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Whitney J. Brainard
September 14, 1828 – January 7, 1917
Whitney J. Brainard was born in Westfield, Medina County, Ohio, September 14, 1828 and died In Wyoming, Iowa January 7, 1917 having attained the age of eighty-nine years, three months and twenty-three days. He was one of eleven children born to Nial and Assena Brainard.
His boyhood and early manhood were spent in Ohio, coming to Wyoming in 1854.
On the twenty-ninth of June 1856 he was united in marriage with Jane Cady and they spent sixty-one and a half years together. To this union nine children were born, five dying in early childhood. His wife and four children survive him: Sterling H. of Wyoming, Iowa; Stanley C. of Davenport, Iowa; Mrs. M.M. Garrison of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Mrs. J.W. Richards of Mechanicsville, Iowa, also twelve grandchildren and two brothers, John of Idaho and Luther of Oakdale, Nebraska.
He was one of the founders of the town of Wyoming. He built the first school house and the first church. He was also the proprietor of the first hotel. He served on the board of the county supervisors for many years, was a member of the school board at different times, and was the first contractor for the Milwaukee Railroad from Davenport to Monticello.
He united with the Methodist Episcopal in 1861. He was choir director and served the church in an official way as long as his health and strength permitted. He was a kind father, a true citizen and a Christian gentleman. The end came peacefully Monday morning about two o’clock.
Funeral services were held from the M.E. Church, Tuesday afternoon conducted by Rev. H. J. Bowder. Interment in the Wyoming cemetery.
Those attending the funeral from out of town were S.C. Brainard wife and children of Davenport; M.M. Garrison wife and children from Minneapolis, Minnesota; Dr. and Mrs. J. W. Richards of Mechanicsville; Mr. and Mrs. Kirkner of Waterloo and John White and wife from Olin.
In the passing of Whitney J. Brainard the last man that was on the town plat in 1854, has been gathered unto the father. He has lived a long and useful life in Wyoming, and many there are who will call him blessed. He was a man of strict integrity in business and social life – his word being as good as his bond. He has fought the good fight, he has kept the faith and henceforth there is laid up for him a crown of righteousness.
In looking over the records of the town we find that Mr. Brainard was the first hotel keeper, the first carpenter, the first mail carrier driving a stage coach from Maquoketa to Anamosa and a member of the first town council in 1873. He also built the school house and assisted in tearing down the old school house in order that our fine new building might be erected. All through the history of the town run the doings of this good man – and his long and useful career is a clean one - filled with deeds of mercy and noble examples.

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Source: Monticello Express, January 17, 1918

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