Family:Whitney, Edwin (1812-1883)

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Hon. Edwin7 Whitney (Cyrus6, Isaiah5, Isaiah4, Isaiah3, Thomas2, John1), son of Cyrus6 and Polly7 (Whitney) Whitney, was born 12 Oct 1812, Harvard, MA,[1] and died 7 or 6 Mar 1883, Stow, MA, aged 70 yers 8 months, of pneumonia, "councillor at law".[2]

He married 21 or 25 or 26 Oct 1841, Stow, MA, Lucia Mead8 Whitney,[3] daughter of Moses7 and Lucy (Gates) Whitney. She was born 5 [Pierce] or 6 Oct 1810, Stow, MA,[4] and died after 1895.

She resided 789 Cass Av., Detroit, MI.

Hon. Edwin Whitney was born at Harvard, MA. He was the son of Cyrus and Mary (Whitney) Whitney, grandson of Isaiah and Persis (Randall) Whitney, great-grandson of Isaiah and Elizabeth (Whitney) Whitney, and descended from John and Elinor Whitney, who settled at Watertown, MA in 1635. He was born on the Old homestead occupied by his ancestors, one of the first settlers of what is now the town of Harvard, and which has remained in the possession of the family down to the present time. Having grown up on a farm, he was early inured to manual labor. While residing at the family estate, he attended the common school of his native town until he was prepared to enter those of higher grade, when he went to Brattleboro, VT, and became a student of that academy of that place. Here he applied himself with great diligence, in preparation for the study of his chosen profession of law. About the year 1834 he commenced the reading of law in the Office of Judge Cheever, of Albany, NY, where he remained two or more years. From thence he went to New York City, and completed his course of professional studies with Judge Morrell, of that city. Having been admitted to the bar he at once became associated with Judge Morrell in professional business. For some years he was constantly employed as public administrator of the city, in which position he was quite successful. But at the solicitation, as we are informed, of Col. Elijah Hale, he left New York in 1844, and removed to Stow, where he continued to reside during the remainder of his life. He soon became one of the most prominent and respected citizens of the town, always desirous and ready to do what he considered for the best interest of the community -- thou a man of unassuming manners, he was nevertheless possessed of those sterling qualities of mind and heart that prepared him to take a leading position where he resided. He was gifted with a good degree of public spirit, so that for nearly forty years he was a constant and efficient promoter of those measures calculated to advance the prosperity and development of all those interests conducive to the general welfare of the town, and the intelligence of its inhabitants. For a series of years he was an active member of the school committee, and a portion of time was also the efficient superintendent of the schools, in which he was deeply interested; and in various other positions he proved himself a faithful servant of the people among whom he lived. Not only in secular matters, but also in religious, his interest was strong and unwearied. He was an active and most devoted member of the First Parish Religious Society, which for a long period he served as one of the standing committee and a prominent supporter. To whatever was conducive to the welfare of the church of which he was a communicant, or of the cause of temperance which found him an unfaltering friend; as well as in everything calculated to promote sound morals and good citizenship, he was ever ready to lend a helping hand, and bid it a hearty God-speed. Not only was he desirous of furthering every project designed to advance the progress of universal education, general morality, and practical religion, but he also could inspire others to aid in the promotion of those noble objects. He was largely instrumental not only in inducing his friend, Col. Elijah Hale, a man of wealth and yet childless, to present to the First Parish, the parsonage house, and grounds now owned by them, but also to give the generous fund of $5,000 to establish and help support the high school, which bears the honored name of the donor. All this most unmistakably shows how thoroughly he had the best interests of the town at heart. Few towns have found a truer or more loyal adopted son than he. For some years previous to 16 May 1883, when occurred the two hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the town, he was active in collecting material which would serve to illustrate the progress of the town, the two centuries of its existence. In previous years he had served as chairman of many important committees, and he was made chairman of the committee of fifteen, chosen by the town, April 3, 1882, to arrange for the approaching bi-centennial celebration, and was also selected as the president of the day, and for nearly a year was untiring in his efforts to make the occasion one of credit to the town. Though overruled by a majority of the committee in some of his plans, he still labored with unflagging zeal to make the celebration a success. But he was not destined to see the long looked for day for on the 7th of March, 1883, a little more than two months before the celebration was to take place, after an illness of a few days of pneumonia, he passed from the mortal to the immortal sphere. The committee in rendering their report of the celebration to the town in 1884, speak of Mr. Whitney in these words: "His long and minute acquaintance with the history of the town, together with the large amount of statistical, biographical, and other valuable information which he had fathered, made his death a great loss to the committee and town." While he practiced law to a considerable extent after his removal from New York, the duties of his profession were somewhat subordinated to the management of a large farm that devolved upon him, and to the care of other extensive real estate of which he was the owner. Though originally identified with the Democratic party, he earnestly espoused the anti-slavery movement that resulted in the formation of the Republican party. During the war of the rebellion he was among the foremost of his townsmen in the support of those measures that led to the triumph of the great principles of freedom and equality embodied in the Declaration of Independence made by our Revolutionary fathers. He represented the town in the lower branch of the Massachusetts legislature in 1846 and 1847; and again, the district of which Stow was a part in 1879. He was a member also of the state senate for the year 1850. He married Miss Lucia Mead Whitney, daughter of Moses and Lucy (Gates) Whitney, of Stow, who still survives. She is a lineal descendant of Thomas Gates, one of the original twelve settles of the town and was born on the farm that he occupied. He died s. p. March 7, 1883; resided New York City, and Stow, MA.

Census

19 19 Edwin Whitney 40 M - Lawyer $1850 Mass. Lucia " 40 F - "

179 179 Edwin Whitney 42 M - Attorney Mass. Lucia M. Whitney 44 F - Mass. Mary E. Whitney 10 F - Mass.

Mary E. Whitney is unidentified.

319 312 Lucy Whitney 73 F - $7500 $1200 Mass. Edwin " 48 M - Farmer $6000 "

1 1 Edwin Whitney 52 M - Massachusetts M Lawyer - - 1 1 - Lucia M. Whitney 54 F - " M - - - - - Lucy Whitney 77 F - " W - - - - - Mary E. Whitney 20 F - New York S - - - - -

215 266 Whitney, Edwin 58 M W Farmer $10000 $10000 Mass. Male citizen over 21 -----, Lucia M. 59 F W Keeping House Mass. -----, Lucy 84 F W No Occupation Mass. Rodgers, Joseph S. 12 M W Work on Farm Mass. Attended school

Elwin WHITNEY 67 Self M M W MA Lawyer MA MA Lucia WHITNEY 68 Wife F M W MA Keeping House MA MA

References

1.^  "Edwin [Whitney], s. of Cyrus and Polly, [born] Oct. 2, 1812," according to Thomas W. Baldwin, ed., Vital Records of Harvard, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, MA: Wright & Potter Printing Co., 1917).

2.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 347, page 200.

3.^  "Edwin [Whitney] of New York City, and Lucia M. Whitney, [married] Oct. 25, 1841. [Lucia, d. Moses Esq., C.R.] [Luscia Mead Whitney, Oct. 26, P.R.30]," according to Stow Vital Records.

4.^  "Lushea Mead [Whitney], d. Moses and Lucy, [born] Oct. 6, 1810. [Lucia Mead Whitney, C.R.] [Lucia Mead Whitney, P.R.29]," according to Stow Vital Records.


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