Family:Whitney, Felix Grundy (1818-1887)

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Hon. Felix Grundy8 Whitney (Martin7, James6, Benjamin5, James4, John3, Jonathan2, John1), son of Martin7 and Nancy (Orne) Whitney, was born 9 Dec 1818, North Attleborough, MA, and died 7 or 16 Nov 1887, North Attleborough, MA, aged 69 years, of Bright's disease.[1]

He married, 5 Oct 1848, Attleborough, MA, Catherine J. Briggs, daughter of Rufus and Nancy (-----) Briggs.[2] She was born 26 Jun 1827, Smithfield, RI, and died 23 Jun 1886, Cottage City, MA, aged 59 years, of paralysis of heart.[3]

Mr. Whitney spent his boyhood in his native village. He enjoyed the advantages of attendance on its public schools with a supplementary course in the then famous Day's academy at Wrentham. He early showed a spirit of enterprise that distinguished him through life. When about 15 he left the parental roof and entered a wholesale grocery store on Bromfield street, Boston. He succeeded well, but his career as a grocer closed suddenly, and in this wise. Young Whitney had a friend who was going away on a voyage and he improved one evening by going down to the wharf to see him off. He returned a little late to the house of his employer, where, after the manner of those days, he made his home. The old gentleman could not brook such a grave offense in the youth and recommended that he report at North Attleborough. But instead the spirited apprentice loaded his trunk into a wheelbarrow, and started for the wharf. For ten years Mr. Whitney followed the sea. He went on several long voyages and experienced his share of the vicissitudes of a sailor's life. On one hapless Wednesday his ship was burned to the water's edge and he was picked up next day by a vessel which was itself wrecked the following Saturday. Mr. Whitney in his second shipwreck made safe landing on an island, and the first vessel that touched refused him passage, because his story of two shipwrecks in four days was too improbable even for ears accustomed to the varied fact and fiction of the sea. He succeeded better the next time, and after a rough passage, during which the ship came near going ashore on Cape Hatteras, he arrived safely in Boston. Several of his voyages were in company with the late Capt. Abraham Hayward. His career as a sailor ended as unexpectedly as it had begun. He had shipped as first mate under a Capt. Chace, for a long voyage, and went to the old homestead in N. Attleboro[ugh], to await the summons of his captain. Days passed and no news came. Finally it was discovered that the latter had been detained ten days at E. Attleboro[ugh], and the ship had sailed without first mate Whitney. This incident, enforced by the entreaties of his friends that he would leave the ocean, and possibly by considerations not unconnected with his speedy and happy marriage, wooed him from the sea. One of his first enterprises, and one that his landsman neighbors discouraged, was the opening of Orne street, the first street opened off the main thoroughfare of Washington street. It was named af Mr. Whitney's mother. He worked a while for his brother George, then for H. M. Richards, the prosperous jeweler. In Sep 1849, he started for himself. He sold his business to his sons, George B. and E. F. Whitney, who have retained the old firm name unchanged. In his business as jeweler, Mr. Whitney was distinguished for his advanced ideas in regard to methods and his ingenuity in designs. He was one of the exhibitors at the Paris exposition, and opened an office in London soon after, keeping it open until about two years ago. He crossed the ocean many times in the interests of his large export trade and on his last visit in 1882, noted with interest the same London pier where he had tied his ship forty years before! A progressive man, Mr. Whitney was active in all public affairs. He was interested in starting the North Attleboro[ugh] library, and served in many district offices and town committees. In politics he was a life-long Democrat, and in 1874 represented, largely by the assistance of Republican votes, the first Bristol representative district in the general court. He was once director of the North Attleborough National Bank and of the Attleborough Branch railroad. Mr. Whitney married Catharine J. Briggs, daughter of Rufus Briggs and sister of William Briggs of Attleboro[ugh] and Mrs. Walter Ballou of North Attleborough. They had sons of whom all save two died in childhood. Their married life was singularly happy. Then only did the vicissitudes, the labor, the reverses of years demand reprisals of his vigorous constitution and had their claims allowed. Age seems, in a measure, to rob success of its intoxication, failure of its pangs, honor of its allurements, and to reduce life to Longfellow's simple creed, "To live for those that love us." And when his lifelong companion was taken, Mr. Whitney expressed a willingness to follow. He resided North Attleborough, MA.

Children of Felix Grundy8 and Catherine G. (Briggs) Whitney:

i. (son)9 Whitney, b. 30 Sep 1848, Attleborough, MA.[4]
ii. (son) Whitney, stillborn 10 Sep 1849, Attleborough, MA.[5]
iii. Henry F. Whitney, b. 11 Jun 1851, Attleborough, MA;[6] d. 21 May 1853, Attleborough, MA, aged 1 year 11 months 10 days, of congestion of lungs.[7]
iv. George Barbour Whitney, b. 6 Nov 1852, Attleborough, MA.[8] m.(1) Annie L. Norton; m.(2) Mary L. Bickford.
v. Frank Rounds Whitney, b. 1 Feb 1854, Attleborough, MA;[9] d. 13 Oct 1856, Attleborough, MA, 1 year 8 months 12 days, of consumption.[10]
vi. Edwin Felix Whitney, b. 8 Sep 1856, Attleborough, MA;[11] m. Annie A. Davenport.
vii. William Orne Whitney, b. 16 Jan 1862, Attleborough, MA;[12] d. 27 Sep 1871, Attleborough, MA, aged 10 years, of erysipelas.[13]

Census

534 710 Felix G. Whitney 31 M - Jeweller Massachusetts Catharine 22 F - Rhode Island Minerva 18 F - " 711 Herbert M. Draper 49 M - Jeweller $7000 Massachusetts Mary P. " 29 M - Rhode Island Samuel H. " 4 M - Massachusetts Isaac Congdon 32 M - Jeweller Rhode Island Dwight H. Clark 28 M - Clerk Connecticut Edwin F. Jones 24 M - Carpenter Massachusetts

170 205 Felix G. Whitney 36 M - Jeweler Mass. Catharine Whitney 27 F - R.I. George B. Whitney 2 M - Mass. Frank R. Whitney 5m M - " Charles Kingman 49 M - Laborer Mass. Margaret Kingman 37 F - "

815 1004 Philip G. Whitney 41 M - Jewelry Manufact $3000 $9000 Massachusetts Catherine J. " 33 F - R. Island George B. " 7 M - Massachusetts Attended school Edwin F. " 3 M - " 1005 William B. Franklin 51 M - Laborer $1000 $250 R. Island Susan M. " 49 F - Massachusetts Benjamin " 22 M - Jewelry Salesman " Adelaide C. " 20 F - " Elton J. " 13 M - " Attended school Henrietta " 9 F - " Attended school

130 163 Felix C. Whitney 46 M - Mass. M Manufacturer - - 1 1 - Catharine J. Whitney 36 F - Mass. M Wife - - - - - George B. Whitney 12 M - Mass. S - - - - - Edwin F. Whitney 8 M - Mass. S - - - - - William Whitney 3 M - Mass. S - - - - -

363 425 Whitney, Felix G. 51 M W Manufac. Jewelry $10000 $10000 Mass. Male citizen over 21 -----, Catherine 42 F W Keeping House Rhode Island -----, George B. 17 M W Attend School Mass. Attended school -----, Edwin F. 13 M W Attend School Mass. Attended school -----, William O. 8 M W Attend School Mass. Attended school

Felix G. WHITNEY 62 Self M M W MA Jewelry Manufacturer MA MA Catherine WHITNEY 51 Wife F M W RI Keeping House MA MA George B. WHITNEY 27 Son M M W MA Jewelry Manufacturer MA RI Anna WHITNEY 25 DauL F M W MA At Home MA MA Edwin F. WHITNEY 23 Son M S W MA Jewelry Manufacturer MA RI Emma HINTON 20 Oth F S W NY Servant ENG ENG

References

1.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 382, page 152.

2.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 37, page 67.

3.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 373, page 166.

4.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 34, page 105.

5.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 39, page 79.

6.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 51, page 67.

7.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 75, page 54.

8.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 65, page 50.

9.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 90, page 69.

10.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 102, page 59.

11.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 96, page 79.

12.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 150, page 85.

13.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 238, page 68.


Copyright © 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.

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