Family:Whitney, Luther (1777-a1833)

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Luther7 Whitney (Nathaniel6, Samuel5, Nathaniel4, Nathaniel3, John2, John1), son of Nathaniel6 and Mary (Houghton) Whitney, was born 2 Oct 1777, Marlboro, VT,[1] and died after 1833, Hancock Co., IL.

He married firstly, 8 Nov 1798, Deerfield, MA, or Marlboro, VT, Jerusha Burnham,[2] daughter of Thomas and Hepzibah (-----) Burnham. She was born 13 Mar 1783, Shutesbury, MA, and died 1817.

He married secondly, 18 Nov 1831, Hancock Co., IL, Elizabeth Vance.

"Luther Whitney. — This gentleman, with his sons, Edson and and Horace B., came to this county at an early period — exact date not ascertained, but he was here while the county was a part of Pike. He resided in Montebello township. His name appears on the jury list of both Pike and Adams counties; and he held the office of County Commissioner in Adams in 1826. Mr. Whitney was a native of Vermont, but removed to Kentucky at an early day, thence to Missouri, thence to Hancock county. He lived only a few years after organization. He served also in the capacity of Justice of the Peace, and was a prominent man in many respects, though we obtain but little of his career."[3]

In 1825, he was a grand juror, Adams Co., IL, an election judge, and a road supervisor.

In 1826, he was an election judge.

On 4 Sep 1826, Luther Whitney was elected County Commissioner.

In 1827, he was a road viewer.

In 1828, he was a grand juror.

In 1829, he was an election judge and a grand juror.

In Dec 1829, "It asked that Luther Whitney and William Vance be authorized to establish a ferry across the Mississippi river on or opposite the southwest quarter of section 18, five north, eight west. License was ordered on condition that they pay into the county treasury the sum of one dollar, and the following ferry rates were fixed by the Court: ... This ferry was located about two miles above the present site of Hamilton, at the place now occupied by Mr. C. F. Darnell, then the residence of the petitioners Whitney and Vance. The property passed into other hands, and was for many years known as the Montebello House."

In Mar 1830, Isaac R. Campbell and Luther Whitney, each licensed to keep tavern.

In Mar 1831, "George Y. Cutler, Luther Whitney and John Johnson, being appointed a committee to ascertain the geographical center of the county, and make report of situation, etc., at next meeting of the Board." This was in connection with locating a county seat for Hancock County.

Montebello was the name of the oldest town in the county. It was laid out in 1832, by Luther Whitney and William Vance, on the southwest of sec. 18, the place now owned by C. F. Darnell, two miles above the present site of Hamilton.

Mr. Samuel Gordon says: "I well recollect the excitement incident to the raising of the first two-story frame house in the county. It was in the month of June, A. D. 1832, when the enterprising proprietor, Mr. Luther Whitney, conceiving the idea of enlarging his accommodations for the comfort of his guests of the Montebello House, projected a two-story frame, 20 by 50 feet. A raid upon the forest was made for the necessary material, and according to the notions of the day the timber must be about three times the size now used. Consequently the frame was very heavy. When everything was ready, all the inhabitants for ten miles around were invited to the raising. The timbers were fastened together broad side at a time. The first side was carried up without difficulty; but the second bent was much more formidable. When about one-third the way up, matters came to a stand-still, and the utmost exertions of all engaged could not gain an inch. The situation had become extremely critical, the great danger being of losing control, and the frame falling back and killing or crippling all below. Just as all were about giving up in despair, the "boss" happened to think that there were a dozen or so of women in the house near by, and perhaps their strength might help him out of the difficulty. Their aid was invoked, and promptly responded to, and by the united efforts of the whole west half of the county, the frame was raised and finished, and to-day stands as a monument of the past, and also as the oldest frame building in the county."

In Mar 1833, court was held at Luther Whitney's, in Montebello.

He resided Whitney's Grove, Hancock County, IL.

Children of Luther7 and Jerusha (Burnham) Whitney:

i. Edson8 Whitney, b. 1798, VT; m. Martha Hill.
ii. Cooley Whitney, b. 18 Dec 1799, Marlboro, VT;[4] died unmarried
iii. Pamela Whitney, d. 20 Nov 1803. She perhaps m. William Vance.
"William Vance - Son-in-law to Luther Whitney, resided on the river near Montebello."[5]
iv. Chloe Whitney, b. 1804; d. 1880; m. 1826, Jeremiah Hill.
v. Horace Burnham Whitney, b. 13 Sep 1806, Lansingburg, NY; m. Lucetta Frazier.
vi. Delia Whitney, m. Henry Nichols.
"Henry Nichols — One of the first County Commissioners — having received 37 votes — came to the county at an early day, date not known; neither do we learn the State of his nativity. He settled in Rocky Run township, where he continued to reside until about 25 years ago, when he removed to Wisconsin, where he was lately residing, in a green old age, and in excellent health. He was married to Miss Delia, the daughter of Luther Whitney, and sister to Sheriff Edson and Horace B. Whitney. His son, Luther, resides at the same place in Wisconsin."[6]
vii. (perhaps) Sophronia Whitney, m. Mr. Nichols.
"The first marriage in the township is said to have been Mr. Nichols to Miss Sophronia Whitney."[7]



1.^  Vermont, Vital Records Index, All Births.

2.^  Vermont, Vital Records Index, Marriages.

3.^  History of Hancock County, Illinois, together with an outline history of the State, and a digest of State laws, p. 219.

4.^  Vermont, Vital Records Index, All Births.

5.^  History of Hancock County, Illinois, together with an outline history of the State, and a digest of State laws, p. 220.

6.^  History of Hancock County, Illinois, together with an outline history of the State, and a digest of State laws, p. 217.

7.^  History of Hancock County, Illinois, together with an outline history of the State, and a digest of State laws, p. 573.

Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014, Robert L. Ward, Tim Doyle and the Whitney Research Group.