna Buechler
copyright Donna Beuchler 2001
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The Coordinator for the White County, Illinois ILGenWeb page is Cindy Birk Conley

Created by Laurel Crook, 05 Oct 1998

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