The Whitaker Family Of West Virginia: A Rich History

The Early Years

The Whitaker family has been an integral part of West Virginia's history for over 200 years. The family's roots can be traced back to the early 1800s, when John Whitaker and his wife, Mary, settled in the area that is now known as Boone County.

John and Mary were farmers, and they quickly established themselves as respected members of the community. Over the years, their family grew, and their descendants would go on to play important roles in shaping the history of West Virginia.

The Civil War

During the Civil War, several members of the Whitaker family fought for the Union Army. Two of the most notable were William Whitaker and his brother, John. William served as a captain in the 7th West Virginia Infantry, while John served as a private in the same regiment. Both men saw significant action and were praised for their bravery in battle.

After the war, the Whitaker family continued to thrive. They expanded their farm and became involved in local politics. Many of their descendants went on to become prominent lawyers, doctors, and businessmen in the area.

The Coal Boom

The late 1800s and early 1900s saw a boom in the coal industry in West Virginia. The Whitaker family was at the forefront of this growth, with several members working as miners, mine owners, and coal company executives.

One of the most successful Whitaker family members during this time was William Whitaker Jr. He started out as a miner but quickly rose through the ranks to become a mine owner and eventually a coal company executive. He was known for his fair treatment of his workers and his commitment to safety in the mines.

The Battle of Blair Mountain

In 1921, the Whitaker family became embroiled in the Battle of Blair Mountain. This was a conflict between coal miners and coal companies that lasted for several days and resulted in the deaths of over 100 people.

Several members of the Whitaker family were involved in the conflict on both sides. William Whitaker Jr. was a vocal opponent of the miners' strike, while his brother, George, was a leader among the striking miners.

The Present Day

Today, the Whitaker family is still an important part of West Virginia's history and culture. Many of their descendants still live in the area and are involved in local politics, business, and community organizations.

The Whitaker family has also established several charitable foundations that support education, healthcare, and other important causes in the region.

Preserving the Legacy

As the years go by, it is important to remember the contributions that the Whitaker family has made to West Virginia. Their legacy lives on through the many buildings and landmarks that bear their name, as well as the stories and memories that have been passed down through the generations.

By preserving this legacy, we can ensure that future generations will continue to appreciate and honor the rich history of the Whitaker family and the role they played in shaping the state of West Virginia.


The Whitaker family of West Virginia has a rich history that spans over two centuries. From their humble beginnings as farmers to their involvement in the coal industry and beyond, the Whitaker family has played an important role in shaping the history of West Virginia.

Today, their legacy lives on through the many descendants who still call the area home and the charitable foundations that support important causes in the region.

As we look to the future, it is important to remember and honor the contributions of the Whitaker family and to continue to preserve their legacy for generations to come.