Obion Co TN Branches & Twigs

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  • ID: I54229
  • Name: Newton Harris White
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 2 SEP 1860 in Giles Co, Tennessee
  • Note:
    Note: NEWTON HARRIS WHITE. Prominent in the agricultural circles of Giles county is Newton H. White, who is engaged in farming near Wales. Although the greater part of his time and attention is devoted to farming, he has always been active in the political life of the county and state and is a most popular public official. Newton H. White was born in this county, on the 2d of September, 1860, a son of Newton and Courtney Sivils (Gordon) White. The paternal grandfather, John White, came to Giles county from North Carolina and entered land which is still in the possession of the family. His demise occurred soon after coming here. He was the father of eight children, four of whom are dead. The maternal grandfather, Thomas K. Gordon, was likewise a native of North Caroline, emigrating to Giles county at an early day. He became one of the wealthy men of this community, having extensive land interests and owning many slaves, and prior to his demise he gave the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars to each of his ten children. He was prominent in public life, serving as a member of the state legislature for some years. His wife was Elizabeth Lane, a native of North Carolina. Grandfather Gordon died in 1880, at the age of eighty-eight years, while his wife's demise occurred in 1863. An ancestor of Elizabeth (Lane) Gordon, was Colonel Barnabas McKinne, Jr., who was born in 1685 and died in 1736. He held various offices of a prominent nature in the colonies, including that of justice of the court of Oyster Mines, North Carolina, and justice of the peace at Edenton, Edgecombe county, that state. One of his daughters, Patience McKinne, married Joseph Lane, who was born in 1710 and died in 1773, and their son, Courtney Sivils Lane, married Sarah Martin.

    Newton White, the father of Newton H. White, whose name introduces this review, was born in North Carolina, on the 1st of May, 1814. He came to Giles county with his parents at the age of two years and had very little opportunity for an education. When he became of age he engaged in farming on his own account, buying wooded land which he had to clear himself, and he became an extensive agriculturist and slave-owner. After achieving the success which gave him more time to himself, he read good books and educated himself in that manner and through association with men of high intellectual attainments. He was one of the most public-spirited men in the community and was a prime factor in the erection of public buildings, establishment of schools and building of turnpikes throughout the county. Mr. White could never be prevailed upon to accept public office, however, and keen disappointment was felt when he refused to accept the nomination for governor. During the Civil war he lost practically everything he had, except two horses, which he saved by driving nails into their feet and laming them. Mr. White was twice married. His first wife was Catherine White, and to their union two children were born: George and Dora, both of whom are deceased. Subsequently he was united in marriage to Miss Courtney Sivils Gordon, who was born in Giles county, on the 11th of July, 1825. To the second union two children were born: Laura, who was killed at the age of eleven years by a fall from a horse; and Newton H., whose name introduces this review. Throughout his life Mr. White was a stanch supporter of the democratic party, having firm belief in the principles of that party as factors in good government. His religious faith was that of the Presbyterian church and he served as one of its elders for years. His demise occurred on the 7th of January, 1891, and came as a severe shock to his family and many friends. During the years of his residence in Giles county he wielded a great influence for good, and was highly esteemed for his integrity and sterling worth.

    Newton H. White, whose name introduces this review, received his early education in the public schools of Pulaski and spent two years under the instruction of Sonnie Webb at Culleoka, Tennessee. He began farming when he became of age and has since been active in that connection, being an agriculturist and stockman of repute. Aside from his farming interests he is a director of the Union Bank & Trust Company of Pulaski, of which he was one of the organizers; and a director in the National Life & Accident Company of Nashvillie. In 1897 he was appointed a railroad commissioner by Governor Robert Taylor and he became a member of the lower house of the state in 1899. He was acting treasurer of the state in 1900 and speaker of the senate in 1901 and in 1913. He was instrumental in the passage of the prohibition law for the state in 1911 and was again a member of the state senate in 1915. He is the only man who has been twice speaker of that body and that clearly illustrates the ability manifested by him and the confidence and respect in which he was held by his colleagues. For twenty-five years he has been a member of the county court and is now devoting a great deal of time to his duties as chairman of the committee of the county highway commissioners.

    On the 3d of August, 1883, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. White to Miss Halle May Gardner, a native of Dallas, Texas, and to their union four children have been born: Newton H., Jr., who is now attached to the American Embassy in London, England. He was a lieutenant commander in the United States navy during the World war, having received the training necessary to fit him for that office in the Annapolis Naval Academy, from which institution he was graduated with honors in 1907; Gardner E., who is a graduate of the University of Virginia and is now engaged in farming in Giles county; Sadie May, whose demise occurred at the age of two years; and Corinne, who is now the wife of Robert C. Webster, a prominent insurance man of Nashville. She received her education at Martin Female College, Ward-Belmont Seminary and Mary Baldwin Seminary.

    Since attaining his majority Mr. White has given his political allegiance to the democratic party and the principles for which it stands. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church and for some time he has been an elder in the church at Wales. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, being a Knight Templar and he belongs to Alhambra Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Chattanooga. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Junior Order United American Mechanics. (Tennessee, The Volunteer State, 1769-1923, Vol. 4, John Trotwood Moore and Austin P. Foster, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1923, pp. 189-190)
  • Change Date: 23 APR 2004



    Father: Newton H. White b: 1 MAY 1814 in North Carolina
    Mother: Courtney Sivils (Siville) Gordon b: 11 JUL 1825 in Giles Co, Tennessee
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