Family:Whitney, John William Benjamin (1846-1916)

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John William Benjamin3 Whitney (Nicholas2, Thomas1, NicholasA, BenjaminB, ThomasC), son of Nicholas2 and Elizabeth (McKim) Whitney, was born 29 Mar 1846, Île-aux-Noix, Le Haut-Richelieu, QC, and died 11 Sep 1916, Fullerton, NE. He was buried in Fullerton Cemetery, Fullerton, NE.[1]

He married, 30 Dec 1875, Cedar Falls, IA, Louise Georgiana Riehl, daughter of Jacob and Eliza (-----) Riehl.[2] She was born 24 Apr 1854, IL, and died 1 Apr 1938, Fullerton, NE. She was buried in Fullerton Cemetery, Fullerton, NE.[3]

From the book: Fullerton's First 100 Years, pg's #117/118/119

John William Whitney and Louise Georgianna Riehl were married at Cedar Falls, Iowa, December 1875. In the spring of 1876, they came to Omaha and bought a team of horses and a wagon and drove to Central City, where they took a homestead claim on 1/4 section of land in Merrick county, about 10 miles north of Central City (Prairie Creek area). Later they sold the Homestead claim and bought land near what was then Pawnee Reservation. In January 1879, when the land in what had been Pawnee Reservation was put up for sale, John W. (Jack) Whitney bought 93 acres at $3.00 per acre, ($1.00 down and two years time on the rest). They moved to this location on the Loup river which became their home until their deaths, John W. in September 1916 and Louise G. April 1938.

In 1879, they bought the ferry known as the "Black Mariah". This ferry had been launched in the Loup river south and east of what is now Fullerton but because of unfavorable river conditions was moved up river seven miles to the site near the Whitney home. This was the only crossing of the Loup between Genoa and St. Paul, Nebraska, at that time. "Captain Jack", as he was called operated the ferry for about ten years until a bridge was built south of Fullerton.

Many travelers who reached the ferry in the evening were given food and lodging in the Whitney home, which was a small sod house. One memorable event was ferrying a small circus across the river. The caged animals in wagons were loaded on the ferry, but the elephant was too large so it was made to swim across the river. When the elephant got about mid stream, it decided to stop and play in the cool water, shooting water in the air with its trunk. It took considerable persuasion to move the elephant across the river.

During the time the ferry was in operation, the home of Jack and Louise was known as the "Ferry Ranch" and later was called "Whitney Ranch". Not only was Jack a farmer, rancher, and ferry boat operator, but also he was one of three temporary commissioners appointed by Nebraska Governor Albinus Nance, for whom Nance county was named. He served in the organization of Nance county and in the location of the county seat and later served one term as Nance county Treasurer. He helped organize the Farmers State Bank of Fullerton, and served as Bank President about 1914-1915. Jack and Louise had a family of eleven children, nine of whom grew to adulthood, married and with exception of two (Alice Peggy) who lived in California and (Mary Dade), who lives in Sutherland, Nebraska, made their homes in the immediate vicinity of the Whitney Ranch. The children of these families were educated in Nance county schools and with few exceptions graduated from Fullerton High School.

The Whitney's also provided a foster home for 6 year old twin girls: Cleo and Leo Bohannen who were brought to Fullerton on the so called Orphan train about 1906. Cleo and Leo came from Lincoln, Nebraska, under supervision of Miss Bogardus, representative of a Lincoln orphanage. The twins lived in the Whitney home until their marriages. Cleo married Allan Shively of Central City, Nebraska. They raised a family of ten children, lived in Sutherland, Nebraska. Leo married George Smith also of Central City, Nebraska. They had one daughter and lived in Omaha, Nebraska.

Members of the J. W. Whitney family still living in Nance County are Jessie Russell and her daughter Margaret Russell, and son John W. (Jack) Russell, his wife Dorothy Davis Russell and their sons, John and Timothy. Fred Whitney and wife Helen Forney Whitney, their daughter Linda and husband Dale Lesiak and their chidren (sic) Chris, Jennifer and Nicholas.

MARY ELIZABETH (Dade) deceased married William A. Hossack deceased John William Hossack Mary Louise Jessie Isabel, deceased James Jacob, deceased Nellie Katherine JOHN NICHOLAS (Barlow) deceased Lena Price, deceased John Franklin Evelyn Louise, deceased Ardene Elizabeth, deceased Barlo Nicholas Riel L. William C. (A)LICE LOUISE (Peggy) deceasedArthur G. Buckner James Whitney Buckner, deceased GEORGE WILLIAM BENJAMIN, deceasedNettie Ann Wingerd Florence Ruth Helen Georgiana Josephine Charlotte, deceased Mark Wingert Madge Wiolet Mary Grace Paul WINNIFRED ADELLA, deceased age 7 months SAM CHARLES, deceasedLessie Myrtle Crow, deceased Gladys Beck Milton, deceased John Francis Eleanor Sam Merton Georgeanne Milton (step daughter) JACOB PHILIP, deceasedMary Spliechal, deceased Joseph William, Dec. Leslie Philip Fredric Raymond Mary Emma Teressa, deceased age 2 years LUCY SELMAJames B. Drury, deceased Jessie Edna Alice Louise James Leonard ROBERT FRANCIS, deceasedGoldie Lee Trotter, deceased No family JESSIE ELLAJohn T. Russell, deceased Jessie Margaret Jean Louis John William (Jack)

Children of John William Benjamin3 and Louise Georgiana (Riehl) Whitney:

i. Elizabeth Mary4 Whitney, b. 3 Oct 1876, Merrick Co., NE; d. 17 Oct 1932, Grand Island, NE; bur. Sutherland Riverview Cemetery, Sutherland, NE;[4] m. 10 Jan 1910, Fullerton, NE, William Albert Hossack.
ii. Barlow Nicholas Whitney, b. 25 May 1878, Merrick Co., NE; d. 22 Oct 1956; m. 20 Apr 1904, Lena Chowning Price.
iii. Alice Louise Whitney, b. 11 Mar 1880, Nance Co., NE; d. 4 Oct 1976; m. bef. 1911, Arthur Garfield Buckner.
iv. George William Benjamin Whitney, b. 4 Jan 1882, Mattison, IL; d. 7 Dec 1953, Glendale, CA; bur. Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, CA;[5] m. 2 Mar 1910, Wolbach, NE, Nettie Ann Wingerd.
v. Winifred Adela Whitney, b. 3 Jan 1883, Nance Co., NE; d. Aug 1883, Fullerton, NE; bur. Fullerton Cemetery, Fullerton, NE.[6]
vl. Samuel Charles Whitney, b. 17 Jun 1884, Fullerton, NE; d. 24 Nov 1978, Newberg, OR; bur. Fullerton Cemetery, Fullerton, NE;[7]; m. 16 Apr 1912, Fullerton, NE, Lessie Myrtle Crow.
vll. Jacob Philip Whitney, b. 10 Apr 1886, Fullerton, NE; d. 7 Jul 1973, Fullerton, NE; bur. Fullerton Cemetery, Fullerton, NE;[8]; m. 5 Jun 1912, Fullerton, NE, Mary Spilchal.
vlll. Teressa Whitney, b. 17 Jul 1888; d. 17 Aug 1890; bur. Fullerton Cemetery, Fullerton, NE.[9]
ix. Lucy Selma Whitney, b. 14 Jun 1890, Fullerton, NE; d. 23 Oct 1949, Pasadena, CA; m. 27 Jan 1917, Fullerton, NE, James Burton Drury.
x. Robert Francis Whitney, b. 13 Mar 1893, Fullerton, NE; d. 18 Jan 1960, Fullerton, NE; bur. Fullerton Cemetery, Fullerton, NE;[10]; m. 25 Dec 1927, Goldie Lee Trotter.
xi. Jessie Ella Whitney, b. 21 Jan 1896, Nance Co., NE; d. 5 Jan 1995, Grand Island, NE; bur. Fullerton Cemetery, Fullerton, NE;[11]; m. 26 May 1915, Columbus, NE, John Thomas Russell.


431 436 Nicholas Whitney 50 M - Merchant $1000 $500 Ireland Elizabeth " 50 F - " Elizabeth M. " 19 F - Canada N. F. " 17 M - " Mary " 16 F - " Catharine " 16 F - " John " 14 M - "

11 11 Whitney, Nicholas 63 M W Dry Goods Merchant $2000 $1000 Ireland Parents foreign born -----, Eliza 60 F W Keeping House " Parents foreign born -----, Elizabeth 29 F W Canada Parents foreign born -----, Nicholas T. 27 M W Clerk in Store " Parents foreign born, Male citizen over 21 -----, Catharine 25 F W " Parents foreign born -----, John 23 M W Clerk in Store " Parents foreign born, Male citizen over 21


  • 1885 State, Newman, Nance Co., NE, p. 5A:

37 41 Whitney, J. W. W M 32 ---- mar Ferry man Canada Ire. Ire. -----, Lucy C. W F 30 Wife mar Keep House Illinois Ger. Ger. -----, Mary E. W F 8 Dau sgl Home Nebraska Can. Ill. At school -----, John M. W M 7 Son sgl Home Nebraska Can. Ill. At school -----, Alice L. W F 5 Dau sgl Home Nebraska Can. Ill. -----, Geo. W. R. W M 3 Son sgl Home Nebraska Can. Ill. -----, Sammie W M 1 Son sgl Home Nebraska Can. Ill. Riehl, C. H. W M 24 Srvt sgl Laborer Saxony Sax. Sax. Foster, C. H. W M 36 Srvt sgl Laborer Canada Ire. Ire. Sorgenfrei, Peter W M 21 Srvt sgl Laborer Schleswig Den. Den.

11 11 Whitney, John W. Head W M Mar 1846 54 mar 25 Canada Ireland Ireland Stock man, Owns free farm, Imm. 1860, Na. -----, Louisa G. Wife W F Apr 1854 46 mar 25 11ch 9liv Illinois Germany Germany -----, Mary E. Dau W F Oct 1876 23 sgl Nebraska Canada Eng. Illinois School teacher -----, John N. Son W M May 1878 22 sgl Nebraska Canada Eng. Illinois Stockman -----, Alice L. Dau W F Mar 1880 20 sgl Nebraska Canada Eng. Illinois School teacher -----, George W. N. Son W M Jan 1882 12 sgl Illinois Canada Eng. Illinois Farmer -----, Samuel C. Son W M Jun 1884 65 sgl Nebraska Canada Eng. Illinois At School -----, Jacob P. B. Son W M Apr 1886 14 sgl Nebraska Canada Eng. Illinois At School -----, Lucy S. Dau W F Jun 1890 9 sgl Nebraska Canada Eng. Illinois At School -----, Francis Son W M Mar 1893 7 sgl Nebraska Canada Eng. Illinois At School -----, Jessie E. Dau W F Jan 1896 4 sgl Nebraska Canada Eng. Illinois Smejkl, Mary Srvt W F Mar 1878 22 mar 3 1ch 1liv Bohemia Aust. Bohemia Aust. Bohemia Aust. Immig. 1881 -----, Rosa L. Dau W F Nov 1898 1 sgl Nebraska Bohemia Aust. Bohemia Aust. Ellsworth, Ida Brdr W F Sep 1878 21 sgl Connecticut Connecticut Connecticut School teacher Peterson, Peter C. Srvt W M Nov 1866 33 sgl Norway Norway Norway Farm laborer Smith, Perry L. Srvt W M Jun 1880 20 sgl Iowa Iowa Ohio Farm labor Grouse, Archie Srvt W M Jul 1876 23 sgl Iowa Scotland Ireland Farm labor

  • 1910, Newman, Nance Co., NE.


  • Census Records.
  • Public trees on

1.^  Find A Grave Memorial #11085499, John William "Jack" Whitney.

2.^  Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934, from

3.^  Find A Grave Memorial #11085508, Louise Georgianna Riehl Whitney.

4.^  Find A Grave Memorial #61869047, Mary Elizabeth Whitney Hossack.

5.^  Find A Grave Memorial #85547188, George William Whitney.

6.^  Find A Grave Memorial #12584900, Adella Whitney.

7.^  Find A Grave Memorial #11085520, Sam C. Whitney.

8.^  Find A Grave Memorial #11085544, Jacob Philip "Jake" Whitney.

9.^  Find A Grave Memorial #12584903, Teressa Whitney.

10.^  Find A Grave Memorial #12892693, Framk R, Whitney.

11.^  Find A Grave Memorial #37561657, Jessie E. Whitney Russell.

Copyright © 2020, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.