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Whitney, William Henry


Posted By: Pat Ryan White (email)
Date: 1/12/2012 at 13:01:46

WILLIAM HENRY WHITNEY, architect, carpenter and builder, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was born in Ross County, Ohio, Feb. 7, 1840, and is the son of William and Mary A. [Ressel] Whitney, the former a native of Connecticut and the latter of Pennsylvania. They were married in Ross County, Ohio, to which point their respective families had moved at an early day. William, who traces his ancestry back to nearly 1400 -- is of English descent, and early in life learned the trade of a blacksmith, at which trade he worked for many years. In 1845 he moved with his family to Indiana, locating first in Putnam County, where he remained a short time, and then moved to Montgomery, and later to Tippecanoe County, in the same State. While in Indiana he combined farming with blacksmithing. In 1854 he moved to Mt. Pleasant, Henry Co., Iowa, where he remained a short time, working at his trade, and then moved to a farm in Marion Township, having entered 160 acres of land. Later he sold sixty acres, retaining the remainder till his removal to Nebraska, in February, 1888. To William and Mary A. Whitney were born six children, of whom five are yet living. Mrs. Whitney dying in 1859, in 1861 Mr. Whitney wedded Ann Eliza Miller, by whom he had two children. For many years William Whitney has been a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

When the family came to Iowa, William H. Whitney, of whom we write, was fourteen years of age. He soon afterward engaged to learn the carpenter's trade, which he mastered, and in 1860 married Miss Angelina Miller, daughter of Arthur Miller. Two children were born of their union: Mary F., born Nov. 15, 1861, and William A., born June 21, 1863. The former is now living in Colorado, and the latter died July 15, 1872. Mrs. Whitney died shortly after the birth of her second child, and Dec. 6, 1867, Mr. Whitney wedded Miss Nancy A. Lamb, daughter of Jacob and Sidney [Ferrell] Lamb. She was born March 10, 1848, in Fulton County, Ill. Four children were born of the latter marriage, all sons. Charles H. was born Sept. 25, 1868; John L., Jan. 12, 1870; George W., July 17, 1871; Edwin, March 2, 1873.

Mr. Whitney has been engaged in his occupation of contracting and building for upward of twenty-five years, and in that time has erected many of the best public and private buildings in Henry County, among which may be mentioned the residences of P. Summers, Walter Gamage, James Harlan, Jacob Housman, Le Grand Chandler, Wesley Greenfield, Daugherty and Comick. The Catholic Church, at Mt. Pleasant, destroyed by the cyclone of July, 1882, was rebuilt by him, and in the summer and fall of 1887 he erected a handsome church building for the Methodist Episcopal Society of New London. He is a first-class mechanic and a fine draughtsman.

Politically Mr. Whitney is a Democrat, and socially a member of the K. of L. and the Good Templars. In the latter body Mrs. Whitney is also a member. Both are members of the Christian Church, at Mt. Pleasant, in which they take a lively interest, generally being found in their accustomed place during the hours of worship.

[Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Iowa. Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1888., page 357]


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