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Board of Trustees - Former Trustees
William Henry Whitmore
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Trustee of the Boston Public Library, 1885-1888. Born 1836 in Dorchester; died 1900 in Boston. Merchant, politician, genealogist, antiquarian. A descendant of Francis Whitmore who settled in Cambridge, MA, in 1648, William H. Whitmore attended both Boston Latin and English High Schools before entering his family’s firm of commission merchants. While traveling to such places as India and Madagascar during his 25 years as a merchant, he studied law and painting. Elected to the Boston Common Council in 1874, Mr. Whitmore spent much of his energy promoting the preservation and publication of local records and concurrently served on the Boston Board of Record Commissioners. He became a city registrar in 1892 and supervised the publication of local and vital records in several multiple volume sets. Throughout his activities in Boston, Mr. Whitmore frequently contributed writings to the New England Historic Genealogical Society Register, the Nation, and the Massachusetts Historical Society, as well as published genealogies and histories of New England towns and families. While he supported the need to find expanded quarters for the growing public library, Trustee Whitmore disagreed on constructing a new building and eventually resigned his trusteeship because of its cost.

Sources:
“William Henry Whitmore (1836-1900)”, Dictionary of American Biography Base Set. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928-1936. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. [Online database] Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 2003 at http://www.galenet.com/servlet/BioRC via BPL Electronic Resources web page.

Wadlin, Horace G. The Public Library of the City of Boston: A History. Boston: Trustees of the Boston Public Library, 1911.

Whitehill, Walter Muir. Boston Public Library: A Centennial History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1956.