Family:Whitney, Orson Ferguson (1855-1931)

From WRG
Jump to navigationJump to search

Bishop Orson Ferguson10 Whitney (Horace Kimball9, Newel Kimball8, Samuel7, Samuel6, Samuel5, Nathaniel4, Nathaniel3, John2, John1), son of Horace Kimball9 and Helen Mar (Kimball) Whitney, was born 1 Jul 1855, Salt Lake City, UT Terr., and died 16 May 1931, Salt Lake City, UT.

He married firstly, 18 Dec 1879, Zina Beal Smoot, daughter of Abraham Owen and Emily (Hill) Smoot. She was born 20 Feb 1859, Salt Lake City, UT Terr., and died 20 May 1900, Salt Lake City, UT.

He married secondly, 24 July 1888, Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico, Mary Minerva Wells, daughter of Daniel Hanmer and Lydia Ann (Alley) Wells. She was born 10 Dec 1854, Salt Lake City, UT Terr., and died 25 Jan 1935, Salt Lake City, UT.

Orson Ferguson Whitney, preacher, poet and historian, is the fifth child and third son of Horace Kimball and Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, and was born in Salt Lake City, UT, 1 Jul 1855. His childhood and early youth were passed in an uneventful manner, and up to his 15th year he had acquired merely the customary common school education given most boys in the larger cities of the far west at that time. College graduations were almost unknown, and though the subject of this sketch passed with credit through the Deseret university, the main institution of learning in the territory, it was with no greater marks of distinction than attended most of the others of his schoolmates. He spent some time, as a lad of 13, working on the construction of the Union Pacific railway, and for some years earned a livelihood and aided his parents by laboring as a teamster, a clerk and a traveler for a mercantile house. It was not till 1874, at the age of 19 that the mind of young Whitney turned toward those more elevated channels which were to lead him to a definite profession, that of literature, and cause his name to be enrolled among the foremost writers and thinkers of the west. With others of a literary and dramatic turn of mind, he established the Wasatch Literary Association, which gathered to itself the choice spirits of the city for several years, and remained, even after Whitney had retired from it, a nursery and training school of literature, music and the drama. Young Whitney's predilections first lay in the direction of music and the drama, tastes no doubt imbibed from his father. In the university, as a boy, he had been known as the first declaimer in the school. He decided in adopting a dramatic career, and at the age of 21 was about to set out for the east in pursuance of this design when he received a call from the church to which he belonged (Latter Day Saints) to fill a mission in the coal regions of Pennsylvania. He obeyed the call and spent about a year and a half laboring as a missionary in that state and in Ohio, during which he wrote a series of letters to the Salt Lake Herald under the nom de plume of Iago, which attracted considerable attention. Returning home his eloquent sermons brought him into notice and he was appointed a bishop in the church. He also accepted a position on the staff of The Deseret News, where he remained for several years. In Feb 1880, he was elected a member of the city council by the Peoples party and served till the fall of 1881, when he left for Europe to fill a second mission. He remained abroad 21 months, during which time he edited the organ of his church in Europe, the Millenial Star, published at Liverpool. He visited the main cities of Great Britain and the continent and accumulated a large store of information to be used in his writings at a later period. Returning home in the summer of 1883, he resumed his position on the staff of the News, which he left a year later to accept the office of treasurer of Salt Lake City. He acted in this capacity until Feb 1890, when the defeat of his party handed the city over to Liberal control. He was twice chosen as chancellor of the Deseret university by the territorial legislature. He published a volume of his poetical writings, which attracted widespread attention, in Dec 1890, and is now engaged in a history of Utah, which will be published in three volumes, and the appearance of which is looked for with the keenest interest by all classes of citizens. He was married 18 Dec 1879, to Miss Zina B. Smoot, of Provo, and resides at present in Salt Lake City.

Children of Orson Ferguson10 and Zina Beal (Smoot) Whitney:

i. Horace Newell11 Whitney, b. 27 Oct 1880, Salt Lake City, UT Terr.
ii. Heber Kimball Whitney, b. 3 Jun 1882, Salt Lake City, UT Terr.; d. 20 Apr 1883, Salt Lake City, UT Terr.
iii. Emily Whitney, b. 29 Jan 1885, Salt Lake City, UT Terr.
iv. Helen Mar Whitney, b. 1 Aug 1887, Salt Lake City, UT Terr.
v. Margaret Whitney, b. 24 Aug 1889, Salt Lake City, UT Terr.
vi. Charles Byron Whitney, b. 3 Jul 1891, Salt Lake City, UT Terr.
vii. Albert Owen Whitney, b. 15 Sep 1893, Salt Lake City, UT Terr.
viii. Paul Van Cott Whitney, b. 24 Apr 1899 (twin), Salt Lake City, UT Terr.
ix. Virginia Clayton Whitney, b. 24 Apr 1899 (twin), Salt Lake City, UT Terr.

Children of Orson Ferguson10 and Mary Minerva (Wells) Whitney:

x. Murray Wells11 Whitney, b. 10 May 1892, Salt Lake City, UT Terr.
xi. Wendell Webb Whitney, b. 4 Nov 1895, Salt Lake City, UT Terr.


Orson F. WHITNEY 24 Self M M W UT Local Editor Of Newspaper OH VT Zina S. WHITNEY 21 Wife F M W UT Keeping House KY SC


Copyright © 2006, 2009, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group