My great-grandfather, Scott Winfield Whitman, kept a diary beginning 1 January 1880 until his death in 1909. During the summer of 1884, he and his wife, Charlotte (Simons) Whitman, who were living on a farm at the edge of Mason City, Cerro Gordo, Iowa, made a trip back to the hometown of their childhood, Wells, Hamilton County, New York. They stayed with relatives and friends while there and visited many old friends and acquaintances. The diary mentions by name many residents of Hamilton County in Wells, Hope, West Galway, Northville and an unofficial settlement, called Pickleville. The following is a transcription from that diary.

As a background, the reader may wish to know that Scott Whitman was a great-grandson of Isaiah and Hannah (Platt) Whitman who came with a group of other Long Island families to "the wilderness" at Wells in September of 1795. Between them, Isaiah and Hannah had ten children. Each had two from a previous marriage, and they had six together. Their children were all born at Dix Hills, Suffolk County, Long Island except the last two, who were born at Wells. The ones who came to Wells with their parents were:

Scott Whitman's parents were Rose and Ellen (Bentley) Whitman, of Wells. Rose was the eldest son of Isaiah and Sarah (Turner) Whitman. Rose Whitman was a blacksmith and a farmer at Wells and was active in a number of boards and committees until they moved to Wisconsin in 1872. He operated a hotel at Madison, Wisconsin for a time and moved to Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa before 1880.

Scott's wife, Charlotte (Simons) Whitman, was the daughter of George and Catherine Simons, who came to Wells from Albany between 1850 and 1860. George and Catherine had twelve children. Many of them remained at Wells, and some were living there at the time of the visit covered by the diary.

Only one of Scott's sisters, Sarah, remained in Hamilton County at West Galway in 1884. She was married to Marcus B. Crowe, son of Patrick and Mary Crowe, who lived at Wells in 1850.

I have accummulated a considerable amount information about the Whitman families, but I just have bits amd pieces about the Turner, Bentley, Rose and Simons lines. I am actively researching all of these families and would enjoy hearing from anyone who is connected. I have made bracketed remarks following entries in the diary when I think I know the identity of the people mentioned. These are based on my best current understanding of the relationships discovered through my research. If you find a questionable item or can expand on the information in these notes, email me, and I will add the information to my file.

Joyce Cummings

Scott Winfield Whitman Diary, 1884

Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:37:25 PDT
Copyright © 2000: Joyce Cummings