Biography of the Hon. William M. White
FROM: History of Livingston County, New York
By James H. Smith
Assisted by Hume H. Cole
Published By D. Mason & Co. 1881


The White family is of Puritan origin and trace their descent from Elder John White, one of the first settlers of Cambridge, Mass., and of Hartford, Conn. He came in the ship Lyon, from England, in 1632, to the port of Boston.

The genealogy of the family is as follows

Captain Nathaniel White, son of Elder John, was born in England about 1629 and came over with his father in the ship Lyon, being about three years old.

Ensign Daniel White, was the third son of Captain Nathaniel, and was born at Hartford, Conn., February 23d, 1661.

Hugh White, son of Ensign Daniel, was born at Hartford, February 15rh, 1691.

Hon. Hugh White, youngest son of Hugh, was born in Hartford, Conn., January 25th 1733. He was the pioneer of Western New York, and settled at Whitestown, Oneida county, in May 1784 — with his four sons, Daniel Clark, Joseph, Hugh and Ansel.

Whitestown was organized in 1788, and embraced within its limits all that part of the State of New York, lying westward of a line passing through Utica, and reaching from the southern boundary of the State to the St. Lawrence river.

Hon. Hugh White was appointed Judge and also held that position in the new county of Oneida.

Hugh White, Jr., son of Hon. Hugh, was born at Hartford, Conn., January 16th, 1763. He accompanied his father to Whitestown. Hon. Hugh White, son of Hugh, Jr., was born in Whitestown, December 25th, 1798. He located in Saratoga county, and was a successful business man, and took an active interest in public affairs. He served in Congress from 1845 to 1851. He died October 6th, 1870. He was the father of William M. White, the subject of our present writing. His mother was Maria Mills, daughter of William P. Mansfield, a merchant in Kent, Litchfield county, Connecticut.

Mr. White was born in Waterford, Saratoga county, N. Y., July 8th, 1833. He graduated at Hamilton College in 1854, and received the degree of Master of Arts in 1857. In April, 1852, he took up his residence on his present homestead, a delicacy of constitution making it impossible for him to follow a professional life; he turned his attention to agriculture, and by farming and an outdoor life sought health and vigor in the mountain atmosphere of our “Southern tier.”

When the rebellion broke Out he made three attempts to enter the army, but was prevented by physical causes from taking the active part in the war that his patriotism prompted him to take.

He has large business interests aside from farming, but he regards the farm as the American home; the best surroundings for a family and the real foundation of America’s greatness and prosperity.

On the 22d of January, 1863, Mr. White married Anna M. Pierrepont, daughter of Hon. William C. Pierrepont, LL. D., of Pierrepont Manor, Jefferson county, New York. They have a family of ten children, five boys and five girls.

Mr. White was the first Republican Supervisor of the town of Ossian, and in 1872 he was the candidate of the Liberals for Representative in Congress, but since then he has acted with the Republican party.

The title of Honorable has been conceded to him for over twenty years, his right to it resting on “common consent,” the highest authority known in America.

Mr. White is a member of the Episcopal Church, has been and is a lay-reader and warden of Trinity Church, Canaseraga, a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese, Trustee of the Episcopate Fund, Trustee of the General Theological Seminary, Trustee of Hobart College, and twice elected delegate to the general convention of the church.

In his social matters he is social, cordial, considerate and hospitable.

In his mental characteristics he seems magnanimous, free from spite or prejudice, seeking what is right, advisable or desirable, and so entirely ignoring self as to always seem ready to do a kindness, even when a detriment to himself. His neighbors regard him with love and affection, placing a confidence in his wisdom and judgment, and appeal to him in local matters and neighborhood disputes. He is an active, useful, honorable man.

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