Joseph Whiting



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Joseph Whiting     see Family Tree

Born: Abt. 1800 Milford, New Haven, CT


Married: 14 May 1828 New London, CT


Connecticut Mirror, Hartford, Monday May 26, 1828
Died: 20 Jul 1845 Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, MI


Morning News, New London, CT  Aug 1, 1845
"At Ann Arbor, Mich, in July, Professor Whiting, of the Mighican State University, son of the late Capt. Joseph Whiting, of Milflord, Ct. - Professor W. married in this city, and leaves a widow and children."
Morning News, New London, Connecticut Vol 1, Issue 224, pg 3   Aug 1, 1845
Erected at University of Michigan to commemorate one of its first professors, Joseph Whiting. The broken column signifies a life cut short. Professor Whiting's body is elsewhere.
  The text at the bottom of the monument, translated from the Latin, reads: To the Memory of Joseph Whiting A.M. Minister of the gospel who after he had filled the office of president of an academy of the University of Michigan in exemplary fashion then was selected for the chair of Latin and Greek in that same university.  With the unusual affection of all men, he lived forty-five years and died on July 20, 1845.  The Regents of the University as the only thing they could do caused this monument to be erected."


Joseph Whiting


Nancy Anne Gunn


Harriet Cleaveland Whiting


1. William Pitt Cleveland Whiting b. 09 Jun 1829 Cheshire, New Haven, CT

2. Abby Sophia Whiting b. 01 Feb 1831 Cheshire, New Haven, CT

3. Joseph Whiting b. 16 Apr 1833 Cheshire, New Haven, CT

                             d. 22 Mar 1834

Anna Buckingham Whiting b. 26 Jan 1836 Cheshire, New Haven, CT

5. Charles Augustus Whiting b. 20 Dec 1837 Cheshire, New Haven, CT

6. Henry Herpaine Whiting b. 20 Oct 1839 Niles, Berrien, MI

7. Ellen Bascom Whiting b. 16 Mar 1841 Niles, Berrien, MI

8. Josephine Whiting b. Jun 1845 Niles, Berrien, MI

                                d. Oct 1845

From the Biographical Notices of Graduates of Yale College, by Franklin Bowditch Dexter, LITT.D., supplement to the Obituary Record, New Haven, 1913, the following: "Joseph Whiting was born in Milford, CT, on 31 Jul 1800, the son of Captain Joseph and Anne (Gunn) Whiting. He studied theology while teaching in New London, and was licensed to preach by the New London Association of Ministers in 1826. In the summer of 1827, he began to supply the Congregational Church in Cheshire, and was called to the pastorate on 29 Aug. On Oct 24, he was ordained and installed as pastor, and he remained there until his dismission, on account of inadequate support, on 29 Aug 1836. He soon after went to OH, and lived for several years in Cleveland, preaching occasionally. In 1840 he became Principal of a branch of the state University of Michigan, located at Niles; whence he was transferred in the summer of 1841 to the Professorship of Ancient Languages in the mother university in Ann Arbor, being one of the first two officers to begin regular instruction there. He died in Ann Arbor on 20 Jul 1845, just before the graduation of the first class, at the age of 45. He married, on 14 May 1828, Harriet Lewis, eldest child of Judge William P. Cleaveland (Yale, 1793), of New London, by his second wife, Abby Richards. She died in Spencerport, NY, 27 Apr 1877, in her 71st year. Their children were two daughters and two sons.

The above is courtesy of Dick Miller

At left is a copy of the Record of Baptisms by Joseph Whiting 1827-1828 Cheshire Congregational Church 1724-1917 Reel #98 Vol. VI p. 17  
Appointed Minister in 1828 at a salary of $600 a year
Appointment as Minister of Cheshire Congregational Church pg 2
Requests Dismissal from Pastoral Charge on account of the inadequate salary.  17 December 1836

History of the University of Michigan pg 33

"At last the murmurings at their delay, which began to be heard in the state, appear to have caused the Regents to hasten the time for opening the University doors. At all events, on July 22, 1841, they took steps to open them the ensuing fall. In August the requirements for admission to the Freshman class were published, and in September the work began. Two Professors had been appointed, Rev. George P. Williams to the Chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, and Rev. Joseph Whiting to the Chair of Languages. Professor Williams had been Principal of the Pontiac Branch, and Professor Whiting of the Niles branch. Their salaries were fixed at $500 annually and a house on the Campus rent free. Only a Freshman class was organized, and this consisted at the first, not of thirty students as the Regents had at one time anticipated, but of six students. Such was the modest beginning."

On September 25, 1841, instruction began at the University of Michigan with seven students in classes taught by two professors: the Reverend George P. Williams for mathematics and science, and the Reverend Joseph Whiting for Greek and Latin. The students were very young. George Pray one of those students wrote a memoir. Of his 20 or so classmates, the ages of only 12 are known: of these, three were 13 or 14 years old: five, including Pray, were 16, and three were 17 or 18 in 1841.
In the afternoon there was still another recitation or class lecture, and perhaps another lecture on weekday evenings as well. On Saturdays, Pray attended morning assembly, a time when students and faculty came together almost informally. Students used the Saturday assemblies to read or recite humorous pieces, which may have prompted Prof. Joseph Whiting trying to make them into gentlemen as well as scholars to condemn "loud laughing" as "an indication of a vacant mind."

Joseph Whiting died four years later at the age of 45.  His widow must have stayed on in the faculty housing for a short time and their oldest son, William Pitt Cleaveland Whiting, was a student at the University of Michigan from 18844-1848.  By 1850 the widow and daughters had moved back to Buffalo.

Ordination in Connecticut Courant Nov 5, 1827