DR. DAVID A. WHITE, a prominent and successful physician of McLean County, residing at Oak Grove, White Oak
Township, is a native of Jackson County, Ohio, and was born March 22, 1847. His parents were William and Anna (Wade)
White, natives respectively of Maryland and Pennsylvania. William White was born in 1804, and Anna, his wife, July
4, 1812. They were married in Beaver County, Pa., Dec. 30, 1830, and resided there until 1845, when they removed
to Jackson County, Ohio, in company with the family of Isaac Scott and Nancy Bryan and her father, Elisha Veasy.
They came down the Ohio River on a flatboat. The water was very low, and they spent eleven days on the river from
Logstown to Gallipolis, from which latter place they continued their journey in wagons.
The grandparents of our subject, Arthur and Elizabeth (Bell) White, were natives of County Down, Ireland, where they were reared, and married in 1799. They emigrated to America early in their married life, and became the parents of fourteen children, as follows: Their first child died while crossing the ocean but was buried in America; John and Johnson (twins), William, Mary A., James, Alexander, Arthur, Ellen, Andrew (died in childhood), Samuel, David, Robert and Andrew. They all married and reared large families except Johnson, who never married. John, Johnson, William and Robert are deceased. James, Alexander, Arthur and Samuel are living in Pennsylvania. David, Andrew and Ellen, in Ohio; Mary A., in Kansas. The mother of these children died in 1827, at the age of fifty years. Arthur White settled in Beaver County, Pa., in an early day, where he followed farming and weaving. He was married three times, and was the father of nineteen children. His second marriage was with Jenny Horner in 1831, and they had two children; the first, a daughter, died when a few months old, and the second was a boy (imbecile), the mother dying a few days after his birth. The third wife of Arthur White was a widow, Mrs. Brown, with five children. The first birth of this marriage was twin boys, one of whom died when a few months old; the other, Joseph, grew to manhood and died in the Union army during the Rebellion. The second born, Elizabeth, is still living in Pennsylvania. His third wife lived to the advanced age of ninety years. Arthur White died in 1853, at the age of eighty-four years. His parents, Arthur and Mollie (Ingram) White, were natives of Ireland. They had two sons and one daughter, as follows: Henry, Mollie and Arthur.
The father of our subject, William White, died in Jackson County, Ohio, March 17, 1878; the mother is still living in that State, and is in her seventy-fifth year. The household circle included eleven children, eight sons and three daughters, of whom the record is as follows: Samuel married Miss Mary R. Ransom in 1855; they are now living in Jackson County, Ohio, and have become the parents of thirteen children, one deceased. James married Miss Amy Groosman, and they are living in Carroll County, Mo.; they have five sons and one daughter, two boys deceased. Arthur died in his youth; John W. married Miss Margaret Harper; they had seven children, one deceased. William W. married Miss Millie Keiser; they have three sons and one daughter. Johnson A. married Miss Margaret Aeton, and they have six sons and three daughters living, one son dead. Alexander L. married Miss Jenny McDowell, and they became the parents of seven children, one now deceased, a twin daughter. Sarah E. and Mary E. are unmarried. Anna M. married Albert Kelley, and they now live in Missouri. The parents and all the children were at one time members of the United Presbyterian Church. William White was a ruling Elder in the church. In politics he was a stanch Republican, as were all his children.
Dr. White of this notice was the eighth son of his parents' children. He received his early education in a log school-house with slab benches for seats. It was his father's rule that his boys should stay at home and work for him on the farm until they were twenty years of age, that they might in a measure pay for their rearing, and the subject of our sketch stayed on the farm the required time. During the rebellion his brothers were all in the army, in consequence of which fact he was subjected to unusual exposure on the farm, which caused an abscess of the liver, from which trouble he did not recover for a year. His physicians and friends gave him up to die, but although he suffered a great deal and was brought to the verge of the grave, he recovered. This circumstance inclined him to the study of medicine. From this time on he used every means to secure a knowledge of the healing art. After leaving the farm he spent eight months as clerk in his brother's store, receiving his board and clothes as wages. Not being inclined to the mercantile business, and realizing that teaching was more in the line of his aspirations, he at once commenced teaching school. He continued teaching during the winter and attending the National Normal School at Lebanon, Ohio, during the summer, for about four years. He had by this time become a successful teacher, and it was with some difficulty that he broke off from this calling to pursue his higher calling of a physician. Having accumulated some money by teaching, he entered the Ohio University and took a preparatory course to the study of medicine. He read medicine under Dr. A. B. Monahan, of Jackson, Ohio, and entered the Medical College of Ohio at Cincinnati, from which institution he graduated March 1,1875, and commenced the practice of his profession in Jackson County, Ohio. From there he removed to Scioto County, and after a residence of three years at each place, turned his steps westward, coming to this State in April, 1882, and locating in Oak Grove. Here he has become a prominent and valued citizen. Having to rely entirely on his own resources, not having a dollar excepting as he earned it, he had to encounter many difficulties in life, and therefore did not graduate until he was twenty-eight years of age.
Dr. White was married in Jackson County, Ohio, Sept. 10, 1874, to Miss Eliza E. Vandervort. Mrs. White accompanied her husband to Illinois in 1882, and has been his cheerful and faithful assistant in all his undertakings. Both are members of the United Presbyterian Church, and enjoy the friendship and association of the most cultured people of this vicinity. They have one daughter, Florence E., born Aug. 28, 1875.
James Vandervort, the father of Mrs. White of our sketch, was born April 20, 1818, and married Sept. 22, 1846, to Miss Eleanor Glison, who was born April 30, 1821. Both were natives of Pennsylvania, where Mr. Vandervort followed the trade of a carpenter and farmer until about the year 1866, when they removed to Jackson County, Ohio, where they now reside. Their family of ten children were named as follows: John G., Jane Y. (deceased), Robert (died in infancy), Robert A., Eliza E., James M., Martin (deceased), Albert A., Mary R. and Benjamin F. Dr. White is a Republican but favors prohibition of the liquor traffic.
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), 518. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.