Van Gundy Family Tree


Notes for John Henry WHITLEY


Frances Whitley Bryan wrote a biography of her family for Rusk Co, TX History:

One day in 1869 a travel-weary young man with all he had in a bag rode up to his sister’s house in Rusk County, Texas. He had ridden from White County, Tennessee, so family legend goes, the day after he buried his first wife and child in April of 1868.

The young man was my grandfather, John Henry Whitley, Company K, 16th Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A. His sister was Isabelle Henrietta (Whitley) Roberts. Aunt Belle and another brother, Sharp R. Whitley, had been in Rusk County, Texas since before the Civil War. Later another sister, Lucinda Jane (Jennie) Whitley, came to Texas with her father, John M. Whitley, and stayed to marry William Franklin Bradberry in 1874 in Rusk County, Texas. These are the antecedents of the Rusk County Whitleys.

My grandfather, John Henry Whitley, married Sarah Margaret Blair, daughter of Hugh Blair and Sarah Elizabeth (Grigsby) Blair in 1871. Daddy Whitley was a farmer and clerk of the Methodist Church for many years. In his clerk’s book is the record of his children and other relatives joining the church.

Daddy Whitley and Mammy raised eight children who were honest, industrious citizens.

The children of the couple are: Charles B. (Buck) Whitley, born October 30, 1871, married Mertie Haney, August 1894 and died May 4, 1947; John Allen Whitley, born April 11, 1879, married Maude Fussell, March 16, 1902, and died May 1, 1965; Sarah Maud Whitley, born April 20, 1875, married Thomas Jefferson Pruitt, December 27, 1896 and died July 27, 1954; Hugh Blair Whitley, born March 28, 1878, married Bessie Beauchamp Mays, June 20, 1908 and died March 2, 1953; Vinson Webster Whitley, born April 9, 1881, died January 10, 1964; James Floyd Whitley, born February 18 1884; who died February 7, 1954; and Anna Belle Whitley, born August 6, 1888, who died November 17, 1977.

"Daddy" Whitley’s obituary (Rusk County News, Vol. XLV, No. 1, February 15, 1922) says, " Mr. Whitley was a man of highest ideals, even tempered, reserved and unassuming, and all during his long life exemplified these splendid qualities. He was recognized as a leader of church and community life during his active days, a leadership of which he was never conscious, gained solely by his unselfish devotion to the principles of right."
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