Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Whitaker Boys ~ Sibling Saturday

Frank, John, Artie, Joe, Harry and Lyman Whitaker
(Top row) Frank, John, Artie (Front row) Joe, Harry, Lyman

I have heard my husband speak of a photograph of his Whitaker great-grandfather and brothers that he saw as a child; one that reminded him of the James Gang. Definitely a child's perspective. Not a whiff of a rumor of outlaw behavior in this crew of merchants, farmers and bankers. Still, his eyes lit up when he saw this photo again in Grandma Bonnel's photo album, some 50 years after first seeing it. 

The boys are the sons (there were daughters, too) of Henry L. Whitaker and Harriet Merriam. The cardboard frame is stamped "M. W. Rudolph, ATCHISON, KANSAS" and the names are handwritten on the frame. Artie (Arthur S. Whitaker or Stephen A. Whitaker), standing at the right, was the youngest brother, born in 1876. Lyman, seated in front on the right, was the eldest brother, born in 1858. I estimate the date of the photograph to be in the very late 19th or first decade of the 20th century. 


  1. Isn't this wonderful! One wonders why one brother is the only one shaved clean?? And the family resemblance - amazing! A black and white photo of your husband tucked beside these would be so interesting, eh?

  2. I think there is only one time that this photo could have been taken; when H. L. Whitaker died. Lyman M. Whitaker had not been back to Kansas for 25 years prior to his father's death and had sent word from Fruita, CO that he would be home for the funeral. The family postponed the funeral until Nov. 19, 1902, so that Lyman could be there. I don't know how long he stayed in Kansas on this occasion but it must have been for a week or so, giving the boys a chance to take this photo. I sure wish there was a similar photo of the daughters of H. L. Whitaker.


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