Life History-John Albert Whitby
Contributor: trishkovach Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
JOHN ALBERT WHITBY
John Albert Whitby was born January 8, 1885 in the old Whitby home in Alpine,
Utah County, Utah to Thomas (Barrett) Whitby and Emma Sarah Freestone, the seventh
child in a family of eleven children. He lived practically all his life in the same home.
He attended school in the old City Hall until the elementary school was erected in
1899. He attended this school through the eighth grade, at which time he spent one winter
at the Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah.
He worked on his fathers farm helping him until he became old enough to care for the
farm himself at which time his father rented the farm to him on shares.
His mother died on April 4, 1906 in Provo, Utah and his father moved to Salt Lake
City and married Marie Larsen September 11, 1908. Thomas Whitby died January 29,
1909 in Alpine.
The farm was divided among the children before their father's death. John rented the
farm from different members of the family for the year 1909, and at this time he was
called to fill a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Eastern
States Mission. He left for his mission November 27,1909, leaving his engaged
sweetheart Mamie Monson to wait for him. It was his sister Minnie who brought about
the beginning of this courtship. She asked Mamie to come to Alpine to a dance in May
1909 and told her she would send someone to Manila to bring her to Alpine. When her
escort arrived, it was John and that was the beginning of their courtship.
John spent twenty-five months in West Virginia as an L.D.S. Missionary, and upon
receiving an honorable release, he returned home in December, 1911.
He married Mamie Henrietta Monson in the Salt Lake Temple on February 7, 1912
and together they bought and paid for the old home and farm. Through this marriage they
were blessed with four boys and three girls and had the privilege of rearing six of them to
adulthood., Their second child, David, lived only about an hour.
John Whitby was elected as a member of the Alpine City Council in 1914. He held
this position for ten years, then he was elected City Mayor, serving five terms or ten
years. While serving as Mayor, he was truly a servant of the public. He did many things
to improve our city; among the most outstanding was his leadership in the erection of the
new City Hall. This was accomplished only through maximum efforts on his part because
of the opposition of a certain group of the townspeople. It was completed in 1936 and has
truly been a boost to our city. He was also instrumental in getting the main road between
Alpine and American Fork oiled.
In the year 1928 he was sustained as a councilor in the Alpine Ward Sunday School
Superintendancy. He held this office until he was sustained as second councilor to Bishop
Edward W. Burgess in 1929. This office he held for over sixteen years. He was released
in August 1945.
He was appointed treasurer for the Alpine Ward Finance Committee at the time of the
erection of the new Ward Meeting House. This new building was necessary after the old
Ward House was destroyed by fire. In January 1935 he was appointed as chairman of the
John did many things financially and other ways for the Ward which people were
never aware of. However on two different occasions especially, he presented the Ward
with gifts to help to beautify and supply the needs of the Chapel. These gifts were an
electric wall clock and. a set of books (The Standard Works of the Church) for the pulpit.
At the time of the dedication of the church, he and mother dined with President Heber
J. Grant and other dignitaries of the Church at Bishop Edward W. Burgess' home.
He spent about sixteen years as a member of the Alpine Irrigation Company
Water Board and part of this time as president.
As a father, he is more than any family could ask for. He never tires of going and
doing anything he can think of to make life more pleasant for all the members of his
family. Because of the great love that he and his wife have for their children, it was with
very deep grief that they watched helplessly the hopeless illness and passing of their
youngest son Melbourne Dean who died August 10, 1954 at the age of twenty five of
cancer. Everything possible was done for Melbourne during his illness, especially in the
way of faith and prayers. The family's prayers were answered-not in the way they would
have liked-but in the way which was the Lord's will.
Father and mother sent two of their children on missions for the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. Merlin went to the North Central States Mission in 1936 and
LaRee went to the Western States Mission in 1939.
Father has always loved farming and fruit raising and his boys have enjoyed working
along with him, even after they were married.
His favorite season of the year is Autumn, with its beautiful colors and the summer
crops which have meant so much work, all harvested. Then too, it means his favorite
holiday is almost here. Being a person who always enjoys giving, it is only natural that
Christmas would be an enjoyable holiday for him.