Chauncy (Chan) Whitney was born in Nebraska in 1889, the son of Phineas and Caroline Whitney. Chauncy came to the Ypsilanti community with his parents, to farm northeast of Ypsilanti, Stutsman County, North Dakota. He attended the Ypsilanti schools.
In 1913, Chauncy was married to Mary Schultz, after which he farmed with his father until he moved into Ypsilanti, where he was engaged in the draying business.
Mary passed away in 1941, and Chan died in 1968. They had one son, George, who became county auditor for several years.