White, James W

From Lane Co Oregon

"Portrait & Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley Oregon." Chapman Publishing Company, 1903. p. 1533.


Among the enterprising, prosperous and popular business men of Lane County is James W. White, who is carrying on a substantial trade in, groceries, grain and feed, at Eugene. Although a mere youth when the Civil war broke out, fired with a patriotic enthusiasm he enlisted, and took an active part in many important engagements, leaving the field at the close of the conflict with an excellent record as a soldier. He was born in Vinton, Iowa, July 24, 1846, a son of Gideon Blackburn White. His paternal grandfather, John White, was born, reared and married in Kentucky, but afterward removed to Edgar county, Ill., where he engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death.

A native of Kentucky, Gideon B. White removed with his parents to Illinois, thence to Iowa, where he settled as a farmer in Marion county. Subsequently settling in Chautauqua county, Kans., he there spent his remaining years. He married Sarah Hollenbeck, who was born in Kentucky, but was reared in Edgar county, Ill., where her father, J. C. Hollenbeck, was for many years a well known in union. Of the fourteen children born of their union, ten grew to years of maturity, and four of the sons served in the Civil war, namely : Lawrence, who, served in the First Minnesota Sharpshooters, was killed in the Seven-days Battles ; Jonathan, who was a corporal in the First Iowa Infantry, and is now a resident of Oklahoma ; William, now living in Chautauqua county, Kans., served in the Twenty-ninth Infantry; and J. W., the special subject of this sketch.

The youngest child of the household, J. W. White was brought up on the home farm in Iowa, and obtained his education in the district school. In the fall of 1861, when fifteen years of age, he enlisted in the Thirteenth United States Regulars, but the recruiting officer refused to accept him without his parents' consent. He subsequently enlisted in the Seventeenth Iowa Infantry, in .the camp at Keokuk, and was mustered in March 13, 1862, at Keokuk. He saw hard service both in camp and field, among the engagements in which he took part being the following : Corinth ; Iuka ; Holly Springs ; Black River Bridge ; Vicksburg ; Champion Hills ; Jackson, Miss. ; Missionary Ridge ; Dallas; Resaca ; Snake Creek ; Peach Tree ; Buzzard Roost ; Kenesaw ; and Tilton. While at Huntsville, Ala., in 1864, he veteranized, and on October 13, of that year, he, with his regiment, was captured and confined in Million prison. Having a sum of money secreted about his person, Mr. White succeeded in buying the liberty of himself and the orderly sergeant of his company, giving $50 apiece for their parole, and returned home on a furlough. Being exchanged in the spring of 1865, just before the close, of the war, he rejoined the few survivors of his regiment at New Orleans. Subsequently going to Washington, he took part in the grand review, then proceeded to Louisville, Ky., thence by train to Davenport, Iowa, where, in the summer of 1865, he was mustered out of service. Returning at once to the parental homestead, Mr. White remained there a while, and then began farming on his own account. Removing to Fredonia, Wilson county, Kans., in the spring of 1867, he entered one hundred and sixty acres of land, on which he erected a good set of buildings, and commenced the improvement of a farm, for a number of years being one of the leading farmers and stock-raisers of that locality. Disposing of his Kansas property in 1892, Mr. White settled in Eugene, Ore., where he has since been extensively and profitably engaged in the grocery and feed business, being favorably located on Willamette street.

In Wilson county, Kans., Mr. White married Miss Esther Ann Vaughn, a native of Kentucky. She died in April, 1899, in Eugene, leaving eight children, namely : William, of San Francisco, Cal. ; Mrs. May Moffitt, of Bremerton, Wash.; Mrs. Minnie Croner, of Eugene ; and James, Edna, Vineta, Velma and Lawrence, living at home. Politically Mr. White supports the principles of the Republican party, and for four years represented the third ward in the city council. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Artisans. He is likewise a member and quartermaster of the J. W. Geary Post, No. 7, G. A. R. He belongs to the Christian Church, of which he is an active member, and one of the deacons.

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