HALL WHITEAKER, M. D. It is ordinarily conceded that when a man has made an unqualified success of one profession he has done all that the demands of ambition require, and may then be permitted to rest upon his laurels; but in the case of Dr. Hall Whiteaker he has not been content to be known and regarded only as one of the ablest exponents of the medical profession in his locality, but has found new "worlds to conquer" in the field of politics.
Dr. Hall "Whiteaker was born at New Burnside, Illinois, October 17, 1869, and is the son of Captain Mark Whiteaker, of Vienna, Illinois, one of the leading citizens of Johnson county and its exsheriff. Captain Whiteaker was born in Massac county, Illinois, in 1833, being the son of Hall Whiteaker, Sr., who migrated to Illinois from Pennsylvania, and later moved from Massac county to Johnson county, in which county he lived and died finally at his home in New Burnside in the year 1842. Hall Whiteaker, Sr., married Elvira Dameron, and of their six children five are still living.
Their eldest child was the son, Mark, and his early educational advantages were of the sort peculiar to Johnson county in the early forties. When he reached his majority and found the responsibility of man's estate upon him he engaged in farming, in which he was occupied until the opening of the Civil war, when he promptly enlisted in the Federal army and was commissioned captain of Company G, One Hundred and Twentieth Infantry, serving in General Grant's army in its preliminary advance upon Vicksburg. He saw active service at Corinth, Guntown and Shiloh, subsequent to which engagements he was discharged for disability. Following the close of the war and the return of natural conditions once more, Captain Whiteaker was elected sheriff of his county under a Republican administration, of which party he was a staunch supporter, and served in that capacity for four years.
Before the war Captain Whiteaker had married Miss Elizabeth Deaton, a daughter of William Deaton, who came to Illinois from Alabama. The issue of their union are: Arista, the wife of I. N. McElroy, state agriculturist for the penitentiary at Chester, Illinois; Martha, who is Mrs. 0. E. Burris, of Simpson. Illinois; Geneva, wife of Dr. A. I. Brown of Vienna, Illinois; Dr. Hall, the subject of this sketch; Dr. William J., of Pulaski, Illinois; Elizabeth, who married J. P. Mathis, of Vienna, Illinois, a member of the General Assembly; and Gertrude, the wife of A. L. Compton, a merchant of Mound City.
Hall Whiteaker was a student in the common schools of his home town until mid-youth, when he took a complete course in the Northern Illinois Normal and Business College at Dixon, Illinois. He finished the teacher's course there, following which he took his place in the school room and served three years in the capacity of a teacher. It was not his wish or intention, however, to spend his life teaching school, and at the time he gave over his labors in that field he had already become possessed of some of the elementary rudiments of the study of medicine through private reading under careful supervision, and he became a student at the Foreman School of Medicine, preceding which he took a course of lectures in the Indianapolis School of Medicine. Following his studies at the Foreman School he went to Arkansas, where he successfully passed the examinations of the state board of health and went on to Garner, Arkansas, where he became actively engaged in the practice of his profession. At the close of two years' practice there he had completed his course of medical study with the Barnes Medical College, now a part of the Washington University of St. Louis, graduating from" that school in 1893 and locating at Hodges Park, Illinois. After sixteen months of practice there he removed to Olmstead, as offering a wider field for his talents, and there he remained for seven years, enjoying an enviable reputation in that place, and in 1901 he came to Mound City, where he has since taken high rank in his chosen profession.
The enthusiasm of Dr. Whiteaker for his profession has led him to identify himself with various medical societies, conspicuous among which are the Southern Illinois Medical Association, The Illinois State Medical Association, The American Medical Association, and also the Association of Surgeons of the Illinois Central System, embracing the sub-systems of the Indiana Southern and the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railways. Dr. Whiteaker is local surgeon for the Illinois Central at Mound City. In the years 1907 and 1909 he fortified his already extensive course of study by taking post graduate work in the New York Polyclinics, and has left nothing undone that might be calculated to aid him in the successful demonstration of his chosen work.
True to the principles of his early home influence Dr. Whiteaker on reaching his majority manifested a more than casual interest in political matters, his sympathies being with the Republican party, as were his father's. His splendid mental equipment for public life, combined with his zeal for party interests and his willingness to bear his share of the burdens of party labors, resulted in his being led into convention work from time to time, and he served ably in various senatorial, congressional and state conventions as the delegate of the Republican party. His ward in Mound City made him its councilman, which, with his previous service, manifested eloquently his especial fitness for safe and conservative work in the General Assembly. Accordingly he was nominated by primary September 15, 1910, receiving the largest vote ever accorded to a candidate for that office in those parts, a very speaking circumstance with regard to his high position in the hearts of his fellow men in the town and district where he is best known. As a member of the General Assembly he quickly attained to places of importance on that body. He was chairman of the committee on state institutions; a member of the committees on drainage and waterways, federal relations, fraternal and mutual insurance, miscellaneous subjects and railroads, roads and bridges. During the session he took the opposition on the proposed civil-service legislation, and made a strong effort to secure some legislation touching upon the profession of medicine and its practice. In his campaign he took active part in the labors of the party, and stumped the district in the interests of his party and himself.
Fraternally Dr. Whiteaker is a thirty-second degree Mason, being a member of the Mound City lodge, of the Cairo Chapter and Commandery, and of the Oriental Consistory in Chicago. Both he and his wife are members of the Congregational church.
On September 29, 1891, Dr. Whiteaker married Miss Cina West at Belknap, Illinois, a daughter of Joshua West, of Massac county, a veteran of the Union army.
Extracted from A History of Southern Illinois, 1912, Volume 2, page 747-749