DAVID S. WHITENACK, undertaker and furniture dealer, of Greenwood, and one of the prominent citizens of that place, was born in Pleasant Township, this county, January 30, 1837, and is the son of Peter and Elmira J. (Harris) Whitenack, who were respectively natives of Mercer County, Ky., and Culpepper County, Va., the former of Dutch, and the latter of English, descent. He was reared to manhood on the old homestead, where he was born, and in the district school obtained a knowledge of the ordinary branches of learning. Later, he attended Wabash College two years. On the 28th day of December, 1863, he entered the service of the Union Army, in Company F, Fifth Indiana Cavalry, with which he served until the 31st of July, 1864, when he was captured and made a prisoner of war. His brother, George m. Whitenack, whose history appears below, had become a member of the same company, August 18, 1862, and he also was captured at the same time and place. Both were imprisoned at Andersonville. On the 16th of September, 1864, they were removed to the prison at Florence, S. C. Their food was barely sufficient to keep them alive. On the third day of their confinement they succeeded in breaking guard and making their escape. After spending nine days in a fruitless effort to break entirely away, during which time they were pursued by both men and bloodhounds, they were recaptured about 100 miles from Florence, and were lodged in jail at Columbia, S. C., where they were confined six weeks. They were then returned to the prison at Florence, and there confined until February 14, 1865, when the entire body of prisoners was removed to Richmond, Va., and paroled on the 22d of the month. On regaining their freedom, the Whitenack brothers made their way to Annapolis, Md., where it became necessary for the younger George M., to enter a hospital. David S. Whitenack determined not to leave his brother in his almost dying condition, so he availed himself of the first opportunity and made off with him on a vessel bound for Baltimore. At this city they took a train for Indianapolis, whither they arrived on the 4th of March, 1865. Thirty days later the subject of this sketch rejoined his regiment at Pulaski, Tenn., and remained with it until the original members were mustered out. June 27, 1865, he was transferred to the Sixth Indiana Cavalry, and was commissioned as second lieutenant, which rank he held until September 15, 1865, when he was honorably discharged at Murfreesboro, Tenn. From the war, Mr. Whitenack returned to Pleasant Township, and for a number of years he farmed in summer and taught school in winter. In October, 1883, he removed to Greenwood. In the fall of 1884, he became the proprietor of an undertaking business at that place, which he has successfully conducted ever since. In connection with this, he has also owned and conducted a first-class furniture store. Mr. Whitenack was married January 1, 1861, to Sylvia R. Unthank. She was born at Port Royal, this county, April 28, 1840, and was the daughter of William S. and Nancy L. (Moreland) and Kentucky. The mother of Mrs. Whitenack was the daughter of Rev. John R. Moreland. The marriage of Mr. And Mrs. Whitenack has resulted in the birth of ten children, as follows: Eva J., April 18, 1862; Ida M., April, 1864; Cora S., August 3, 1866; Laura F., October 7, 1867, deceased; Emma F., December 8, 1869; Nannie E., January 19, 1872; Hattie, January 24, 1874, deceased; Bertha B., April 28, 1875, deceased; Edwin H., July 27, 1877, deceased, and Nellie Mabel, January 5, 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Whitenack are members of the Presbyterian Church. The former is a member of the K. of H. and G. A. R. In politics, he is an ardent republican, and in 1868 he was the candidate of his party for the office of county clerk, but was defeated. He has served as assessor of his township one term. Mr. and Mrs. Whitenack are devoted members of the church, and take an active part in the work of it, and the Sabbath school.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker
Banta, D.D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888.