Leydford B. Whitten (commonly refered to as L.B. Whitten) moved from Virginia to Spokane County in 1880 after having initially moved west to The Dalles, Oregon. L.B. Whitten was a curious man who was trained as a master carpenter before leaving Virginia but was always pursuing education and business. In 1881 he built a wood frame building which served as a pharmacy until 1888. By 1887 L.B. Whitten called himself Dr. L.B. Whitten and printed bills to that effect, although no proof of this degree has been found. In 1890 the Whitten Block was built as it stands today. The Whitten Block was one of the first buildings constructed after the great Spokane fire of 1889. It was home to many prominent members of society people who weren't as fast to rebuild, such as Louis Davenport. L.B. Whitten continued to buy downtown and farm real estate and became very well known in real estate circles throughout Spokane.
In 1888 L.B. Whitten married Georgia J. Ballou, who was one of Spokane's earliest female physicians. Georgia J. Ballou had earned a degree in medicine from the Women's Medical College of Philadelphia. Georgia and L.B. had four children, three of which survived to adulthood. Paul, the eldest son, helped L.B. run his real estate business. By 1903, Georgia and L.B. had divorced, granting Georgia ownership over the Whitten Block. Georgia managed the apartments until she died in 1950.