Family:Whitney, John Ray (1846-1916)

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John Ray Whitney, parentage unknown, was born 6 Apr 1846, Arcadia, NY, and died 1916, Muscatine, IA. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Muscatine, IA.[1]

He married firstly, 6 May 1877, Zilwaukee, MI, Etta May Mayors.[2] She was born about 1857, PA.

He married secondly, about 1890, Helen M. O'Rourke, daughter of Patrick Francis and Mary (Sheehan) O'Rourke. She was born 10 May 1852, Mohawk, NY, and died 6 Apr 1904, Muscatine, IA. She was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Muscatine, IA.[3]

He was a Sergeant in Co. D, 12th New York Cavalry, in the Civil War.

His obituary:

"Was a Civil War Veteran, Having Served With the New York Volunteers
"John R. Whitney, aged 69, passed away at 1:10 o'clock this afternoon at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Philip Schweitzer, 1009 East Seventh street. His death was due partially to a severe attack of grippe, and partially due to a stroke of paralysis, which he suffered three years ago. Mr. Whitney was a civil war veteran, having served throughout the bitter conflict with the New York Volunteers. He also was affiiliated with the local masonic lodge. John R. Whitney was born in Arcadia, N. Y., April 6, 1846. His early life was spent there until his enlistment in the army for service in the civil war. The was over, he removed to Wisconsin where he was employed as a saw filer in several large saw mills, until about 16 years ago, when he removed to Muscatine, and during the saw mill days here, he held a similar position with the Kaiser Lumber Co. Later he removed to South Muscatine. The lumber company having ceased locally, he retired, moving to Chicago about eight years ago. Two years and a half ago he returned to Muscatine, taking up residence with his daughter, Mrs. Philip Schweitzer, at the home of whom he spent his declining years. Four daughters and one son survive him, his wife having preceded him in death twelve years ago. The daughters are; Mrs. Millie Sargent, of Indianapolis, Ind.; Mrs. Carl Hess, of Jackson, Mich.; Mrs. W. Weaver and Mrs. Philip Schweitzer, both of this city. The son is Bert Whitney, of Chicago. No funeral arrangements have been made as yet."

Her obituary:

"Prominent Lodge Woman Succumbs From Disease
"Mrs. Helen Whitney died at her home on East Tenth street this morning after an illness of but a week's duration, the cause of her death being pneumonia and la grippe. The time of the funeral has not yet been set as the relatives are waiting advice from the east. Deceased was born at Mohawk, Herkimer county, New York, and at the time of her death had reached the age of 48 years. She removed to this city five years ago from Saginaw, Michigan, and has since that time made her home here. She is survived by her husband, Mesdames Henry Kaiser, Edward Whitman, Bert Whitney, and Miss Ethel Whitney, all of this city. She was prominent in lodge work in this city being a member of the Columbian Circle and Past Commander of the G. A. R. Circle. She was an earnest Christian woman and her going will be keenly felt by her family and friends."

Children of John Ray and Etta May (Mayors) Whitney:

i. Inez B. Whitney, b. ca. 1878, MI; m. 5 Jul 1901, Chicago, IL, Walter Weaver; res. Jackson, MI, in 1916.
ii. Etta Whitney, b. 17 Jun 1879, Saginaw, MI.
iii. Mabel Whitney, b. ca. 1882, MI; m. bef. 1940, George J. Phillips, of Miami, FL.

Children of John Ray and Helen M. (O'Rourke) Whitney:

iv. Ethel Rae Whitney, b. 20 Jul 1890, Saginaw, MI; d. 6 Dec 1966, Columbus Junction, IA; bur. Greenwood Cemetery, Muscatine, IA;[4] m. Sep 1907, Philip Schweitzer (1883-1929); res. Muscatine, IA.
v. Bert A. Whitney, b. Jul 1892, Saginaw, MI; d. Apr 1964, Volusia Co., FL; res. Chicago, IL; m.(1) 24 Jan 1913, Chicago, IL, Pauline Brozas, d. aft. 1920; m.(2) bef. 1930, Laura J. -----.
vi. Mildred Whitney, b. say 1894; m. bef. 1916, R. L. Sargent; res. Jackson, MI, in 1903, and Indianapolis, IN, in 1916.
vii. (daughter) Whitney, b. ...; m. bef. 1916, Carl Hess; res. Muscatine, IA.
vi. (daughter) Whitney, b. ...; m. bef. 1904, Henry Kaiser; res. Muscatine, IA.
vii. (daughter) Whitney, b. ...; m. bef. 1904, Edward Whitman; res. Muscatine, IA.


Not all of these daughters are distinct, since there were only four by his second wife. Some of them must have married twice.


103 110 Furgason, H. W. 36 M W Works in mill $800 -- New York Male citizen over 21 -----, Martha 31 F W Keeps House " -----, Frank 10 M W At school " Attended school Whitney, John R. 24 M W Works in saw mill New York Male citizen over 21

John WHITNEY 36 Self M S W N Y Works In Saw Mill N Y N Y Ada WHITNEY 23 Wife F M W PA Keeps House PA PA Ines WHITNEY 2 Dau F S W MI N Y PA Etta WHITNEY 11M Dau F S W MI N Y PA Mary ARCHAMBEAU 18 Oth F S W CAN Domestic Servant CAN CAN

187 211 Whitney, James R. Head W M Apr 1850 50 mar 10 New York New York Pennsylvania Mill wright, Rents house -----, Helen Wife W F May 1855 45 mar 10 5ch 5liv New York New York New York -----, Ethel Dau W F Jul 1890 9 sgl Michigan New York New York -----, Bertie Son W M Jul 1892 7 sgl Michigan New York New York

  • 1910, 2300 Twelfth St., Chicago Ward 20, Cook Co., IL, p. 14A/102:

182 296 Jamieson, Mary J. Head W F 60 wid 2ch 2liv England England England Keeper rooming house, Immig. 18860 ... John R. Whitney Brdr W M 64 wid New York New York New York Cutter box factory Whitney, Bert A. Brdr W M 18 sgl Michigan New York New York Clerk tel. railroad ...

  • 1915 State, Muscatine, Muscatine Co., IA: John R. Whitney.


1.^  FindAGrave Memorial #61592656, Sgt. John R. Whitney.

2.^  Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925, at

3.^  FindAGrave Memorial #61592988, Helen M. Whitney.

4.^  FindAGrave Memorial #128284212, Ethel Roe Whitney Schweitzer.

Copyright © 2016, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.

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