Archive:Marion Thomas Whitney

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Edith S. Middleton, Marion Thomas Whitney: The Story of His Predecessors & Descendants: Parker, Greely, Tufts (Portland, OR: The author, 1995).

pp. 8-17 || pp. 18-26, 39-40

[title page]


The Story of His
Predecessors & Descendants

Parker, Greely, Tufts
Edith S. Middleton

Copyright © 1995
by Edith S. Middleton
All Rights Reserved

Printed in Portland, Oregon

[p. ii] Introduction This story tells of certain descendants of Joseph Whitney (1770-1850), the great-great-grandson of John Whitney, an immigrant in 1635 from London, England, to Massachusetts. Joseph's parents were Benjamin Whitney (1725-1797), and Mercy (Hinckley) Whitney (1734-1814), of Maine. Joseph was born at Little River, Maine, which was annexed and made a part of Lisbon, Maine, in 1808. Joseph left Little River with his brother Jacob, about 1792, to become one of the first settlers of Phillips, Maine. Marion T. Whitney (1846-1927), my grandfather, was a grandson of Joseph Whitney (1770-1850), and Rebecca Whitney (1775-1826). Herein is an accounting of some of the homes of my early family members and of their moving across the country from Maine to Oregon. My mother, Maude L. (Whitney) Smith (1879-1954), was the eldest child in her immediate family and felt a responsibility for keeping her brother and sisters informed of family news. She kept family records and preserved them well. In her possession were a wealth of family Bible entries, diaries, photographs, vital records, framed marriage certificates, clipped newspaper articles, and many letters containing personal statistics. These statistics have been confirmed through comparison with U.S. Census reports, county vital records, land use entries, or county histories. In later years, after my mother had given us her records, more records of the same type came into our hands from some of her cousins in the Chandler, Edmonds, King, Parker, Whitney, and Young families. The main sources of information used in this book were the well kept family records passed on to me by family members.

[p. iii]

Foreword Two widely consulted source books for study of the Whitney line were written by F. C. Pierce and G. B. Sedgeley. However, neither of these authors include information about Joseph Whitney (1770-1850), grandfather of my grandfather (nor his children), after Joseph left Phillips, Maine, for Ohio, about the year 1816. Therefore, I pursued the Whitney line using information from our family records confirmed by matching government official vital records. Without the family records kept by my mother, Maude L. (Whitney) Smith (1879-1954), and my grandfather, Marion T. Whitney (1846-1927), listing the consecutive generations would have been impossible for me. Identical dates appearing in Warren County, Ohio, cemetery records and Marion T. Whitney's handwritten diary of 1875 proved Joseph Whitney to be my grandfather's grandfather. In retrospect, study of my family's history brought a delightfully personal aspect to the U.S. history I had studied in formal school classes. Had this wealth of information been available to me during my early years, I would have gained a better appreciation and understanding of the geography and history of the United States. As I learned about the people who were my predecessors and the locations where they lived, I felt a compelling desire to share this knowledge with others who might have an interest in these family lines.

[p. 1]

1 A FAMILY HEIRLOOM There was something special about the antique glass water pitcher which was always kept out of sight and safe on the top of the tall, handsome walnut bookcase in the house that my mother, Maude (Whitney) Smith, inherited from her father, Marion T. Whitney. The bookcase was a beautiful piece of furniture, with carved, ornamental trim about six inches high surrounding the top edge. In that hidden area on the top were also stored other antique items: painted pottery jars, china plates and other pieces of tableware. The glass water pitcher was of particular interest. It drew our attention and curiosity. My sister Laura would bring a chair close to the bookcase and stand on the chair so that she could lift the pitcher down to be handled and examined. We knew Grandpa's brother had a pitcher like it, but not which brother. We did not know who created the pitchers. The pitcher was made of clear, heavy glass, with the design of a man's bearded face cascading down the front. The story surrounding these pitchers indicated they were created by a member of the Whitney family who made glass bottles to hold patent medicine, which was used by many people in pioneering days. The mystery about these pitchers captivated the interest of other relatives besides myself. Their curiosity also led them to study family history and glass manufacturing. This brought us in touch with other descendants who were studying the same families. One of many interests of Maude (Smith) Eastwood, a grand-daughter of Marion T. Whitney, is antique glass and glass manufacture. She told me she had seen some pitchers identical to our pitcher in a museum located in an Eastern state. They were displayed with some individual glass tableware items apparently created by the same glass maker. For help with questions about early day glass manufacturers, I enrolled in a family history class offered by a community college, and learned that some early day glass makers moved westward as towns built up their population with the migration of settlers. My attention then was drawn into a study of the westward movement of our early family members as they joined new settlements to the West. Their adventurous spirits led them on, eventually, even to the West Coast. A gratifying result of this study was the acquisition of a more clear sense of the history and government of our country.

[p. 2]

2 WHITNEY, COAST TO COAST Learning when and where our direct ancestors lived transforms the history of this country into our personal history, experienced by our own family members. As we follow the progress of relatives who moved across the country when the land was opened to development, we achieve a better understanding of them and our nation. Visitors from other countries examined our coasts before our colonists moved westward from the East Coast. Their accounts told of the riches of the wilderness. The explorers and surveyors made possible the acceleration of westward settlement. Our relatives were part of the westward migration. They migrated from Massachusetts and settled in Maine. From Maine, due to the poor weather for crops in the years 1815-1830, many resettled in Ohio. Within a decade, the next generation moved to Indiana, stayed for about fifteen years, then went on to settle in Henry County, Illinois. Some remained in Henry County, and some from the younger generation moved to states further to the west: to Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, California, and Oregon. Members of our families occasionally traveled to visit with relatives living in the East. Travel was generally by carriage, boat, and ship, before train travel was available. In 1869, the train system was extended from coast to coast. There were some members of our family living in Middle America who sold their property and retired to the California Coast. They maintained a lively correspondence with other family members. The letters were often saved, and later passed on to other relatives. Several letters and photographs exchanged at that time still exist. During summer months, some members of our families were able to travel, at times from one shore to the other, visiting in different parts of the country. I fondly remember visits by relatives to my mother's home. We had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with relatives previously known only through correspondence. Joseph Whitney (1770-1850?), moved his family from Phillips, Maine, about 1816, and lived in Ohio County, West Virginia, (near Wheeling, W. Va.), for several years before settling in Maineville, Warren County, Ohio. Joseph remained there for the balance of his life. He was involved with the movement in 1850 to make Maineville the first incorporated village in Warren County. Joseph Whitney was an accomplished carpenter, as was his son Thomas Whitney (1799-1865), and his grandson, Marion T. Whitney (1846-1927).

[p. 3]

3 WHITNEY, COAST TO COAST In 1850, at age four, Marion T. Whitney was living with his family in Milan, Ripley County, Indiana, and probably did not know his grandfather, who died in that year in Maineville, Ohio. Years later he told his daughter Ruth, (who told me), that before he was married, he traveled to visit other Whitneys, and could trace relationship to every Whitney he ever met. He said when he, his wife and brother traveled to Chicago, they stopped on the way to visit with relatives outside of Chicago, who owned and trained race horses. Clearly, he knew his family lineage. Marion T. Whitney moved from Chitwood, Oregon, to the Oregon Coast about 1904. He built a cozy home within walking distance of the ocean. Next, he built summer cabins on his property to rent to people coming to the coast for summer vacations. These cabins provided both income and companionship from the renters. Remembering Grandfather Marion T. Whitney, I realize the privilege and honor it was to have known him. He had a marked influence on my life because of his outstanding character. He was dignified, honest, courteous, industrious and sociable. Until graduation from high school, I lived in the house in Chitwood that my mother inherited from her father, Marion T. Whitney. On the walls were framed photographs of Grandfather's parents: Thomas Whitney and Lydia Tufts Whitney; also of the parents of his wife, Laura Augusta (Parker) Whitney: Ira Parker and Mary Louise (Cowl) Parker. Mary L. Parker was step-mother to Laura (Parker) Whitney and had cared for her from very early childhood. Laura's mother, Mary E. (White, Woodruff) Parker, had passed away when Laura was an infant. Laura Parker was reared with two younger step-brothers in Burns, Henry County, Illinois. Ira Parker (born Apr.12, 1809), left his childhood home in Palmyra, Wayne County, New York, in 1827, when he was 18 years of age. He worked at the painter's trade, and during the winter, taught school. In 1853, he bought property in Burns, Henry County, Illinois, where he soon became Township Supervisor. There was music in Ira Parker's Illinois home. The Burns Township Band met at his home weekly during summer months. Part of the roof of his South house was flat, and the band would to go up there to play music. People would sit on the lawn and listen. We have pictures taken in 1981 of the original house and the newer South house. Neither house was in use as a residence in 1981. Many years later, Ira Parker and Mary L. Parker moved to Waterville, Kansas, probably to be near their sons, Schuyler and Perry, who had moved to Waterville to go into business ventures. Mary L. Parker's sister, Lydia Augusta, wife of Charles L. Burtis, also lived in Waterville. Charles L. Burtis was President of the First National Bank in Waterville.

[p. 4]

4 WHITNEY, COAST TO COAST Thomas Whitney (1799-1865), moved with his wife, Lydia (Tufts) Whitney, and their children to Burns, Henry County, Illinois, in 1855, when his youngest son Marion T. Whitney was nine years old. The farm bought by Thomas Whitney was not far from Ira Parker's farm. In 1875, Marion T. Whitney and Laura A. Parker were married. They lived in Burns, Illinois, for three years before moving to Waterville, Kansas, in 1878. Their children Maude, Ira and Neva were born in Waterville. The Kansas weather was severe in winter; in summer, there were dust storms with terrible winds. Perhaps that is the reason they moved to Oregon in 1884, bringing their possessions with them on the railroad Emigrant Car. From notes and family pictures, it appears the decision to move to Oregon was influenced by relatives already living there. At about this time, Ira Parker and his wife moved their residence permanently to Waterville, Kansas. Laura (Parker) Whitney's father, Ira Parker, visited her in her home in Lincoln County, Oregon, in June 1892. He wrote a letter to her from Kansas dated October 2, 1895, stating that good fruit, such as that available in Laura's home, " was the better half of a good living". In those early days, produce which families grew on their land often determined their diet. Ira reported in his letter: "That, we do not have here. What fruit there is here is of a poor quality. Peaches were quite plenty, but the hot, dry weather injured them -- they did not fill well -- and the terrible winds blew them off, and likewise many of the apples." Many letters and photographs were sent through the mails. These contain much information about Marion T. Whitney's sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts and cousins. Letters, photographs, and Bible records were kept by his nieces Lydia, Annie and Ida Edmonds. These came into the possession of Marion T. Whitney's daughters, which then were combined with my own records. Among these records is a chart which shows ancestral lines for Lydia (Tufts) Whitney, apparently composed by Melissa (Whitney) Edmonds. In 1850, the United States Census shows Thomas and Lydia (Tufts) Whitney with their five younger children were living in Milan, Ripley County, Illinois, close to their eldest son, Henry T. Whitney, and his family. In 1850, Jane (Greely) Tufts, Lydia's mother, was living in the household of her grandson, Henry T. Whitney (1828-1897), and his family, in Milan, Indiana. Family records were well maintained by them. After 1900, those records came into the possession of Mary Isabelle "Belle" (Whitney) Young, in Tipperary, Wyoming; she was the daughter of Henry T. Whitney (1828-1897). Jane (Greely) Tufts was born in Maine on Oct.22, 1779; she died in Milan, Ripley County, Indiana, Sept. 4, 1862.

[p. 5]

5 WHITNEY, COAST TO COAST Jane (Greely) Tufts made a beautiful quilt for her grand-daughter Melissa Whitney (1836-1906), sister of Marion T. Whitney, and gave it to her on the occasion of her sixteenth birthday, in 1852. Every other block showed a rose in bloom with different shades of rose colored petals, on a white background. The alternate blocks were solid white with an intricately quilted and padded design. The quilting stitches were tiny and precise. When I saw the quilt in 1982, it appeared to be in perfect condition. Aunt Ruth (Whitney) Himes said that when the quilt came into her possession from her Chandler cousins, the strip of cloth which covered the borders had frayed with wear; she removed it, took it to a fabric shop and found new cotton fabric in a matching color, then re-sewed the edges to match the original. On March 19, 1975, Aunt Ruth (Whitney) Himes wrote a letter to me giving information about a woolen bedspread that had been made by Jane (Greely) Tufts, and passed down over the years to family members. The bedspread was given to her and Aunt Mary (Whitney) Mollett in 1952. In her letter, Aunt Ruth reported: "The bedspread - made of blue and white squares, was made by great- grandmother Tufts, our father's grandmother. She carded, spun and wove the spread. . The spread was not in good condition, moths had been in it and some of the wool had disintegrated and crumbled in our hands. Mary cut out a couple of squares to make herself a pillow." * * * Grateful acknowledgment is made to Chester L. Dunn, for permission to use cemetery records of the following people from "Warren County Cemetery Records, Warren County, Ohio, Vol. 5, Hamilton Township, Maineville Cemetery". Published by the Warren County Genealogical Society, Lebanon, Ohio, Copyright 1986. Pg. 282, Stearns, Malinda Pg. 283, Tufts, Rev. Francis Pg. 284, Tufts, Josiah Pg. 286, Whitney, Rebecca Pg. 286, Whitney, Albert Marriage records for Ephraim, Francis T., Joseph, and Thomas Whitney, are listed in the book: "Warren County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1803-1834", compiled by Willard Heiss, Indianapolis, 1977. We have copies of the original handwritten marriage licenses and marriage records from Warren County, Ohio.

[p. 6]

6 WHITNEY, COAST TO COAST PERSONAL STATISTICS: JOSEPH WHITNEY Born: 1770 in Lisbon, Maine. Resided in Lisbon and Phillips, Maine. Married: 2 Mar. 1796 or 1797, in New Gloucester, Maine. Died: Approximately 1850, Maineville, Warren County, Ohio. Buried: Blanchester Township Cemetery, Clinton County, Ohio ? Resided: Maine; later in Maineville, Hamilton Township, Warren County, Ohio. Occupation: Carpenter. Father: Benjamin (1725-1797) Mother: Mercy Hinckley of Brunswick (b. 1734) Spouse: (1st) REBECCA STINCHFIELD of New Gloucester, Maine. Born: 12 June 1775, in New Gloucester, Maine; 15 miles west of Lisbon. Died: 10 Nov. 1826, Maineville, Warren County, Ohio. Buried: Maineville Cemetery, Hamilton Township, Warren County, Ohio. Father: John Stinchfield, Jr. Mother: Mehetabel Winship Spouse: (2nd) SARAH "SALLY" AGER Born: 1782 in Virginia. Married: 9 Dec. 1827, Warren Co., Ohio. U.S. Census records for 1830, 1840 and 1850 show Joseph Whitney in Hamilton Twp., Warren Co., Ohio. The following children of Joseph and Rebecca Whitney were born in Phillips, Maine: Mehetabel, born 22 Dec. 1797; died 22 Oct. 1860; Blanchester Township Cemetery, Clinton Co., Ohio. "Baldwin" is also on the cemetery marker. Thomas S., born 10 Sept. 1799; died 5 Aug. 1865, in Burns, Henry County, Illinois; buried in Cosner Corner Cemetery, Burns, Illinois. He married Lydia Tufts. Ephraim S., born 18 June 1801; married Mary Livingston (Polly Leviston, copying error?) on 22 Apr. 1824, Warren Co., Ohio; later lived in Lee Co., Illinois. Alvah, born 31 Mar. 1803; died 4 Apr. 1875; Blanchester Township Cemetery, Clinton Co., Ohio. The personal, handwritten diary of Marion T. Whitney has an entry noting that Uncle Alvah Whitney died 4 Apr. 1875; this diary still exists. An entry on 5 Dec. 1876, reads: "Rec'd of Josiah Little on Alvah Whitney's estate $250.00". The estate was in Lee County, Illinois. Francis T., born 24 Mar. 1805; married Abigail Blanchard on 27 Feb. 1827, Warren Co., Ohio; farmed in Shelby Co., Ohio, 1840 & 1850. An entry in Marion T. Whitney's diary reads: "1877, Mar.19. Gave Uncle F. T. Whitney $3.13." Moses, born 24 Mar. 1805, died 25 Mar. 1805. Respah, born 11 Aug. 1808; married Samuel Blackstone, on 24 May 1829, Warren County, Ohio. Moses, born 10 June 1810, died 5 June 1814. Johnson, born 5 Mar. 1811. Is this the John who is listed on the 1880 U.S. Census as disabled and living with his niece Rebecca King in Burns, Henry Co., Illinois? Nathan, born 25 July 1812; married Mary Jane Moore; in later years, they lived in Olney, Richland County, Illinois. Records with names of more children born to Joseph and Rebecca were not found.

[p. 7]

7 WHITNEY, COAST TO COAST THOMAS WHITNEY Born: 10 Sept. 1799, Phillips, Maine. Married: 14 June 1827, Warren County, Ohio. Died: 5 Aug. 1865, Burns, Henry County, Illinois. Buried: Cosner Corner Cemetery, Burns, Henry County, Illinois. Occupation: Farmer, carpenter. Church: Christian Father: Joseph Whitney Mother: Rebecca Stinchfield Spouse: LYDIA TUFTS Born: 18 Apr. 1806 in Maine. Died: 21 Feb. 1882, Burns, Henry County, Illinois. Buried: Cosner Cemetery, Burns, Henry County, Illinois. Father: Josiah Tufts. Mother: Jane Greely Thomas and Lydia Whitney's first five children were born in Maineville, Warren Co., Ohio. They moved in 1840 to Milan, Ripley County, Indiana. Their last two children were born there. They moved in 1854 to Burns, Henry County, Illinois. This information is noted in the obituary of their daughter, Melissa D. (Whitney) Edmonds, printed in the Long Beach Press, California, 1906. We have an original newspaper clipping of this. Also, we have an original newspaper obituary clipping for Jaruel B. Whitney, born in Indiana, interred in Cosner Corner Cemetery, noting the same. Children of Thomas and Lydia Whitney were: Henry T., Sarah H., Albert, Rebecca J., Melissa D., Jaruel B., and Marion Thomas. Albert, born 13 July 1832, died 7 Aug 1833; Maineville Cemetery, Hamilton township, Warren County, Ohio. He is buried beside his grandmother Rebecca (Stinchfield) Whitney. MARION THOMAS WHITNEY Born: 22 Feb. 1846, Milan, Ripley County, Indiana. Married: 30 Dec. 1875, Burns, Henry County, Illinois. Died: 21 May 1927, Chitwood, Lincoln County, Oregon. Buried: Chitwood, Lincoln County, Oregon. Resided: Milan, Ripley County, Indiana; Waterville, Washington Co., Kansas; Albany, Linn Co., Oregon; Chitwood and Newport, Lincoln Co., Oregon. Occupation: Carpenter, farmer, inventor, Postmaster, storekeeper, motel owner and operator. Father: Thomas Whitney (1799-1865) Mother: Lydia Tufts (1806-1882) Spouse: LAURA AUGUSTA PARKER Born: 29 Jan. 1855, Burns, Henry County, Illinois. Died: 9 June 1900, Chitwood, Lincoln County, Oregon. Buried: Chitwood Cemetery, Lincoln County, Oregon. Father: Ira Parker (1809-1895 or 1896) Mother: Mary E. (White Woodruff) Parker (1818-1855)

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