Family:Whitney, Howard Erwin (1900-1974)

From WRG
Jump to navigationJump to search

Howard Erwin Whitney (John Howard, John Leroy, Jacob M., James), son of John Howard and Bertha Lydia (Wheat) Whitney, was born 8 Feb 1900, Treadwell, Delaware Co., NY, and died 13 May 1974, Federal Way, King Co., WA. He was buried Ouleout Valley Cemetery, Franklin, Delaware Co., NY.

He married, 2 Oct 1926, Lansdowne, PA, Lydia Elizabeth Rogers, daughter of Floyd and Rachel (Cosner) Rogers. She was born 4 Aug 1895, Eder, Cecil Co., MD, and died 25 Oct 1959, Montrose, Susquehanna Co., PA. She had served as an Army Nurse in World War I.

Mr. Whitney attended school in Treadwell and Albany, NY, graduating at age 15. He then enrolled at New York State College for Teachers (early predecessor of State University of New York). After completing three years, in 1918 he enrolled at Cornell University. During his four years there, he was a member of the Cornell Crew and the Glee Club, and he won the German (language) Medal for two consecutive years. He earned a degree in Civil Engineering in 1922. The following year he taught in the department, before undertaking work at three hydroelectric dams on the lower Susquehanna River.

These great projects, under the aegis of Consolidated Gas Electric Light & Power Co. of Baltimore and Pennsylvania Water & Power Co., were completed ahead of schedule. The first was at Conowingo, MD; the second, Holtwood, PA; and the third, Safe Harbor, PA, completed in 1931. Mr. Whitney was the engineer in charge of construction at Safe Harbor. He and his family lived in the charming village constructed for key personnel. In 1935, however, the family moved to the nearby city of Lancaster, PA. From 1937 to 1939 the Whitneys resided at the former estate of Milton S. Hershey, founder of the chocolate company, and the children attended nearby Mulberry Street School.

In late 1940, Mr. Whitney moved his family to a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania: Montrose, Susquehanna Co. He worked for Ansco Corp., Binghamton, NY, for a decade, then Dravo Corp., Pittsburgh, PA, for several years. During that time he worked at power plant projects in Ashland, KY, and Norristown, PA. By 1955 health problems emerged that caused Mr. Whitney to leave active work, although he provided consultation services from time to time.

After his wife died in 1959 he went to live with his older daughter in Long Island, NY, and later to the Seattle area, where, in 1974, Mr. Whitney died from bronchi-pneumonia. He was buried next to the grave of his wife at Ouleout Vallery Cemetery, Franklin, NY.

Children of Howard Erwin and Lydia Elizabeth (Rogers) Whitney:

i. (daughter) Whitney.
ii. (daughter) Whitney.
iii. John Rogers Whitney, b. 8 Feb 1931, Baltimore, MD; m. 1958, Jane (Salzman) McConnel; d. 10 Oct 2009, Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz Co., CA.
iv. William Whitney, b. 1932, d. same day 1932, Lancaster, Lancaster Co., PA.
v. Thomas Howard Whitney (adopted), b. 29 Oct 1932, Lancaster, PA; m. 1953 Alice Freeman; d. 2 Aug 2009, Reseda, Los Angeles Co., CA.


  • 1900, Franklin, Delware Co., NY, in parents' family, aged 3 months.
  • 1910, 92 Willett St., Albany Ward 16, Albany Co., NY, in parents' family, aged 10 years.
  • 1915 New York State Census, 18, Albany Co., NY, in parents' family, aged 15 years.
  • 1920, 360 Quail St., Albany Ward 18, Albany Co., NY, in parents' family, aged 20 years.
  • 1925 New York State Census, 43 Terrace Ave., Albany Ward 13, Albany Co., NY, in parents' family, aged 25 years.


1. Birth Certificate, Dept. of Health, State of New York, District No. 1256.

2. World War I Draft Registration, 1918, Howard Erwin Whitney, 360 Quail St., Albany, NY, Registration Card, Serial No. 3025.

3. Marriage announcement, "Cornell Alumni News," Vol. XXIX, No. 7, Nov. 11, 1926.

4. Safe Harbor Dam, TIME Magazine, Monday, Dec. 21, 1931.

5. Death Certificate, Dept. of Health, Vital Statistics Section, Seattle-King County, WA, local file no. 3630.

Copyright 2013, Sally Whitney Goodfellow, and the Whitney Research Group.