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Page content last modified: July 23, 2007, added text, corrected the initial shown for Jane Weakley in the 1880 census transcription.
April 24, 2004, added census records.



PETER E. WEAKLEY 1823-1894
HARRIET M. WEAKLEY (nee BLACK) 1825-1893


JULY 31, 1823
JAN. 18, 1894
AGED 70 Ys.

BORN OCT. 8, 1825
DIED JAN. 28, 1893
67 Ys. 3Ms. 20D.


Author - Marcia Farina

The Carthage Republican
February 1, 1893, page 3

Death of Mrs. Peter Weekley

Mrs. Harriet M. Weekley, wife of Peter E. Weekley, of Majorville, died Jan. 28, 1893, in the 78th year of her age.  She was married to Mr. Weekley June 23, 1847.  In her death he mourns a faithful and beloved wife, a counselor and companion of no ordinary worth.  Mrs. Weekley became a member of Fountain Green Presbyterian church about forty years ago and led an earnest consistent life.  She was greatly respected and loved by a large circle of neighbors and friends.

Funeral services were conducted by Rev. S. H. Hyde in the M. E. church at Majorville, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m., the house being crowded with sympathizing friends.

History of Whiteside County, Illinois: from its earliest settlement to 1908
by William W. Davis, Pioneer Publishing Company, 1908, pp. 982-984

Excerpted from the biography of William Weakley Blean, nephew of Peter E. Weakley:

The maternal grandfather of W. W. Blean was William Weakley.  He never came to this county but his family made their way here prior to the Civil war.  His children were: Peter[;] Joseph; Hetty, who became Mrs. Blean; Mary, the wife of Robert W. Sleighmaker, of Peabody, Kansas; and William, who enlisted as a member of company B, Seventy-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served for four years, or during the Civil war, participating in many hard fought battles.  He yet resides in this state.

The Carthage Republican
January 26, 1944
taken from the "Looking Back" column, January 1894

Peter Weakley died Jan, 18, aged 70 years. He farmed for 20 years after locating in the county in 1850 then became a merchant at Uniontown, later called Joetta.  His business was extraordinary, his sales averaging $30,000 a year, and a large number of clerks necessary. A few days before his death Mr. Weakley was married to Mrs. Lillie A. Beckwith.

Peter's biography, from the 1880 Gregg History of Hancock County, also provides information on Harriet Black Weakley's parents.

She was the daughter of Thomas Weems Black and his first wife, Catharine Slentz, and was born in Adams County, Pennsylvania, on October 8, 1825.  From The Republican Compiler published on March 17, 1819, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, this marriage announcement: "On 9th, Thomas W. Black to Catharine Slentz by Rev. M'Conaugh."

For further research on the Slenz line, see Within The Vines or write to

An image of the e-mail address for the author of the Within The Vines author, Cynthia Swope

After Peter's death, Harriet's half-sister, Katherine Black Huston, sent a note to Lil Beckwith Weakley, Peter's widow, gently asking about a few of Harriet's possessions.  Peter had promised them to her and Mrs. Huston had heard that Lil had no objection.  She mentioned a set of silver teaspoons, a blue coverlet, a book entitled Sermons For Silent Sabbaths, and a "switch" which Katherine had made from a lock of her own hair.  She also commented, "I feel badly when I think of [Harriet's] clothes being scattered as I fear they were before you went there."  Follow the link to Katherine for a transcription of the entire letter.

Katherine's tall tombstone is visible in the picture of Harriet's tombstone.

Lying near Peter and Harriet is Peter's sister-in-law, Leah Jane (Hamilton) Weakley, widow of Peter's brother, Joseph A. Weakley.

See also: Lil Beckwith Weakley

1850 Illinois Census, Hancock County, page 332B
enumerated October 22, 1850, dwelling #882

Peter Weakley, 27, male, farmer, value of real estate 850, born PA
Harriett, 24, female, born PA


1860 Illinois Census, Hancock County, Hancock Township, page 726
enumerated July 24, 1860, dwelling #3290

Peter Weekly, 37, male, farmer, value of real estate 3000, value of personal estate 1000,
born PA
Harriett, 35, female, born PA


1870 Illinois Census, Hancock County, Hancock Township, page 154A
enumerated June 14, 1870, dwelling #51
[immediately following the household of John and Katherine Black Huston]

Weekly, Harriett, 44, female, white, keeping house, value of personal estate 1000, born PA
Jane, 39, female, white, keeping house, born PA
Joseph, 11, male, white, born PA, attended school within the year
Mollie, 15, female, white, born IL, attended school within the year
[Peter is not to be found elsewhere in the community.]


1880 Illinois Census, Hancock County, Hancock Township, page 125D
enumerated June 10, 1880, dwelling #67

Weakley, Peter E, white, male, 56, married, dry goods merchant, born PA, both parents born PA
Hariet, white, female, 55, wife, married, keeping house, born PA, both parents born PA
Jane L, white, female, 49, sister-in-law, widow, keeping house, born PA, both parents
born PA
Joseph A, white, male, 20, nephew, single, drygoods clerk, unemployed for 1 month during the census year, born IL, both parents born PA


Majorville Index
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