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A. J. Whitmore is an old timer in Kansas, having been identified with this state most of the time since 1885. He has been well known both in business and in public affairs, and for a number of years has lived in Tepeka.
He was born in Lake County, Illinois, in 1859. His father William D. Whitmore was born in Seneca County, Ohio, in 1836, a son of James Whitmore, who was born in Lockport, New York, in 1794. James Whitmore was an early settler in Ohio, and in 1837 took his family to Illinois and secured a homestead in the extreme northeastern part of the state, not far from Chicago. He died on his old homestead in 1877 at the advanced age of eighty-three. James Whitmore married Martha McNitt. They became the parents of four sons and one daughter. William D. Whitmore at the age of twenty-one married Ann C. Bangs of Lake County, Illinois, a daughter of Herman Bangs. She was a lineal descendant from Edward Bangs who came to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1623. A son of Edward was Arthur, who in turn became the father of James, and the latter the father of Herman Bangs, the father of Mrs. William D. Whitmore. William D. Whitmore joined the Union army very early in the Civil war. He enlisted in Company B of the Ninety-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry under Col. Thomas E. Champion. His regiment was attached to General Grainger’s Reserve Corps. His regiment was also in active service with General Thomas and at the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia, on June 20, 1864, William D. Whitmore was killed, and his body now rests in the National Cemetery at Marietta, Georgia. On leaving home he left behind his wife and small son, who was then about five years of age.
This son is Mr. A. J. Whitmore of Topeka. Mr. Whitmore spent the first thirteen years of his life in Lake County, Illinois, and then went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. From that city in 1879 he went to Chatsworth, Illinois, became a druggist, and after five years returned to Cedar Rapids and from there went to Nebraska. He was first located at Wymore and later was in the lumber business at Odell.
In August, 1885, Mr. Whitmore removed to Kansas, locating at Hanover, where he continued the lumber business. In 1894, while still in business, he was elected register of deeds of Washington County, and filled that office with great credit to himself for four years. On leaving the office he again took up the lumber business, but in 1899 removed to Topeka, where he was appointed chief clerk to the secretary of state, George A. Clark. He filled that office four and a half years during the administrations of George A. Clark and J. R. Burrows. When Mr. Clark became state printer Mr. Whitmore filled the office of assistant state printer for two years.
With the exception of two years spent in Colorado Mr. Whitmore has lived in Topeka since 1899, and for several years has been a traveling salesman. In 1899 he married Elnora F. L. Gilson of Blue Rapids, Kansas. The Gilson family are very well known in that section of the state. Mrs. Whitmore is a graduate of the medical department of the Northwestern University of Chicago and was in general practice five years after her graduation, but has since given up the practice with the exception that for a number of years she has held the very important office of supreme physician in the Order of the Royal Neighbors of America. This organization has more than 375,000 members and is still rapidly growing. Mr. and Mrs. Whitmore for the past eight years have resided in a very attractive home at 835 Lane Street in Topeka. Mr. Whitmore is a member of the Masonic order, being both a York and Scottish Rite Mason, also a Knight Templar and Shriner, and is a past master of Blue Star Lodge, No. 69. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen and the Ancient Order United Workmen and of the United Commercial Travelers. Mrs. Whitmore is a member of the Congregational Church.