Elizabeth Cross <I>Cross</I> Whitney


Elizabeth Cross Cross Whitney

Mackinac Island, Mackinac County, Michigan, USA
Death 5 May 1896 (aged 99)
Harbor Springs, Emmet County, Michigan, USA
Burial Harbor Springs, Emmet County, Michigan, USA
Plot Fifty Feet from NW Corner
Memorial ID 55663904 View Source
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Elizabeth was born on Mackinac Island - Michigan Territory in August of 1796, to British parents by the name of CROSS. They both died - leaving Elizabeth orphaned. She was Adopted by Capt. Michael Dousman and his Wife - Catherine Jane Aiken McDonald. He was an Agent for John Jacob Astor's Fur Co. and a land owner. They were French Speaking people - as was Elizabeth - so she felt comfortable with them and was raised with the future Dousman Children. She learned the occupation of a nurse - Administering to the inhabinants of the Island. At the age of Thirty Nine - She married Louis Gebeau - a Fisherman and Boat builder. They became the parents of Three Sons -Louis, Antoine "Anthony" "Tony" and Charles Gebeau. In 1841 Louis drowened after a boating mishap in Lake Michigan - Leaving Elizabeth with the three little boys. In 1843 - On Mackinac Island - She married Walter Whitney. In 1844 - also on the Island - Elizabeth Whitney was born. In 1846 they located to Beaver Island - South West of Mackinac Island in Lake Michigan. After several years in this peaceful place - offering Walter a good living with his fishing business - They became fearful of their saftey as the not-so-pious Mormon "Self Proclaimed KING JAMES STRANG" attempted to change the lives of the islanders - stealing from them and forcing the men to take additional wives. After Son Louis was shot in the leg by one of the Mormons - In 1842 - Walter Whitney lost his life to the waters of Lake Michigan. The Whitneys relocated to Charlevoix - and later to Traverse City and Harbor Springs. By 1860 - the Natives had run Strang off the Island - Shooting him as he wakled up the plank of a ship waiting to take him to Mackinac. He died enroute. The Whitneys returned to Beaver Island where they tended the Light House. At the age of 18yrs - Elizabeth Whitney married Clement VanRiper. He started a Cooper Shop - Doing double duty as a Light House Keeper. He died in 1872 - He too would lose his life attempting to rescue people in a sinking ship. Elizabeth then married Daniel Williams - She was the keeper of the Light House. In 1905 - Elizabeth penned a very interesting account of her life - a Must Read - "A Child of the Sea and Life Among the Mormons". Mother Elizabeth Cross Dousman Gebeau Whitney passed away at the age of 100 at Harbor Springs, Emmet Co., MI. She is interred at Lakeview Cemetery. Daughter - Elizabeth Whitney VanRiper Willims is interred at Brookside Cemetery, Charlevoix, MI (Findagrave #67671308. She died in 1938 at 94 years of age - Her Husband - Daniel Williams died the day before her at the age of 87. Submitted by G G Nephew - Peter (Dousman Family) Rodgers

Bio by: Anita Rodgers

Family Members



"Elizabeth Whitney
1796 - 1896
Located about 50' from NW corner of cemetery
Transcript, 06 Jun 1998, Lakeview Cemetery


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  • Created by: Jim Shearer
  • Added: 30 Jul 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 55663904
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Elizabeth Cross Cross Whitney (3 Aug 1796–5 May 1896), Find a Grave Memorial ID 55663904, citing Lakeview Cemetery, Harbor Springs, Emmet County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Jim Shearer (contributor 46589264) .