February 26, 1808–March 11, 1880
|Whittemore—Friday morning, March 11th, 1880, at his residence at Bowens Prairie, in this county, Barrett Whittemore, Esq., aged 74 years of old age and physical exhaustion . . . The peaceful and painless death of one who lived a stainless life—a life of honor and usefulness and who went down to his grave full of years. . .
Mr. Whitemore was born in Cheshire county, New York, February 26th, 1808. He was a man of more than ordinary intellectual endowments and his tastes were always toward literature, but the tendency of his mind was specially in the direction of mathematical and philosophical study. He was born schoolmaster, and to the profession of teaching he very naturally devoted the grater portion of his life. In the spring of 1830 he removed from the ancestral New England home to Bureau county, Illinois. A year later he moved to Jo Davis county in the same Sate. In 1834 he commenced teaching school in Dubuque, then a mere village. This was the second school opened in Dubuque.
In 1838 Mr. Whittemore first came to Jones county, and in 1811 he taught the first school ever opened in the county. Fifty years of his life were devoted to the work of teaching. He taught forty terms in Jones county, most of them in his own township—Richland. He was not only the first school teacher but also the first school Superintendent in this county, having been elected to that office in 1858. In 1864 he married Miss Louisa Blodgett, also a native of New Hampshire, who still survives. She is a sister of E. S. Blodgett, who is one of the oldest residents of the Prairie. Mr. And Mrs. Whittemore were childless; but the parental instinct and impulse in them found expression in kindly interest and helpful service to the children of others.
Mr. Whittemore was a life long member of the Congregational Church, and for many years, with his brother Otis, whose death we chronicled two weeks ago, was one of the main supports of the church and Sunday school. In his social relations he was one of the truest and best of men. In all his long life there was never a shadow of a stain upon his character. He was one of those plain, wholesome, thoroughly clean handed, clean natured men whom the tongue of gossip and the whisper of slander never touch. As a thinker and observer he took more comprehensive views, and looked deeper into things, than most men. He was a graceful writer, and with his unusual endowment of moral sentiment he was always earnest in his convictions, which were invariably on the side of truth and right. Yet he was not an aggressive man, nor what would be considered radical in any direction. He made no noise, but walked the quiet ways of life without ostentation, discharging all his duties, skirting no responsibility, but with simple fidelity performing whatever work fell to his hand as became a man. The world was the better for his having lived in it. He has left an example to all who knew him, of simplicity of character, of sincerity of purpose, of honesty and manness. The manner of his death was an appropriate ending of a well rounded and truly balanced life. His sickness was only the slow, natural, painless process of physical decay. . . .
Submitted by: Mary Kay Kuhfittig
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