Born: 1844 in New York CitySource: Settle and Settle, Saddles and Spurs.
Michael "Mike" Whalen is one of the five Pony Express riders buried in St. Joseph.
Whalen migrated to St. Joseph, Missouri, about the middle of 1850's. At the age of fifteen he drove a party of gold seekers from the Missouri River to the infant town of Denver, which at that time consisted of only two adobe houses. On his return he went by way of Omaha, Nebraska.
He was in St. Joseph on April 3, 1860, when he saw the first rider, whom he said was John Fry, take off for the west. That fall he went out along the trail and got a job, probably as stock tender, at one of the stations on Slade's Division. Later, he went to Salt Lake City where in April 1861, Howard Egan hired him to ride the Pony Express line from Salt Lake to Camp Floyd.
After two months service as a rider, the quartermaster at Camp Floyd persuaded him to drive his wife and daughter from Salt lake City to fort Leavenworth. He then enlisted in the United States Army taking part in the battles of Shiloh, Vicksburg Landing, and Corinth. He marched with Sherman from Atlanta to the Sea. After serving three years and twenty days he was discharged from the army and returned to St. Joseph where he was a grading contractor for many years.
The five Pony Express riders buried in St. Joseph are:
Charles Cliff at Mount Mora Cemetery
James W. Brink at Mount Auburn Cemetery
Michael Whalen at Ashland Cemetery
John Phillip Koerner at Ashland Cemetery
Cyclone Charlie Thompson at Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Michael Whalen is buried in the Veterans section of Ashland Cemetary and has the common military marker, that in those days gave little information other than name and unit served with.