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William Henry Weeks

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William Henry Weeks

Posted: 10 Mar 2005 1:04PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Weeks, Slyter, Earl, Flanagan, Jackson, Stephens, Webb, Thompson, Battey, Wilson, Pickering, Benson, Robins, Richwine

From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington county, 1901, pages 480-482

William Henry Weeks, a prominent and genial citizen of Polk township, Huntington county, Indiana, is known far and wide as a farmer whose progressive methods have placed him well to the front among the leading agriculturists of the state, and his residence is one of the most attractive and pleasant in the county, the genial and hospitable manner of the host contributing in no small way to the satisfaction of the guest who has visited his pleasant home. Mr. Weeks is proud of this county and this county is proud of him, he being born and bred within her confines. He began his career September 1, 1852, in the family of Samuel and Elizabeth A. (Slyter) Weeks. His paternal grandfather was Joseph Weeks, who was born in 1783 and migrated from New York, finally settling in Madison county,Indiana. Joseph Weeks was married to Miss Susannah Earl, whose ancestors came to North Hampton, Massachusetts, from England in 1639. His grandfather Slyter was born on Grand Isle, in Lake Champlain, whence he migrated to Ohio and later to Wabash county, Indiana, settling along the eastern line of that county, where he entered land. Here the father and mother of our subject became acquainted through attendance at the Friends' church, of which both were members. They were married October 18, 1842, on the old farm entered by grandfather Slyter years before, and returned to Madison county, Indiana, where they remained until after the birth of their second child. There were six children in the family: Stephen, who married Catherine Flanagan, and resides in Monument City; Thomas Chocley married Frances Jackson, and resides at Swayzee, Indiana; William H.; Sumner, who married Lizzie Stephens, and also lives in Monument City; Abram married Jennie Webb but died in the fall of 1892; and Mary, who married Abraham Lincoln Thompson, and lives at Wabash.


William Henry Weeks was named in honor of William Henry Harrison, for whom his father cast his first presidential vote, and his early years were similar to that of other boys of his age. He was inured to life on the farm and was of great assistance to his father in its development, giving his attention to that work during summer and attending school during winter until he had gained a good understanding of the common branches as they were taught in that day. On May 10, 1874, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Louisa M. Battey, and a family of three children blessed their union, viz: Nellie E., who was born October 26, 1875, died when an infant of nine months; Irvine Thorlough, who was born August 6, 1878, was a successful teacher in Huntington and Wabash counties before he married Miss LaDessie Wilson and took up his residence in Fort Wayne; and Pearl Elma, who was born March 12, 1881, and after completing the common school course has taken a two years' course in the high school. Mrs. Weeks was born May 6, 1856, and is a daughter of Richard M. and Rachel E. (Pickering) Battey. The Pickerings came from England to Ohio, and at a later day settled in Wabash county, Indiana. Richard M. Battey was born in Erie county, New York, January 18, 1830, migrated to Madison county, Indiana, thence to Wabash county in 1842, where he entered land and built a home on the banks of the Salamonie river, where Mrs. Weeks was born, reared and married. He enlisted in Company I, Twenty-third Indiana Volunteers, served about ten months, being broken down in health, and was never able to do a full day's work after his return. home. He died in 1880 and his wife in 1890 in Polk township, where they had moved in the later years of their life. She was the oldest of four children, namely: Louisa M.; Orlando F., who married Cornelia Benson and makes his home in the Lone Star state; Charles, who resides in Van Buren, was twice married, first to Miss Jessie Robins, and after her death to Miss Susie Richwine; and Thaddeus L., who died during his first year.

The industry and integrity which has characterized the life of Mr. Weeks has enabled him to buy and improve one of the finest farms in the county, to lay aside a sum sufficient to insure him against future need, and at the same time to enjoy the many blessings which contribute to the comfort and happiness of men. The one cloud which shadowed the horizon of his life was the fact that the health of Mrs. Weeks was not all that could be desired, and in order to overcome this evil it was thought best to seek a change of climate. Accordingly in December, 1889, Mr. and Mrs. Weeks, with their daughter Pearl, set out for the Pacific coast, taking the Wabash route for Redlands, California, where a pleasant sojourn of three months was made. They were there for recreation and enjoyment and made the most of their opportunities. After drinking in the beauties of the inland city they went to Lagona, where seven months were delightfully spent on the beach in fishing, gathering shells, etc. They had no reason to complain of the shyness of the finny tribe, and were much pleased with the success which attended them, large strings of beautiful fish giving zest to the sport. While enjoying the sights of San Diego they crossed the line and made an excursion into the sister republic of Mexico, the curious manners and customs of the people which they witnessed well repaying them for the trip. Coronado Hotel, the finest and largest hotel in the world, also came in for a share of their attention, the magnificent grounds surrounding the building being but a prelude to the grand view which met their eyes as they gazed forth from the balconies of the building. Taking a steamer they visited Vancouver Island and reaching the mainland once more took the Northern Pacific, which carried them swiftly northward. A short stop was made at Shasta Springs that the travelers might partake of the water which comes from Mount Shasta, having much the taste of the soda water of commerce, except that nature puts no flavoring in that which she prepares. Over four thousand miles were traversed in the journey home, much of the way being through British Columbia, their route being the Canadian Pacific, and the pleasures of the trip will never be effaced from their memory. Their beautiful home is adorned with many souvenirs of this journey; delicate corals and shells tinted with every color of the rainbow being dainty reminders of the pleasant days spent by the seashore. Mr. and Mrs. Weeks are members of the Friends' church. Although not an active partisan, Mr. Weeks has the courage of his convictions and does not hesitate to stand up for his Republican principles.

Mrs. Weeks remembers the underground railroad and also of the slaves being brought through by her father and other acquaintances, and her clothes often would be given to the younger members of the slaves' families. Mr. Weeks' father also took great interest in the transportation of the slaves by this celebrated route to the land of freedom.

Mr. and Mrs. Weeks started out in life with nothing but willing hands as capital, and faithfully worked together in accumulating a fair share of this world's goods, and it is indeed a pleasure, now in their declining years, to enjoy the fruits of their efforts and know that the blessings of Providence have fairly been awarded them, as it is to all others who prove faithful to the end.

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