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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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.

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Judge William C. Whinrey was born in Greene County, Tenn., October 6, 1827, and is a son of Joseph and Jane (Likens) Whinrey, who were born in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, respectively. The father moved with his parents to Tennessee at a very early day, and there experienced all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. The most of the care of supporting his mother and sisters devolved on him, and at the age of eighteen he began serving an apprenticeship at the hatter’s trade, and followed this occupation for a number of years. To Mr. Whinrey and wife were born eight children, seven of whom are living: Hannah, Nancy A., Lewis B., William C., Alexander B., Matilda J., Benjamin F., and John (deceased). The father died in Tennessee. His father, Thomas Whinrey, was a North Carolinian, and was an early settler of Tennessee. He was passionately fond of hunting, and even when he was eighty years old was a noted rifle shot. He was ninety-four years old at the time of his death. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. William C. Whinrey learned the hatter’s trade of his father, and his educational advantages were limited to the subscription schools of his boyhood days. At the age of twenty-one he began fighting the battle of life for himself, and in partnership with another man bought a boat-load of provisions which they took to Chattanooga and sold. Half the money was paid down. This his partner took and started home, leaving Mr. Whinrey to collect the rest of the money and pay the liabilities. Thus his maiden venture ended somewhat disastrously. He walked home and remained with his father three years, working out his debts. At the end of this time he borrowed $100 and started for California, which place he reached on the 11th of August, 1852. Here he was engaged in mining for six years, but only met with moderate success. He returned to Tennessee in 1858, and on June 5, 1859, came to Missouri. He spent two years in Springfield, working at the hatter’s trade, and then came to Lawrence County and engaged in the milling business, but was compelled to close on account of the breaking out of the war. This occupation he resumed after a short time, and in 1864 went to Mount Vernon, but was engaged in the milling business there for only one year. April 6, 1866, he was married to Elizabeth R., a daughter of James Downing. They are the parents of three children: Lelia, Jo and Gertrude. In January, 1866, he engaged in farming, and now has a fine farm of 300 acres, with 140 under cultivation. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., and is a strong supporter of the Republican party.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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