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Sunday, March 9, 2014

WHITNEY, Gustavus Adolphus

UPDATE - G.A. Whitney has been claimed by a great grandson, and is going home!

This photo of Gustavus Adolphus WHITNEY was found at an Antique and Art Show in Stuart Florida yesterday.  The matte bears a studio stamp which says "Marratt, 131,133 and 135 Woodward Ave, Detroit, Mich."

The back is inscribed:

Return to Louis H. Jarvis
1401 2nd Ave
Detroit, Mi

G.A. Whitney
Born March 6, 1827
at Bangor Maine
Died July 24 1904
at 9:45 a.m.

Then there is additional writing at the bottom, which appears to say "1 col stereo scene for Tuesday."

This has the appearance of having been loaned to a newspaper or other publication for the purpose of an obituary article.

In the archives at the Detroit Free-Press, the following Funeral Notice insert was located:

The 1880 Detroit census shows G Whitney (53) living at 162 Cass Street with his wife Adelaide (37) and children Flora (17), Allie (16), Frank (14) and Bertha (8). Gustavus' occupation is "painter" and he was born in Maine. Adelaide was born in New York, but neither of them know where their parents were born. Son Frank works as a clerk in a shop. There are two boarders also living with the family; Samie Andrews (30) who works as a store clerk, and Byron Frick (or Frink) (32), an advertising agent.

The 1903 Detroit City Directory shows him at 54 W. Baltimore Avenue, with a business called "Whitney & Smith" and his partner was Albert O. Smith.  The 1905 Directory lists Adelaide as the widow of Gustavus. In that same Directory, Frank J. Whitney is given as the president of Whitney Furniture Manufacturing. Not sure if this is the same Frank Whitney who is the son of Gustavus.

The owner of the photo at that time, Louis H. Jarvis (born in Canada), was the husband of Gustavus' daughter Flora. In the 1911 City Directory for Detroit, there was a Louis H. Jarvis living at 1401 2nd Avenue. In other years' directories, he is given as a grocer.


  1. I want to thank Kathleen for sending me the picture of my great great grandfather Gustavus. She must be a very special person to do this sort of work.

    1. It is entirely my pleasure, Bob. Thanks for the compliments.