Biography - Franklin Witt

Hon. Franklin Witt – The late Hon. Franklin Witt was a native of West Tennessee, and was born on the 23d of November, 1804; and it was in that delightful and genial clime that the yeas of his early youth were spent. His early advantages for education were very limited, as at that period there was no public school system existing in that state. Franklin was the eldest child of John and Eleanor Witt. John Witt was a native of East Tennessee; his wife was born in West Tennessee, and it was in that portion of the state that they were married. His time was spent in farming. Franklin Witt came to the territory of Illinois in the year 1814, with his parents. They settled in Pope county. At the age of nineteen Mr. Franklin Witt was married to Malinda Perry. Said marriage occurred on the 15th of January, 1824. In the fall of that year he moved, with his bride, to Sangamon county, Ill., and in the spring of 1825 removed to the locality where Beardstown is situated, and in January, 1826, became a permanent resident of Greene county, settling on a piece of land south of Macoupin creek, which he improved and continued to carry on until his death. Mr. Witt and wife were blessed with a family of ten children, three sons and seven daughters; there are only four now living; two sons and four daughters are deceased. The father of Franklin Will (John Witt) came to Greene county in 1836, and moved to Texas in 1843, where he spent the residue of his life. In returning to the life of Franklin Witt, we find a man who possessed, to a large degree, the elements of success. Though not a scholar, he was endowed by nature with a mind far reaching, and capable of comprehending the most minute details of business and political life. He was one of those men of large magnetic force, and many of the old settlers claim that no man in the county exercised as great an influence for the time and period that he lived as the subject of this sketch. Many say that he held the county court in the palm of his hand. The citizens honored him with many official positions. He was representative from Greene for several terms in the lower house of the legislature, and was afterwards elected to the state senate, which position he filled with signal ability. There was one thing rather remarkable in the character of Mr. Witt, and that was, that while others would talk he would act, and it was those qualities which so fully fitted him for the legislative halls of the state, besides being a success as a politician and in public life. His private career was marked by the same energy and judgment that characterized his more public life. Very early in life he became identified with the principles of the democratic party, which he so ably and energetically sustained. Mr. Witt and wife, a few years after their marriage, became members of the United Baptist Church. He was a gentleman who was very popular with the masses, and whenever he was a candidate ran largely ahead of his ticket; and one of the best features of his character was the sterling honor and integrity which were exemplified in every act of his life. At the time of his death he was a senator from Greene county. His death occurred on the 17th of August, 1851. His widow is yet living on the old homestead in the enjoyment of good health.

Extracted 05 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from Atlas Map of Greene County Illinois, 1873, page 35.

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