Skip to main content

Whitelaw, Oscar Livingston, 1841-1917


Biographical Note

Oscar Livingston Whitelaw was born on May 10, 1841, in Ryegate, Vermont. He attended Peacham Academy. During the American Civil War, in August 1862, he enlisted in Company K of the 15th Vermont Infantry of the Union Army. He was honorably discharged in August 1863. After the war, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and worked as a seller of paints and other chemicals.

Whitelaw was extremely active in professional and religious organizations in his post-war life. He served as vice president of the Merchants Exchange in 1897-1898 and president in 1899. He was president of the National Paint, Oil, and Varnish Association, 1889; president of the National Transportation Association, 1897-1900; and president of St. Louis Public Library. These are just a few of the positions he held in numerous organizations during his life.

Whitelaw married Lillie Dwight Lathrop in St. Louis in 1873. The pair had four children. Whitelaw died in St. Louis on February 11, 1917, and is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.


Leonard, John W. The Book of St. Louisans: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the City of St. Louis and Vicinity. St Louis, MO: St. Louis Republic, 1906. Page 633. Accessed September 14, 2022.

"Oscar Livingston Whitelaw" entry., accessed September 28, 2022.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Oscar L. Whitelaw Letter

Identifier: Ms-2022-045

This collection contains a letter written by Private Oscar L. Whitelaw of the 15th Vermont Infantry Regiment of the Union Army on December 20, 1862, during the American Civil War. Whitelaw describes the march from Camp Vermont to the Fairfax County Courthouse, as well as camp life, Confederates in Richmond, and his feelings about the war.

Dates: 1862