Grandfather Whitlock came to Morgan County as early as 1829, and took up a tract of Government land along its southern line. There he carried on agriculture by the imperfect methods of those days, built up a comfortable home and spent the remainder of his life. He was the father of a large family of children, nine in number, and those who were permitted to survive were eventually numbered among the substantial citizens of that region. John, the father of our subject, came to this county the year previous to the removal of his father, accompanied by his wife and three children. He located on land four miles from the present site of Jacksonville, where he labored and accumulated a good property. Here five more children were added to the household circle, of whom lived to mature years, and seven still survive. These are Roseanna, Mrs. Hairgrove, of Jacksonville: Serena, Mrs. Taylor of Washington: Minerva, Mrs. Hairgrove, of Waverly, this county: Eveline S., Mrs. Vermillion, of Frankfort, Mo.: Mary E., Mrs. Nichols, of Howard, Kan.; and Della, Mrs. Harper, of this county. The maternal grandparents of our subject were Lewis and Alice (Johnson) Sheppard, natives respectively of Virginia and England. Grandmother Sheppard emigrated to America with her parents when a young girl twelve years old. Grandfather Sheppard was a well-educated man and taught school during his younger years. He came from Kentucky to this county in 1829, settling on a tract of land which he cultivated, and all through life followed his profession of teacher in addition. He also settled in the southern part of the county, and this family also included nine children, all of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. Grandfather Sheppard served in the War of 1812, and was at the battle of New Orleans. He spent his last years at the old homestead in this county. Both the Whitlock and Sheppard families trace their ancestors to England.
The subject of this biography spent his younger years with his parents on the farm, until reaching his majority. As a boy at school he had been studious and fond of his books, and now resolved to become further advanced in practical knowledge. Entering Jacksonville Berean College, he continued as a student there until July, 1859, then commenced teaching and reading law. He pursued the latter in the office and under the instruction of Hon. I. L. Morrison, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work, and was admitted to the bar in 1866. In the meantime he had been employed in the Quartermaster's department in the army, at Cairo, Ill., and in 1862 became a member of the staff of Gen. Logan, and was employed in the duties attendant thereon until the close of the war.
Mr. Whitlock commenced the practice of his profession in the city of Jacksonville, operating for a time alone, but subsequently formed a partnership with William Gallaher which continued two years. In February, 1869, the firm was changed to Morrison, Whitlock & Gallaher, and continued until the death of Mr. G., in 1871. Since that time it has been Morrison & Whitlock. It is well known throughout this part of Illinois, as both members are men of strong intellect, extensive readers and thoroughly well informed.
Our subject was elected to the County Judgeship in 1865, holding the position a period of four years and was Trustee of the asylum for the insane from 1872 to 1876. He was also a member of the School Board in his city four years. He is a man warmly interested in education, and all enterprises tending to elevate the people and advance their welfare. There has presided over the home for the last twenty years, one of the most estimable ladies of Morgan County, who in her girlhood was Miss Fanny M. Woods, and to whom he was married Oct. 19, 1869. Mrs. Whitlock was born Feb. 6, 1848, in Carlinville, Macoupin County, and is the daughter of Dr. Levi and Martha (McClure) Woods, who were born respectively in Franklin, this county, and Lebanon, Tenn. They are now both dead. Mr. Whitlock, politically, votes independently, aiming to support the men whom he considers best worthy to serve the interests of the people. His pleasant and attractive home is located on East State street, and is the frequent resort of the many friends of himself and his excellent lady. He is in the enjoyment of a good property and all the comforts of life.