Archive:The Descendants of John Whitney, page 602

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The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Chicago: 1895)

Transcribed by the Whitney Research Group, 1999.

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9252. iii. JEANNETTE, b. Oct. 6, 1879. 9253. iv. ELIZABETH, b. Feb. 9, 1881. 9254. v. MELVINA B., b. Dec. 16, 1885. 7124. HORACE KIMBALL WHITNEY (Newel K., Samuel, Samuel, Samuel, Na- thaniel, Nathaniel, John, John), b. Kirtland, O., July 25, 1823; m. in Nauvoo, Ill., Feb. 3, 1846, Helen Mar KIMBALL, b. Aug. 20, 1828; m. 2d, at Salt Lake, Utah, Oct., 1850, Lucy BLOXAM, b. 1832; d. Sept., 1851; m. 3d, Dec. 1, 1856, Mary CRAVATH, b. Sept. 8, 1838. The subject of this sketch was the eldest child of Newel K. and Elizabeth Ann WHITNEY, and was born at Kirtland, Geauga Co., O., on the 25th of July, 1823. He early evinced a great love for books, and throughout his life was an almost incessant reader. His parents being well to do and desirous that their children should learn, he had ample opportunity to gratify his taste for reading, and even in his boyhood became quite a prodigy among his mates, owing to his scholarly attainments. His anxious father, fearful that his son might injure his health by excessive study, would often take the light from his room at night, lest he should read after retiring. Hor- ace at such times, with a Henry Kirke White persistency, would open his window, and thrusting his head and book out into the moonlight read on by Luna's pale beams until tired nature insisted upon repose. When Joseph SMITH, the Mormon leader, founded at Kirtland schools for the study of ancient languages and science, Horace K. WHITNEY was in the front rank of pupils enrolled, and being an apt grammarian, with a prodigious memory and a quick intellect, soon acquired a proficient knowl- edge of Hebrew, Greek and Latin. He was also an expert mathematician. "Ask Horace," became a by-word among his companions in later years, whenever informa- tion was desired. They styled him "the walking dictionary." He was not only lit- erary, but musical in his tastes. he sang melodiously, and played the flute like a master. Horace, in his early years, was very fond of manly sports; particularly swimming. Among his schoolmates was a larger boy who often played the bully, and was especially hard upon young Whitney, owing perhaps to his proficiency at school, which would naturally make him a favorite with his teacher, and consequently an object of dislike to envious companions. One day the boys were "in swimming," and Mr. BULLY dove and did not come up again. General alarm prevailed, when Horace, who was an expert in the water, plunged in and rescued the drowning lad, whose head he found entangled in some ugly roots at the bottom of the deep mill- pond. It is perhaps needless to add that the gratitude of the rescued boy knew no bounds, and that he was the firm friend thereafter of the youth who had saved his life. Horace removed with his parents from Kirtland in the fall of 1838, and spent the ensuing winter at Carrolton, Greene Co., Ill.; their journey to Missouri, whether the main body of their people had preceded them, being intercepted by the news of the expulsion of the Mormons from that state. In order to help support the family Horace applied to the trustees of the school district in which he resided for a situa- tion as teacher. A mature age--say over twenty-one--was required in an applicant. He was in his sixteenth year, but was large of his age, and appeared somewhat older. Having answered every question satisfactorily to the examiners the chairman remarked, "I should take you to be about twenty-three, Mr. WHITNEY." "You needn't guess again," was the shrewd answer, and the young scholar was forthwith engaged. At Nauvoo, after the family removed to Illinois, Horace learned the print- ers' trade, and in Salt Lake Valley was among the force of compositors who, in 1850, set the first type for the Deseret News, which still lives, the oldest newspaper in the Rocky Mountains. Horace, as stated elsewhere, was with his people in their exodus from Nauvoo into the western wilderness. He was one of the original Mormon pio- neers, who, on the 24th of July, 1847, entered the valley of the Great Salt Lake and founded on its desolate shores, since redeemed and made to blossom like an Eden in the desert, what is universally regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. His life here was peaceful and comparatively uneventful. He was a great lover of the drama, and for many years a member of the Deseret Dramatic Associa- tion, playing, on the local stage, purely for amusement, various parts, with recog- nized ability. He subsequently performed for several years in the Salt Lake theater orchestra. During almost his entire life in Utah he was a bookkeeper in the office of President Brigham YOUNG, a situation which he held at the time of his death. He never aspired to official life, and as he grew older his love of quietude and distaste for publicity of any kind became more and more apparent. He was nver so con- tented as when seated in his arm chair, devouring with eager mind BULWER, SCOTT, COOPER, DICKENS, THACKERAY, or any of the great masters of literature, or applauding

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