His obituary, "Old Citizen Dies Bennett Whidden, War Veteran of Indian and Civil Wars," was published on page 3 of The Tampa
Tribune of October 14, 1921:
"Bartow, Oct 13, - (Special)- In the death recently of Bennet Whidden, this section lost one of its best known citizens. His illness was of only a few hours' duration. He had enjoyed apparently almost perfect health for years, and the fatal attack came as a great surpirse to his friends and relatives. Mr. Whidden was a native of Florida, being born on the Suwannee river, and had resided in this section for many years. He was a Civil war veteran, also a veteran of the war against the Seminole Indians. He was in the Confederate army, was wounded in battle and captured by the Union forces and spent considerable time in a northern prison before being exchanged.
"After the war he married. His wife died some years ago. He is survived by fifteen children, as follows: W. J. Whidden, Bartow; E. F. Whidden, Mulberry; E. K. Whidden, New Mexico; Sydney Whidden, Jacksonville; Cleve Whidden, Frostproof; DeWitt Whidden, Lakeland; S. P. Whidden, Tampa; Miss Josephine Whidden, Jacksonville; Mrs. W. J. Parker, Sanford; Mrs. R. C. Langford, Arcadia; Mrs. Dolly Curry, Palmetto; Mrs. McCree, Palmetto; Mrs. Sheretz, Frostproof; Mrs. Bowers, Palm Beach; Mrs. Frank Hugh, Zolfo Springs.
"He was buried at the side of his wife in the Wildwood cemetery. Pallbearers were: M. E. Skipper, J. B. Pylant, Jr., R. M. Oglesby, T. B. Davis, W. J. Parker, J. H. Lancaster.
"Funeral services were conducted at the grave by Rev. Robert White, burial services being in charge of T. E. Wirt.
Issue of Bennett and Emily (Durrance) Whidden, all born at Old Tiger Bay:
1. William James Joseph Whidden, born Nov. 28, 1866; died June 17, 1943; married (1) Lillie Wingate (1867-1897), Dec. 4, 1887 ; (2) Ida Rosa Colding (1876-1933).
2. Edward Kirby Whidden, born Feb. 5, 1868; lived near Hendersville, N. C.; married on Dec. 31, 1890 Stella E. Norton.
3. Eldridge Saxton Whidden, born Jan. 9, 1869; died June 9, 1936, Mulberry, Fla.; married on Dec. 19, 1898 Susie A. Holland.
4. Harriet Elinor Whidden, born Dec. 9, 1870; died July 1, 1950; married on Feb. 12, 1888 Robert Caul Langford.
5. Josephine Whidden, born June 8, 1872; died Feb. 10, 1952, Plant City, Fla.; never married.
6. Julia Mable Whidden, born Feb. 6, 1874; lived in Indiantown, Fla.; married Dec. 1, 1896 William S. Parker.
7. Susan Adeline Whidden, born May 21, 1876; lived in Indiantown, Fla.; married (1) James C. Rowell; (2) D. Bowers.
8. Sidney C. Whidden, born August 24, 1877; lived in Punta Gorda, Fla.; married on June 4, 1902 Florence M. Young.
9. Emily Estelle Whidden, born March 9, 1879; died Sept. 17, 1941, Zolfo Springs, Fla.; married on Jan. 2, 1898 Frank M. Hough.
10. Nannie May Whidden, born Nov. 2, 1880; died 1958; married on Jan. 25, 1899 Joseph N. McCree.
11. Dolly Lee Whidden, born June 2, 1883; married on June 1, 1902 Hervey Baxter Curry.
12. Bennett Cleveland Whidden, born November 25, 1884; died March 25, 1932, Bartow, Fla.; married on Oct. 7, 1922 Mrs. Annie Langford.
13. Samuel Paul Whidden, born April 11, 1886; died on Oct. 10, 1947, Tampa, Fla.; married (1) on Nov. 15, 1903 Dora Lee Carlton; (2) Nettie Hall.
14. Flossie L. Whidden, born Sept. 29, 1888; died on July 23, 1977 at Avon Park, Fla.; married Walter Sherertz.
15. Grady DeWitt Whidden, born Feb. 15, 1891; died Jan. 11, 1957; married Lula Haines.
Bennett Whidden family, 1890, Polk County Historical Quarterly, March 1986, page 5
Bennett and Emily Whidden
References: Margaret Durrance and Ann Folk Durrance, Lineage of Joseph Durrance; "The Bennett Whidden Family," Polk County Historical Quarterly, March, 1986, pp. 4-6; pension application of Bennett Whidden, courtesy of Denton Cash; obituary of Bennett Whidden from Teresa McGowin.
This profile is adapted from the author's feature in The Herald-Advocate (Wauchula, Fla.) of August 15, 1996.
February 10, 2001, January 18, 2002, June 4, 2004 (photos, June 5, 2006 (obituary)
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