Herbert Whitney, born in Toledo in 1877, was a descendant of Noah Ashley Whitney who came from New England in 1824, one of the original settlers in Toledo. For much of Toledo's history, the farm land in the Monroe-Collingwood area was owned by the Whitney family, hence the name of Whitney Avenue. It was here that Herbert Whitney was born in a farmhouse.
Whitney attended the old Toledo High School, playing football for two years. He went on to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree from Amherst College in 1899 and then continued his education at the law school of the University of Michigan. Whitney played catcher on the baseball team there, a team that won the Western Conference championship in 1900. He earned his law degree in 1902 and returned to Toledo to start a practice.
Once in Toledo, Whitney's interests broadened. He coached the Toledo High School football team from 1902 to 1905. He also actively pursued political interests. He was involved with the Independent movement started by Samuel (Golden Rule) Jones. At age 28, he was even elected to the municipal bench. Serving only a single term -- it is amazing that he was forever regarded as Judge Whitney. Herbert Whitney proudly supported Theodore Roosevelt in 1914 and attempted to gain a United States Congressional seat on the Progressive ticket, but he was defeated.
In 1914, Whitney married Louise Metzger and immediately began to devote his energeies to his family and the church. He gave up politics and concentrated on the development of his father's farm land. Portions of the land were transferred to the city and later became Jermaine Park. The rest was subdivided into Whitney Hills.
Whitney was a member of the Monroe Street Methodist Church. He founded a Sunday school program for high-school boys and also taught it for nearly fifty years. He served as a chairman of the Church's board and head of the pastoral relations committee. Whitney also led building programs for the church in both 1925 and 1955.
Aside from these activities, Whitney never gave up his love for sports. He actively participated in swimming, handball, and bowling. He teamed up with Dr. Henry Paine to win the tennis doubles championship of Toledo in 1913. He played golf several times a week at the Sylvania Country Club. Whitney traveled extensively through the United States and made four trips to Europe, including one to Russia in 1952. Herbert Whitney spent much of his time with groups like the Sons of the American Revolution, the YMCA, the Masons, and he was member of the Toledo and Ohio State Bar Associations. He also served as treasurer of the Whitney Hills Realty Company, the Moncroft Realty Company, and the Old Town Realty Company as well as president of the Toledo Stove and Range Company.
Mr. Herbert Whitney passed away on March 21, 1957 in his home. Surviving him were his wife, Louise, and their two children, Mrs. Mary McKenny of Toledo and Thomas Whitney, an Associated Press Correspondent. Louise Whitney passed away in 1980 at the age of ninety-five.(Toledo Biographical Scrapbook, Local History Room. Toledo Lucas County Public LIbrary). (Article from The Toledo Blade on the Whitney family).
Herbert Whitney's grave
(Photography of Woodlawn Cemetery by Josef Schneider.)