Family Talk:Whitney, Charles Francis (1866-1931)
The following will probably be added directly in the future; also uploaded copy of diary pages.
Charles Francis Whitney is the first well known of this Whitney clan. He was the son of Charles Mayo Whitney, who was born about 1832-33 in Massachusetts. Records found to date show his father as a lawyer in Troy, NY and married to Laura Acenith, last name unknown, from VT. They moved to St. Louis, MO where his father was lawyer/editor, and Charles F. was born in 1870. The family moved to British Columbia, Canada, perhaps about 1890. His father started a newspaper called the Courtenay Weekly News in November, 1892. It became the Cumberland News later. Charles F. was the first postmaster in Courtenay, in 1893. Charles' mother died in 1893 at the Asylum for the Insane, in BC. His father, Mayo, moved to Vancouver in 1898 and died there in 1900. Charles F. left Vancouver about 1897 and became a sailor, traveling to Australia. Based on his diary, he traveled via the SS Aberdeen to Melbourne, Australia, stayed in the Bethel Shipworks, joined the Lucile of Freeport, Maine, and worked the run from Melbourne to New Castle, a three day sail for 2 pound, 10 shilling. He stayed at the Caledonia Hotel for 18 shillings/week including board. He joined the 1580 ton ship Phasis captained by Thomas Flemming. He left New Castle for Surabaya, Java on June 18, 1897. They went through the Torres Straits June 29, by Maderia Island July 16, then lay on the bar for 8 days. They entered the Java Sea Aug. 19, crossing the line (equator?) about Aug. 26, arriving in the China Sea Aug.27th. They passed the last island on the Borneo coast Aug.29th. On Sept. 2 the ship wrecked at 2245 on the St. Royal Georges reef in the South China Sea. The 27 souls left ship in three boats and sailed ESE for the Ambering coast of Borneo. They were all rescued by Capt. Grant of the steamer Libelle of London and taken to Kudat, then Sandaken, the capital, where they picked up lumber, and then to Kadat and Labuan which is 1/3 owned by NCBY Co. The steamer was owned by New Central Borneo Co. "There is a beautiful drive along the beach studded with orange trees and coconuts. Fine residences line the road for miles." They left Labuan sailing 14 days to Singapore and the ship-wrecked sailors home. He obtained passage to London on Alfred Hoults-Blue Funnel-Pratisclus, then to New York, arriving Dec.13,1897. After returning to Massachusetts, he married Mary E. Clark and settled in Somerville, MA. His son, Charles O. was born there. Later they moved to Worcester where his uncle Alonzo lived. He was a Railroad Brakeman and then a traveling salesman for the Better Brush Company. The family moved to Florida, via Philadelphia and Ocala in 1925, camping along the way. He worked as a laborer at a concrete block company with his son for a while. He died in Miami in 1935. Strangely, like his mother, his wife Mary spent the last years of her life in a State mental illness home in Chattahoochee, FL before her death in 1945.