Hon. George E. Waite – Of Geneseo, Illinois was born in Stratton, Windham County, Vermont; his parental ancestry is English.  The name was originally spelled Wayte, later Waite or Wait.  The American ancestor is Thomas Wayte, who emigrated to Massachusetts upon the restoration of Charles II in 1660.  Thomas Wayte was a member of the Long Parliament and was identified with Hampden, Pym, Sir Harry Vane, Sir Thomas Fairfax, Cromwell, Ireton and others in the great struggle for freedom of conscience and constitutional government.  He did not waver in his opposition to the tyranny of the King.  He no doubt saw Cromwell at the head of the Ironsides, and May have been present at Marston Moor and Naseby.  He sat at the trial of Charles I., witnessed the matchless prosecution by John Bradshaw and signed the death warrant of the King.  John Wayte, the grandfather of the Judge was a soldier of the Revolution and fought at the battle of Concord, Lexington, and Bunker Hill, he was a direct descendant of Thomas Wayte.  After the war, John Wayte removed to Stratton, Vermont, where he resided until his death. He had  five sons, namely: Amasa, Luther, Daniel, Tyler and Alphens. 

Judge Waite is a son of Tyler Waite and Lucia Tyler Waite.  His mother was the daughter of Ebenezer Taylor of Wardsboro, Vermont and was of Scotch origin.
Tyler Waite was a prosperous farmer of education and influence, he had his wife reared and educated seven children, namely: Laura, George E., Lucia, Henry A., Chastina, Ruth and Dexter Waite.
Judge Waite attended the common schools of Vermont, prepared for College, and took a four years’ classical course in the Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut.  He was especially noted for his ability as a writer and speaker and graduated with honors.  He removed to Geneseo, Illinois in 1856, was admitted to the bar in 1858 and at once entered upon a successful practice of law.
Judge Waite is a Republican in politics; he participated in the organization of the Party in 1856 and has without deviation advocated the principles of the Party and supported its candidates; he became widely known throughout the state and was recognized as an able, safe and courageous leader.  He has taken an active part in every political campaign; he is a man for an emergency, rising in power and influence with the importance of the occasion.  A splendid specimen of physical manhood, he challenged attention in any gathering.  As a speaker by voice, work and action he appeals with convincing power to the audience.

Judge Waite has never pushed himself forward as a seeker after office, but has by the free choice of the people held important judicial, legislative and other positions, performing the duties of all of them with entire satisfaction to the public.
He was a member of the convention, which framed the present Constitution of Illinois and was chairman of the Committee of Retrenchments and Reforms.  His report to the convention amongst other things contained a recommendation for an article prohibiting special legislation.  He recognized the great abuse and proposed the only methods to put an end to it; his recommendation was adopted and incorporated into the Constitution of the State and is one of its wisest and best provisions.
Judge Waite has been a careful student of history and is an intelligent observer of the passing events of the world.  He has well settled opinions upon great pubic questions, and is a national leader of public opinion.  He gave strong support to the cause of the Union and has done much for both measures and men of his Party.
On the 9th of May, 1859 at Geneseo, Illinois, Judge Waite was united in marriage with Miss Hattie N. Wells, a daughter of Benjamin Wells, a native of Connecticut, and the youngest son of Thomas Wells, a scion of Governor Wells of Connecticut.  The Hon. William H. Wells, the author Wells’ Grammer was the cousin of Mrs. Waite. Her mother was Mary B. Ford, daughter of Dyer and Esther (Burnett) Ford and their children were Ester, Dyer, William, Averill and Mary B.  The Fords are descendants of Martha Ford who came to Plymouth, Massachusetts in the ship “Fortune” in 1621, with her children.  Mrs. Waite was born in Old Woodstock, Connecticut and came with her parents to Geneseo in 1856.  Benjamin Wells, her father, died  in Geneseo in 1864, and her mother departed this life in Geneseo in 1886.  To Judge and Mrs. Waite were given three children, Laura N., Hattie M. and Ruth M.  In 1886 Hattie M. married Thomas Everitt and two children were born unto them – George Waite Everitt and Thomas Waite Everitt.  The last named died in February, 1892.  Thomas Everitt, the husband of Hattie M. departed this life in 1890.  Ruth M. Waite married Henry Dedrick of Geneseo in 1895 and they had one child, Henry Waite Dedrick, who died in December 1899.  Mr. and Mrs. Dedrick now reside in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Transcribed by Denise Border

©Wini Caudell and Contributors

All Rights Reserved

Illinois Ancestors