The following is a transcript of the obituary of Nancy L. Whiteside as it appeared in the Nov 5, 1859 edition of The Belleville Democrat.
A Noble Woman Gone
Mrs. Nancy L. Whitesides, relict of the late William Lot Whitesides, died at her residence three miles North of Belleville, September 1859, after several weeks illness, in the 83rd year of her age.
Mrs. Whitesides' maiden name was Pulliam, sister to the late Rev. James Pulliam of this city. She was born in Virginia 1777. Her parents removed to the then village of Pan Core --short loaf, now the city of St. Louis, during the year 1796. At that period Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri, and in fact all West of the Mississippi, belonged to Spain. While all the country, now Illinois, Indiana and Ohio belonged to the North-western Territory--called Ohio.
Mrs. Whitesides was married to her late husband, William Lot, in the year 1797. William Lot Whitesides' parents lived at that time at Whitesides' Station a few miles above the present town of Waterloo, in Monroe county. Both having been raised Protestants, and not choosing to be married in the Catholic faith, as every person had to be who were married in "Pan Core", when the time arrived for them to be united in matrimonial bonds, the young bride left home and came over into Ohio, to the house of Esqr. Piggott, who lived at the time near the foot of the bluffs that over-hang the American Bottoms, and they were married by Esqr. Piggott in accordance with the usages and customs of the people who were struck off by Congress in the North-western Territory.
They immediately afterwards settled on this side of the river, where they remained up to the day of their death. Sixty-two years was Mrs. Whitesides a residence of this county -- her husband about the same length of time.
We frequently speak of the "pioneers" of this country. They were emphatically of that class! We frequently speak of them too, now they are almost all gone, as having been a noble race of men and women. They were too indeed! And none that have passed away were of a nobler type than William Lot, and Nancy Whitesides. Honest, industrious, quiet, good people. Everybody who knew them loved them. They had no enemies thro' life; and sank into the grave mellowed by the frosts of age, like the fall of the forest leafs of autumn, blown by the gentle winds.
We have no means at hand to inform us at what period Mr. Whitesides professed religion, but he was a reputable member of the Baptist church, at least fifty years.
Mrs. Whitesides professed religion in 1802 and was baptized by Elder John Simpson, father of our present good brother Simpson of Ridge Prairie; and for fifty-seven long years did she sustain the reputation of a pious, orderly member of the Baptist church, and died in full trust of a bright immortality beyond the grave.
Her whole lifetime was a practical commentary on the purity of the religion she professed.
She became the mother of ten children, six sons and four daughters -- all whom we believe, grew up to manhood's estate, and most of them, if not all, have in turn raised up families in this and adjoining counties. Mr. Whitesides was well adapted in his nature to pioneer life. Quiet, unoffensive, industrious and as brave a man as ever shouldered a rifle. If a volume were written of mementos of olden times in Illinois -- the social habits of the country, the house raising, the log rolling, the quilting, and the merry dance, William Lot Whitesides' name would be often there. The chase after the nimble deer; and the more dangerous encounters with the panther and the bear; and the frequent terrible conflict with the savage Indian, when moral courage and bodily powers were taxed to their utmost, in single-handed combat with the red man; and the rifle, the tomahawk and the scalping-knife, had to settle the question. If the history of those times could be written, we say, that it would be found that William Lot Whitesides bore a full share. While his wife Nancy, in every scene of suffering humanity, and where benevolence was called, acted her part well.
They came here when all this vast territory, Northwest of the Ohio river, was one waste howling wilderness; undisturbed save by the wild beast and the savage. They lived here when this country belonged to Ohio, passed with it under the jurisdiction of Indiana, and helped to establish it into the Territory of Illinois. They were acquainted with St. Louis while it belonged to, and was under the government of Spain, -- saw it pass into the hands of France, and rejoiced when the "Stars and Stripes" first ran up and unfolded to the breeze. They witnessed all those wonderful changes and development that sixty years have made in this country. The steamboat, the telegraph, and the railroad, with all the hum and bustle and noise of the present age broke in on the ears of these two old people, as quietly and peaceably they sat by the blazing home fire, like the realization of a dream! A few short years of loneliness in this resistless age sufficed, and they were called away.
Mrs. Whitesides is the last one of that family we believe now left, to battle the infirmities of age a little longer, but two -- Mrs. Joseph Ogle, "Aunt Lucy," and Mrs. Rev. James Lemen. They are sisters of the deceased; and most noble women they are too; and have been through life.
While, of the Whitesides family, the old generation are all gone, but old Gen. Samuel. He is largely upwards of eighty, but yet enjoys good health, and walks as erect as a man of forty.
In time to come, the period of which we have been speaking, will be looked upon as the classic days of Illinois and Missouri; and the persons of whom we have been speaking, will be classed among the heros and heroines of the former age. Their virtues; their sacrifices in the cause of humanity, and all their great deeds should be recorded and handed down to posterity, as worthy of imitation. No blinking the hardships of life in the settlement of a new country, with them. No traitors to their country; no sic[kly] sentimentalism in their philosophy; no hypocrisy in their religion. They took the world as a great practical reality; and plunged into it in good earnest!
A freer, more noble, holier, happier people never lived upon this broad earth, than were these old pioneers! Unrestrained by the conventionalities of society they sported in all the joys of innocent life, soul and body, all grew up to manhood and womanhood, together. They were a great race! Everlasting honors on their names!
As the frosts of age ripen them for the "better land," and they pass away from our midst one by one, it is our duty to express gratitude to Almighty God, who directed in his providence, such a generation of men and women to settle in this country, and lay the foundation of all our institutions, civil and religious -- to live as they lived, and die as they died; leaving us the legatees of the most enduring fortune that any people on earth ever possessed.