JOHN T. WHITNEY, a representative citizen of Madison County and a descendant of one of the pioneer families, was born August 1, 1815, in the town of Madison. The genius of the Whitney family is in the line of business rather than in that of agriculture or the professions, and its members have long been known as strictly honorable men and successful merchants. Mr. John T. Whitney is a son of Edward and Mary (Furness) Whitney, the first mentioned of whom was born in Northampton, Mass., August 1, 1788, and the second near Worcester, Mass., August 15, 1793. They were married November 22, 1814, in the town of Madison, Madison County, N. Y.
Edward Whitney was a son of Nathan and Hannah Whitney. His father was born in
Connecticut, June 2, 1762, and was a shoe-maker in his early days; and his mother was born in the same State, November 7, 1765. She died February 7, and her husband June 7, 1860. They were the parents of eight children, and were members of the Episcopal church. In politics he was a Democrat.
Edward Whitney came to the State of New York when a young man; and, having received a good education in his native State, he followed
book-keeping and teaching for a number of years in New York, exercising the latter profession in Madison County, and was afterward engaged in the mercantile business until his death, which occurred December 9, 1863. He and his wife reared two children,
John T. and Maria, the last-named of whom was born in 1817, married William Manchester, and died October 10, 1848. Mrs. Whitney, the mother of these two children, died April 27, 1865. She was a member of the Episcopal church.
John T. Whitney received his education in the district schools, and at the early age of eleven years began life for himself, entering the employ of a mercantile house in New York City, staying there three years, and then going to Steuben County, New York. At seventeen years of age he removed to the village of
Eaton, worked for a time in the general store of Ellis Coman, saved his money, and at length purchased an interest in the business. Remaining thus engaged in business for himself for some time, he at length sold his interest, and took charge of the store of Mr. A. Morse, remaining in this responsible position twenty-six years, at the same time acting as clerk and book-keeper for Mr. Morse's woollen factory. Mr. Whitney is a Democrat in politics, and has taken a prominent part in public affairs. He was Postmaster nine and a half years, and had charge of the post-office twenty-one and a half years. He also served for three years as Superintendent of the Poor, and as Town Clerk for some seven years.
Mr. Whitney was married March 16, 1869, to Mary Groves, who was born June 15, 1819, in the town of Lebanon. She was first married, at the age of twenty-eight years, to Samuel Sherman, a native of New England, a farmer, the latter part of whose life was spent in the town of Eaton, N. Y., and whose death was on March 11, 1854. Mrs. Whitney's parents, John and Persis Groves, were natives of Brimfield, Mass., whence they emigrated to Madison County in 1862. Her father, a successful farmer, died at the age of sixty-two years, her mother having passed
away a few years previously.
Mrs. Whitney holds in her own right a farm in Madison County, and also some property in the village of Eaton. Mr. and Mrs. Whitney are now among the oldest inhabitants of the village of Eaton. They are people of intelligence and of influence in society, and have the good will and esteem of a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
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