A Rare Look into the Archives: Ted Whitney

By John Antonowicz


In celebration of the Chenango County Historical Society’s 50th anniversary open to the public, we honor a person who dedicated an endless amount of time to the Society to develop a well thought out and well interpreted exhibit on the story of Chenango County. Theodore Whitney spent 25 years as a museum trustee, including serving as president from 1971 – 1976. Without Ted Whitney, the historical society would not exist in the scale it does today.

Ted, a native of Columbus, was born on November 15, 1905, and graduated in the Sherburne High School class of 1922. Ted advanced his education by attending several colleges after his high school career. From 1943 – 1945, Ted served in the United States Army, where he drew caricatures and cartoons of his experiences. These were reproduced in 1991by the historical society for resale.

Ted had a great interest in the Native Americans who once lived in these lands and he tried to describe their lives. Ted often used his own skills to analyze how the Natives lived. Ted was able to demonstrate how stone tools were made and how they were used. He would spend hours chipping away at flint to make reproduction arrowheads, so that when school children would visit the museum; they had a small souvenir to take with them.

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