Written History of Ralph Emanuel Whitney



Written by his children

Howard G. Whitney:

My earliest memories of my father, Ralph Emanuel Whitney, go back to about 1927 when we lived in Goodsprings, Nevada and/or Jean, Nevada.

I remember mostly as a child of four, five, and six that I had no anxieties nor felt insecure.  These feelings were undoubtedly connected to and were the direct result of having been born of goodly parents.  Dad was always home when not working or on some other necessary family related business.

Paradise Valley Ranch holds most of my boyhood and teenage memories.  Though we had no electrical power nor indoor plumbing, life on the ranch, as far as I’m concerned, was a “bowl of cherries.”

Dad always allowed us ample freedom for work, play and also for exploration by foot or on horseback; yet, he held us accountable.  Dad trusted us implicitly.

Whenever we quarreled, unless it was serious, he rarely interfered, but let the quarrel wear itself out.

Somehow I knew that Dad enjoyed being a dad.  He was a typical Western man.  We knew that he loved us beyond doubt for he assured us of his love by action rather than by mere expression.

One evening it was my turn to go to the neighbors to bring home milk (as our cow was dry).  Sam Watson, the neighbor’s son (about my age), walked part-way home with me and offered me a chew of tobacco, and I succumbed to temptation.  In the process of trying out my first chew, I swallowed some of the tobacco juice.  When I arrived back at our ranch I was white as a sheet and vomiting.  Dad asked what was the matter and I immediately confessed.  In his wisdom and discernment he allowed how I felt to be the proper punishment and canceled a cottonwood switching.

On many occasions, when it came to field work, I was less than ambitious and didn’t always get my assigned work completed.  Dad never came down hard on this weakness, but seemed to understand it was a product of my age.


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