Family:Whitney, Joseph Leon (1872-1949)

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Joseph Leon9 Whitney (Edward8, Joseph7, Palmer6, Joseph5, Timothy4, John3, John2, John1), son of Edward8 and Catherine Ann (Plouch) Whitney, was born 13 Aug 1872, Red Oak, IA,[1] and died 11 Mar 1949, Cherokee, OK.[2]

He married, 2 Sep 1902, Stella Academy near Cherokee, OK, Bertha Orpha Coppock,[3] daughter of Alvin and Laura Ann (Stanley) Coppock. She was born 18 Dec 1878, Near Smyrna, IA,[4] and died 6 Jan 1937, Cherokee, OK.[5]

Lee Whitney had no formal education beyond the third or fourth grade; however, he loved to read and became self-educated.

Lee started “working out” on neighboring farms when about twelve years of age. By about the age of 17 or 18, he had acquired a buckboard, a span of mules, and a large box camera with a tripod. He set out for Oklahoma Territory, covering his expenses by taking pictures of people and families en route. On 29 Oct 1896, he filed for a homestead about seven miles northwest of Alva, Woods Co., OK.[6]

After their marriage, Lee and Bertha lived in a dugout on Bertha’s homestead,[7] situated close to Lee's. Their two oldest children were born here.

About 1905, Lee’s family moved to the vicinity of Stella Academy east of Cherokee, Woods (now Alfalfa) Co., OK, where they lived on the “John Howard place”. Their third and fourth children were born here.

Lee bought 160 acres adjoining the Salt Plains on the west, built a house on the property, and moved his family there in 1909. The two youngest children were born at this location. Lee was a farmer, and grew mainly wheat. He was one of the first farmers in the area to buy a tractor, and later a combine.

Lee bought the “John Howard place” where the family had previously resided, rebuilt the house, adding a wing and a second story to it, and moved the family there in 1921. The family remained here until the house burned in 1935, and the family relocated to Cherokee, OK.

After Bertha died in 1937, Lee resided with son Alvin and with daughter Laura, both in the Cherokee vicinity, until his death in 1949.

Children of Joseph Leon9 and Bertha Orpha (Coppock) Whitney:[8]

i. Leta Ruth10 Whitney, b. 1 Jul 1903, Near Alva, OK,[9] d. 10 Nov 2003, Newton, KS.
ii. Willard Fay Whitney, b. 1 Jul 1904, Near Alva, OK,[10] d. 4 Nov 1991, Pratt, KS.
iii. Pauline Esther Whitney, b. 10 Sep 1907, Near Cherokee, OK,[11] d. 11 Nov 2002, Nashville, TN.
iv. Alvin Edward Whitney, b. 12 Oct 1908, Near Cherokee, OK,[12] d. Claremore, Oklahoma.
v. Laura Elmina Whitney, (Living).
vi. Lester Vernon Whitney, b. 27 Sep 1919, Near Cherokee, OK,[13] d. 30 Jul 1999, Haviland, KS.


1.^  Alvin L. Anderson, The Ancestry and Descendants of Aaron and Amy (Cobbs) Coppock, Medellin, Columbia: Jan. 1965, p. 45.

2.^  Ibid, p. 45.

3.^  Ibid, p. 45.

4.^  Ibid, p. 45.

5.^  Ibid, p. 45.

6.^  Homestead File for Joseph Leon Whitney.

7.^  Homestead File for Bertha Orpha Coppock.

8.^  Alvin L. Anderson, The Ancestry and Descendants of Aaron and Amy (Cobbs) Coppock, Medellin, Columbia: Jan. 1965, pp. 46-51.

9.^  Ibid, p. 46.

10.^  Ibid, p. 48.

11.^  Ibid, p. 49.

12.^  Ibid, p. 50.

13.^  Ibid, p. 52.

Copyright © 2007, Gary E. Swinson and the Whitney Research Group.