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1904 Biographies

Frank H. Whitney

Frank H. WHITNEY was born in Oswego County, New York , in 1832. He came west in 1856 and located in the western part of Adair County, and shortly afterward moved into southwestern Cass County, near the present locality of what was the old town of Whitneyville.

In 1861 he went back to New York and married Ella GRAHAM, who, with two sons, James G. WHITNEY and Thomas H. WHITNEY, still survive him. With his wife he returned to the farm at Whitneyville, where they resided till 1862, when they removed to Lewis. During his residence at Lewis from 1865 to 1868, Mr. WHITNEY was engaged in various enterprises, ranging from storekeeping and printing a newspaper to running a hotel. All this time, however , he was buying and selling land, both on his own account and for others. When the railway was pushed through Cass County, in partnership with B.F. ALLEN, C.C. MERRIMAN and Andrew CRAWFORD, he secured control of the town site of Atlantic, moving here in 1869.

After the absconding of LORING and BENNETT in 1871 , Mr. WHITNEY, with Isaac DICKERSON, J.C. YETZER, J.O. GERBERICH and others, organized the First National Bank in the rooms now occupied by the Citizens’ Savings Bank. In a comparatively short time Mr. WHITNEY purchased the interests of the remaining stockholders, and converted the institution into the Bank of Atlantic. This bank continued for many years, and on the coming of age of James G. WHITNEY he was made a partner in the business. Under the ownership of F.H. WHITNEY & Son the Bank of Atlantic became one of the prominent banks of southwestern Iowa.

F.H. WHITNEY knew no such words as weariness in his business vocabulary. He was gifted with the energy of a dozen men and every ounce of it was devoted to the upbuilding of Atlantic and Cass County. There is not a town in the county whose foundations he did not help to lay, and he was interested in all that came after, watching their growth and development with loving eyes. He was a great real estate man and had the reputation of being able to forecaste the future of towns, cities and country with almost prophetic vision. He was interested at the time of his death in Omaha, Kansas City and Birmingham real estate, investments which would have made him rich could he have lived and taken personal care of them.

Unique and eccentric in many ways, F.H. WHITNEY was a generous soul and his charity was not of the “tinkling cymbal“ kind. Honest, intrepid, indefatigable, Cass County and Atlantic lost the master mind and guiding hand at his death.

From "Exposition Souvenir Album - 1904: Biographies," published by Democrat Publishing Company, Atlantic, Iowa. Transcribed by Brenda Magee, March, 2010.


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