Biography of B. Allen Whiffen
Oneida County, NY Biographies





B. Allen Whiffen, who has for many years been engaged in the wholesale and retail meat business at Utica, is a native of this city, born August 26, 1858, a son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Seaton) Whifen. The father was born at Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire, England, October 10, 1817, and at fifteen years of age came with his parents to Utica. Soon afterward he shipped on a whaling steamer and continued upon the ocean for three years on account of his health. He then returned to Utica and engaged in the milk business with his brother John. In 1843 he opened a meat market at the corner of John and Jay streets and at the time of his death, which occurred June 24, 1889, was the oldest butcher and meat dealer in Utica and was known in New York state. He began as a retailer but prospered to such an extent that he engaged also in the wholesale business. In 1886 he admitted his sons George I. and B. Allen into partnership under the title of Isaac Whiffen & Sons and in 1889 they succeeded to the business. In April, 1893, they moved to a large and commodious brick block which they erected at Nos. 327-329-331 Bleecker street, opposite Chancellor square. Here they engaged extensively as wholesale and retail merchants. Mr. Whiffen was a man of great integrity, unusual business ability and marked public spirit. He always took just pride in advancing the welfare of the community. He was one of the organizers and for many years a director of the Utica & Mohawk Street Raiiroad Company, being also a charter member of the Central New York Farmers Club. He was a member of the Central New York Agricultural, Horticultural & Mechanical Association and a life member of the Utica Mechanics Association. He was president of St. George's Society and for many years a member of Utica Lodge, No. 47, A. F. & A. M., and also president of the Utica Curling Club. Politically he gave his support to the republican party. He served one term as canal collector and in 1885 was appointed police and fire commissioner of the city of Utica, but resigned after serving about one year. He was a broadminded and charitable man, who was held in highest esteem wherever he was known. In November, 1841, he was tharried to Miss Elizabeth Seaton, and there were nine child.ren in their family, four of whom are now living, namely: Charles B., George I. and B. Allen, all of Utica; and Mrs. W. H. Gibson, of Rochester, New York.

Mr. Whiffen of this review received his preliminary education in the public schools and was graduated from the Utica Free Academy. Upon leaving school he became connected with the business which his father founded. The firm was incorporated in 1903 under the title of Isaac Whiffen's Sons Company and still continues under that title. It is one of the best known concerns of the kind in central New York. Its success has been due to fair and honest treatment of customers, the superior quality of its goods and the energy and industry of its management.

On the 17th of June, 1890, Mr. Whiffen was married to Miss Anna N. Beckwith, a daughter of Henry and Mary E. Beckwith, of Utica. Mr. Whiffen holds membership in the Arcanum Club, being connected with no other organization. He is a man of courteous and affable manners but is of retiring disposition and has never sought honors or emoluments of public office. He has gone steadily forward in his chosen calling and the high esteem in which he is held by people of his native city is the best evidence of his usefulness and worth.

From:
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1912


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