Following is one of the Biographies and Stories which where gathered by Charles Sumner McKamy in the 1950s for publication in a Crawford County History Book. Unfortunately he passed away before the book was published.

Harry Elmer Whitaker was born in Crawford County on a farm southwest of Robinson on November 16, 1860. He was the son of Josias R. and Catherine Holmes Whitaker and was the eighth child of a family of nine children. On December 25, 1889, he was united in marriage with Miss Cora Young who was born June 23, 1867, on a farm near Morea, Crawford County, the daughter of Aaron and Sarah Yates Young, and was one of eight children. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker: Florence Kathryn, Harry E., Jr., Frances Emily and Robert Aaron, who died in infancy.

When Mr. Whitaker was very young his family moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, where they lived some fourteen years, his father owning a wholesale grocery house for a time, then becoming engaged in steamboating between Terre Haute and Vincennes. As a boy, Hal Whitaker enjoyed many of these trips on the Wabash River during summer vacations. He received his education in the Terre Haute schools, finished the last year in Greenville, Illinois, where the family then resided.

Mr. Whitaker came to Robinson in 1876, when he was sixteen, and Robinson had a population of less than two thousand. A clerkship in the dry goods store in which his brother-in-law, E.E. Murphy, was interested was the first experience Mr. Whitaker had in merchandising. The store was located at the present location of the Fashion Shop on the east side of the square. He took a great interest in the store and in pleasing the customers and made many friends throughout the county. Through the practice of economy he was able, in 1889, to purchase the interest of T.P. Swearingen in the firm and became a partner of Mr. Murphy.

In 1898 Mr. Whitaker concluded that there was a good opening in Robinson for another dry goods store and the successful partnership of Murphy and Whitaker was dissolved by division of the stock -- Mr. Whitaker moving to a newly-built store third door from the south end of the same block and increasing his stock investment to $15,000, stocking dry goods; ladies' dress line, coats, and muslin underwear; men's, ladies' and children's shoes; carpets, rugs, linoleums. He took great pride in his up-to-date quality merchandise and he sought to display it in such a manner as to best present the goods and the same time beautify the store and show-window. He built up his business until it was one of the best in this part of the state, and he became known throughout the county for fair and honest dealing and for his friendly courtesy. The store was known as "Whitaker's Palace of Trade" until in 1905 Mr. Whitaker incorporated the business when Mr. Samuel Faucett purchased an interest and the name was changed to "H.E. Whitaker Co.", with Mr. Emerson Apple becoming the third partner a little later. In 1917 Mr. Whitaker decided to retire and sold his stock in the store he owned on the north side of the square to John C. Hill & Son; also his interest in a dry goods store in Centralia, Illinois. He then devoted his time to looking after some oil interests acquired during the early part of the oil boom.

Mr. Whitaker was a man of great business ability, and took pride in making a success of whatever enterprise he undertook. For more than thirty years he was prominently connected with the business affairs of Robinson and Crawford County, gave generously of his time to civic affairs, and was always a leader in any undertaking for improvement.

Mrs. Whitaker grew up on her father's farm near Morea. She became one of the most prominent teachers of Crawford County, teaching in the district schools and also in the graded schools of Oblong and Robinson. At an early age she united with the Methodist Episcopal Church at Wesley Chapel and after her marriage became an active worker in the Robinson Methodist Episcopal Church, being prominently connected with the various organizations and teaching in the Sunday School. She was a leader in civic and charitable work. She was also active in club work, being a charter member of the Sorosis Club. However, family and home came first with both Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker. They were very hospitable and loved to entertain friends in their home at 400 North Jefferson Street, which they erected in 1909 after moving their cottage home from the location.

Mrs. Whitaker died August 25, 1915, in California, where she was visiting. Mr. Whitaker died July 14, 1919, in Robinson.

Of the children: Florence Kathryn was born June 7, 1891. She was graduated from Robinson Township High School, and attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio. She was married January 27, 1914, to Winton O. Albert of Emlenton, Pennsylvania, who came to Robinson during the oil boom. They now live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Mr. Albert was Production Superintendent for Kewanee Oil Company until December, 1954, when he retired. They have one daughter, Cora Frances, who is now Mrs. E.O. Patterson of Houston, Texas, her husband being an engineer with Stanolind Oil & Gas Co. They have two children, Susan and Richard.

Harry E. Whitaker, Jr., was born in Robinson October 14, 1892, and died November 10, 1953 in Chicago, where he and his wife were living at the time. Harry, Jr. grew up in Robinson, was graduated from Robinson Township High School and attended Culver Military Academy. For some years he was associated with his father in the H.E. Whitaker Co. store. Then he became active in he oil business and automobile business, and later in Chicago in the clothing business. He was a member of the local Elks Lodge, of which he was a past Exalted Ruler. He was married October 7, 1914, to Miss Cliffie Highsmith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. N.J. Highsmith if Robinson. Two children were born to them: Harry Elmer III, who died at the age of nine years, and Phyllis, who is now Mrs. Harold E. Harvey, living in Sarasota, Florida. She and Mr. Harvey have four children: Sharon, Samuel, Rodney and Steven.

Frances was born October 17, 1901, in Robinson. She was graduated from the Robinson Township High School, and attended the University of Illinois and Boston University. She has lived mostly in California but is living at present in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is active in Red Cross work.