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Biography of Harry R. Whittelsey

Harry R. Whittelsey, president and manager of The Whittelsey Mercantile Company, which operates a chain of grocery stores in Topeka, and is one of the largest retail grocery firms in the state. A native of Redbank, New Jersey, Harry R. Whittelsey has been a resident of Topeka since. November 1, 1881, at which time he was a boy of thirteen. He was born December 5, 1868, a son of William Channcey and Grace M. (Hindes) Whittelsey. Of the six children there were four sons, Louis, Burt, Harry and William, Jr. The Whittelsey family were very prominent in the East. Grandfather W. C. Whittelsey was the first senior surgeon general of the United States navy, and held that office for a number of years. Harry Whittelsey’s maternal graudfather Hindes was a prominent lawyer of Littletown, New Hampshire, was the first librarian of the city library there, and during the War of 1812 he gave the United States Government $60,000 in cash. In return he received a warrant for a tract of land in Virginia. His heirs lost this property, since the records were burned with the court house, and being lost the heirs were not able to prove conclusively either the right to the land or its location. W. C. Whittelsey, father of Harry R., was educated in district schools and in a college in the South. During the Civil was he was a member of the Sanitary Commission of New Jersey, and he also acted as a messenger between Washington City and the Army of the Potomac. After the war he located in New York City, and for fourteen...

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