Biography of C. W. Whitham
Jefferson County, IA Biographies





C. W. WHITHAM.
In the business circles of Center township, C. W. Whitham occupies a prominent position as proprietor of the Fairfield Nursery. At the same time, he is also successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising, being numbered among the prosperous and progressive residents of this section of the county. He was born in Fairfield on the 29th of May, 1857, a son of J. M. and Emily Elmira (Dravo, nee Munhall) Whitham, who came to Fairfield about 1845, and were here married. The father, who was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, had in early life learned and followed the tailor's trade, but, after his arrival in Fairfield, he entered the bakery and grocery business. Subsequently, he purchased a small farm east of the city and there instituted the Fairfield Nursery, in the conduct of which his son is now engaged and to which he gave his attention from 1865 until 1880. In the latter year, he removed to Nebraska and for a time operated a lumber yard at Imperial, that state. After selling out his interests there, he went to Colorado about the time Holyoke was started, and purchased at auction a lot and there built a general mercantile business which he conducted until called from this life. He passed away in Holyoke, in 1898, at the age of seventy four years; and his widow now makes her home in Seattle, Washington. By a former marriage, he had four children but unto his second union there were born twelve. Four children passed away in early life, while out of the entire sixteen nine are still living.

C. W. Whitham, the eldest child of J. M. and Emily E. Whitham, was a lad of four years when the family removed to the farm; thus his father's place was the training ground upon which he received his preparation for subsequent activity in the business world. He has continued a resident of Jefferson county since that time, with the exception of three years immediately following his marriage which he spent in Nebraska, where hem homesteaded a claim. He now resides on a farm consisting of one hundred and forty five acres on section 28, Center township, and here is busily engaged in the conduct of the Fairfield Nursery of which his father had been the original proprietor. He also carries on general farming and stock raising, owning in connection with his son a tract of two hundred and sixty acres in Cedar township. In the management of his various interests, he manifests a thorough understanding of each resulting in the attainment of a prosperity which is substantial and creditable.

The year 1880 witnessed the marriage of Mr. Whitham and Miss Iowa Ellen McCormick, who was born in Buchanan township, Jefferson county, January 22, 1863; a daughter of George and Sarah (Howard) McCormick. Her parents were both natives of Indiana and came to Iowa in the same fall, the father when thirteen years of age and the mother at the age of twelve. The former followed the occupation of farming all his life. He passed away on the 9th of July, 1911, when seventy four years of age. His widow still survives and now makes her home at Beckwith. In their family were eleven children of whom five died in infancy while the other six are yet living. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Whitham were born ten children but six passed away in early life, those remaining being: Raymond Arthur, a resident of Fairfield, who married Mildred Dana and has one child; Roy R., residing on a farm near the old homestead, who married Bertha McGrew and now has two children; and Bessie Ellen and Iowa Daisy, whose births occurred just five years apart, their natal (lay being February 16th. The parents and their family hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and are well known in the social circles of the community in which they live. Mr. Whitham belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and his political support is given to the Republican party. Although not remiss in the duties of citizenship, he has never sought to figure in any public light but has preferred rather to concentrate his energies upon the conduct of his private affairs. Possessing a laudable ambition to succeed in the avenue of business activity which he has chosen as his life work, Mr. Whitham has earnestly and persistently pushed forward toward the goal of prosperity, and the success which has attended his efforts is all the more creditable because it has been won through honorable methods and fair dealing.

From:
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement Vol II
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1914


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