Whittemore Family Papers: 1817-1978
Summary Information
Title: Whittemore Family Papers
Creator: Whittemore Family (Tawas City, Mich.)
Inclusive dates: 1817-1978
Extent: 5 linear feet
Extent: 1 oversize volume
Extent: 1 oversize folder
Abstract:
Gideon O. Whittemore family of Pontiac and Tawas City, Michigan. Business and personal correspondence of Whittemore, his wife, their son James O. Whittemore, and other members of the Whittemore, Mack, and Abram Mathews families; also business and legal documents, sermons, photographs, and miscellaneous papers, covering family matters, Tawas City, Michigan (which the family founded), lumbering, journey of the Mormons across the United States and settlement in Salt Lake City, Utah, University of Michigan and its branches, and family genealogy.
Call number: 86261 Aa 2; AC; Ac
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection (donor no. 1161) has come to the library in several accessions beginning in 1938 with a gift from W. Frank Whittemore. Additional papers came from Professor Harlow O. Whittemore in 1958 and Gretchen Meyer (donor no. 11706) in May 2017.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

The Whittemore family has transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Whittemore Family Papers , Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

The Whittemore family, led by Gideon O. Whittemore, were founders of the town now known as Tawas City, Michigan. As men of business, they lumbered, milled, and sold the pine timber on their land then known as Ottawas Bay on Lake Huron. They were also civically responsible, serving their local community and the state in various capacities.

Gideon Olin Whittemore was born August 12, 1800 in St. Albans, Vermont. He came to Michigan in 1820 and in 1826, began practicing law in Pontiac. During his time there, Gideon Whittemore held many offices of trust in Oakland County as well as the state, and was at one time or another the Secretary of State, a member of the University of Michigan Board of Regents and the State Board of Education. On Feb. 13, 1828 he married Mrs. Harriet Mack Hatch, the daughter of his former employer, Colonel Stephen Mack of Detroit and his wife Temperance Bond Mack.

In 1853, Gideon Olin Whittemore left Pontiac and made an exploratory visit to the Tawas Bay area. He purchased 5,300 acres of land, which included the mouth of the Tawas River, and with two business partners, James Covert of Albany and his daughter Harriet Frances Mathews, began harvesting the trees on his land as well as operating a steam saw mill. A. B. Mathews, the husband of Whittemore's daughter Harriet, was also active in the business as were Gideon's sons, James Olin Whittemore, a younger brother Charles Hanover Whittemore, and the youngest son William Bond Whittemore. Gideon Olin Whittemore died in June of 1863, followed by his daughter Harriet Frances Mathews in 1866, and his wife Harriet Mack Whittemore in 1872.

James O. Whittemore was born December 3, 1828 in Pontiac, Michigan. He began college in 1843 at the Pontiac branch of the University of Michigan. He continued his studies in Ann Arbor where he graduated in 1846. After graduation, he became book-keeper for Mathews and Co. of Rochester, Michigan. He taught school in Hillsdale, Michigan and in the South (Kentucky, 1851-1852) and (Georgia, 1853-1854). He returned to Michigan making Tawas and Iosco County his home; and in 1856 he married Melissa Sarah Starkweather. In Tawas Whittemore practiced law and served his community in various capacities: as postmaster of the first post office between Bay City and Mackinac (Tawas in 1856), as county clerk, register of deeds, and judge of probate. He died June 7, 1889.

William Franklin Whittemore, son of James Olin Whittemore and Melissa Starkweather, married Jessie Estella Lyon, daughter of James Monroe Lyon and Anna (Harlow) Lyon. Their son was Harlow Olin Whittemore, a landscape architect and professor of landscape architecture at the University of Michigan.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The papers date from 1817 to 1978, and include correspondence, business papers, deeds, genealogical materials, photographs and other papers of Gideon O. Whittemore, his wife, their son James Olin Whittemore and other member of the Whittemore, Mack, Harlow, and Abram Mathews families. Letters of Temperance Mack and Almira Covey document in part the journey of the Mormons across the United States and settlement in Salt Lake City. Other papers relate to activities in Tawas City (which the family founded), lumbering interests, and other business matters. A portion of the papers of James Olin Whittemore pertain to his activities as a student at the University of Michigan, class of 1846.

The Whittemore family collection has been arranged into the following series: Correspondence; Other Family papers; Genealogical records; Temperance Mack letters and related; Individual Whittemore family members; Photographs; and Business and professional ledgers and daybooks.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Hillsdale (Mich.)
  • Iosco County (Mich.)
  • Land use -- Michigan -- Iosco County.
  • Logging -- Michigan -- Tawas City.
  • Lumbering -- Michigan -- Tawas City.
  • Mormons.
  • Nauvoo (Ill.)
  • Pontiac (Mich.)
  • Railroads -- Michigan.
  • Roads -- Michigan.
  • Salt Lake City (Utah)
  • Schools -- Georgia.
  • Schools -- Kentucky.
  • Schools -- Michigan.
  • Shipping -- Great Lakes (North America)
  • Tawas City (Mich.) -- Commerce.
  • Teachers -- Georgia.
  • Teachers -- Kentucky.
  • Teachers -- Michigan -- Hillsdale.
  • Temperance -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Tobacco.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Utah.
  • Women -- Michigan -- Tawas City.
  • California.
  • Courthouses -- Michigan -- Tawas City.
  • Dwellings.
  • Dwellings -- Michigan -- Ovid.
  • Dwellings -- Michigan -- Tawas City.
  • Ovid (Mich.) -- Dwellings.
  • Tawas City (Mich.) -- Courthouses.
  • Tawas City (Mich.) -- Dwellings.
  • Tombs & sepulchral monuments.
  • Diaries.
  • Photographs.
  • Sermons.
  • Tintypes.
  • Band of the Broken Pipes (University of Michigan)
  • Coonent, James.
  • Detroit and Pontiac Railroad Company.
  • Hatch, Henry.
  • Hatch, Rufus, 1785-1825.
  • Iosco County Courthouse (Tawas City, Mich.)
  • Leach, DeWitt C., 1832-
  • Mack, John M.
  • Mack, Stephen, 1762-1826.
  • Mack, Temperance, -1850.
  • Mathews, Abram B.
  • Mathews, Harriet Francis, -1866.
  • Michigan State University -- History.
  • United States. Army. New York Cavalry Regiment, 20th (1863-1865)
  • University of Michigan. Board of Regents.
  • University of Michigan. College of Natural History.
  • University of Michigan. College Temperance Society.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Correspondence.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Societies, etc.
  • Whitmore family.
  • Whittemore, Bernice Melissa, 1895-1921.
  • Whittemore, Charles Hanover, 1833-
  • Whittemore, George, 1831-1844.
  • Whittemore, Gideon Olin, 1800-1863.
  • Whittemore, William B., 1835-
  • Wisner, Moses, 1815-1863.
  • Whitmore family.
  • Harlow, Charles.
  • Mason, Stevens Thomson, 1811-1843.
  • Mayhew, Ira, 1814-1894.
  • Meade, George Gordon, 1815-1872.
  • Morgan, Gilbert.
  • Pitcher, Zina, 1797-1872.
  • Smith, Hyrum, 1800-1844.
  • Trowbridge, Rowland E., 1821-1881.
  • Whipple, Charles Whiley, 1805-1855.
  • Whittemore, James Olin, 1828-1889.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Correspondence (mainly family letters) [series]

The Correspondence series consists mainly of letters exchanged among family members and business associates. Although the files date from 1817 to 1845, the great bulk of the papers are in the period of approximately 1830 to 1870. Of interest are the letters written by James O. Whittemore while teaching school in Kentucky and Georgia in the period of 1851-1854.

Box   1  
Undated

(include anti-alcohol pledge)

Box   1  
1817-1827

(include Stephen Mack obituary 1826)

Box   1  
1828-1834
Box   1  
1835-1836
Box   1  
1837-1838

(include letters from Gilbert Morgan and Zina Pitcher relating to difficulties of establishing proposed branches of the University of Michigan, 1837 also letter from Stevens T. Mason)

Box   1  
1839-1844
Box   1  
1845
Box   1  
1846-1848
Box   1  
1849-1850

(includes letters relating to James O. Whittemore teaching at Hillsdale, 1850)

Box   1  
1851
Box   1  
1852-1853
Box   1  
1854
Box   1  
1855

(include letters relating to relating to the locating of a State Agricultural College in East Lansing)

Box   1  
1856
Box   1  
1857
Box   1  
1858
Box   1  
January-February 1859
Box   1  
March 1859
Box   1  
April-May 1859
Box   1  
June-July 1859
Box   1  
August-September 1859
Box   1  
October-December 1859
Box   1  
January-February 1860

(include letter from Governor Moses Wisner relating to the building of a state road)

Box   1  
March-May 1860
Box   1  
June-July 1860
Box   1  
August 1860

(include letter from George Meade relating to the publication of a chart of Saginaw Bay)

Box   1  
September-October 1860
Box   1  
November-December 1860
Box   1  
1861
Box   1  
January-April 1862
Box   1  
May-September 1862
Box   1  
October-December 1862
Box   1  
1863
Box   1  
1864-1865
Box   1  
1866
Box   1  
1868-1869
Box   1  
1870-1874
Box   1  
1877-1908
Box   1  
1909-1919
Box   1  
1920-1945
Box   1  
Miscellaneous handwritten copies of family letters 1819-1868

(the copies were transcribed in 1933)

 
Other family papers: indentures for land, warranty deeds, etc. [series]

The Other Family Papers series contains land acquisition documents, financial miscellanea such as receipts and accounts, and various writings. These files have been arranged chronologically except for a small set of files that includes clippings, poetry, a sermon, and a map.

 
By date
Box   1  
Undated
Box   1  
1818-1832
Box   1  
1833-1834
Box   1  
1835-1836
Box   1  
1837-1838
Box   1  
1839
Box   1  
1840-1841
Box   1  
1842-1844

(include memorandums of travels from Pontiac to Iowa and includes descriptions of Commerce, Milford, Hamburg, Dexter, Jackson, the State Prison, Homer, Union City, Centerville, Constantine and Mottville, Michigan; also parts of Indiana and Illinois, including Nauvoo, June 1843 ?)

Box   1  
1846-1850
Box   1  
1851-1853
Box   1  
1854
Box   1  
January-June 1855
Box   1  
July-December 1855
Box   1  
1856
Box   1  
1857
Box   1  
1858
Box   1  
1859
Box   1  
January-June 1860
Box   1  
July-December 1860
Box   2  
January-June 1861
Box   2  
July-December 1861
Box   2  
1862
Box   2  
1867-1874
Box   2  
1877-1934
Oversize Folder   1  
Land documents

(includes land indentures and land grant to Luther Jones, January 3, 1831)

 
Miscellaneous
Box   2  
Certificates, printed items, ephemera (3 folders)
Box   2  
Newspaper clippings
Box   2  
Poems, miscellaneous undated
Box   2  
Sermons
Oversize Folder   1  
Tawas City, map

(in oversize folder Ac)

 
Genealogical records [series]

The Genealogical records series includes extensive information about the various branches of the Whittemore family. Included is "Genealogy of Several Branches of the Whittemore Family: Including the Original Whittemore Family of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England: And a Brief Lineage of Other Branches," written by B.B. Whittemore and "History of the Whittemore Family of Michigan" This last volume, prepared by William F. Whittemore and his son Harlow O. Whittemore, genealogical material on the Whittemore family from 1086-1641 in England; 1641-1937 in New England & Michigan; and from 1937-1972 on the Whittemore families in Michigan and elsewhere.

Box   2  
Letters about family history written to W. F. Whittemore 1922-1942
Box   2  
Genealogy of Several Branches of the Whittemore Family 1893 (1 volume)
Box   2  
Historical and Family Record Books (4 volumes, 1 oversize volume)

(include reminiscences, transcripts of letters, photos, etc.)

Box   2  
History of the Whittemore Family in Michigan written by W. Franklin and Harlow O. Whittemore 1970s undated
Box   2  
General material circa 1930s
Box   2  
Miscellaneous
 
Temperance Mack letters and related [series]

Within the collection there are letters of Temperance Mack and her daughter, Mrs. Almira Covey, which document in part the journey of the Mormons across the United States and settlement in Salt Lake City. Several of the letters were written from Nauvoo, Illinois in the 1840s. There are also letters from Hyrum Smith (Mrs. Harriet Mack Whittemore's cousin) with information about Temperance Mack and Mrs. Almira Covey.

 
Letters of Temperance Mack, Almira Covey and Hyrum Smith 1835-1849 (23 items (in 2 folders; photostatic copies))

(Note: originals have been placed in library vault; a negative microfilm of these letters is also available)

 
1835-1842
Box   2  
Prayer fragment undated
Box   2  
Letter, Almira Scobey, Liberty, Mo. March 10, 1835

(She later became Almira Covey)

Box   2  
Letter, Almira Scobey, Liberty, Mo. June 9, 1835
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack, Pottawattamie, Iowa May 16, 1838
Box   2  
Letter, Harvey Woodworth, Painesville, Ohio (attached with copy of note by David Dort and Temperance Mack, January 24, 1839) May 28, 1838
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack, Far West, Mo. December 30, 1838
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack, Nauvoo, Ill. September 16, 1841
Box   2  
Letter, Almira Covey, Nauvoo, Ill. February 11, 1842
 
1843-1849
Box   2  
Obituary of Colonel Stephen Mack 1843
Box   2  
Letter, Hyrum Smith, Nauvoo April 9, 1843
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack, Nauvoo, Ill. October 23, 1843
Box   2  
Letter, Almira Covey and Temperance Mack, Nauvoo, Ill. December 9, 1843
Box   2  
Letter, Almira Covey, Nauvoo, Ill. May 19, 1844
Box   2  
Letter, Almira Covey, Nauvoo, Ill. January 5, 1845
Box   2  
Letter, Almira Covey, Nauvoo, Ill. October 21, 1845
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack, Nauvoo, Ill. October 21, 1845
Box   2  
Letter, Almira, Nauvoo, Ill. December 8, 1845
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack, Nauvoo, Ill. January 10, 1846
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack, Mt. Pinga June 30, 1846
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack May 5, 1847
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack, Winter Quarters June 22, 1847
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack, Salt Lake City March 20, 1849
Box   2  
Letter, Temperance Mack and Almira Covey, Salt Lake City October 8, 1849
Box   2  
Listing of Birthdates of Children of Colonel Stephen Mack and Temperance Bond Mack 1788-1808
Box   2  
Progenitors and Descendants of Colonel Stephen Mack and Temperance Bond Mack 1975
 
Individual family members [series]

The Individual family members series consists of papers of the following family members: Gideon O. Whittemore, James O. Whittemore, William F. and Jessie Whittemore, Douglas M. Whittemore, and members of the Harlow family. Papers for James O. Whittemore pertain to his activities as a student at the University of Michigan, class of 1846. In addition to student essays, these papers include materials about student organizations, notably the College Temperance Society and the Band of Broken Pipes, an anti-tobacco student organization. Also of note is a diary of Charles Harlow, a member of the 20th New York Cavalry, Co. D during the Civil War.

 
Whittemore, Gideon O.
Oversize Folder   1  
Appointment of Gideon O. Whittemore as Regent of the University of Michigan signed by Stevens T. Mason March 1836

(in oversize folder Ac)

 
Whittemore, James Olin
Box   2  
Diary 1866-1867
Box   2  
Transcript of the diary made in 1932
Box   2  
Speeches and Certificates (and miscellaneous materials) 1846-1875
 
University of Michigan student materials
Box   2  
Student Essays 1844-1845
Box   2  
Band of Broken Pipes (University of Michigan anti-tobacco student organization) 1845
Box   2  
College Temperance Society (University of Michigan student organization) 1844
Box   2  
College of Natural History (University of Michigan) 1845
 
Whittemore, William F. and Jessie (wife) papers
Box   3  
Diary 1936
 
Correspondence
Box   3  
To W. F. W. 1883-1939
Box   3  
To Jessie W., undated 1909, 1919, 1927 (2 folders)
Box   3  
Douglas W. (son) to W. F. W. and J. W. 1927
Box   3  
James O. Whittemore to W. F. W. 1885-1888
Box   3  
Miscellaneous Materials
 
Whittemore, Douglas M.
Box   3  
Biography by his brother Harlow Whittemore undated
 
Correspondence
Box   3  
To D. W. 1919, 1920, 1925
Box   3  
From Jessie W., Harlow W., and Philip Dow 1927
Box   3  
Miscellaneous materials
 
Harlow Family members

(W. Frank Whittemore's wife family)

Box   3  
Anna Harlow diary 1864
Box   3  
Charles Harlow diary 1863-1865

(Harlow served as member of 20th New York Cavalry, Co. D; he was also musician)

 
Photographs [series]

The Photographs series includes family portraits; and photographs of family homes in Tawas City and Ovid, Michigan, and San Diego, California.

Box   3  
Temperance Mack gravesite undated
Box   3  
Mathews family undated
Box   3  
Residences of James F., Lyman C., and William F. Whittemore, Tawas City, circa 1895
Box   3  
Tawas City area 1880-1890, undated (2 folders)
Box   3  
Starkweather family--Image of William F. Whittemore's grandmother
 
Whittemore family members undated
Box   3  
Gideon O. Whittemore undated
Box   3  
Jessie Whittemore's ancestors undated
Box   3  
Olin Whittemore undated
Box   3  
Bernice Melissa Whittemore, nurse undated
 
Unidentified people undated
Box   3  
Two positives
Box   3  
One negative
Box   4  
Family portrait albums, post Civil War (3 volumes)

(some images identified)

 
Business and professional ledgers and daybooks [series]

The Business and professional ledgers and daybooks series consists of daybooks and a ledger of Gideon O. Whittemore's mercantile lumbering accounts; and financial records and a letter book from James O. Whittemore as businessman and in his role as county clerk and postmaster.

Box   5  
Gideon O. Whittemore daybooks and ledger 1854, 1864-1868 (4 volumes, 1 folder)
Box   5  
James O. Whittemore daybooks, ledgers, and cash book, letter book 1867-1882 (7 volumes)
Additional Descriptive Data
Related Material

The library also has a separate collection of the papers of Harlow Olin Whittemore, a landscape architect and professor of landscape architecture at the University of Michigan