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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1281-1282 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The third generation of the White family of Schenectady are now filling important niches in the life of the city. The representative member of the second generation, John H. White, ex-mayor and successful business man, is a character well worthy of consideration. He comes from English ancestry, and is in the truest sense a "self-made man."

(I) The founder of the Schenectady family was Franklin White, a native of Vermont and a veteran of two wars, the Mexican and the great civil. He was in many engagements in both wars and attained the rank of sergeant. He settled in Schenectady, where he worked at the trade of carpenter, and died in 1900, at the age of seventy-five years. He was married in Schenectady by Rev. Dr. Van Vechten, of the First Reformed Church, to Phoebe Webb, born in Kent county, England, 1824, died in Schenectady, New York, 1879. She came to the United States with her parents before the days of steam vessels, occupying many weeks on the voyage. Her parents were natives of Kent county, England, and died in Schenectady. They were members of the Baptist church. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Webb:

  1. Nicholas Frederick, deceased; married and left a family.
  2. Phoebe, wife of Franklin White.
  3. Maria, married Daniel Vanderbilt; children:
    1. Daniel, deceased;
    2. Elmer,
    3. Minnie.

Children of Franklin and Phoebe (Webb) White, now living:

  1. John H., see forward.
  2. James F., a tinsmith by trade; served in the Union army during the civil war; then enlisted and served in the regular army for seven years; served as first lieutenant of local militia company for fourteen years, and is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic; during his regular army service he spent seven years on the western plains; he is a member of the Exempt Fireman's Association of Schenectady, his home.
  3. Ida, married William Swett, of Schenectady, and has issue.
  4. Annie. married Henry Harbison, of Schenectady, and has issue.

(II) John H., son of Franklin and Phoebe (Webb) White, was born in Schenectady, New York, February 1, 1847. At an early age he was thrown upon his own resources, and as a boy displayed the same sterling qualities that have characterized his later years. At the age of ten he began business life as an errand boy in a mercantile house, and during the succeeding nineteen years was employed by but three firms, each succeeding the other. His salary when he began was a dollar weekly. His services soon increased in value, and in a few years he was drawing a salary of nine hundred dollars annually. His earnings were carefully invested, and in 1875 he could command sufficient capital to become a member of the firm of Dailey & White, dealers in dry and fancy goods. This firm was a very successful one, and he continued constantly in business until 1907 when he retired, having accumulated a competency. He has been active in most every department of city life and in each has shown marked ability. For ten years he has served on the board of directors of the Union National Bank, one of the oldest banking institutions of the city, and his presence on the board has been felt for good. He was a director and treasurer of the Schenectady Opera House Company, and president of the Schenectady Building and Loan Association for the past fourteen years. In the latter office he has carefully observed the laws affecting such institutions and given personal attention to details that make for security. He is at present treasurer of the New York State League of Savings and Building Loan Associations. His official connection with the city has been a long and gratifying one. In 1875 he began his public life as election inspector; in 1892 he was elected school commissioner from the fourth ward, serving two terms; he was also recorder of the city, and a member of the civil service commission; he was a frequent delegate to party conventions and served as committeeman. In 1899 he was the successful candidate of the Democratic party for mayor; his term was an important one. The proposition for a Carnegie Library was under discussion and was accepted and the building erected; the high school building was planned and erected; the street car lines were extended and needed improvements made all over the city. His administration was conservative and businesslike. In fraternal life Mr. White is active and prominent. He is past master of St. George's Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; past high priest of St. George's Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; past eminent commander of St. George's Commandery, Knights Templar; representative to the Grand Commandery for the state of Oklahoma; a member of Cypress [i.e., Cyprus] Temple, Mystic Shrine, of which he is a life member, as he is of St. George's Lodge and St. George's Chapter, and trustee and treasurer of the Board of Trade.

Mr. White married (first) in Schenectady, Annie M. Ward, of Holland Dutch ancestry; she died in middle life. Married (second) Mrs. Melissa (Bame) Kosboth, of Schenectady. Children by first marriage:

  1. Nicholas. C., a dealer in antiques; married Elizabeth Hoffman; no living issue; three children died in infancy.
  2. John Ward, of the firm of J. A. Rickard & Company; married Fannie Rickert.

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