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REV. J. W. WHITE,
Facing Page 432

(Portrait)

the subject of this sketch, was born in Palmyra, Maine, November 2, 1813. He was the eldest of the six sons of Deacon John White and Betsey White; three of whom have passed away, while each of the three remaining are ministers of the gospel. Deacon White was a man of large frame, broad intellect, fixed principles, deep piety, and of great hospitality. He was widely known, held many offices both in church and State, and, at eighty-seven years of age, called to his death-bed his children, and his children's children, blessed them, and passed peacefully to the home of the just. His mother, Betsey Jewett was one of the numerous Quaker Jewetts, of New Hampshire; a woman of culture and great sweetness of disposition. She never struck one of her six sons or three daughters, and, after living happily with her husband for sixty-three years, and seeing well to the affairs of her household, she sweetly passed to a rich reward, at eighty-three years of age, loved and mourned by all who knew her. Her memory, to her children, is as a sweet perfume, lingering around a broken vase.

Mr. White was raised in true New England style. The first lesson taught him was that there were just as many mouths already as the barren soil could fill, and if he ate, his own hands must earn his subsistence. He worked on a farm, or in a boot and shoe shop, in summer, and attended a district school in winter. Fifty years ago, even a New England common school, with its brad seats without back, mysterious text-books, and cheap, incompetent teachers, was but a sorry place in which to gain knowledge. In boyhood, a love of books became a passion. At fifteen years, he had literally devoured the family library, which consisted of such works as "Baxter's Call," "Edward's Sermons," "Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress," "Robinson Crusoe," and the writings of John Calvin; while in poetry was "Rouse's Version of the Psalms" and "Watt's Hymns." The first books he ever owned were bought with money resulting from a patch of potatoes raised by working early in the morning and late in the evening. They were a novel by Walter Scott, "Pollok's Course of Time," "Milton's Paradise Lost," and "Blackstone." With these, and a tallow candle, when his day's work was done, he held nightly converse. Scott fired the imagination. Pollok soothed, while the grand numbers of Milton awoke reverence, and Blackstone came in to hold the boy level, and save him from poetic frenzy.

In 1832, Mr. White began to cough, and it was thought best that he leave the farm and engage in a business where he would not be liable to so much exposure; he accordingly entered a store, as a clerk. His employer was a man of culture, and kindly aided him in his studies. Here he made rapid progress. During the fall and winter he recited to a college professor, and paid for text books and tutelage by chopping cord-wood, at thirty-seven cents a cord. These were real life struggles, but to him they were what friction is to the diamond--they polished and brought out the lustre within him. Achillean invulnerability can only be possessed by frequent baptism in the seas of difficulty. Veterans are only made upon the battle-field. The truest and grandest manhood is developed by early and heroic struggles.

In 1833, he came to Ohio. While in Granville, Ohio, under the preaching of Rev. Lyman Beecher, of precious memory, he sought the Savior, and made a public profession of faith in Christ. he proved that He was able to save to the uttermost all whom came unto Him. The same year, while attending a protracted meeting, in Newark, he united with the Methodist Episcopal church. In the fall of 1844 he was licensed to exhort, and preached his trial sermon in the Town Street church at Columbus. He was licensed to preach, and was recommended as a suitable person to be received into the traveling connection, by the conference then sitting in Circleville. In five days from the date of his license he had settled his business, equipped himself with saddlebags, bible, hymn-book, "Watson's Institutes," "Fletcher's Appeal," and the "Methodist Discipline," and "Butler's Analogy," and without theological training, had taken up his line of march to the then wild hills of the Hock-hocking, to enter upon his life work. In 1836, he passed creditably an examination in his course of study, and was elected and ordained deacon. In 1838, he had completed his course to the satisfaction of the conference, and was ordained elder.

In June 1840, he was happily united in marriage with Anna C. Williams, eldest daughter of the late Judge Hosea Williams, of Delaware. Although, reared amid luxury, she entered heartily into the arduous and difficult duties of the wife of an itinerant, aiding and cheering her husband, and patiently and heroically sharing his wandering life, and now shares his retirement in their beautiful home.

Thus for forty years has he trod on in the active ministry; seven years on circuits, twenty-two years in city stations, and eleven years on districts as presiding elder. In the fall of 1874, weary from long and active duties of his ministry, he asked and obtained a superannuated relation. He then bought and refitted his first home, which he named "Maple Home," furnished it comfortably, and retired in the quiet village of Worthington.

Their three children, all they have had, are living, happily married, and well settled. We found this aged couple in their beautiful home, cheerful, hopeful, and happy. They have fought and won. Blessed with plenty, surrounded with friends, and being of cheerful and grateful dispositions, very sunny is life's afternoon. The results of such lives may not be measured in time.

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