Phillip Whitehall Herrington

Philip Whitehall Herrington (later Harrington) was born about 1804 in North Carolina.  He married Mrs. Elender Holmes, widow of John C. Holmes, on 4 FEB 1843, in Pope Co., IL.  P.W. had been married previously.

Elender was two years older than P.W. and had been born in Mississippi, according to census records.  Elender had six children at the time of her marriage:  Henry, Charles, Elizabeth, William, Polly, and Nancy Holmes. It appears as though P.W. also had two children:  William and Nancy (later Mrs. E.R. Yates.)

P.W. and Elender Harrington had one son together:

  • John Franklin Harrington, born in Pope County, IL in 1845. 

P.W. died 25 SEP 1855 at Pope Co.; and Elender died 2 DEC 1857, also at Pope Co.  Young John F. was an orphan at age 13.  He received $85 from his mother Elender's estate at the time of her death which had included one mare, a colt, a bell, nine head of hogs, eight head of geese, one yearling colt, a side saddle, seven and three-quarters bushels of wheat, eight bushels of corn, a cow, and various household goods and farming tools.

John Franklin Harrington

John Franklin grew to maturity, under whose care we do not know.  At age 21, he bought a piece of property in the Temple Hill area, Pope Co., for $300.  The deed was signed 7 SEP 1864.

He married a Miss Jane Briand on 2 AUG 1868 in Pope County.  We do not know what happened to this wife.

On 28 AUG 1870, John Franklin Harrington married Mrs. Elizabeth (Foster) Thorn, widow of John Thorn.  Eight years later, just before the birth of their son William David, John Franklin walked out on Elizabeth.  Elizabeth raised the boy on the property purchased in 1864.

John Franklin was remembered as being "good looking, with one cast eye; a good horse-trader" but "farming was just not his thing," according to granddaughter Dolores.

His son never knew John Franklin but nonetheless he spent a good part of his adult life looking for him.  At one point, he thought he had a clue when he discovered that an old man by the name of Harrington had been taken in at a monastery in Missouri.  By the time he got there, however, the old man had died.

William David Harrington

William David Harrington resided at 110 West Eighth St., Metropolis, Massac Co., IL with his second wife Nanny Harrington, until 23 days prior to his death.  He died at the Anna State Hospital, Union Co., IL, as a result of bronchopneumonia and generalized arteriosclerosis.

William David was born 14 FEB 1878 at Temple Hill, Pope Co., IL.  His father had deserted his mother just prior to his birth. William David grew up under the care of his mother, was orphaned yet again, and went to war.

The Spanish American War was a brief conflict between the United States of Spain which took place between April and August 1898 over the issue of the liberation of Cuba.  In the course of the war, the United States won Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippine Islands.

William David enlisted in the Ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company L, on 19 JUL 1898.  He was single, 21 years old, a farmer, five foot six and one-half inches tall, with dark complexion, dark eyes, and dark hair. He was in good health.  He was discharged 20 MAY 1899.

Young Harrington's military records indicate that he was a patient for "nostalgia" from July 1898 to May 1899.  He also suffered a bout of fever during October 1898. Harrington served in the Philippines sometime during the remaining months of the war and learned the newspaper trade there after the war, according to daughter Dolores.  The young man eventually returned to Southern Illinois.

William David Harrington married Mrs. Mary Catherine (Wynne) Reeves, widow of James Reeves.  She had three daughters, one of whom became Mrs. William (Nora) Hendrix.  Mary Catherine's family also called the Temple Hill area of Pope County home.

Mary Catherine and William David Harrington became the parents of six children:

  • Ward Hamilton,
  • True Marie,
  • William David Jr.,
  • John Wynne,
  • Dolores Blanche,
  • June Theresa.

William David made his living as a newspaper editor and Universalist minister.  He and his family moved to various communities in Illinois in pursuit of his career.  They were living in Beecher City, Effingham Co., IL, when daughter Dolores was born 11 JUL 1916.

The Harringtons eventually settled in Metropolis, Massac Co., IL, where Dolores met and married Robert Lee Anderson -- much against her parents' wishes.

Following the death of his wife Mary Catherine in 1940, William David re-married -- this time to a woman named Nanny.  She was not greatly liked by her step-children, even before she committed their ailing, aged father to the Anna State Hospital, Union County.  He lived his last 23 days there.

William David Harrington is buried at Cole Springs Baptist Church cemetery at Temple Hill, Pope Co., IL.


The following tribute to William David Harrington, Sr., was written by his son, William David Harrington, Jr. of Metropolis, furnished by his son John Robert Harrington of Samara, Russia.

William D. Harrington, Sr., was born February 14, 1878 at Temple Hill, IL.  He was the son of John F. Harrington and Elizabeth (Betty) Foster Harrington.  After the death of his parents, he worked on various farms, until the outbreak of the Spanish-American War when he volunteered and subsequently was assigned to Co. K, 15th US Infantry where he eventually worked his way up to Acting First Sergeant.

While overseas he also fought in the Philippine Insurrection where he met and became a friend of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt and Major Archibald Butt.  Later Col. "Teddy" Roosevelt was to become one of America's greatest Presidents and Major Archibald Butt became President Roosevelt's Military Aide.  Major Butt lost his life during the sea disaster where the SS Titanic was lost.

While in the Philippine Islands, Mr. Harrington studied under a Methodist Bishop with a view to becoming a Methodist minister.  Mr. Harrington turned down an offer to remain in the US Army and became First Sergeant of his outfit and re-entered civilian life and worked for a short period in a newspaper in Manila, Philippine Islands.  Many years later he was to volunteer for World War I and was assigned to Chaplain's School, Fort Knox, Kentucky.

He returned to Southern Illinois and on November 27, married Mary Catherine (Wynne) Reeves, widow of James Reeves. To this union were born Ward Hamilton Harrington, True Marie Harrington (deceased), William David Harrington Jr., John Wynne Harrington, Dolores Blanche Harrington and June Theresa Harrington (deceased).  This marriage was dissolved by the death of Mrs. Mary C. Harrington on November 11, 1940.  On March 31, 1941, he married Mrs. Nanny (Fox) McDowell.

In 1908 Mr. Harrington owned and edited the old Brookport Eagle.  In 1910 he sold out and became editor of a newspaper in Golconda, Illinois.  In 1911 he returned to Brookport and published another newspaper until 1912.  From Brookport, Illinois he went to Palm Beach, Florida and edited another newspaper.  About May 1912, he moved to Mono County, Bridgeport, California, where he operated another newspaper.  From California, Mr. Harrington moved to Effingham, Illinois to be publisher and editor of the Effingham Republican newspaper.  In 1915, he was publisher of another newspaper located in Beecher City, IL.  While in Beecher City, he refused Ordination as a Methodist minister and joined the Universalist Church and accepted Ordination in that Church.  He was ordained by Rev. Hicks and Rev. McDivitt of the Universalist Church.  From that moment on Rev. Harrington never left the Universalist movement.

In 1916 father accepted appointment as Printing Instructor and Cottage Parent at the St. Charles Training School for Boys, St. Charles, Illinois where he served until 1923.  From there he accepted appointment as Printing Instructor at Jacksonville School for the Deaf, Jacksonville, IL.  I can recall father's being a Knight Templar in the Masonic Lodge as far back as 1918.  About 1916 father entered the Moose Lodge and I can recall the time he took me to Mooseheart in Batavia, IL where he introduced me to Secretary of Labor James J. Davis who was the head of the Moose Lodge at that time.  Several times father took me to Springfield, IL to meet some of his close personal friends such as Governor Len Small, Governor Lou Emerson and Secretary of State of Illinois William G. Stratton, Sr., (father of the present Governor of Illinois William G. Stratton, Jr.) as well as the Dean of the State Senate at the time Senator Kissinger, Aurora, IL.  One particular time Governor Len Small told me, "Your father is one of the greatest and most loyal Republicans I've ever known."  Many years later father introduced me to President Herbert Hoover and years later after that father and I met President and Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower during the 1952 Presidential campaign.

In 1924, we moved to Waltonville, IL where Rev. Harrington served as pastor of the local Universalist Church while commuting to Herrin, IL where he was editor of the Herrin Daily News which was then owned by Mr. Hal Trovillion.  This was during the bloody Williamson County reign of terror when the ministers of the various churches joined with father to enlist the aid of S. Glenn Young and the Ku Klux Klan to fight vice and crime throughout Williamson County.  This was a period when it took real courage to fight for the right and it has always been a source of pride to me that my father fought the Shelton and Birger gangs when he was editor of the Herrin Daily News.  My father was an eye witness the night S. Glenn Young was slain by Orie Thomas and other members of the Shelton gang in the old Europa Hotel cigar store.  From Waltonville we moved to Christopher, IL and soon after that to Ashley, IL where father became editor of the Ashley News.

In 1925 father accepted the pastorate of the Universalist Church in Galveston, IN and remained there until 1929.  In 1929 father became editor of a newspaper in Elizabethtown, IL and in 1930 moved his family to Metropolis, IL where he served as editor of the Republican Herald and subsequently served in various capacities on the Metropolis News.  In 1942 father worked in the newspaper business in Missouri and Ohio.

I recall that during the period we lived in St. Charles, IL the local Republican organization selected father to run for State Representative and that he withdrew from the race shortly before the election, even though he was virtually certain to be elected when he chose to sacrifice his personal career to avoid a split in the Republican organization.  This split was over the wet and dry issue.  Father always opposed the liquor traffic as one of America's worst evils.  I recall going with father to Aurora, IL where he sat in a conference with State Senator Kissinger who was the political boss of the Republican State organization and I heard Senator Kissinger tell father: "Dave, we would have made you Governor if you had not withdrawn from the State Representative's race."

Through the past years I've seen my father fight racial and other forms of intolerance and have attended funerals where father was denied the use of churches of the Orthodox beliefs to conduct funerals.  One particular instance, father was forced to conduct a funeral in a snow banked graveyard because of religious prejudices against the Universalist Church doctrine.  Father had no time for religious or political intolerance of any kind and believed that all men are truly created equal in the eyes of God.  Although a Universalist minister, father never tried to force his personal religious beliefs on his children and his only requirement was that his children must attend some church on the Sabbath Day.

Recently a friend of Father's told me:  "The greatest reward parents can achieve in their lifetime is to gain the respect and love of their children."  I can truthfully say that all of Dad's children join together in saying that we certainly respected and loved our Dad in every respect.  I shall always treasure the memories of the many times I've driven with Dad to church conferences, to Masonic Lodge meetings, to Moose Lodge meetings, and to various Republican political meetings.  In the many, many years God permitted me to be with my Dad, I never once found him to be other than a loving and protective father.  In closing I can find consolation in the firm belief and knowledge that Dad and I always shared together that God's ways are best and that someday we will all meet together again in a Better Land where there will be no sorrows, no sickness and no partings.  Where we shall see God and Jesus of Nazareth and where Time shall never end.  If it were not for this belief and hope of one day seeing my Savior and my loved ones, I'd be of all men most miserable.

                                                                                               William David Harrington, Jr.

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