704 PARK – WHITNEY HOUSE
The house at 704 Park may have been built as early as 1855, but Robert Irrmann, Beloit College historian for many years, believed that it was newly constructed just prior 1872, when it was purchased by
Reverend Henry M. Whitney. According to the Whitney family records, Henry purchased the home and lot on February 23, 1872, from D. C. Brown for $3,700. The Whitney family’s recognition came through the scholarship of Henry’s two brothers. In 1864, Mount Whitney was named after Henry’s brother, Josiah Dwight Whitney, State Geologist for California 1860 to 1874; and William Dwight Whitney, was editor of The Century Dictionary, published 1889-1891. Henry himself was an important member of Beloit College faculty. In 1871, after graduating from Yale, Henry came to Beloit College to chair the department of Rhetoric and English Literature. The Whitney home was always open informally to Beloit College students. After 28 years of service to Beloit College, Henry resigned to become the librarian of the Blackstone Library of Branford, CT. In 1911, The Beloit Historical Society was launched at 704 Park at the home of Mrs. William F. Brown, whose family had bought the house from Whitney.
This two story vernacular style residence has an Italianate influence. Hip roof and tall narrow windows with flat hooded lintels grace the clapboard sided house. Green shutters frame the windows. A later front porch of Greek Revival style was added on, designed by William A. Ralph, a well-known local architect, who lived at 703 Park.