Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    George W. White was born in Johnson township, Champaign county, Ohio, four miles east of his present home, on the 22d of February, 1834, his parents being George and Mary (Anderson) White. The father was a native of Trenton, New Jersey, and was married there. The ancestry of the family can be traced back to the earliest epoch in the history of New England, the original American ancestor being Peregrine White, who was the first white child born in Massachusetts, his ancestors having crossed the Atlantic in the Mayflower. Among the old family relics in possession of our subject is a copy of the will of Sarah Hollingshead, of Charleston, South Carolina, his great-grandmother on the maternal side. George White and his brother, Samuel, came to Ohio in 1830, and both secured government land in Champaign county, where Samuel died when about sixty years of age. His son, D. W. White, is still residing at St. Paris, Ohio. In 1850, George White, the father of our subject, located on the farm where his son George now resides. He had previously developed a quarter-section of land in Champaign county, making it a good farm and improving it with substantial buildings. It was heavily timbered land, but with characteristic energy cleared away the trees and planted crops. After coming to his present farm he continued the work of development and cultivation, and soon abundant harvests rewarded his labors. The barn upon the place had been built in 1847, and there was a small brick house, but in 1861 he replaced it by the present brick residence. He burned the brick upon his farm and also cut the lumber, having in 1850 set up a saw-mill. Most of the timber was secured upon his own land, for only forty acres had been cleared at the time he took up his abode at this place. As he cut down the trees he converted them into lumber and successfully operated his saw-mill for a number of years. It was conducted by him and later by his sons until about 1875. It had been completed only a few days when it was burned, but he immediately rebuilt it and also added a flouring mill. The whole plant was afterward again destroyed by fire, but, not discouraged by his losses, he again rebuilt the saw- mill and continued the manufacture of lumber, for which he found a good market at Piqua and Springfield. He did a large custom work for the entire neighborhood, and in this way added materially to his income. In 1875, however, the mill machinery was taken out and the building was used for other purposes. Throughout the years of his residence here he also superintended the operation of his farm, employing hired help to do the work in the fields. In politics he was a Whig in early life, voting that ticket when there were only six Whig votes cast in his township, in Champaign county. On the organization of the new Republican party, he joined its ranks and was always ready to defend his views by able argument. In religious belief he was a Universalist, although not identified with any society. The family lived in true pioneer style in the early days. He had learned both the trades of shoemaking and weaving in early life, and in addition to his other work he made shoes for the entire neighborhood. Having con-structed a loom, his wife spun the wool which he wove into cloth, and thus their completed garments were made from the raw wool. His early training in Pennsylvania well fitted him for this work, for in 1817 he had been bound out to a cordwainer in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, for whom he worked until twenty-one years of age, receiving in return for his services his clothing and the opportunity of working for one week each year in the harvest fields. On the expiration of his apprenticeship he was given two new suits of clothing, and thus equipped for life's practical duties he started out to make his own way in the world. His old papers of indenture are preserved as a relic by his son, George W. Through many years of active effort he constantly accumulated his capital until at his death he left an estate valued at seventeen thousand dollars, his son, George W., being named as the administrator. He passed away in October, 1869, at the age of seventy-one years, and in his death the community lost one of its respected and valued citizens. His wife died in 1875, at the age of seventy-six years.

    This worthy couple had a family of eleven children, eight sons and three daughters. They lived to see all of them married and settled in homes of their own. The father was the first member of the family to depart this life, and at his funeral all of his children and his widow were present. Eight of the number are now living. In 1900, G. W. and his sister, Jane Duer,, being the only ones now residing in Miami county. The others are: Joel C., of Montezuma, Mercer county, Ohio; S. N., of Holton, Kansas; Benjamin H., of Harper, Iowa; James W., of Oklahoma; C. S., who is living in Rockford, Mercer county, Ohio; and Y. S., of Shelby county, this state.

    George W. White, whose name introduces this record, remained at home until twenty-one years of age. In March, 1855, he began working by the day, receiving fifty cents per day for splitting rails. Having assisted in his father's saw-mill for five years, he afterward accepted a position in a saw-mill in Champaign county, where he worked for three months at a dollar per day. Subsequently he worked for George Williams, of Champaign county, who gave him a dollar per day and his board. Three months later he bought a half interest in the mill, in company with Jasper Scott, thus incurring an indebtedness of one hundred dollars. The partnership continued for about two years, and Mr. White had full charge of the mill. On the expiration of that period he sold his interest, but remained as superintendent for four years, receiving a dollar and a quarter per day in compensation for his services.

    In the meantime Mr. White married, on the 4th of September, 1856, the lady of his choice being Miss Lucinda McKinley, of Champaign county, a distant relative of President McKinley. Afterward he purchased his father-in-law's homestead, conducting that farm for two years, when he traded it for a saw-mill at Conover, assuming the management of the latter industry about 1860. He operated the mill for eight years, meeting with satisfactory success in the enterprise, and then invested in farming land near Conover, but at his father's death be purchased the old White homestead and in 1870 returned to the farm upon which his sons resided. He has added to it until it now comprises two hundred and twenty acres, and he also owns another farm of sixty-three acres in the same neighborhood, although across the line in Champaign county. He has remodeled the barn and has erected substantial farm buildings. He has laid many rods of tiling, having at least thirty acres thus drained, making the tract a very rich and fertile portion of the farm, when otherwise it would have been unfit for use. His farm was entered from the government in 1824, and the old patent, signed by President Monroe, is now in the hands of Mr. White. He gives his attention largely to the growing of grain, and his well-directed efforts have been rewarded by a good income.

    Unto Mr. and Mrs. White have been born the following children: William P., a farmer of Champaign county; Samuel H., who operates the home farm; Rose F., wife of William Miller, of Lena; Rhoda, wife of Daniel Wyland, of Lena; Clara, who became the wife of William Mathers, and died, leaving two children, Lloyd and Velma, the latter living with the grandparents; Mary, wife of Lewis Duer, of Lena; Nora, wife of Gerard Wolcott, of Conover; General Grant, of De Graff, Ohio, who took a law course at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is now a member of the law firm of Huston & White, of Logan county, Ohio; and Myrta and Minta, twins, at home. Mr. White has been a stanch Republican since casting his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont, in 1856. He has closely adhered to the principles of his party, has never failed to cast his ballot for its men and measures, always attends the local public conventions and is a recognized leader in Republican ranks. His wife is a member of the Baptist church, at Lena, and both Mr. and Mrs. White are held in the highest regard throughout this section of the state, where they have a wide acquaintance and many friends.

    Return to the Biography Index

    Copyright © 2000 by Computerized Heritage Association.
    All Rights Reserved.