John W. McNinch Wham


Research completed by Thomas J. Wham, Mary S. Wham, and John E. Wham.

Submitted April, 2003†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††




John W McNinch Wham (Joseph W, William, Benjamin) was born to Joseph W Wham (B. 30 Aug 1804 D. 11 Sept 1858) and Isabella McMillan (B. abt 1805 D. 24 Oct 1829) on 22 Apr 1826.In 1835 John W McNinch Wham moved to Marion County, Illinois with his family and others. His Mother (Isabella) and his Grandfather (William) had died and were buried in Lincoln County, Tennessee .


There musthave been considerable preparation prior to the move which included acquisition of land and building construction.A listing of the original ownership of land in Marion County, Illinois by the Federal Government had John W McNinch Wham acquiring 40 acres in 1833,1834,1850 and 1856 for a total of 160 acres.His Father no doubt had a hand in his early acquisitions.


John W McNinch Wham married Elizabeth M Wilson on 24 Aug 1847 in Lincoln County, Tennessee.He returned from the Mexican War to marry Elizabeth.He was a Private in the 1st Division of the 6th Illinois Regiment.His Father and two Brothers served in the same unit.John W McNinch Wham was discharged on 13 Oct 1848.Their first child ,Matthew Wilson Wham, was born 26 Oct 1848 near Fayetteville, Arkansas.On 24 Apr 1849, John W McNinch Wham departed Northwest Arkansas with a group of 90 men for the gold fields of California. The 1850 California census (Sept 1850) has John W McNinch on the Cosumnes River in Eldorado County, California.


The 1850 Arkansas census (Nov 1850) has John, Elizabeth, and Matthew located in Mountain Township, Washington County, Arkansas.The 1850 Illinois census lists John W McNinch with the family of his Father, Joseph.I cannot rectify the differences between the census information for certain but in the case of Arkansas and Illinois it may have something to do with land ownership.On 7Aug 1851,John W McNinch Wham married Mary Jane Humphrey in Marion County, Illinois apparently without a divorce from Elizabeth M Wilson.Two girls were born initially to this union, Ellie Olives Wham (abt 1852) and Mary Mollie Wham (abt 1853).Neither child lived to adulthood. The Bureau Of Land Management has John W McNinch Wham obtaining 25 acres in Washington County, Arkansas on 15 Nov 1854 and 40 acres in Benton County, Arkansas just across the county line on 1 Feb 1860.


The Arkansas census in 1860 in Ball Township, Benton County reflects the following:


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† John Wham†††††††††† 34 M

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Elizabeth Wham†††† 25 F

††††††††† (Matthew)††† Wilson††††††††††††††††† 10 M

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Calavaras††††††††††††† 6 F

††††††††† (Hannah)††††† Isabella††††††††††††††††† 4 F

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Bethsheba†††††††††††† 2 F

††††††††† (Vesta Oleva) Vesta†††††††† ††††††† 2/12 F


After the 1860 Arkansas census, it appears the familymoved to Texas to avoid the carnage of the Civil War.Joseph S Wham was born in Texas in 1863.The early 1860ís time frame brought much unrest to the border area between Arkansas and Missouri.Those who remained suffered the wrath of both sides of the war.Travelers through Northern Arkansas after the conclusion of hostilities found total devastation.Fireplace chimneys were the only evidence left to identify farmsteads.The Wham family returned to Arkansas where Alice McNinch Wham was born in 1866.In 1869 the family moved to Baker County, Oregon.The 1880 Oregon census is as follows:††††


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Wilson Wham†††††† 30 M

††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††† Vesti O Wham††††† 20 F

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Joseph S Wham††† 17 M

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Allice M Wham†††† 14 F

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Hannah Divin†††††† 75 F

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Caleb Cornet†††††††† 42 M


Hannah Isabella Wham had married George M Dallas Whited on 1 Jan 1875 in Baker County and was not with the Wham family in the 1880 census.I have no record on the location of Elizabeth, Calavaras, and Bethsheba. Hannah Divin(Devin) was 75 years old in the 1880 census.She lived next to the Wham family in Arkansas and went with them to Oregon along with other Divinís.Grandmother Divin died on 6 Feb1882 and is buried a short distance from the graves on the BoyerRanch in the Hereford area.James Divin went to the gold fields of California with John W McNinch Wham.Vesta O Wham married Mr. Thompson.Joseph S Wham married Alice McNinch.She may have been his sister.They are all buried in the Unity Cemetery in Baker County, Oregon.According to a Baker County history Matthew Wilson Wham made the trip from Arkansas to Oregon by oxen and wagon in 1869.I think it is reasonable to assume that Joseph, Hannah, Isabella, Vesta, and Alice accompanied him with possibly other family members.


John W NcNinch Wham returned to his other family in Marion County, Illinois.The 1860 Illinois census in Marion County reflects that John W McNinch Wham was insane.He contacted malaria during his service in the Mexican War which could account for the insanity call.Of course, this is not the only possible explanation considering the hardships of the time.Needless to say, John W McNinch Wham spent a lot of time on the road between his two families when you look at the frequency of his children.John W McNinch died in1870 from typhoid fever.The 1870 Illinois census in Marion County after the death of John follows:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mary Wham††††††††† 36 F

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Stuben Wham††††††† ††††† 15 M

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Joseph Wham†††††††††† 9 M

Martha Wham††††††††† 9 F

Franklin Wham††††††† 6 M

Isabel Wham†††††††††††† 3F

Francis Humphrey††† 20††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Mary(Mollie) Wham was born on 27 Jun 1871 after the death of her father.Mary Jane Wham died in 1872 leaving six children to be divided up among the family.John W McNinch Wham and Mary Jane Humphrey produced six children who lived to adulthood:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Stuben Dekalb Wham†† ††B 26 Oct 1855††† D 18 May 1941

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Joseph Energy Wham†††† B 26 Jun 1861††† D unk††††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Martha Ellen Wham†††††† B 26 Jun1861††† D 8 Dec 1942

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Franklin Lafayette WhamB 10 Nov 1863†† D 11Mar 1945

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Isabella Wham†††††††††††††††† B 21 Jun 1867†† D 28Aug 1935

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mary McNinch Wham†††† B 27 Jun 1871†† D 14 Mar 1941 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

John W McNinch Wham and Elizabeth M Wilson produced seven children who lived to adulthood:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Matthew Wilson Wham†††† B 26 Oct 1848D 1917

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Calavaras Wham††††††††††††††† B 1854D unk†††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Hannah Isabella Wham†††† B 1856D 1939

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Bethsheba Wham†††††††††††††† B 1858†† D unk††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Vesta Oleva Wham†††††††††††† B 4 May 1860D 2 Sept 1913

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Joseph S Wham††††††††††††††††† B 1863D 1917

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Alice McNinch Wham†††††††† B 1866†† D 25 Nov 1944

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

If correct, John W McNinch Wham had two families at the same time and fathered thirteen children that lived to adulthood.Research completed by Thomas J Wham, Mary S Wham, and John E Wham.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††