Biography of George B. Whitney
Napa County, CA Biographies





GEORGE B. WHITNEY.
George B. Whitney, one of the representative and honored citizens of Calistoga, Napa county, was born in Vallejo, Solano county, California, on the 11th of November, 1879, and is a son of Nathaniel Jordan and Mary R. (Turrell) Whitney, both of whom are deceased. The father was a native of Biddeford, Maine, while the mother was born in Queens county, Ireland. Our subject is the scion of old pioneer stock, his father having crossed the plains to California in an early day, subsequently making seven trips back and forth between California and the east. George B. Whitney now has among his valued possessions an old breech loading rifle which his father carried during those troublous days, when both Indians and wild beasts harassed the venturesome souls who crossed the long dreary stretch between eastern civilization and the far western settlements. On the maternal side also Mr. Whitney claims pioneer ancestry, as his grandmother Turrell made the trip across the plains, in a Concord wagon, in 1853. On coming to this state, Nathaniel J. Whitney located at South Vallejo, where he engaged in the hotel business, later also opening a hardware store, and he likewise worked for a time as a coppersmith in the Mare Island navy yard. Of the children born to him and his wife, the following are living: W. H., a retired engineer now residing in Suisun, Solano county; Ed N., of Oakland, California; Mrs. W. A. Dolan, of Calistoga; Mrs. Katie B. Heisch, of Sacramento; and George B., the subject of this sketch.

George B. Whitney secured his education in the public schools of Vallejo and was then employed as a clerk in Cohen's and Brownlee's stores at that place. While working for Mr. Brownlee he learned the trade of a plumber, and later he turned his attention to railroading, serving as a conductor on the Napa Valley division of the Southern Pacific railroad. In 1910 he was stricken with a very severe attack of rheumatism, which completely prostrated him, and he was brought to Calistoga on a stretcher, his case having been pronounced incurable by the doctors. However, a grim determination to live and a naturally good constitution pulled him through, and eventually he recovered completely. As soon as he had regained his health Mr. Whitney returned to railroad work, being employed at Tracey until 1911, when he came to Calistoga and engaged in business. He is now the owner of a fine grocery and hardware store, both departments being completely stocked with a fine line of goods to meet the needs of the local trade, and Mr. Whitney has built up a large and steadily increasing patronage through his sound business methods and his courteous and accommodating attitude toward the public. In April, 1926, Mr. Whitney was elected a trustee. of Calistoga.

Fraternally Mr. Whitney is a member of the Calistoga parlor, Native Sons of the Golden West; San Francisco lodge, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and. Calistoga lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was married to Miss Irma L. Brown, who was born and reared in Calistoga, a daughter of William H. and Lillie (Butler) Brown, the former a native of Sonoma county, California, and the latter of Napa county, her family being closely identified with the early settling of this county. Mrs. Whitney is a member and a past noble grand of the Daughters of Rebekah; a member and a past president of the Native Daughters of the Golden West and a member of the Woman's Civic Club of Calistoga. She is also a member of the board of trustees of the Calistoga grammar school. To Mr. and Mrs. Whitney have been born three children, George Bernard, Jr., William Jordan and Mary Irma.

From:
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
and Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1926


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