Family:Whitney, William (1798-1894)

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William7 Whitney (Josiah6, Josiah5, David4, Benjamin3, John2, John1) born July 20, 1798, in Lincoln, Massachusetts; married 23 Dec 1823, Fanny Lincoln; born Sept. 26 1808; died 5 Aug 1888.

William Whitney, Ashby's oldest townsman and the most aged man who ever resided there, passed away 4 Sep 1894, quietly and painlessly, after a short illness, at the advanced age of 96 years, his birthday having been celebrated within a few weeks, when he was able to be about and join heartily with story and anecdote in the jollity of the occasion. He was always exceedingly fond of hunting, trapping and fishing, and his anecdotes of experiences while enjoying the sport have been a source of pleasure to young hearers many a time. Mr. Whitney was a man of sterling integrity, upright, straightforward and sincere. As a neighbor, friend and townsman, a landmark almost (for the like old mountain near which he lived so long he had come to be a part of Ashby, known to and esteemed by every citizen), he will be missed. His race has been noted for its longevity, one of his sisters, Mrs. Oliver Kendall, having lived to be 97, and another Mrs Oliver Wheeler, reached the age of 93. He was born in Lincoln and when he was about seven years old, his parents moved to Ashby and located on a farm in the extreme western part of the town, under the shades of Watatic mountain. Some of his land extended to the summit of the mountain. William was the fifth of a family of seven children, there being three boys and four girls. He is the last of that family. In his boyhood days his father used to drive into Boston once a year, in the fall. It would take a day to make the journey, then one day would be spent in Boston marketing, etc., and the third day the return trip would be made. Most of Mr. Whitney's life has been spent in Ashby. He worked on his father's farm until he was 21. Then he learned the trade of shoemaking in New Ipswich, and worked for several years in the South Village. He afterward bought a farm, but has long resided in a neat, cosy-looking white cottage in the South Village, a short distance from the residence of the town clerk, Alonzo A. Carr, a son-in-law. His son, Myron W. Whitney, has long been regarded as the best bass singer in the world, and it is natural for Myron to have taste for music. He must have inherited it from his father, who led the singing in the Ashby Congregational church for a number of years. Long before the society bought an organ, Mr. Whitney played a bass viol in the church. Until recently he has often played on the harmonica at church sociables. His musical education was obtained at the village singing school, which held sessions during the winter. Mr. Whitney had to walk four miles to the school-eight miles in all-every time he attended. His memory was remarkable and he remembered seeing the troops march through the east end of the town on the way from Boston to Canada, during the war of 1812. Myron followed somewhat in his father's footsteps as regards his early musical training, the foundation being obtained at the village singing school. He died Sept 4, 1894; res, Ashby, Massachusetts.

Children of William7 Whitney:

i. Myron8 Whitney, born 11 Jan 1825; died 28 Oct 1826.
ii. Harriett Frances Whitney, born 5 Sep 1827; died 26 Nov 1841.
iii. John P. Whitney, born 6 Mar 1831; m Jan 1, 1857, resided Ashby.
iv. Myron W. Whitney, born 6 Sep 1836; married Eleanor Breasha.
v. Harriett Maria Whitney, born 27 Oct 1845; married 12 Jan 1870, Alonzo A. Carr; resided Ashby, Massachusetts. He was born in Hudson, Massachusetts, June 7, 1836. Is town clerk.
Ch.: Blanche L., born 9 Nov 1870; Bertha G., born 12 Nov 1872; Helen F., born 27 Aug 1874; Lawrence W., born 23 Aug 1876; Arthur W., born 30 Sep 1879; Myron A., born July 20, 1886; died 11 Oct 1891.


1. 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. 288-289.

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