The Music Man

Reverend C Tom Davis, Music Director Emmett Leroy Whitney and Organist ? at Rose Hill Church of the Nazarene.

Emmett Leroy Whitney was a piano man from an early age. At age 15, he was already advertising as a music teacher in the East St Louis, Illinois City Directory (1906).

Emmett liked to play the piano in a ragtime music style that was popularized in the late 1890’s but he could also perform the classics with style and grace.

He wrote, performed and recorded music across the United States. He was comfortable playing in churches, theater productions and saloons. Also he tuned and repaired piano’s when not performing.

In the late 1940’s, and throughout the 50’s, he was the music director of Rose Hill Church Of the Nazarene in Little Rock.

Emmett Leroy Whitney was born in 1891 to David C. and Elisabeth Ann (Linder) Whitney in Ramsey, Illinois.

He married in 1911 to Carrie Isabel Montgomery and they had two children, Emmett Leroy “Bob” Whitney, Jr and Anna Marie Whitney

Emmett married around 1920 to Fanny Susann (Roberts) Huff and they had five boys, David Wayne Whitney, Paul Jean Whitney, Dale Keith Whitney, Joseph Dean Whitney and Philip Lloyd Whitney.

During his time at Rose Hill, he married for a third time to Viola Smith. They had no children. Emmett and Viola retired to Chetopa, Kansas in 1964. Unfortunately, both died there in 1965.

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