Originally founded as Dawes City in 1885, the town of Whitney was renamed and incorporated in 1888.

Perhaps one of the most famous buildings in the Dawes County area, the Whitney School finally closed its doors in 2011 after 125 years of educating and graduating young students.

In the 1920s, farmers and ranchers in the area struggled with drought. They formed the Whitney Irrigation District in 1922 and over the next three years, a network of pipelines, irrigation ditches, and a man-made lake were developed to bring water to the region.

Today, Whitney Lake is a popular spot for walleye fishing and bird watching.