This year, 2017, is the centennial of the passing of Edward A. Whitney. He arrived in Sheridan in 1885 and founded the city’s first bank after service in the Civil War. He traveled the world and yet lived frugally in Sheridan. He was determined to leave an estate that would benefit generations of local citizens with educational opportunity. Whitney Benefits thrives today with his mission and name. The Edward A. Whitney Academic Center, which opened in 2013 on the campus of Sheridan College, has been a hallmark of his vision – classrooms, offices, a social gathering center for the community.
He died Nov. 17, 1917. His life and legacy is being celebrated this year. Patrick Henderson, executive director of Whitney Benefits, notes that Whitney “used private capital to initiate human and social capital,” with education being the primary driver. To date, some 5,722 citizens since 1927 have used Whitney’s interest-free loans for educational opportunity.
There will be a lecture series this fall at Sheridan College. For more information about Whitney Benefits, call 674-7303.
• Sheridan writer and author Tom McIntyre has received a “Golden Moose” award from the Outdoor Channel. The network annually recognizes top storytelling. McIntyre’s work as a writer was featured in the episode “Trev Gowdy’s Monster Fish,” which won best fishing show of the year. Gowdy, incidentally, is the son of Wyoming native, Curt Gowdy, a Hall of Fame broadcaster. McIntyre’s last book, “Augusts in Africa: Safaris into the Twilight, Forty Years of Essays and Stories” was published late last year.
Paying it forward
• Jenny Gunn stopped by the Press earlier this week to thank the unknown lady who paid for her mother’s groceries last week at Wal-Mart. Certainly a neighborly-nice gesture for Virginia Gunn of Sheridan. “I thank you,” she wrote on a note.
Jim Ainsworth books
• Diane Kelter called and asked if I knew Texas author Jim Ainsworth. Sort of, I replied. She’d like to see his books in rotation at the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library. A fan of C.J. Box and Craig Johnson, Ainsworth is a novelist, author of business and investment books, a cowboy and storyteller who lives near Campbell, Texas.
I told Diane I hadn’t heard an east Texas accent like hers in many years. (I grew up in Marshall and attended East Texas State U. Ainsworth was named a Distinguished Alumnus of ETSU awhile back.) She noted that while visiting her sister in nearby Cooper, Texas, over the holidays, people shopping at the local Wal-Mart “talked so funny” that she laughed. Since living in Sheridan since 1972, she had lost much of that accent, but being around her sister brought a lot of it back.
She grew up in Houston and earned a nursing degree from Texas Women’s University.
She’s applied her nursing abilities while working at Sheridan Memorial Hospital; as a public health nurse and as a school nurse, including trips to Parkman and Hanging Woman Schools.
“Flattery is like cologne water — to be smelt, not swallowed.”
— Josh Billings, American humorist, lecturer, 1818-1885