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Biographical History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa

William WHITNEY, one of the representative citizens of Center Township, Pottawattamie County, came to his present location in 1881. He as born in Ontario, March 25, 1836. His father, William E. Whitney, was born near Rochester, New York, the son of Jeremiah Whitney, a native of New England. The mother of our subject, nee Mary Scott, was born in Niagara County, New York, September 7, 1815. Her father, William Scott, was born in Connecticut, and her mother, Joanna (Crane) Scott, was a native of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Mrs. Scott was a daughter of Colonel Jacob Crane, an officer under Washington in the Revolutionary war. Mr. Whitney has in his possession a pewter pan, that was owned and used by Colonel Crane during the struggle for independence. It has been handed down to him by his ancestors, and is highly prized. Colonel Crane had a son-in-law, Crowell Wilson, a Captain in the British army, who received a grant of land in Ontario, where he settled and where others of the relatives also located. Colonel Crane also had a son-in-law in the American army.

Mr. Whitney lived in Ontario until thirteen years of age, when the family moved to Jackson County, Michigan, and later to Ingham County, same State. His father and mother had ten children, two of whom died in childhood. The names of those who reached adult age are Lucy A., William, Martha, F. S., Hannah E., Joanna C., D. A. and Sarah G. The father was a mechanic by trade. He was a minister of the Gospel in the Free-will Baptist Church, and was a zealous and faithful worker in the cause of his Master. He enlisted in the service of his country during the late war, and at the siege of Savannah lost a leg, having been shot through the knee. From the effects of the wound he died, in September, 1873, at the age of seventy-three years. His widow now receives a pension.

The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm and educated in the public schools of St. Thomas, Ontario, Jackson and Ingham counties, Michigan. When a young man he went to Whiteside County, Illinois, where in 1862, he entered the service of his country, enlisting in Company B, Seventy-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He participated in the battles of Perryville, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Marietta, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, Georgia, Franklin, and Nashville, Tennessee, and many other battles and skirmishes. After a service of three years he was honorably discharged at Camp Harper, Tennessee. He then returned to Illinois and settled in Bureau County, where he lived until 1867. In that year he moved to Franklin County, Iowa. After a residence of six years there he went to Cass County, same State; in 1881, he came to Pottawattamie County. Here he bought eighty acres of wild prairie land, on which he has since made many improvements. He has a good house and barn and suitable buildings for grain and stock, and a fine orchard and grove. In fact, everything about the place indicates the push and enterprise of the owner. Mr. Whitney has a good graded stock of cattle, horses and hogs.

In Whiteside County, Illinois, October 3, 1858, Mr. Whitney wedded Miss Elizabeth C. Berry, a native of Darke Connty, Ohio, and a lady of intelligence and refinement. Her parents were Joseph and Jane (Harbison) Berry, the former a native of New Jersey and the latter of Ohio. They subsequently removed to Bureau County, Illinois, where the father died, November 5, 1876 at the age of sixty-three years. The mother returned to Darke County and died there, in 1883, at the age of sixty-five years. Mr. and Mrs. Whitney have three children: Ada L., Mary A., a successful teacher of Center Township, and William B.

Politically our subject affiliates with the Republican party. He is a member of Robert Provard Post, No. 414, of Carson, and has served as chaplain of the post. He and his wife and two daughters are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Spring Creek. He has served as class-leader and also as superintendent of the Sunday-school. Mr. Whitney takes an active interest in both religious and educational matters. He is one of the esteemed citizens of the township.

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