DR. J. L. WHITE, of the firm of White & Guthrie, Bloomington, is one of the leading physicians of the city,
and comes from a prominent New England family, widely and favorably known in that region. Our subject was born
in Westminster, Mass., on the 5th of December, 1832, and is the son of Dr. John and Lucy (Howe) White, also natives
of the Bay State. His grandfather, James White, was born in Massachusetts, and in his younger days learned the
trade of a blacksmith, but soon afterward engaged in farming pursuits, in which he became very successful and accumulated
a handsome property. The great-grandfather of our subject, Josiah White, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
The first representatives of the family in this country came from England in the vessel which followed the Mayflower,
and settled in Watertown, Mass. From one of these descended the present family. On his mother's side Dr. White
is the eighth generation from John Alden, who is celebrated in verse by the poet Longfellow in connection with
Dr. John White, the father of our subject, received careful home training and pursued his early studies in the common schools. In later years he entered the medical department of Brown's University [ed., Brown University], at Providence, R. I., from which he graduated with honors, and commenced the practice of his profession in Westminster, Mass., following it there for a period of twenty-six years. In 1851 he removed to Watertown, N. Y., where he continued his practice and spent the remainder of his days, his decease occurring in 1868. The mother survived until 1874.
Their family consisted of five children, all of whom grew to maturity. Dr. J. L., our subject, was the eldest of the family; Ellen became the wife of Dr. J. I. Scollard, of Clinton, Oneida Co., N. Y.; she was highly educated, and became Principal of the White Seminary, at Clinton, which position she occupied about seven years; the institution was named after her. Josiah is a resident of California and the proprietor of an extensive cattle ranch in Sonoma County; he is also interested in silver mines in Arizona. Charles is engaged in the drug business at Ithaca, N. Y.; Abbie married John J. Stephens, book-keeper in the Treasury Department at Washington. The father of our subject was a member of the State Legislature of Massachusetts and of the State Medical and local societies. He was a prominent and useful citizen, and greatly respected for his natural talents and sterling worth of character.
The subject of this biography spent his younger days in school, commencing his medical studies at an early age and graduating in 1854, from the Medical Department of Harvard College [ed., Harvard Medical School], Massachusetts. He also obtained valuable experience in the general hospital of the State in 1853. He subsequently went to Europe, spent several months among the hospitals of Paris, and after returning to the United States, came to Illinois in the fall of 1854. His first location was in Jerseyville, Jersey County, where he remained until 1859. He then went to Memphis, Tenn., practiced there two years, and returning to Jerseyville, became surgeon of the Board of Enrollment, which position he occupied until the close of the war.
Dr. White became a resident of Bloomington in 1870, since which time he has practiced continuously and taken a leading position in the profession along the Mississippi Valley. The following year, 1871, he became surgeon of the C. & A. R. R., which position he holds, together with the same on the Illinois Central and in the Soldiers' Orphans' Home [ed., Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home].
Dr. J. L. White and Miss Harriet Hawley, of Jerseyville, were united in marriage on the 10th of February, 1857. Mrs. White is the daughter of Samuel and Hannah Hawley, and of her union with our subject she has become the mother of four children -- Leila, Charles H., Lucy B., and one who died in infancy. The Doctor and his family are in possession of a handsome home at No. 509 West Washington street, and enjoy the friendship and esteem of a large circle of acquaintances. He has built up an extensive practice in this vicinity and accumulated a competency.
He is stockholder and Director in the Third National Bank of Bloomington, and a stockholder in the Plow Works and Gas Company. In politics he is a stanch Republican; socially he belongs to the A. F. & A. M., and in 1886 was Grand Commander of the K. T. [ed., Knights Templar], of Illinois; he is a 32d degree Mason.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 264.