Family:Whitney, Joel Emmons (1822-a1880)

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Joel Emmons7 Whitney (Joel6, Micha5, Abel4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1), son of Joel6 and Sally (Dyer) Whitney, was born 18 May 1822, Phillips, ME,[1] and died 20 Jan 1886, St. Paul, MN.

He married, 6 Oct 1865, Elsie Parish Ayer, daughter of Thomas Burnham and Sybil (Chase) Ayer. She was born 20 Jan 1832, Unity, ME, and died 30 Jul 1876, St. Paul, MN.

Both Joel and Elsie are buried in the Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul.

He was born in Phillips, ME, was a merchant miller. He resided in Plymouth, ME, from 1838 to 1850, and at Saint Paul, MN, until 1871; then moved to Atlanta, GA. In 1873 he moved to Chattanooga, TN, where he now resides; resided Chattanooga, TN.

"Joel E. Whitney is Minnesota’s premier pioneer photographer. Trained in the art of “capturing mirror likenesses” during the earliest days of photography, Whitney operated, first as a daguerreian and subsequently a wet plate photographer, in St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1850-1871. He is nationally recognized as one of America’s foremost pioneer photographic artists."

From the Kennebec County Probate Records, Volume 1:

Guardianship of Samuel W. Whitney age 13 and Jo Ella Whitney age 8, children of Joel E. Whitney of West Waterville dated June 1881. It seems the children acquired some money--source not disclosed--that required they have a guardian per a letter from an attorney that requests the certificate of guardianship be sent. A handwritten note on margin says "put the thing through as soon as you can. Would like to have it done by at least Monday, if there is no objection. I know of none." There is no mention of a mother.

Children of Joel Emmons7 and Elsie (Ayer) Whitney:

i. Mabel8 Whitney, b. 1866; buried 12 Aug 1866, Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul, MN.
ii. Samuel Willey Whitney, b. 13 Oct 1867. Listed as W. Sam Whitney in 1880.
iii. Wallace Whitney, b. ca. 1871, MN.
iv. JoElla Whitney (called Joe Leibbie Whitney by F.C. Pierce), b. 12 Jan 1873, GA; d. 6 Mar 1953, Ramsey Co., MN; m. Samuel J. Joy, b. ca. 1873, NH, d. 22 May 1934, Ramsey Co., MN. They had one child, Elsie Joy, b. ca. 1908 in MN.


799 710 Wm. Gale 50 M - Fruit Dealer $200 England Harriet " 48 F - do Hester " 19 F - do Wm. C. " 11 M - Mich. Francis H. " 4 M - do 711 J. E. Whitney 38 M - Photographer $25000 $1000 Maine Andrew Falkenshield 30 M - Artist $1000 $500 Denmark

567 642 Whitney, J. E. 48 M W Photographer $20000 $5000 Maine Male citizen over 21 Elsie 38 F W Keeping House " Samuel 2 M W Minnesota Ager, Ellen B. 30 F W At Home Maine Whitney, Fred 14 M W " School " Attended school Oleson, Anna 20 F W Domestic Servt. Sweden Parents foreign born Swanson, Carry 15 F W " " " Parents foreign born Wallas, F. J. 50 M W Germany Parents foreign born

E. Joel WHITNEY 58 Self M W W ME Gardener ME ME W. Sam WHITNEY 12 Son M S W MN At School ME ME Ella Joe WHITNEY 7 Son M S W GA At School ME ME Wallace WHITNEY 9 Son M S W MN At School ME ME


  • Joel E. Whitney: Minnesota's Leading Pioneer Photographer—Catalog of Cartes De Viste Native American and Landscape (St Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Photo Collectors Group, 2001).

1.^  "18 May 1822 Joel Emmon, s. Joel Whitney and Sally [born]," according to Phillips, Maine, Vital Records.

Copyright © 2006-2008, 2010, 2011, Robert L. Ward, Kenneth L. Whitney, and the Whitney Research Group.