Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

RS 1/3/53
Charles E. Whiting (1821-1897)
Papers, 1847-1915, undated


Descriptive summary

creator: Whiting, Charles E. (1821-1897)
title: Papers
dates: 1847-1915, undated
extent: 0.42 linear feet (1 document box)
collection number: RS 1/3/53
repository: University Archives, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.

 

Administrative information

access: Open for research
publication rights: Consult Head, Special Collections Department
preferred citation: Charles E. Whiting Papers, RS 1/3/53, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.

 

Abstract

Charles E. Whiting was a well-respected farmer and politician from Monona County, Iowa. He was the Democratic candidate for governor of Iowa in 1885 and was elected state senator in 1883. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Iowa State College during its early years. This collection includes correspondence, largely about his campaign for governor and his expansive farm; speeches he wrote for his campaigns; deeds; and legal documents regarding the various land acquisitions that he made. The collection includes one letter each from Iowa State Presidents Adonijah Welch and S. A. Knapp.

 

Biographical note

Charles E. Whiting was born in Otsego County, New York, in 1821. There, he was raised on a farm and educated, both in public school and in the Western Reserve Seminary. In 1843, he moved to Alabama and established a trading business that his brother Newell eventually helped run. It was in Alabama that he married his wife, Nancy Criner (1848). After several years of running his trading business, he moved to California and staked a claim for himself (1850). Eventually, he sold his claim and returned to Alabama to finish taking care of his affairs (1853). After visiting his parents along the way, he journeyed to Iowa County, Iowa, to claim a homestead for himself and his family. After a few years, the Amana Colonies bought his land and Whiting moved west to Monona County (1855), where he was joined by four of his brothers.

Whiting was renowned for his horticultural prowess. After obtaining his property in Monona County, he set about planting hundreds of trees, including walnut, cottonwood, maple, and fruit trees. Some of the trees he planted included Russian apple trees that he acquired from Iowa State College, which were hardy enough to survive winter. Horticultural skills aside, Whiting was very well-regarded in Monona County and was elected to the position of County Judge (1857). He was also chosen as a nominee for a position as a senator (1874) and as governor of Iowa (1885) but was defeated in both elections. ¬†Whiting served as a member of the County Board of Supervisors (1864) and as state senator (1883). For many years, he served as a member on the Iowa State College’s Board of Trustees and also as a regent for the State University (now the University of Iowa). Whiting died at his home in 1897.

 

Collection description

This collection (1842-1915, undated) contains biographical information, correspondence, speeches, certificates of stock, financial records, deeds, and other legal documents. The speeches are mostly political in nature though some give evidence to his expertise in agricultural matters. The legal documents are primarily related to Whiting's many land acquisitions. The bulk of the correspondence consists of letters received by Whiting including one letter each from Iowa State Presidents Adonijah Welch and Seaman Knapp.

 

Container list

Box

Folder

Title

Dates

1

1

Biographical Information

1876-1915

1

2

Correspondence (15 letters, 1 deed, 1 railroad notice, 1 report)

1854-1877

1

3

Correspondence (86 letters, 1 deed)

1855-1898

1

4

Correspondence (20 letters)

1857-1885

1

5

Correspondence (5 letters; including one from Adonijah S. Welch)

1876-1883

1

6

Correspondence (10 letters)

1880-1885

1

7

Correspondence: Cedar Rapids Railroad (4 letters, 1 deed)

1859-1860, undated

1

8

Correspondence: Inquiries (7 letters; including one from S. A. Knapp)

1876-1877

1

9

Correspondence: Land (17 letters, 1 list of ISC land prices)

1856-1876

1

10

Correspondence: Nomination Congratulations (27 letters)

1865

1

11

Correspondence: Stock and Grain (23 letters, 3 ads)

1875-1878, undated

1

12

Correspondence: Trees (16 letters)

1854-1878

1

13

Deeds and Legal Documents (14 deeds, 7 financial records, 2 notes, 3 letters)

1856-1901

1

14

Deeds and Legal Documents (11 deeds, 2 letters, 1 legal document)

1876-1901, undated

1

15

Financial Records (6 financial records, 3 letters)

1854-1891

1

16

Speeches (11 speeches)

1842-1844, undated

1

17

Stock Shares: Monona Land Company (18 stock certificates)

1858

1

18

Tax Documents (4 tax documents)

1875