Joseph Whitehill

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Joseph Whitehill
6th Ohio State Treasurer
In office
February 17, 1835 – February 24, 1847
Preceded by Henry Brown
Succeeded by Albert A. Bliss
Personal details
Born (1786-12-30)December 30, 1786
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Died November 1, 1861(1861-11-01) (aged 74)
Columbus, Ohio
Resting place Green Lawn Cemetery
Military service
Allegiance United States
Battles/wars War of 1812

Joseph Whitehill, Jr. (December 30, 1786–November 4, 1861) was a nineteenth-century Ohio farmer who was elected to a series of local offices in Warren County, Ohio, before his election as Ohio State Treasurer.

Biography[edit]

He was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Whitehill. In 1800, at age fourteen, his family moved to Botetourt County, Virginia, near Fincastle. In 1808, his father died and Whitehill assumed responsibility for his family: six sisters and a brother. In the War of 1812, he was lieutenant in the militia company from Boutetourt County, and served in the defense of Norfolk, Virginia from the British. Upon the death of the captain of his company, Whitehill was in command.

After the war, the family moved to Warren County, Ohio, north of Cincinnati. They arrived in the county in 1815, initially settling near the town of Waynesville but relocating closer to Lebanon, the county seat. He was forced to abandon farming because of his rheumatism. Moving into the town of Lebanon, he hauled freight between Lebanon and Cincinnati. He also owned a grist mill on the Warren County Canal's Lock 3, southwest of Lebanon.

In 1826, he was elected sheriff of Warren County and served 1826 to 1830, two two-year terms. Whitehill was briefly out of office in 1830, during which time he bought a farm three miles north of Lebanon in Turtlecreek Township. In 1830, he was elected to the Ohio General Assembly as a representative. He was re-elected three times, serving four one-year terms. In 1834, as he was completing his final term in the legislature, he was elected Ohio State Treasurer. He was re-elected three times, serving four three-year terms. When his service expired, he remained in the state capital, Columbus. Whitehill, who never married, lived there with his spinster sister Jane.

Whitehill speculated in property and became quite wealthy, but lost his fortune through the failure of several companies he had invested in. Josiah Morrow, the historian of Warren County, wrote of him:

Mr. Whitehill was not a man of much knowledge of the sort that is derived from books, he having had but little time for the acquisition of that kind of knowledge in his early life, which was one of labor and activity, rendered necessary by reason of the responsibilities imposed upon him . . . . But he was a man of strong sense and sound judgement. His disposition was frank and generous, and his manners were popular. He enjoyed in an eminent degree the affection of his relatives and friends, and the respect and esteem of his acquaintances.[this quote needs a citation]

Whitehill died in Columbus two months before his seventy-fifth birthday. Both he and his sister Jane are buried at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus. Cemetery records indicate he died November 1, 1861.[1]

References[edit]

  • Josiah Morrow. The History of Warren County, Ohio. Chicago: W.H. Beers, 1883. (Reprinted several times, relevant page on-line here)

Joseph Whitehill at Find a Grave