20th Century History of New Castle and
Lawrence County Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens


[p. 790] a leading business man and proprietor of the Whistler Bros.' large dry goods and department store at Ellwood City, was born September 8, 1866, and is a son of Capt. C. W. and Mary Elizabeth (Forker) Whistler.

The paternal grandfather, Charles Whistler, was born in Basingstoke, England, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Quebec. He was a son of William Whistler. In 1820 Charles Whistler settled in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in farming and also conducted an inn. He died there when aged seventy years. He married Susan Graham, who was born in Mercer County and was a member of one of the oldest families, having originally been of Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pa.

Capt. C. W. Whistler was born at Mercer, Mercer County, Pa., and has practically spent his long life of seventy-three years there. Formerly he was engaged in the mercantile business and also conducted the Whistler Hotel. He is a well known journalist, the editor of the Western Press, of Mercer, and for years has been a contributor to the newspapers. He married Mary Elizabeth Forker, who was born at Harrisville, Butler County, Pa., and was a daughter of James and Maria Forker, early settlers there. Mrs. Whistler died in 1903. They had four children, namely: Edmund Quimby, deceased; Julia F. Zahniser, of Mercer County; Paul Graham, formerly a member of the firm of Whistler Bros., who died in 1904, aged thirty-five years, and Charles Elliott.

Charles Elliott Whistler was educated in the public schools of Mercer, at Allegheny College, Washington and Jefferson College, and at Curry's Business College, after which he went to California in search of health. There he first entered into business, opening a store at San Diego. After he returned to the East he embarked in a general mercantile business at Scott Haven, Westmoreland County, Pa., where he continued until 1900, when he came to Ellwood City, where he has been ever since, with the exception of one and one-half years, during which period he conducted a wholesale produce business at Los Angeles, Cal. He has devoted the greater part of his life to mercantile interests and has met with almost invariable success. When he came to settle permanently at Ellwood City he purchased the store and fixtures and business from C. H. Williams and has most desirable quarters, with a frontage of forty-four feet, one-half of which has a depth, of 160 feet and one-half of 120 feet. He carries an immense stock, which has been selected with care, and he requires for his large trade the assistance of from eight to fifteen clerks. He has modern equipments and the business is conducted along the most improved lines.

In 1901 Mr. Whistler was united in marriage with Ethel May Butler, who is a daughter of Alfred and Emma Butler, of Oxford, England. Mr. and Mrs. Whistler have two children, Julia May and Grace Butler, interesting little American maidens who still show traces of their English ancestry. Mr. and Mrs. Whistler are members of the Episcopal Church.

In politics, Mr. Whistler is affiliated with the Democratic party, and as a leading citizen public offices have been urged upon him. He is president of the Ellwood City School Board, takes a deep interest in the development of the city's various industries and contributes liberally to charitable and benevolent enterprises. He belongs to Ellwood Lodge, F. & A. M., and is a member of the Merchants and Manufacturers' Club of Ellwood City. He was the first president of the Ellwood Board of Trade, of which he has ever since been an active and useful member.

During a pleasant visit to England, Mr. Whistler had the satisfaction of viewing the section from which came his ancestors, and saw the house in the quaint old English village which has sheltered seven generations of his name.

20th Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens Hon. Aaron L. Hazen Richmond-Arnold Publishing Company, Chicago, Ill., 1908

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