The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 6, 1904
Mrs. Whitney Has Returned
Lehigh Woman Connected With Recent Scandal Comes Back to Old Home to Live
Gather Children Together
Will Attempt to Live Down Recent Ill Doings and Regain Lost Respect of Citizens. Lehigh, However, Will be Slow to Credit Good Intentions.
Mrs. A.E. Whitney, the Lehigh woman whose name was so prominent in the recent disgraceful stories connecting her name to that of R.A. Pettibone, the prominent business man and ex-mayor of the same city who is a man with a large family, has returned to Lehigh, rented rooms, gathered her scattered children together and professes her intention of making her home in the city for the future, in an attempt to live down the disgrace of her alleged actions in the recent scandal.
Claims to be Innocent of Much.
The woman claims to be innocent of much of which she had been charged and asserts there is nothing in the stories of her runaway with Pettibone. She acknowledges, however, that she she (sic) has been guilty of certain indiscretions in her associations with the man, and says she is anxious to live in the city and prove that she is capable of living a perfectly chaste and good life, and her greatest desire is to live down the scandal created by her folly and regain the respect of the citizens of the town where all of the trouble occurred.
The Argus Article.
The article from the Lehigh Argus follows:
Mrs. A.E. Whitney, the woman that has had much notoriety thru the daily papers in connection with R.A. Pettibone of this place, has returned to Lehigh and will again make her abode her (sic). She arrived from Des Moines Saturday in which city she has been it is supposed since July 1st. She had had her little daughter Hopie with her during that time but left her at Des Moines with friends while she made a trip to this place.
Mrs. Whitney returned to Des Moines Wednesday and got the child and both returned to this place yesterday morning. Mrs. Whitney claims she is innocent of any serious sin and can vindicate her character which she claims has been wrongfully traduced. She admits however of talking “over the fence” with Mr. Pettibone and similar little tete-a-tetes which she had with him but stoutly denies having anything to do with him that was not perfectly proper and in accordance with the established rules of society.
Mr. Pettibone also says emphatically that his relation toward Mrs. Whitney was that of a gentleman and for the sensational stories that have been universally told by the newspapers he proposed to get even by big libel suits.
It yet remains to be seen in the eyes of the Lehigh people at large whether they are entirely innocent or not of many things for which they have been charged and it is hoped if they can prove their innocence and put a stop to all the stories that have been said concerning them.
Children Gathered Up.
Mrs. Whitney’s two boys have been in Lehigh since the first of July and the boys have not seen their mother since they left deep River at that time. The youngest has been cared for by the K.P. lodge at this place since the boys came here but will now be taken care of by Mrs. Whitney, who desires to keep the children together. The lodge was making arrangements for a home for the youngest boy but on the arrival of Mrs. Whitney and knowing of her desire to keep the children this will not be done. Mrs. Whitney claims she did not know of the death of her husband (who was killed in a mine in Colorado July 1st) until July 20th and she had a letter from Colorado stating he expected to return to Lehigh. When she sent the boys to this place she supposed Mr. Whitney was h ere.
When Mr. Pettibone and Mrs. Whitney prove clearly their innocence to the charges which have been made against them, then they will be taken by the hand and helped to live an honorable life by every citizen of Lehigh, but this must be proven and until it is proven they must suffer for the follies of their own transgressions.