Whiting, Frederick Parker
FREDERICK PARKER WHITING was born 10 June 1814 in Union, Maine, the son of John and Nancy (Lowell) Whiting. Frederic grew up in a family of eight boys and three girls, but he was the only son who ended up in Texas. He had a brother who was lost at sea, three brothers headed for California, and another left home for Florida. His other siblings remained near home in Maine. Frederick's paternal ancestors go back to the emigrant, Nathaniel Whiting, who was a landowner in Lynn, MA, in 1638. His mother's family goes back to Percival Lowell, the emigrant, who sailed for America in 1639 and settled in Newbury, MA.
Frederick, a handsome young man, arrived in Houston, Texas, around 1840.
In 1844 Frederick Whiting met the Dugan boys, George and Henry Dugan, sons of Daniel and Catharine (Vaden) Dugan, who were in Houston to pick up a shipload of horses. When George and Henry left Houston, Frederick agreed to help them herd the horses cross-country to north Texas.
Once Frederick met Emily, sister of the Dugan boys, he knew he would stay in Texas. On 19 April 1845, Frederic Parker Whiting and Emily Dugan were married. They made their home near old Fort Warren, which was near the Dugan landgrant in Fannin County, now Grayson County.
But their life together was all too brief. Their only child, George Dugan Frederick Whiting, was born 13 March 1846. Before little George was ten months old, both Emily and Frederick had died of "lung fever," likely flu. Both were buried in the Dugan Cemetery, at Dugan Chapel. Their marriage and deaths were neatly entered in the Dugan family Bible. Brick and cement was used to erect a cover for each grave, and each was embossed with initials of the deceased.
More durable gravestones were placed there about 1925 by their son, George Dugan Frederick Whiting, and a grandson, Claude Vernon Whiting. (Both George and Claude Whiting were born and died on the Dugan homestead.) The cemetery, which is located in a pasture behind the original Dugan homestead, was begun as an Indian burying ground and then used by as a family plot. But as time went by, hundreds of other people were buried there. Many were Indians, some neighbors, and some just people passing through the country. The Dugan home became known as Dugan Chapel because that was where church was held when the Methodist circuit-rider preacher arrived.
Soon after learning of the birth of a grandson in Texas, Frederick's parents in Maine received a letter from Daniel and Katharine Dugan, telling them about and the death of their son. Mail was slow, but finally a response to the Dugan's letters came. The Whitings sent an oil-painted miniature portrait of Frederick to be given to their grandson so that he could know his father in some small way. They also sent along a request that the child be named for his father. The Dugan grandparents satisfied the name request by adding the name Frederick; thus, George Dugan Frederick Whiting.
Later the church held in the Dugan home merged with the newer settlers from Virginia to form the Virginia Point Methodist Church, which is considered one of the oldest churches in Texas, and bears the Texas State Historical Seal. Frederick and Emily's son was the first child baptized in this church, back when it was held in his grandparent's home.
George Whiting grew up in the home of his maternal grandparents, the Dugans. On the 1850 Grayson County Census, he is listed as a four-year-old, born in Texas. On the 1870 Grayson County census, he is listed as a 24 year old merchant living in the household of W. P. Dugan, which should have read H. P. Dugan. By 1870, Daniel and Catharine Dugan were deceased, and H. P. (Henry) Dugan, their son was listed as head of the family.
In 1841 Emily's brother, Daniel Vaden Dugan, and his friend, William Kitchings, were killed and scalped by Indians as they cut logs in the woods. As the young men were buried in the pasture behind the Dugan home, Catherine, Emily's sister, vowed that she would avenge her brother's death.
The chance came a few weeks later. Emily and Catherine were home alone, as it was the middle of the day and the rest of the family were away from the house. The girls heard a turkey call, again and again. By looking out the peepholes in the door, they saw an Indian bobbing up and down in the yard between the house and the barn. The girls ran for the guns and took careful aim. One, or both, got off a true shot; and the Indian fell dead. They pulled his body to the chopping block and cut off his head with the ax.
The head was nailed to their gatepost to warn other Indians to keep
away. Later the skull was attached to the top of the spinning wheel.
In the book, "Indian Depredations in Texas" by Wilbarger, there is an account of Dugan family's covered wagon trip to Texas in 1836, with Emily as a young girl of fourteen. Frederick had come down the Mississippi by boat.
He was likely not much of a "drover," but he did make it by horseback from Houston northward to the old Warren on Red River.
George was reared by his grandparents, Daniel and Catharine Dugan, and his uncles, Henry and George Dugan. He grew to six feet four, and continued to reside on the land the Dugan family received in their Republic of Texas land grant. He was given his mother's share by a deed dated 11 March 1857 (Vol. H, p 403 Grayson Co., TX) and signed by Daniel and Catharine Dugan for the consideration "of the love and affection that we have for George D.F. Whiting, our grandson, and only heir of his mother, Emily Whiting, our daughter, deceased." George (G.D.F.) Whiting and Henry Dugan continued to make their homes together until George married 19 December 1870. They were in the merchandising business near Old Warren (now Ambrose) for a time, but both were more into farming and ranching most of their lives.
Being reared in the same home gave them stronger than usual ties. Also they married cousins who were about the same age. Henry married Ann Eliza Spotts and George married Mollie Inge Fitzgerald. George and Mollie were parents of eight and grandparents of sixteen. Henry and Ann Eliza had no children. George was Henry's only heir.
The miniature portrait of Frederick sparked me to find out more about this mysterious ancestor who came to Texas and died so soon afterwards.
Frederick Parker Whiting died 24 December 1846, aged thirty-two. His wife, Emily (Dugan) Whiting, died 19 December 1846, aged twenty-four.
Compiled by: Lora B. Tindall
Dugan/Whiting Cemetery at Dugan Chapel marking the graves of Emily and Frederick Whiting, Emily's sister Mary (Dugan ) Montague and her two children. Mary was the wife of Daniel Montague. Around the stone are fifth generation Whiting descendants.
RESEARCH LOG: Vital Records, Union, ME 1794-1910 LDS FHL Film 0012229 Item 1 p 16; Tombstone readings from Indian Cemetery, Dugan Chapel Located ca 5 miles north of Bells, TX; Whiting/Dugan Family Bible; Grayson Co., TX, land deeds (Deed from Dugans to grandson G.D.F. Whiting); Known Marriages of Fannin Co., TX, 1838-1852 by Patricia A. Newhouse, p 6, marriage records (Frederic and Emily-1845); Daughters of Republic of Texas--Lora Byrd Whiting Tindall, #14836-Sup#16290-S; VA Point Church History from newspaper articles; Original Republic of Texas Landgrant #486, Vol. 4, dated 7 Dec. 1845, signed Anson Jones, president, recorded Grayson County, TX, 5 March 1888 at 5 p.m. in Vol. 74, p 629 Record of Deeds; Indian Depredations in TX (1890) by Wilbarger PP 379-387 and PP 405-422; Annals of Warren, ME, by Cyrus Eaton (1877) PP 645-646; History of Grayson Co., TX by Grayson Co. Frontier Village, Inc.(1979) Vol. I, PP 696-697; Daniel & Catharine (Vaden) Dugan Family Bible notes as copied by Lida Webster Dugan, who died 23 Dec 1945; Hand painted miniature portrait of Frederick Parker Whiting in possession of Lora B. Tindall 2002