Family:Whitney, Erastus Hubbard (1818-1889)

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Erastus Hubbard8 Whitney (William Henry7, Aaron6, Aaron5, Moses4, Moses3, Richard2, John1), son of William Henry7 and Clarissa (Wolcott) Whitney, was born 18 Nov 1818, Champion, NY, and died 28 Nov 1889, Wauwatosa, WI.

He married, 7 Feb 1850, Lucy Cordelia Pierce, daughter of Preserved and Lina (Randall) Pierce. She was born 15 Sep 1827, Rutland, NY.

She resided 1024 Church St., Evanston, IL.

He had the appearance of a good liver, and the term well-nourished would apply most appropriately to him. Until his 30th year he weighed 135 lbs., but in late life as high as 175 lbs. In height he measured about 5 ft. 8 in., and was of an athletic development, with shoulders powerful and slightly rounded, arms and legs muscular, and abdomen somewhat aldermanic. He had a reputation for strength and agility as a young man. His skin was white and clear, without blemish whatsoever; his features regular and well proportioned, forehead high, lips firm, chin square, ears handsome, wrists and ankles not large; hair soft, of dark brown color, slightly bald at vertex at last, and whiskers sandy. He possessed a voice deep and sonorous, and yet he couldn't sing three notes of the scale, although he professed to enjoy music and singing. His expression was frank, cordial, and assuring; temperament nervous and sanguine; walk measured. Affectation and dissimulation were absolutely foreign to his nature. In dress he was plain. In 1846, in company with his brother David, he boarded a steamer at Buffalo, NY, disembarking off Milwaukee, WI, being carried ashore by some small craft, as the harbor was not then navigable. There were about a thousand on board. Chicago was next visited, and the country from there to Lake Pepin, MN, traversed by wagon. Their first breakdown occurred just before reaching the Des Plaines river, west of Chicago. This was a tour of inspection simply. In 1850 he married Lucy Cordelia Percy, by whom he had one daughter, who died young, and three sons, one dying in childhood, and two, Eugene Wolcott and Duane Percy, surviving him. He was a man of keen and accurate observation, and clear and definite ideas. In conversation he was spirited and enthusiastic. On all subjects he possessed an opinion of his own which he presented without reserve. If it were well-founded, in his own belief, he clung to it tenaciously. Firmness bordering on obstinacy was a leading characteristic; he could, however, be convinced. He was easier coaxed than driven. Whatever his position was on any subject it was always clearly defined, and people knew just where to find him. His frankness and candor, although sometimes lacking policy in their expression, were always admittedly sincere and genuine. As a host he was hospitable and cordial. His life was singularly pure and upright. He had absolutely no vices. His early education -- his mother's influence -- made a strong and lasting impression upon him, and tobacco, liquor, cards and profanity were alinked in his aversion. No employee was allowed to use profanity in his presence. His daily life was a constant example of uprightness and good citizenship to his sons. His influence was always allied with the best element in society. Church support and attendance were considered paramount. He acted as one of the trustees of the 8th presbyterian church, Chicago, of which he was chairman at times, for many years, and was what is commonly designated as a pillar. He went down into his pocket as often and as deeply as any of the flock. He was one of the founders of this church society and, from his peculiar adaptability, was chosen chairman of the building committee when the present edifice was erected. His occupations were various. From a boy on the farm, where he had charge of the tools and acted as carpenter and cooper, making the sap buckets and repairing everything, for which he possessed marked ability -- after receiving the finishing touches of his education at the academy at Clinton, NY -- he became the village schoolmaster; speculated in farms with success, built the first grist mill and tannery in Carthage, NY, with partners, and conducted a general store. Selling out he went to Dubuque, IA, and owned an interest in a flour mill a year, then went to Norwich, NY, where he was connected with a foundry and storehouse. Finally, in 1861, he established himself in Chicago and remained to the end of his life. He made considerable money in the fur and wool business. At various times he was a member of different firms dealing at wholesale in boots and shoes, glassware, groceries. His earnings to a certain extent were invested in Chicago real estate and he erected a number of buildings. He was an indefatigable business worker and pusher. He mastered the details of his business, but the management of the finances and the general oversight of the books fell to him naturally. It was business first and everything else last; it received his constant attention regardless of hours, weather, or health. During middle life a vacation was a curiosity with him, although his family enjoyed them regularly. He never slighted anything nor left it until it was well done. He was a close figurer, always paying and exacting the last cent. His penmanship was uniform and regular and plain, but characteristic. He showed unusual mechanical ability and knowledge of building. Machinery was his delight. His ability to fall asleep throughout life, almost the moment his head touched the pillow, even during great mental strain and excitement, was quite unique. It was this faculty that prolonged his life. When not at business he was at home. He enforced upon his children rigid attendance upon school and afforded them every opportunity for their education. When relieved of business cares he was rollicking and boyish with a large bump of fun. Although possessed of a vast fund of anecdote, he never on any occasion, related one that even intimated an indelicate sentiment; in time, all that he said could, with the utmost propriety, be recounted by any family fireside. He had faith in men and women emanating from his individual purity and uprightness. Purity of mind was a noble and pre-eminent characteristic. He was impulsive and irascible. He never cherished malice and was devoid of vindictiveness. When he was in authority he maintained it, having things pretty much his way. As a man of personal purity, business ability, general rectitude and intelligence and untiring perseverance and labor he was much above the average. The world is in need of citizens of his character. He died 28 Nov 1889, in Wauwatora, WI; resided Carthage, NY, and Chicago, IL.

Children of Erastus Hubbard8 and Lucy Cordelia (Pierce or Percy) Whitney:

i. Eugene Wolcott9 Whitney, b. Oct 1853; M. D.; resided Eureka, UT. Eugene Wolcott Whitney, a bachelor, eldest child of Erastus Hubbard Whitney and Lucy Cordelia Pierce, was born in Carthage, Jefferson County, NY, 4 Oct 1853. He was named Wolcott for his grandmother Whitney, whose maiden name was Clarissa Wolcott, a descendant of Henry Wolcott, one of the founders of the Connecticut colony. His home from 1864 to 1869 was Chicago, IL, whence he removed to Utah on account of ill health, and he now resides at Salt Lake City engaged in the practice of medicine. In 1871 he completed his preparation for college at the Chicago high school, entered the academic department of Yale college in the autumn of the same year, and graduated in the class of 1875. The study of medicine was entered upon immediately at Rush medical college, Chicago, and he received his degree three years later, in 1878. Six months before graduation he entered a competitive examination for the position of interne to Cook County hospital, and secured first place. After serving on the house staff for eighteen months -- the regular term -- he went to Vienna, Austria, where he continued the study of his profession for two and one-half years. At various times between his return to America in 1881 and his departure from Chicago in 1889 he received the following appointments: Attending surgeon to the Presbyterian hospital, Chicago, attending surgeon to Cook County hospital, lecturer on surgery, and demonstrator of anatomy and operative surgery in Rush Medical college. In physical characteristics he resembled his father. On his grandmother Whitney's side, nee Clarissa Wolcott, he is a kinsman of Oliver Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and of his son, Oliver Wolcott, who succeeded Jno. Hamilton as secretary of the treasury under Washington. He held the same portfolio for two years under John Adams.
ii. Duane Percy Whitney, b. 12 Apr 1856; m. Diantha Graham.
iii. Ella Cordelia Whitney, b. 11 May 1862; d. 21 Dec 1867.
iv. Fred Hubbard Whitney, b. 25 Jun 1865; d. 23 Dec 1867.

Census

20 22 Erastus H. Whitney 32 M - Farmer $4000 New York Cordelia " 22 F - do Silus Bateman 32 M - Laborer do Alice Pierce 13 F - do

40 Frame $2000 44 Erastus A. Witney 35 M - - Jefferson 1 - 4 Carpenter 1 - - - - 1 - Cordelia Whitney 27 F - Wife do 1 - " - - - - - - - - Eugine Whitney 1 M - Son do - - - - - - - - - - - Obed Pierce 25 " - Brdr do - - 1 Farmer 1 - - - - - - John Welch 22 " - " do - - 22 do 1 - - - - - -

1273 1296 Erastus Whitney 41 M - Merchant $3000 $10000 [New York] Cordelia " 32 F - House Keeper [New York] Eugene " 6 M - [New York] Attended school Duane " 4 M - [New York] Charles Hopkins 28 M - Boat Merchant $5000 [New York] Mary Ann Wood 15 F - Housework [New York]

1287 1255 Whitney, Erastus 52 M W Com. Merchant $85000 $1500 N.Y. Male citizen over 21 " Cordelia 42 F W Keeping House " " Eugene W. 16 M W At School " Attended school Whitney, Duane 14 M W At School N.Y. Attended school Garfield, Ellen 21 F W Domestic Ser. Ireland Parents foreign born

Erastus H. WHITNEY 61 Self M M W NY Commission Merchant CT CT Cordelia WHITNEY 52 Wife F M W NY Keeping House VT MA Eugene W. WHITNEY 26 Son M S W NY Physician NY NY Duane P. WHITNEY 24 Son M S W NY Glassware Merchant NY NY

References


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