Gazlay Family History

FamilySimeon Whiteley


FatherWilliam Whiteley ( - January 1869)
MotherElizabeth _____ ( - )

Personal Information

Record Created: 11 December 2010; Last Edited: 22 July 2012 
NameSimeon Whiteley
Born 18 March 1831 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Married 1853 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin to Jane G. Knight5, 6
Died 13 January 1890 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin1


The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin provides an interesting biographical sketch of Simeon Whiteley, an excerpt of which is presented here:5

Simeon Whiteley was born March 18, 1831, at Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England. The financial crash in the woolen manufacturing district in 1841-42 swept away what fortune his father had acquired, so Simeon came to America with his parents, arriving at New York August 4, and at Racine August 29, 1842. He worked in a woolen factory and later in the printing business, serving an apprenticeship of nearly four years, at Geneva, Ill. His first newspaper editorial was upon the death of Henry Clay, for the Watertown (Wis.) Chronicle, of which paper he had temporary charge soon after his 21st birthday. Simeon started a new paper at Aurora, Ill., the Aurora Guardian, a politically Democratic paper. However, his strong opposition to the extension of slavery alienated his most valued friends, and for two years he struggled with poverty, but, in 1856, friends and prosperity returned. In 1858, his health gave way and he was obligated to retire from business, and in early 1859 he again took up residence in Racine, but spent a large portion of the summer in Chicago, where he was induced to join a political club, the Cameron and Lincoln Club. Hee was soon elected Corresponding Secretary, and at once put the Club in communication with the rural press. In December, 1859, Simeon went to Washington as the correspondent of the Springfield Journal (Mr. Lincoln’s home organ). As he passed through Ohio, bells were being tolled for the death of John Brown, and, arriving at Baltimore, hotels were full of militia who had assisted at the execution. After the Republican convention, he edited a campaign paper at Chicago, aptly called The Rail Splitter, which reached a circulation of over 30,000 copies. In 1861, the day after Gen. Cameron was sworn in as Secretary of War, Mr. Whiteley was immediately assigned to duty in the Secretary’s office. When Sumter was fired upon, he enrolled as a private soldier in the battalion formed for the immediate defense of Washington, and performed military duty after office-hours. After the battle of Bull Run, a Wisconsin Soldiers’ Relief Association was formed, and Mr. Whiteley was made Chairman of the Executive Committee. During the remainder of his stay in Washington, he devoted a large share of his time to looking after the welfare of “the boys” in different hospitals. During the second Bull Run battle, he was granted leave of absence from the office that he might go to the front; on this occasion he was for the first time under fire, while assisting in removing the wounded out of range of the enemy’s guns, but escaped unharmed. In 1862, he was urged to accept a position in Colorado, the Agency to the Grand River Ute Indians, and he arrived in Denver early in 1863. In the fall he purchased the Commonwealth, the oldest daily paper in Colorado. Aside from his duties as Indian Agent, he devoted every energy to assisting the State movement, and a State Constitution was adopted by a large vote in 1865. Afterward, Mr. Whiteley returned to Racine to assume his partnership with his father-in-law. In 1853, he married Jane, the eldest daughter of Albert G. Knight. To them seven children have been born, only two of whom are living—Bessie, born July 4, 1867, and Lillian, Jan. 29, 1878. One sister, Mrs. A. P. Dutton, lives in Racine; another resides at Youngstown, Ohio, while his oldest brother lives in Middlesex Co., Mass. His father died at Youngstown, Ohio, in January, 1869, and his mother is still in the enjoyment of good health and a fair degree of strength, being in the 80th year of her age; she resides with his brother in Massachusetts. Mr. Whiteley has charge of the insurance department in the business of the firm of Knight & Whiteley. He is an enthusiastic member of the Racine County Old Settlers’ Society, and has three times been elected Chairman of its Executive Committee, which position he now holds.


Spouse 1FamilyJane G. Knight (daughter of Albert Gallatin Knight and Adelia ‘Della’ Gazlay)
Born 3 March 1836 in Huron, Wayne County, New York
Married 1853 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin to Simeon Whiteley
Died 11 July 1907 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin
Children of Simeon Whiteley and Jane G. Knight:
1.FamilyElizabeth ‘Bessie’ Whiteley
Born 4 July 1867 in Wisconsin
2.FamilyAlbert Whiteley
Born October 1869 in Wisconsin
3.FamilyLillian Whiteley
Born 29 January 1878 in Wisconsin


  1. Wisconsin Deaths and Burials, 1835-1968; Simon Whiteley; died 13 Jan. 1890 in Racine, Racine Co., Wis.; born 1832 in England; real estate agt.; spouse: Jane K. Whiteley; father: Wm. Whiteley; mother: Elizabeth Whiteley.
  2. U.S. Federal Census, 1860, Wisconsin, Racine County, City of Racine, Page No. 198, family of Albert G. Knight (52, Vermont, conveyaurio [?]); Sayrs. G. Knight (26, Vermont, lawyer); Mary H. Knight (16, Wis.); John Knight (9, Wis.); James Knight (6, Wis.); Delia Knight (2, Wis.); Simon Whiteley (29, England, printer); Jane K. Whiteley (24, NY).
  3. U.S. Federal Census, 1870, Wisconsin, Racine County, City of Racine, Page No. 25, family of Simon Whiteley (39, England, insurance agent); Jane Whiteley (34, N.Y.); Elizabeth Whiteley (2, Wis.); Albert Whiteley (8/12, Wis., Oct.); Delia Knight (12, Wis.); Barbery Servery (12, Wis., Dom. Servt.); Minney Lawson (20, Denmark, Dom. Servt.).
  4. U.S. Federal Census, 1880, Wisconsin, Racine County, Racine, Enumeration District 160, Page No. 9, family of Simon Whiteley (49, England, agent for fire ins. co.); wife Jane Whiteley (43, N.Y.); daughter Bessie Whiteley (12, Wis.); Littia Whiteley (2, Wis.); servant Minnie Thompson (19, Denmark).
  5. The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1879, pages 615-17, biographical sketch of Simeon Whiteley. Digitized by Google and available at Google Books.
  6. Gazlay History, written by Spencer G. Kuhn, a grandchild of Theodore Gazlay; undated. This is a typewritten re-compilation of the earlier Genealogy of the Gazlay Family, compiled by Theodore Gazlay in 1890, including the 1852 statement of the family history by Reverend Sayers Gazlay, an elder brother of Theodore. This document re-formats the information in the 1890 work. For example, facts originally shown in list form, such as birth and death dates, are incorporated in the narrative of this later work. Two post-1890 sections are unique to this document: one with additional details about Theodore Gazlay’s family, with dates as late as 1951; and another on the Donaldson family, featuring Jean Gazlay Donaldson and her six marriages, with several dates in 1965.