Family:Whitney, William R. (1823-1899)

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William R. Whitney (Jacob M., James), son of Jacob M. and Nellie (Freeman) Whitney, was born 4 Jan 1823, Shandaken, Ulster Co., NY, and died 15 Feb 1899, Holyoke, Phillips Co., CO.

He married, 17 Jun 1858, Burlington Co., NJ, Margaret J. Yeomans, born 12 Dec 1822, Delhi, Delaware Co., NY; died 8 Oct 1898, Holyoke, CO.

Mr. and Mrs. Whitney are buried Holyoke Memorial Park, Holyoke, Phillips Co., CO.

William was the oldest of thirteen children of Jacob and Nellie Whitney. He was engaged in farming with at least four of his brothers in Union Grove, Delaware Co., NY. He and three brothers--Henry, Eli, and John--lived with a neighbor, Calvin Madison, according to the 1850 Census.

By 1865 William owned a farm having 90 improved acres and 30 unimproved; his brother Henry, 20 improved acres and 180 unimproved; and brother John, 75 improved acres and 130 unimproved. Brothers Eli and Freeman Whitney and their families also lived nearby. Another brother, James, had gone west as a young boy with Hiram Wood and eventually bought a farm in Washington County, Kansas. By 1885 William and Margaret had joined James and his family there. Several years later they moved to a farm near Holyoke, Colorado, where they originally lived in a sod house (letter to a cousin). William died four months after his wife's death. His obituary follows:

"William R. Whitney was born on the 4 day of January 1823 in Shandaken, Ulster County, New York, and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Fred Borland, in Phillips County, Colorado, on the 15 day of February 1899. On the 17 day of June 1858 in Burlington County, New Jersey he was united in marriage with Miss Margaret Yeomans. To them were born three children, William, Chancey R. and Mrs. Mary L. Borland, the latter of whom survives her father. In 1884 the family moved to Hollenberg, Kansas, where they resided till 1888 when they came to Colorado and took up their residence on a farm near Holyoke. After the marriage of their daughter in August '97 they made their home with her. In October 1898 his wife died and preceded him to the better world. When a young man, he made a profession of religion and united with the M.E. Church and lived a consistent Christian life. In all of his dealings and associations with his fellowmen his actions were governed by conscientious motives and during his residence in this county all who made his acquaintance learned to esteem him very highly as a friend and neighbor. He had been quite feeble for about two years and since the death of his wife had failed very rapidly. Many friends sympathize with the family in their bereavement. The funeral services were conducted from the M.E. Church Thursday, February 16, Rev. Chase, pastor of the church preaching the sermon, and the remains were buried in the Holyoke cemetery."

Children of William R. and Margaret J. (Yeomans) Whitney:

i. William Whitney, b. Sep 1859; d. 23 Oct 1859.
ii. Chauncey E. Whitney, b. 14 May 1861, Delaware Co., NY; d. 17 Jan 1878 of diphtheria; bur. Margaretville, Delaware Co., NY.
iii. Mary Louise Whitney, b. 4 Oct 1865, Andes, Delaware Co., NY; d. 4 Jun 1939, Holyoke, CO; m. 17 Aug 1897, Fred Borland, b. 6 Aug 1865, d. 18 Sep 1960, Holyoke, CO (he came west from Iowa in 1884, at age 21, bringing a wagon, two blind horses and a plow, and homesteaded the quarter adjacent to the Whitney homestead).


2662 Calvin Madison 34 M - Farmer N.Y. Margaret " 26 F - " John " 1 M - " William Whitney 28 M - Farmer $2000 " Henry " 26 M - " $2000 " Eli " 22 M - Labourer " John " 16 M - " "

487 490 William R. Whitney 35 M - Farmer $4000 $400 N.Y. Margaret 35 F - [N.Y.] Esther Bradley 17 " - Servant [N.Y.]

218 227 Whitney, William R. 46 M M Farmer $6000 New York Male citizen over 21 -----, Margaret J. 46 F W Keeping House New York -----, Chancy 8 M W At Home New York Attended school -----, Mary L. 4 F W " New York

William R. WHITNEY 56 Self M M W NY Retired Farmer NY NY Margaret J. WHITNEY 58 Wife F M W NY Keeping House NY NY Mary L. WHITNEY 14 Dau F S W NY At Home NY NY

  • 1885, Kansas State Census, Washington Co., Highland Twp., in household of his younger brother, James Whitney: William - 62, Margaret - 64, Mary L.- 19


  • Letter from grandson, Whitney Borland (1905-2001), Retired U.S Dept. of Interior engineer, Lieut. Colonel in 10th Mt. Division, WWII.
  • Obituary, State Herald, Phillips County, CO, 17 Feb 1899, vol. 12, no. 28.

Copyright © 2011, Helen Rogers; 2013, Sally Whitney Goodfellow, and the Whitney Research Group.

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