Family:Whitney, James Watkins (1803-1882)
He married, 10 Jun 1828, Vermillion, Ohio, Betsey Harper. She was born 17 Mar 1806.
She resided Kingston, IL, with daughter Mary.
Yates county, town of Italy, NY, on the 21st of June, 1803, witnessed the birth of James Watkins Whitney, the son of Fisher Whitney and Patty Watkins, his wife. The boy James was early doomed to orphanage, for in March, 1805, the father, after an illness of three days, died, leaving James not yet two years, and Patty, his sister, not yet five years old. Yates county is mountainous, rocky and sterile, and just how its people, in those early days, wrought a livelihood is something of a mystery. But to him who hath patience and industry nothing is denied. There was, however, another requisite to insure success, in that forbidding land, viz., much hard labor. And in after years James W. Whitney often told his sons that he never remembered a time when he did not have to work. Those Yates county hillsides must be cleared of the forests, and the valleys must be made fruitful. James therefore found, as he grew up, more than enough to do; and many days that ought to have been passed in the school house saw him, ax in hand, on the hill side. By and by his mother married a Mr. William Lee; but still the opportunities for school were limited. We find him therefore at twenty-one accomplished about as farmers' boys of that period, viz., reading, writing, spelling and arithmetic. With his majority he struck for newer and more prosperous fields and settled in Berlin, Erie county, Ohio. Here, after some further years of hard toil, he saved enough to purchase a farm, and then began in real earnest the battle of life. But a piece of good fortune was just here awaiting him, for by accident, Miss Betsey Harper, a young and sprightly school teacher, a relative of the celebrated Harper Brothers, publishers of New York, crossed his path, and forthwith young Whitney found that he had met his fate. In June, 1828, he married Miss Harper and took her to his farm, about one mile north of Berlin Heights. Here was his home for six years, when he sold out and bought again some four miles father south, where he remained until May, 1848, when he removed to Kingston, DeKalb county, IL. His farm in Kingston was one of the most beautiful in the state; but in those early days times were hard, and the farmers often hauled their wheat 60 miles to Chicago and sold it a 50 cents per bushel. There is not much to be said usually about the daily round of a farmer's life. The crops are planted in the spring and garnered in the fall. The seasons come and go, the children grow up and marry and make homes of their own. In this family there were eight children -three sons and five daughters. But when the war of 1861 broke upon the country, these three boys all went into the army, and the father would have gone, too, but the government refused to accept him. Meanwhile one of his daughters (Eliza) had married and settled at Quasqueton, Buchanan county, IA, and on a visit to her in 1870 he was so favorably impressed with the place that he sold his Kingston farm to his son Samuel, and settled in Quasqueton. His life here was quiet and uneventful, and on 24 Jul 1882, after an illness of three days he died and is there buried. He was not a rich man, neither was he a poor man. He died leaving a competency to his widow, and a name respected by all who knew him. He died 24 Jul 1882, in Iowa; resided Berlin, OH, and Kingston, IL.
Children of James Watkins6 and Betsey (Harper) Whitney:
i. Esther A.7 Whitney, b. 12 Aug 1830, OH; m.(1) before 1850, John H. Read; m.(2) James B. Bell; resided Kingston. ii. Martha J. Whitney, b. 6 Jul 1832, OH; m. 1 Jan 1851, George W. Bishop, b. 8 Jan 1824; resided Chicago, IL. He was b. 8 Jan 1824; d. 14 Feb 1888. Children: a. William W. Bishop, b. 20 Oct 1851; d. 28 Aug 1852. b. Ida J. Bishop, b. 27 Apr 1853; m. Herbert C. Dexter; resided 442 37th St., Chicago, IL. c. Charles W. Bishop, b. 26 Nov 1854; m. Minnie Moak; resided Tinley Park, IL. d. Frank H. Bishop, b. 24 Sep 1856; m. Paulina Rauscher; resided 4240 Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL. e. George E. Bishop, b. 23 Nov 1858; d. 17 Feb 1887. iii. Lorenzo Henry Whitney, b. 12 Sep 1834, OH; m.(1) Rebecca Foster; m.(2) Hellen M. -----; m.(3) Mary Munson; m.(4) Maggie Ritzel. iv. Samuel D. Whitney, b. 26 Oct 1836, OH; m. Harriett Vail. v. Eliza S. Whitney, b. 5 Jan 1838, OH; m. 30 Aug 1857, DeKalb Co., IL, Sardis L. Adams; resided Franklin, NE. vi. William Harrison Whitney, b. 24 Oct 1840, OH; m. Marcy Hamer. vii. Nancy C. Whitney, b. 19 Jan 1843, Berlin, OH; m. between 1860 and 1870, J. Lampson; resided 911 Rock St., Rockford. viii. Mary Whitney, b. 21 Apr 1846, OH; m. 27 Mar 1877, Buchanan Co., IA, Dr. Henry W. Dockham; resided s.p. Kingston.
- 1830, Vermillion, Huron Co., OH: James Whitney, 1 male 20-29 and 1 female 20-29.
- 1840, Berlin, Erie Co., OH: James Whitney, 1 male 30-39, 1 male 15-19, 1 male 10-14, 2 males 5-9, 1 male 0-4, 1 female 30-39, 1 female 15-19, 1 female 10-14, 1 female 5-9, and 1 female 0-4; 1 engaged in agriculture.
- 1850, Kingston, DeKalb Co., IL:
99 101 James Whitney 46 M - Farmer $1400 N.Y. Betsey " 44 F - " Martha " 17 F - " Lorenzo " 15 M - Ohio Attended school Lemuel " 13 M - " Attended school Eliza " 11 F - " Attended school Harrison " 9 M - " Attended school Nancy " 6 F - " Attended school Mary " 4 F - "
672 54 James W. Whitney 56 M - Farmer 3880 500 N.Y. Betsey Do 54 F - Housekeeper Do Harrison Do 20 M - Farm Laborer Ohio Nancy Do 16 F - Hanse Laborer Do Attended school Mary Do 14 F - Do Attended school
148 145 Whitney, James W. 67 M W Farmer N.Y. Male citizen over 21 -----, Betsy 64 F W Keeping house " Hubbard, Lovina 17 F W Domestic Serv't Wis.
164 166 Adams, Sardis 39 M W Farmer $800 $600 New York Male citizen over 21 -----, Eliza 30 F W Keeping House Ohio -----, Florance 11 F W Illinois Attended school -----, Ada 7 F W Illinois Attended school Whitney, Mary 22 F W Teaching School $150 Ohio
Mary was living with her sister Eliza and family.
J. W. WHITNEY 77 Self M M W NEW YORK Retired Farmer NEW YORK NEW YORK Betsey WHITNEY 78 Wife F M W NEW YORK Keeping House NEW YORK MASS
- All data imported from Frederick Clifton Pierce, The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, (Chicago: 1895), pp. 241-242.