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William P. Whitaker - Table of Contents

William Porter Whitaker (1882 - 1957)

Scope and Content

William P. Whitaker declared his candidacy for Governor of the state of Idaho June 14, 1938, one of four Democratic candidates. This small collection (less than one linear foot) includes some of his correspondence from that period, particularly that related to the gubernatorial race, as well as copies of platforms, handbills, sample ballots, signed petitions, newspapers, speech scripts, etc. The majority of the correspondence occurred between the spring of 1938 and the primary election, August 9, when he lost to C. Ben Ross (who later lost the election to C. A. Bottolfson).

The original file's arrangement has been kept as much as possible, with the exception of the larger items, now filed separately in the first box. The remaining letters were originally arranged in a rough alphabetical order by the first letter of the correspondent's last name, with Whitaker's (or his daughter Mary's) reply filed with the item to which it was responding. These items have now been slightly reorganized to observe a stricter alphabetic order, and in cases where there is more than one letter by a particular person, those items have been filed chronologically within the correspondent's name.

The papers were deposited in the Idaho State University – Archives/Manuscripts Collection December 2002 by Richard Chase.

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1882William Porter Whitaker was born April 2, in Centerville, UT, to Thomas W. and Hanna[h] Waddoup[s] Whitaker.
1886His father died.
1898He served in the Spanish American War.
ca. 1900Attended Latter Day Saints College, Salt Lake City.
1902Married Rose Willey [or Welly or Wiley] of Bountiful, UT. William worked as fireman, then engineer, on the Oregon Shortline Railway until 1919.
1903Rose and William's first child, Mildred, was born (she later married Rupert Sorenson).
1906Son Marcus born. Rose died shortly after their move to Pocatello, ID.
Mission (LDS) in Florida – became president of the Florida Conference.
1912Whitaker married Mary Hawkley of Pocatello.
1915Daughter Josephine was born (she died young).
1918Daughter Mary was born (she later served as his campaign secretary in 1938, and married Herbert Hatten).
1919Daughter Violet was born (she later married Ernest Chase who took over the Pocatello Greenhouse).
1919-1921Elected and served as Mayor of Pocatello.
1920Nominated for Congress, Democrat, 2nd District.
1921Son Albert was born.
1922Nominated again for Congress.
ca. 1920sMoved to Rupert to farm; served as Minidoka County Chairman of the Democratic party.
1925Daughter Lelah was born (she later married Gean Bigler).
ca.1929Moved to California due to poor health. Son John was born in California.
Moved to Pocatello; builds (or purchases) Pocatello Greenhouse.
1934-1936Chair, County Commission (Bannock).
1936Ran for governor? [unsubstantiated].
1938Ran for governor. Filed June 14, campaigned heavily and traveled throughout the state of Idaho; lost in the primaries August 9 to C. Ben Ross (who lost election in November to C. A. Bottolfson).
ca.1940-1943Served as president of Southern States mission in Atlanta, GA.
Sold Greenhouse (to son-in-law Ernest Chase; until about 2001 the Pocatello Greenhouse remained in the Chase family).
ca.1944-1953 Appointed President of Pocatello LDS Stake.
1953-1957Stake Patriarch of North Pocatello Stake.

Processed by: Kristi N. Austin
Completed: October, 2003
Collection size: approx. .8 linear feet
Located: Eli Oboler Library – Special Collections; Idaho State University

Last Modified: 05/29/2008 sc