“TOWN BUILDER” as he was called in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, was born in 1870 in Ogdensburg, New York. He studied Law at the University of Nebraska and in 1891 moved to Enid, Oklahoma and established a Law Firm Whiting & Laing to practice Law. In 1909 he was appointed Probate Attorney and Competency Attorney Commissioner for the Osage Tribe and moved to Pawhuska, Ok. That same year the town of Pawhuska was established.
After retiring as the Probate Attorney and Competency Attorney Commissioner for the Osage tribe, Vernon Whiting purchased the Pawhuska Capital weekly newspaper located on the 7th Street Stairs. Six years later he sold the paper to Richard Elam and entered into the Real Estate business, becoming responsible for many fine commercial & residential properties being built, including the Hurley-Whiting building between Main & 6th street now owned by Ladd & Ree Drummond. The Old Post Office/Whiting Dance Hall building on the corner of 7th & Kihekah Ave and The Whiting Apartment building now known as Osage Square and Historic Whiting Hotel Suites located between 7th & 8th Streets on Kihekah Ave. Vernon Whiting also built other apartment buildings, residential properties and small business properties.
His most unique architectural property, and also a favorite of Ron Frantz with the Oklahoma Historical Preservation Department in Oklahoma City, is the Osage Square & Historic Whiting Hotel Suites aka the Whiting Apartment building that anchors the north end of Kihekah Ave in the Historic Downtown Business District. This two story, stucco & brick, mission style building separates itself with original style and architecture from all other brick buildings in the Historic Downtown district. It is located next to the grand 7th street stairs that connect Kihekah to the Osage Indian Agency hill on Grandview. This unique building spans one entire city block with 11 Commercial spaces at street level and has balconies and walkways that separate 4 individual units with a total of 20 studio apartments on the 2nd floor. Tenancy in these apartments were originally used by oilfield workers then later occupied by “Honeymooners”, as young high school girls dreamed about the day they would marry and move into the Whiting Apartments. Even today you will find much of the original historic charm of the Whiting Apartments when you stay in the Historic Whiting Hotel Suites.
Vernon Whiting served as Commissioner and Mayor of Pawhuska, president and director of the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce and during WWII was president of the 4 Minute-Men of Osage Co. He was a member of the Council of Defense and was very active in the stamp and bond sales. Vernon Whiting was an active and prominent citizen known as the “Town Builder” in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.