Family:Whitney, Charles C. (1844-1891)

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Charles C. Whitney (Benjamin), son of Benjamin and Caroline Elizabeth (Hall) Whitney, was born 15 Jun 1844, Hopewell, NY, and died 6 Jun 1891, Mount Pleasant, MI, of Bright's disease.[1]

He married, 17 Nov 1867, Salt River, MI, Dora E. Howk,[2] daughter of George W. and Louisa (-----) Howk. She was born 31 Jul 1849, Hounsfield, NY.

Of the manufacturing firm of Jeffords & Whitney, at Mount Pleasant.

Mr. Whitney was 18 years old when the country was thrilled with the news of the rebellious assault upon Fort Sumter, and, with the multitudes of the young, ardent sons of the Republic, he donned the regulation blue and marched to the help of the endangered Union. He enlisted at Canadaigua, NY, 8 Nov 1861, as a private in the 18th Vol. Inf., of the Empire State, under Captain H. H. Frote. Among the battles in which Mr. Whitney was under fire were those at West Point, VA, Gaines' Mill, Savage Station, Charles City Cross-Roads, Malvern Hill, second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg (first and second) and in numberless smaller skirmishes common to the fate of war. He received honorable discharge May 28, 1863, at Albany, NY, and re-enlisted 10 Nov 1863, in Co. H, Capt. H. C. Thompson, 16th N. Y. Heavy Artillery, and received honorable discharge 21 Aug 1865, after the close of the war. He was in the engagements at Fort Pocahontas and at Fort Fisher. The only casualty he sustained was an insignificant injury in the head by a piece of shell, at Gaines' Mill.

On receiving his well-earned release from the service of his country, her returned to his native State, and in February, 1866, he came to Cambria, Hillsdale Co., Mich. In April, 1867, in company with five other individuals, he came to Saginaw in quest of a location. One of the party was his brother, William T. Whitney, and they made their way to the terminus of the railroad at St. John's. They walked thence to Mt. Pleasant, with which place they made first acquaintance 10 Apr 1867.

Mr. Whitney operated for a time as a carpenter, and later as a contractor and builder. In 1880 he superintended the construction of the Opera-House Block, and in 1881 he formed a partnership with George A. Lance, and the firm entered into a contract to erect the Union School building. Its construction occupied a year, and at its completion the firm terminated its business relations. The present partnership of Jeffords & Whitney was formed 25 Dec 1881, and has since been in successful operation. In 1883 they constructed 16 buildings at Mt. Pleasant, among them the Unitarian church. Mr. Jeffords was the proprietor of the Mt. Pleasant Novelty Works, and on combining their interests Mr. Whitney purchased a half interest in the property. It is utilized in the manufacture of doors, sash, etc. In the winter of 1883-4 they built the mill where they now operate. They employ about 30 assistants, do all kinds of building, furnish plans, specifications and detailed drawings. They manufacture sash, doors, blinds, rough and finished lumber and ornamental scroll work. They own four houses and lots, a blacksmith shop and three vacant lots. Their works include three lumber yards, situated respectively by their mill, on Wisconsin Street and on Main Street. They handle about 3,000,000 feet of lumber yearly, which they ship chiefly to Saginaw and Detroit.

A few months after Mr. Whitney located at Mt. Pleasant, he decided to change his condition in life, and made a marriage contract with Miss Dora E., daughter of George W. and Louisa Howk. Their marriage was celebrated 17 Nov 1867, in the Methodist Episcopal church at Mt. Pleasant, and was the first event of that nature within its walls. Mt. Pleasant had half a hundred inhabitants, and the privileges of the place were not of the latest and most approved metropolitan order. The only livery in town was a joint affair under the auspices of Moses Brown, who owned a horse, and David Morse, who was the possessor of a harness and a buckboard. With this equipment, Mr. Whitney set out to fulfill his pre-arranged program, and when less than two miles on his route to Salt River, where the bride's parents resided, he met a man on horseback, who contrived to collide with his turn-out and dislocate one of the hind wheels. He abandoned the vehicle and returned to Mt. Pleasant and borrowed another buckboard, with the aid of which he succeeded in accomplishing his matrimonial intentions. He was, at the time, the owner of $146. He paid the minister $5, bought a small elevated-oven cook-stove for $37, a barrel of flour for $24, and paid proportionately for other domestic fixtures. The period was not long after the war, and everything in the way of merchandise was high, and had to be transported from St. John's and Saginaw by teams. It should be remarked that the wedding livery of Mr. Whitney cost him $4.

Mr. Whitney is a prominent member of the Orders of Masonry and Odd-Fellows. In the former he is connected with the Royal Arch Chapter and the blue lodge at Mt. Pleasant, and in the latter fraternity he has passed all the chairs. He has also represented the local organization at the Grand Lodge four times. He is also a member of the Unitarian Church. He owns an attractive and valuable residence at Mt. Pleasant and 30 acres of land on section 3, Coe Township. Mrs. Whitney belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church.[3]

Children of Charles C. and Dora E. (Howk) Whitney:

i. George B. Whitney, b. 8 Feb 1869; m. ----- -----.
ii. Lulu Whitney, b. 17 Nov 1874; m. ----- Davis. Children:
a. Leonard Davis, b. -----.
iii. Charles Francis Whitney, b. 18 Mar 1873; d. Jul 1873.
iv. Mary L. Whitney, b. 14 Nov 1874.
v. Charles Frederick Whitney, b. 17 Aug 1879; "Fred C." d. 20 Jul 1932, Grand Rapids, MI;[4] m. 28 Nov 1907, Grand Rapids, MI, Lillian B. Pierce.[5]


105 105 B. Dunton 25 M - Farmer $2500 $550 New York Ellen " 24 F - " Ida " 9/12 F - " Chas. Whitney 17 M - Laborer "

73 73 Whitney, Charles 26 M W Carpenter $1000 $400 New York Male citizen over 21 -------, Dora E. 20 F W Keeping house New York -------, George B. 1 M W Michigan

175 185 Whitney, Charles C. W M 35 mar Builder N. York N. York N. York -------, Dora W F 30 Wife mar Keeping House N. York N. York N. York -------, George W M 11 Son sgl At School Michigan N. York N. York Attended school -------, Lulu W F 5 Dau sgl Michigan N. York N. York Attended school -------, Fred W M 9/12 Aug Son sgl Michigan N. York N. York

227 243 Whitney, Charles C. Private G 18 NY Inf 30 Nov 1861 28 May 1863 1y 6m 20d Mt. Pleasant, MI

222 231 Whitney, Dora E. Head W F Jul 1851 48 wid 4ch 3liv New York New York Vermont Owns free house -----, Fred C. Son W M Aug 1879 20 sgl Michigan New York New York Soldier Vol.

161 170 Whitney, Dora Head W F Feb 1854 46 wid 4ch 3liv New York New York Vermont Owns free house -----, Fred Son W M Aug 1880 19 sgl Michigan New York New York Soldier U.S.


1.^  1891 Isabella County Death Index: "134, 06/06/91, Charles C. Whitney, M/White, Married, 46y/11m/21d, Mt. Pleasant, Brights disease, New York, Carpenter; father Benjamin Whitney, of N.Y Dead; mother Caroline Whitney, of Shepherd, MI; recorded 07/01/92"

2.^  Portrait and Biographical Album of Isabella County, Mich., Containing Portraits and Biographical Sketches of ... Citizens ... Also Containing a Complete History of the County, from Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time (Chicago, IL: Chapman Brothers, 1884), pp. 503-504.

3.^  [ Obituary of Fred C. Whitney, 23 Jul 1932, State Journal, Mt. Pleasant, MI.

4.^  L.D.S. International Genealogical Index, Batch # M017358.

Copyright © 2009, 2010, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group