William Channing Whitney, a native of Harvard, Massachusetts, was an 1872 graduate of the Massachusetts Agricultural College. After working in Boston for several years, he moved to Minneapolis in 1878 and formed an architectural partnership with James Plant. Throughout his career in Minneapolis, Whitney was a consistent advocate of American Revival styles. Credited with introducing Georgian Revival architecture to Minneapolis in his design for the Hinkle-Murphy House (1886-87), Whitney gained a good reputation among wealthy business leaders. He executed residential designs for Frank Peavey, J.F. Bell, William Dunwoody, and many other influential Minneapolitans. During the height of his career from 1888 to 1896, he served on the Board of Trustees of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts before retiring from architecture in 1925.