William Levi Whiteside, a respected and prominent citizen of Roodhouse, was born in Patterson township, Greene county, October 31, 1852, his parents being Samuel M. and Mary (Giles) Whiteside. he is a representative of one of the leading and influential pioneer families of this part of the state and is descended from Thomas S. Whiteside, of North Carolina, the family having been established in the south during the colonial epoch in our country's history. From North Carolina Thomas Whiteside and his family made their way to the little French settlement of St. Louis, which city had not then become a part of the United States through the Louisiana purchase. They took up their abode at what was known as Whiteside's Station or Fort, - a place used for protection against the Indians.
Hon. James H. Whiteside, son of Thomas Whiteside and grandfather of William L. Whiteside, was born in Rutherford county, North Carolina, and was a young lad when his parents removed to St. Louis, where he was reared. In early life he learned the trade of making saddlery and harness and followed that pursuit for many years, while later he turned his attention to farming. At the breaking out of the war of 1812 he enlisted in the American army and was elected a major of a Missouri regiment. He remained a resident of St. Louis until June 10, 1817, when he came to Illinois, settling first near Jerseyville, where he remained for three years, when he removed to that part of Morgan county now included within the borders of Scott county, making his home near Geneva until 1831. In that year he removed to Apple Creek prairie, in Greene county, settling four miles west of White Hall. He was one of the first two settlers in this county, the other being David Stockton, who arrived about the time Mr. Whiteside made his advent here. The latter remained on Apple Creek prairie for many years, or until his death, which occurred May 13, 1863, when he was eighty-three years of age. He was a valued and helpful pioneer citizen, who assisted materially in the upbuilding and progress of this part of the state, aiding in reclaiming the wild district for the uses of the white man. Public-spirited, his worth widely acknowledged, and among his associates he was known as a sincere and trustworthy friend. He married Sarah Tanzuey, who was of French descent. He died May 13, 1863, at the advanced age of eighty-three years. He was a cousin of the distinguished border ranger and veteran of the war of 1812, of the name of Whiteside, whose record added luster to the family history.
Samuel M. Whiteside, son of Hon. James H. Whiteside, was born in Jersey county, Illinois, in 1819, and throughout his entire life followed the occupations of farming and teaching school. Reared amid the scenes and environment of pioneer life, he aided in the arduous task of developing a new farm and later successfully carried on agricultural pursuits on his own account. he wedded Mary Giles, who was born in Scotland, November 3, 1828, and was educated in the common schools. His death occurred in 1869.
William Levi Whiteside is a nephew of Hon. Levi T. Whiteside, who was the father of Mrs. Seth N. Griswold, of White Hall, Illinois, reported to be the wealthiest woman in Greene county, while her husband had extensive interests, real and personal, in his own right.
William Levi Whiteside spent the days of his boyhood and youth in a manner similar to that of most farmer lads of the period. His education was obtained in the public schools and in his vacation periods he assisted in the tilling of the soil on the old homestead farm. The occupation to which he was reared he chose as his life work, and he has always followed farming, owning and operating eighty acres of land, which he has placed under a high state of cultivation. there are good improvements upon his farm and in fact all the modern equipments and accessories which indicate the owner to be a practical and progressive farmer and which facilitate his work. He recognizes the value of industry and enterprise in winning success and has always prosecuted his labors with diligence and determination.
On the 20th of November, 1878, Mr. Whiteside was united in marriage to Miss Emma V. Johnsten, a native of this county, and they have become the parents of four children, namely: Guy K., born November 1, 1879; Alena, aged twenty-one years, who is now the wife of Earl E. Hicks, a son of William Hicks; Levi, twelve years of age; and Russell, aged nine. the eldest son, Guy Kenneth, is a printer and issues a neat, semi-monthly journal, from his office at home. He is an intelligent, manly young man, possessing considerable inventive genius and mechanical ingenuity, as a well equipped railroad, upon which is a train in motion, indicates, - the toy being evidence of his skill. his paper is also printed on a homemade handpress. Mr. Whiteside has given his children good education privileges and encourages them in all the work which indicates their natural trend of tastes and talents.
Mr. Whiteside is a Democrat in his political affiliation and manifests a public-spirited interest in all that pertains to the general welfare. The work which his pioneer ancestors began he carries on, being the champion of any movements that tend to benefit the county, whose pioneer development was largely promoted through the labors of earlier generations of the name.