|This is a transcript of a talk given by Mrs. Virginia Blair at the Old Whiteside Homestead, 2029 Lebanon Ave, Belleville on April 28, 1974.|
|Today we are in the famous Whiteside home.
Several generations of Whitesides have lived here. Records show that William
Lot Whiteside conveyed it to his son Joseph in 1835; that Joseph conveyed it to his son
Thomas in 1874; Thomas was the father of the last Whiteside who lived here. There
were nine of them: Lillian, Maud, Ora, Raymond, Daisy, Donald, Lawrence, Olive, and
Dorothy. William Lot Whiteside had married Nancy Pulliam; his son Joseph had married
Margaret Badgley; and Thomas' wife was Olive Messenger, a granddaughter of John Messenger.
Thomas Whiteside had served 3 years in the Union Army, had taken part in 12 battles
and 35 skirmishes, and when wounded, returned home to this farm to begin life as a
Across the road is the Whiteside School. On a side road, to the rear some distance, stands the original school built on Whiteside property. It has been made into an attractive home. Next to the present school is the Whiteside Cemetery.
But where did these Whitesides come from? Reynolds in his Pioneer History of Illinois tells this most interesting story. "In 1793, Illinois received a copy of the most numerous daring and enterprising inhabitants that had heretofore settled in it. The Whitesides and their extensive connections emigrated from Kentucky and settled in and around the New Design (below Waterloo) in this year. Not only the numerous names of Whitesides was in the colony, but many of their connections. This large connection of citizens, being all patriotic, courageous and determined to defend the country at the risk of their lives, was a great acquisition to Illinois, which was hailed by all as the harbinger of better times. They were warm hearted impulsive and patriotic. Their friends were always right and their foes always wrong in their estimation. They were capable of strong and firm attachments and friendships. If a Whiteside took you by the hand, you had his heart. He shed his blood freely for his country, or his friend. Scarcely any of the family knew what fear was."