My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Greene County, Illinois published by Donnelley, Gassette & Loyd in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

WITT, GEORGE W., farmer, stock raiser and trader. Among the more prosperous farmers of Greene County, the name of George W. Witt is worthy of more than a passing notice. Many of the old pioneers who yet remain among us, remember with warm admiration, Franklin Witt, a leader among men in earlier times, and who afterward became noted in the annals of the State and the nation. He was a native of Tennessee, where he was born in the year 1804. His parents gained a livelihood by the products of the farm, and in 1814, to better their finances, perhaps, moved westward and settled in Polk County, in the extreme southern portion of Illinois. We have only space to say that Franklin Witt passed his boyhood among pioneer associations; imbibed there that spirit of self-reliance that led to successful results. He married in his nineteenth year Miss Melinda Perry, a daughter of Captain Franklin Perry. In 1826 he sought broader fields, and packing his household goods upon the two horses he owned, after some days spent in travel he landed in Greene County with scarcely a dollar. He now began in an humble way to gain a footing in Illinois, at a time when horse-mills were the fashion, and rough round log cabins the only habitations in the pioneer settlements. His was an energetic nature, and he accumulated property rapidly. In subsequent years he became a justice of the peace, and about 1835 he became the regular nominee of the Democratic party, and received the election of legislator, serving through this session. Probably no man in his day swerved the popular heart more than he, and on three subsequent occasions he received the election to represent this county in the Legislature, and presided as a member when Springfield became the capital. As a representative he had proved so efficient that he now received the nomination for State Senator. Serving through one session and receiving a re-election he was a member of that body when he died at his home in Greene County in 1846. For that time and day he was a wealthy man, owning the mill property and some two thousand acres of land. To the care of his wife he left a family of four children: Ellinor, who married Harrison Reno, and on his decease, became the wife of William Elmore; Adeline, who married David J. Williams; Elizabeth, who married Richard Brown, and George W., who heads this sketch, who was married in 1866 to Miss Eliza Moore, a daughter of Carter Moore, by whom he has one child, Toinette. Mrs. Witt died in 1873, and the following year Mr. Witt was united in marriage to Miss Maggie Gardiner, a daughter of the late Rev. C. J. Gardiner, of whom mention is made elsewhere. Of this marriage three children were born, two of whom are living: Freddie T. and an infant child. For eight years Mr. Witt presided as a justice of the peace, and two years ago was a candidate for sheriff. He is the owner of some 600 acres of valuable land, ranks among our more opulent farmers, and has, in all probability, the finest farm residence in Greene County.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 744 biographies included in The History of Greene County, Illinois published in 1879.  View the complete description here: The History of Greene County, Illinois

View additional Greene County, Illinois family biographies here: Greene County, Illinois Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.