William Hopkins Whitten


William Hopkins WHITTEN was born circa 1821 in Bedford Co., VA, the son of Sherrod & Ann Maria (HOPKINS) WHITTEN. William was probably orphaned following the death of his father Sherrod on 21 Sept 1830. No trace of his mother was found after the 1830 census of Bedford Co., VA. The identification of his paternal grandparents is found in the will of Elisha WHITTEN, he being named as one of the 4 sons of Sherrod WHITTEN. While Ann is not named as a daughter of William HOPKINS he granted permission “for my daughter Maria L. HOPKINS” to marry on 14 June 1819 in Bedford Co. VA. Also in an indenture William mortgages his right, title and interest which he might acquire in the estate of William HOPKINS, deceased in Bedford Co., VA.

Little is known of William's formative years, he most likely lived with his paternal grandparents, probably being apprenticed to a saddle maker at an early age. William married (1) Ann M. CARTER on 26 Jan 1846 in Lunenburg Co. VA. Sometime after the birth of their second child in 1848, they removed to DeSoto Co. MS. William and Ann were the parents of nine children, namely:

(1) Alexander B. WHITTEN b: ca 1846, remained in MS
(2)Amanda WHITTEN b: ca 1848, d: bef. 1860 MS
(3) Ann M. WHITTEN b: ca 1850 MS, remained in MS
(4) Mary Catherine WHITTEN b: 3 Sep 1851 MS d: 13 Jan 1937 Evening Shade, AR, m: 28 Jul 1870 Evening Shade to Wesley Carroll SHAVER, son of John Wesley & Minerva (STONE) SHAVER. “Aunt Mary” and her husband “Wesley” had 8 children.
(5) William Lee WHITTEN b: 6 Dec 1853 MS, d: 30 Dec 1882 AR m: 15 Sep 1872 Evening Shade, Louisa Catherine BELL, they had 3 children.
(6) Medellia WHITTEN b; ca 1854 MS d: bef 1870 MS
(7) Sarah V. WHITTEN b: ca 1857, d: 19 Jan 1922 Fort Smith, AR, m(1): J. Edgar MITCHELL 26 Oct 1880 Evening Shade, he disappeared while taking a bale of cotton to Batesville. She married (2) James E. WOODS 26 Nov 1884 in Evening Shade. No known issue.
(8) James WHITTEN b: ca 1860MS d: bef 1870 MS
(9) Frank Armstrong WHITTEN b: 22 Jan 1865 MS and d: 16 Feb 1947 Fallbrook, CA. He left Evening Shade shortly after 1880 and was not heard from for many years. He married in CA and had 6 children.

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1 Christian name variously spelled, Sharod, Sherod, Sherwood. Probably named for his maternal grandfather, Sherwood GADDY, whose daughter Jane married Elisha Whitten.
2 MARRIAGES & DEATHS FROM LYNCHBURG, VA NEWSPAPERS 1794-1836; Lucy Harrison Miller Baber; 1980; p 261 published in The Lynchburg Virginian; Sept 27, 1830, p3 c5.
3 Bedford Co. VA, Will Book 12; p 258; dated 25 Apr 1846; proven 24 Aug 1846.
4 HOPKINS OF VIRGINIA & RELATED FAMILIES, Walter Lee Hopkins, c1931, pp 97-100.
5 Bedford Co. VA, Deed Book 33, page 247.


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Ann CARTER WHITTEN's date of death is unknown; however it is thought that it may have been following the birth of her last child, Frank.

William married (2) Mrs. Ann Maria BUTLER, nee BAKER on 25 Jan 1866 in DeSoto Co., MS. Family tradition tells us that Ann was half Native American; however this has never been proven. Ann's mother, Mildred BAKER is living with her on the 1880 census following William's death.

(1) John T. WHITTEN b; ca 1867 MS d: 7 Jul 1898 in Louisville, KY
(2) Lou Edna WHITTEN b: ca 1869 MS d: aft 1870 and bef. 1880 Evening Shade, AR. Buried Sharp Cemetery, Evening Shade, AR.
(3) Charles Albert Pickney WHITTEN b: 12 Jun 1873 Evening Shade d: 4 Feb 1950 Overland, MO, m: 6 Feb 1895 Evening Shade to Sarah Dean SPILLER, daughter of Albert Scott & Mary Jeanette (SMITH) SPILLER. (An account of their descendants will follow)
(4) Henry Allison Jasper WHITTEN b; 9 Feb 1875 Evening Shade d: 3 Oct 1930 Evening Shade, AR, m: 1 Nov 1894 Evening Shade to Minerva Caroline WILKES. (An account of their descendants will follow)
(5) Tennessee J. WHITTEN b: 2 Feb 1878 d: 22 Oct 1958 Hoxie, AR. “Tennie” was named for her mother's sister Tennessee Baker Richie. Remembered by her family as “Aunt Tennie” she married on 29 Dec 1899 in Evening Shade to James W. MEEKER, son of Hiram Newell & Emaline (WORLEY) MEEKER. The marriage ended in divorce when James deserted her and her son, James Cornelius “Neely” MEEKER.

Tragically on 18 March 1880, William Hopkins Whitten met his death from slipping on a corn cob while attending his stock. He suffered throughout the morning, his death occurred about noon. He was described as one of the best mechanics ever in this part of Arkansas. The obituary goes on to say that “he leaves a wife and six children to morn his loss, Mrs. M. W. Shaver and Miss Sallie Whitten of this place.” It should be noted that 6 of the 9 children of his first wife are living at the time, but also 4 of the 5 children from the second marriage were also living. It is thought that perhaps they were omitted because of their mother's Native American blood.

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6 Sharp County Record Newspaper, “brother of Mrs. W. C. Shaver.”
7 1870 Census Piney Fork Twp., Sharp Co. AR, p 22, 1880 census Piney Fork Twp, Sharp Co. AR p 131b.
8 Sharp Co. AR Chancery Book C, pg 425, 431-32.
9 Sharp County Record Newspaper, 18 Mar 1880, pg 1, col. 3.


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Ann BAKER WHITTEN, struggled to keep her 4 children alive and well. Sacrificing her own health she gave her share of the food to them. She died on 2 February 1884 in Evening Shade. Her son Charles would later place a monument in the Sharp Cemetery honoring his father, mother and sister Lou.

Following the death of their mother, Charles, Jasper and Tennie stayed together for a short time. Tennie's aunt Tennessee RICHIE took her into her own family and raised her. The two boys worked for a man named Huddleston for their keep and were allowed to go to school.

Charles Albert Pickney WHITTEN, better known as “C.A.” and his wife Sarah Dean SPILLER became the parents of 7 children all born at Evening Shade:

(1) Raymond Sylvestor WHITTEN b: 19 Oct 1895, d: 17 Apr 1898 Lake City, AR, m: Margie SMITH, daughter of Rufus Allen & Lula Ethelda (CAMPBELL) SMITH on 28 Oct 1917 in Evening Shade. No issue.
(2) Hubert Newton WHITTEN b: 2 Jan 1897 d: 13 May 1980 Jonesboro, AR, m(1) Mary Elizabeth HAZLEWOOD, 5 children, and m(2) Drucilla HALL, no issue.
(3) Sherman Otis WHITTEN b: 1 Dec 1898, d: 29 Sep 1902 buried in the Sharp Cemetery, Evening Shade.
(4) Virginia Lee WHITTEN b: 26 Sep 1902, d: 18 Jan 1991 Peoria, IL, m: Clarence WHITELY, 3 children.
(5) James Russell WHITTEN b: 6 Oct 1907, d: 21 May 1986 Jonesboro, AR, m: Willie Mae SAFLEY, 1 son, James I. WHITTEN.
(6) Ernest Harvey WHITTEN b: 9 Jul 1913, d: 22 Feb 1999 Merced, CA, m: Bessie Cordelia HILL, 2 daughters.
(7) Henry Oran WHITTEN b: 16 Sept 1915, the last surviving child, m: Gracie Ada MOORE DENDY, a widow with a daughter. They had 2 other daughters. Nicknamed “Jack” by his eldest brother Raymond, who upon seeing him for the first time said he's a “big jack” and the name stuck.

Following Sarah's death on 4 Feb 1922, C.A. moved his minor children to Monette, AR where his sons Raymond and Hubert were already living.

Henry Allison Jasper WHITTEN, better known as “Jasper” and his wife Minerva Caroline WILKES became the parents of 7 children:

(1) William Hopkins WHITTEN b: 19 Oct 1895 d: 30 Aug 1964, m(1) Mary KING, one son, William Jewel; m(2) Johnnie Hazel WASSON, had 2 daughters.
(2) Artie Marie WHITTEN b: 27 Dec 1897 d: 5 Aug 1987, m: Otto THOMAS, 2 children.
(3) John Henry WHITTEN b: 27 Dec 1900 d: 13 Feb 1991, m: Mary Etta STOUT, had 4 children, m(2) Jennie COOPER, no issue.
(4) Trixie WHITTEN b: 26 Oct 1903, deceased, m(1)Anderson QUALLS, had 3 children; m(2) Winniford WOODLEY; m(3) Porter NIX and m(4) Mr. HOANEY.
(5) Carrie Emeline WHITTEN b: 10 Sep 1906 d: 16 Nov 2001, m: Addie McKinley BARNETT.
(6) Elsie Jewel WHITTEN b: 8 May 1911 d: 25 Sep 1915


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(7) Eva Lee WHITTEN b: 18 Aug 1917, m: Vernon Horace PAYSINGER, no issue.

James C. WHITTEN also a resident of Sharp Co. AR and a brother of William Hopkins WHITTEN, was born 11 Aug 1824 in Bedford Co. VA, he died 27Apr 1914 in the old soldier's home at Sweet Home (near Little Rock) AR. James, sometimes referred to as “Doc” was a Confederate soldier serving in Company F., 28th Regiment VA Infantry. He was imprisoned at Point Lookout, MD for several months. He is mentioned many times in various items published in the Sharp County Record. The citizen's of Hardy took up a collection to send him to the home. Russell Whitten, his nephew remembered him well. “Uncle Jim” would ride in and stay with his family for a few days, then he would ride out without a word, much to the consternation of Russell's mother. Uncle Jim is buried at the National Cemetery in Little Rock.

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10 1870 census Piney Fork Twp., Sharp Co. AR, p 36, residing with the Huddleston family and 1880 census Richwood Twp., Sharp Co., AR p 84d, listed as James C. WHEATON.