Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 270-71.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Arthur Lee Whitney

Arthur Lee Whitney is one of the members of the Buena Vista county bar, having practiced at Storm Lake since October, 1905.  He was born in Black Hawk, Iowa, September 21, 1874.


His father, Joseph L. Whitney, a native of Canada, is now living, at Schaller, Iowa, at the age of sixty-three years.  He came to the United States when seventeen years of age and settled in Blackhawk county, where he engaged in teaching school for several years, becoming thus early connected with the educational development of the country.  He afterward went to Nebraska, where he took up a homestead claim, upon which he resided for five years.  On the expiration of that period he returned to Iowa and established his home in Pierson, where he was pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church for three years, also giving a portion of that time to pastoral work at Washta.  He was ordained to the ministry in Sioux City and was then assigned to the Hubbard church, where he continued for five years, doing earnest and effective work in behalf of the religious development of the community.  He also served as pastor of the Methodist church at Rockwell City for two years, spent five years at Alta, three years at Odebolt, three years at Early, and is now resident pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church at Schaller.  He is a man of influence and his consecrated work and untiring zeal have made his labors a wonderful feature in the success of the Methodist ministry.  In his fraternal relations he is connected with the Odd Fellows, while his political belief is indicated in the support which he gives the republican party.  He married Martha Walling Batchellor, who was born in Providence. Rhode Island, and is now living at the age of fifty-eight years.  She, too, is a member of the Methodist church and is of much assistance; to her husband in his work.


Arthur Lee Whitney is the second in order of birth in the family of six children.  Owing to the itinerant customs of a Methodist minister his boyhood and youth were passed in various towns, where he pursued his education as a public school student.  He also attended Morningside College for three years and later took up the study of law, matriculating in the law department of Drake University in the fall of 1899.  Following his graduation he was admitted to the Bar in May, 1901, and began practice at Alta in June of that year.  In October, 1905, he sought a broader field of labor offered in the county seat and removed to Storm Lake, where he has secured a good clientage that has connected him with much of the important litigation brought in the courts of this district.  He formed a partnership with F. F. Faville under the firm style of Faville & Whitney.  In November, 1904, he was elected county attorney, and the capability and impartiality with which he discharged the duties of the office were indicated in his reelection for a second term.  His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he is in hearty sympathy with its policies.


On the 10th of October, 1906, Mr. Whitney was married to Miss Bertha Rathbun, who was born in Kingsley, Iowa, in February, 1884.  They occupy an enviable position in the social circles of the city, and Mr. Whitney is numbered among the valued members of the Masonic fraternity, while both he and his wife are connected with the Eastern Star.  He also belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge, the Elks lodge at Le Mars, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.  He possesses laudable ambition for advancement in his profession and knowing that it can be done only by individual merit he prepares his cases with great thoroughness and care, and his devotion to his clients’ interests is proverbial.