Family:Whitney, Benajah Ticknor (1813-1872)

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Dr. Benajah Ticknor8 Whitney (Billa7, Christopher6, William5, William4, William3, Joshua2, John1), son of Billa7 and Clarinda (French) Whitney, was born 18 Dec 1813, Tompkins County, NY, and died 28 Jan 1872, Buffalo, NY.

He married, 1840, Sarah E. Hathaway, daughter of Gen. S. G. Hathaway, of Cortland, NY. She died in 1872.

Benajah T. Whitney was born in Tompkins County, NY, 18 Dec 1813. At the age of twenty-four he commenced the study of medicine with a Dr. Perry, nephew of Commodore Perry, of Cumberland, in the state of Maryland; but completed the required time of pupilage with Drs. Goodyear and Hyde, in Cortland village, NY, and received the degree of doctor of medicine from the Fairfield Medical college in the spring of 1840. While in attendance upon the lecture course at Fairfield, a Dr. McNaughton, then of Saratoga, was practicing and giving instructions at that place, in the art of dentistry, and thinking better to qualify himself for the general practice of medicine, Dr. Whitney availed himself of the instructions of this gentleman, who laid the foundation of his subsequent successful career as a practitioner of this specialty of the healing art. Immediately after his graduation he entered upon the practice of his chosen profession in Norwich, Chenango county, and united with the general practice of medicine, that of dentistry, which he continued until the summer of 1848. About this time ill health admonished him that some change of climate, mode of life, and business was necessary, and he accordingly removed to Clarksville, TN, and engaged in the practice of dentistry alone, to which from that time he devoted his exclusive interest. While in Tennessee, he became connected with the Mississippi Valley Association of Dental Surgeons, one of the first societies if not the first of the kind organized in this country, and contributed several valuable papers on subjects connected with dental science. Here it was he first became interested in the elevation and advancement of the dental profession by means of organizations known as dental societies, which since that time have accomplished so much in the diffusion of knowledge and the advancement of dental science. Dr. Whitney remained about two years in Tennessee, and then removed to California, where he spent about one year. In 1851 he returned and went to Buffalo, and soon after associated himself with Dr. Charles W. Harvey, which connection was continued until 1856, after which time he continued the practice of dentistry alone. During the summer of 1860 he perfected and introduced an improved vulcanizing machine and flask which still bear his name, and by which he is known through this country and Europe wherever vulcanite plates are made for artificial teeth. In 1865, finding his health impaired by the confinement consequent upon carrying on both his dental and vulcanizer business, he associated with himself Dr. A. P. Southwick, in whose favor he relinquished his dental practice entirely in May, 1867. About this time Drs. B. T. Whitney, George E. Hayes, George B. Snow and Theodore G. Lewis formed an association for the manufacture of various appliances connected with dentistry, under the name of the Buffalo Dental Manufacturing Company, and to the management of the affairs of this company Dr. Whitney devoted his time and attention until continued ill health made it necessary for him to relinquish all business cares, and seek rest and recreation in a pleasure trip to Europe, which occupied the summer months of 1871, affording him, however, but temporary relief from the effects of the insidious disease which eventually terminated his life. After his return from Europe in October last, his health gradually but steadily declined, and since the first of January he had been confined to his house, and for the most part to his bed. Death relieved him of his suffering on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 28, at about three o'clock. About 1848 Dr. Whitney united himself with the Protestant Episcopal church, in whose communion he ever after remained an active, devoted and consistent member. For many years he was connected with Trinity church, but upon taking up his residence in a somewhat distant portion of the city he worshiped with the Church of the Ascension, of which he became a vestryman, holding that office at the time of his death. Not only to the many friends and acquaintances of Dr. Whitney will his death prove a serious loss, but the dental profession both here and throughout the state will be pained to hear of his decease. His influence for good was felt in whatever circle he moved, whether professional, religious or social. He was prominent and indefatigable in all movements looking toward the progress of dental science in this state, and considered it a duty to be present at all meetings held for that object within any reasonable distance. To his efforts especially are we indebted for the present state law relating to dentistry. He successively held the office of president of the Buffalo Dental Association, the Dental Association of Western New York, the Eighth District Dental Society, and the Dental Society of the state of New York, all of which he very ably filled. Dr. Whitney retained his connection with his medical brethren and always evinced a warm interest in matters relating to general medicine by being present at their meetings. He was a member of the Erie County Medical Society. In his intercourse with his fellow men he was very genial and friendly, and was governed by the strictest principles of honesty and integrity. In short he was everywhere esteemed as the true type of a Christian gentleman. Mrs. Whitney, his wife, died childless. This is the end of a family that a short time ago occupied a high social position in Buffalo, the head of whom was one of the most distinguished of his profession in the state. Not long before his death Dr. Whitney returned from Europe, through which he traveled, in hopes of finding relief from the fatal disease which was preying upon him. Mrs. Whitney was the companion of her husband, watching him with the most unwearied solicitude. He returned to his native country, only to linger a few weeks and then go to a better world. The death of her husband was a terrible shock to Mrs Whitney. Like one of old she mourned and refused to be comforted. She left Buffalo, with a view of spending some time at the home of her youth in Cortland. Shortly after her arrival there she was attacked by what her physicians termed nervous prostration, brought on by excessive grief. From this, however, she so far recovered as to be able to write to her friends in Buffalo and elsewhere that she was convalescent. She suffered a relapse which terminated fatally. Rev. J. E. Robie, of Buffalo, a distinguished clergyman and editor, was a brother-in-law of Mrs. Whitney, who supported her almost fainting form as she stood by the coffin of her husband. Upwards of twenty-five years before, amid all that made life happy, Mr. Robie united her in holy wedlock to the husband of her youth, now the silent inmate of that coffin. It is strange, indeed, that these three persons connected by so many ties, by such long and pleasing associations, should within so short a time all be laid in the tomb. Mrs. Whitney was a daughter of the late Gen. S. G. Hathaway, of Cortland, and a sister of Colonel Samuel G. Hathaway, of Elmira. She was also a sister-in-law of Mrs. L. B. Proctor, of Dansville. [Buffalo, New York, paper.] He died s. p. 28 Jan 1872; resided Buffalo, NY.

Census

902 884 B. F. Whitney 46 M - Dentist $5000 $2000 New York Sarah " 46 F - " Kate Smith 25 F - Servant Germany

2008 2712 Whitney, Benajah 55 M W Doctore M. $12000 $5000 New York Male citizen over 21 -----, Sarah 54 F W Keeping house New York Totten, William 20 M W Domastic Servand Cannada Parents foreign born Danner, Katty 18 F W Domastic Servand New York Parents foreign born

References


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