Who among us can resist the temptation to reflect on the pioneer movement? As we ponder the lives of those who braved so much to explore the unknown, we try to pull aside the curtain of time to see more clearly just what happened so many years ago. We begin to realize how determined they were as they left the relative safety and comfort of the east coast to slowly journey to a destination west of the mighty Mississippi River.
One courageous man, Thomas J. Whitlock, a native of North Carolina, came to what is now Greene County, Missouri in 1832. He first settled on the Kickapoo Prairie but soon moved to Franklin Township on the south side of the Sac River. He eventually became the owner of many fine farms and at one time owned a saw and grist mill.*
According to the Greene County Missouri 1850 Federal Census, p. 27, Thomas and his wife, Elizabeth, had the following children: Lambert L., Missouri A., Samuel T., Alabama C., William B., Susan J., and Mary H.M.
Before the Civil War it was Mr. Whitlock’s custom to buy large herds of livestock and drive them South for sale at a good profit. During the California Gold Rush he successfully sent two of his sons across the plains with a drove of cattle. One of the sons was Samuel T. Whitlock.*
Very little is known about Samuel. In Greene County Missouri Cemeteries, Vol. IV, p. 64, his birthdate is listed as 17 April 1836 with a death date given of 3 August 1913. His wife’s name was Margaret A. (maiden name unknown). She was born 2 April 1837 and died 6 November 1910. Both are buried in the Mt. Comfort Cemetery, Greene County, Missouri. Two of their children, however, are buried in or near the Freeman plot in Union Campground Cemetery. Their names:
Eddy F. whitlock Son of S.T. & M.A. Whitlock B: 16 May 1867 D: 17 Sept. 1867
Thomas J. Whitlock Son of S.T. & M.A. Whitlock B: 11 April 1863 D: 28 May 1864
We can only speculate as to the cause of their deaths and wonder why these two small children are buried in Union Campground Cemetery when other Whitlock family members are buried in Mt. Comfort Cemetery.
*Genealogy from: Fairbanks & Tuck, Vol. II, p. 1096 Edited by: Del Bishop, former Director of the Greene Co. Archives