Family:Whitney, Leonard (1812-1862)
He married 18 Sep 1842, Bennington, VT, Ann Jennett Harwood. She was born 12 Jan 1825, VT, and died after 1900.
Leonard Whitney was born in Williston, Vermont, the son of Otis and Sarah Whitney. With such a parentage he received vigor of body and mind. In such a home his native qualities developed healthfully. He grew to an active boy, and became leader of all the sports and mischief in the neighborhood. He was strong, quick, impulsive, wayward, generous. He was by no means distressingly "good" in the Sunday-school-library-book style. His parents and his teachers found him difficult to manage. But he was the friend of the weak. He responded readily to what was generous, just and kind. The district school and the academy gave him his early education, which his father urged the restless boy to continue by going to college. But he had dreams of adventures amid strange scenes, fostered, perhaps, by the seatales of his grandfather, Joseph Edmunds, the old privateersman. When sixteen years old he went to Boston, and shipped for a voyage. But before the vessel sailed he had seen enough of the charms of sealife to change his mind. He succeeded in getting free from the engagement, and never after had a return of the longing for the sea. The experiences of his Boston trip, acting on a mind singularly receptive, turned his attention to the sober purposes of life. He worked with interest on his father's farm. He attended school at Hinesburg, Vermont, and made good progress in his studies. He choose the profession of law as his work for life, and for several years gave himself to its study. In August, 1835, he was admitted to practice at the Chittenden county court, Burlington, VT, "by the unanimous consent of the bar." He spent several years in the practice of law at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and at Auburn, New York. He was not by nature fitted in mind and morals to succeed in any but the higher fields of law practice, and circumstances never allowed him to enter those fields. Work, study, anxiety brought him poor health, and he went to Saratoga Springs to rest. While there he visited not infrequently at the home of an old family friend, who was settled near by as the pastor of the Baptist church in Union Village--the Rev. William Arthur, father of the late President Arthur. His old friend had a strong influence over the young lawyer. During the summer he united with Mr. Arthur's church, decided to give up law, and to become a Baptist minister. That fall he began his ministerial work as pastor of the Baptist church at Bennington, in District of Columbia, and at Canandaigua, NY, later at Peoria, IL, and finally at Keokuk, IA. He accepted the latter call, and became its minister in October, 1853. He had been only a short time in Keokuk when he had an invitation to the pastorate of the Unitarian church in Rochester, NY, which he declined. His society in Keokuk erected a building which was dedicated in 1856, and Mr. Whitney entered upon his years of valuable service. His geniality as a man, his generosity as a friend, his eloquence as a preacher, his power as a thinker, and the genuine religiousness of his nature called into his church a company of men and women of remarkable ability. He sought and obtained the appointment of chaplain to the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, of which R. G. Ingersoll was colonel. He gave up his parish and joined his regiment with enthusiasm. For this work he was peculiarly fitted. He was genial in spirit; he met all men in a happy way. He had an appreciation of man; he could detect the divine-human through the lowliest and most sinful guise. He was unselfish; he gave gladly his last crust to the suffering. He was entirely without sanctimonious pretense; he went among the men as a brother, a friend, a sympathetic helper. The officers and men were drawn to him at once. The relations between him and them were cordial and brotherly. He was their minister in the true sense-their helper, their leader in the best things. Of the appreciation in which he was held in the regiment the following letter from his honored colonel gives generous testimony:
New York, January 6, 1888.
Rev. O. Clute.-My Dear Sir:-It gives me great pleasure to write a few words in reference to the Rev. Leonard Whitney. He was one of the best, one of the purest, one of the noblest men I ever knew. He was in the highest sense a deeply religious man - that is to say, he lived in accordance with his ideal. There was about him neither cant nor hypocrisy. He did not pretend to be better than others - he wished only to make others better.
While I knew him, his entire time was occupied in doing good to others. He was a perpetual consolation to the sick and wounded - an example for all. He won the respect of every man who knew him, and his influence was only good.
He as truly gave his life for his country, as though he had died on the field of battle. Yours truly,
R. G. Ingersoll.
Mr. Whitney died in the prime of life, died regretted and mourned by the population of an entire city, died without an enemy, and his loss was an irreparable one. The admirers and appreciators of Mr. Whitney were not confined to his society. He had frequent hearers from other denominations. His efforts were mostly arguments. He had a natural gift in argument, which may have been confirmed by his study of law. This style was attractive to inquirers outside of his immediate people.
As a preacher he was far above the average. His power was the result of great ability coupled with evident sincerity. He never descended to hair splitting niceties, but always grasped the vital questions touching the subject in hand. He had no patience with arguments founded on isolated passages of Scripture.
He resided Keokuk, Iowa.
Children of Leonard8 and Ann Jennett (Harwood) Whitney:
i. Harwood Otis9 Whitney, b. 17 Apr 1844; m. Helen J. Hay. ii. Charles Edmund Whitney, b. 5 Oct 1846; d. 9 Feb 1864. iii. Leonard S. Whitney, b. 20 Jun 1850; d. after 1880. iv. Jennett Whitney, b. 7 Feb 1858; d. 16 Oct 1858. v. Carleton P. Whitney, b. 8 Sep 1860; d. after 1880; unmarried; resided Keosauqua, IA.
387 387 Leonard Whitney 38 M - Preacher F. Church Vt. Ann Janet " 25 F - " Harwood " 6 M - " Attended school Charles " 3 " - N.Y. Leonard Jr. " 3/12 " - " Mary Fowler 31 F - "
735 698 Leonard Whitney 48 M - Unitarian Clergy $2000 $270 Vermont Janett " 35 F - " Hanwood " 16 M - Student " Attended school Charles do 13 " - New York Attended school Leonard do 10 M - " Attended school
307 306 Whitney, Ann 45 F W Keeps House $2000 $200 Vermont -----, Howard 26 M W Agt. R.R. Vt. Male citizen over 21 -----, Leonard 20 M W Home N.Y. -----, C. P. 9 M W Home Iowa Attended school Thorne, G. C. 38 M W Contractor N.J. Male citizen over 21 -----, Jennie 26 F W Boards Ohio Moulton, Laura 18 F B Dom. Servt. Mo.
Ann J. WHITNEY 54 Self F W W VT Keeping House MA VT Harwood O. WHITNEY 36 Son M W W VT Agent R R VT VT Leonard WHITNEY 30 Son M S W NY R R Accountant VT VT Maggie GORDON 21 Oth F S W IA Servant IRE IRE
Chc GRAR 57 Self F W W NY Hotel Keeper CT NH Bell GRAR 23 Dau F S W IA School Teacher NY PA Clara GRAR 19 Dau F S W IA NY PA Harry RENNICK 27 Oth M S W NY Railroad Operator NY VT Lafeyette JONES 26 Oth M S W NY Rail Agent VA NH Carlton WHITNEY 19 Oth M S W IA Rail Agent VT VT
141 152 Carlton G. Whitney 32 M W m Iowa Lee Co. - Congregational Carrie Whitney 28 F W m " V.B. Co. - Methodist
408 442 Whitney, Anna C. Head W F Jan 1825 75 wid 6ch 2liv Vermont Massachusetts Vermont N. G., Owns free house -----, Harwood O. Son W M Apr 1843 57 sgl Vermont Vermont Vermont Capitalist Neyens, Hanna Srvt W F Jun 1877 22 sgl Iowa Hollard Iowa Servant
120 120 Whitany, Carlton Head W M Sep 1861 38 mar 5 Iowa Vermont Vermont Rail R. Agent, Owns mortgaged house -----, Carrie B. Wife W F Oct 1865 34 mar 5 1ch 1liv Iowa France Iowa -----, Marguerite Dau W F Mar 1896 4 sgl Iowa Iowa Iowa
- All data imported from Frederick Clifton Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, (Chicago: 1895), pp. 535-536.