J. B. WHITE, a representative citizen of Bloomington, is successfully engaged as a contractor and builder, and
has his office at No. 506 East Graham street. Mr. J. B. White is a native of the Prairie State, and was born at
Smith Grove, this county, Sept. 26, 1844. His parents were James and Lovina (Smith) White, his father a native
of New York, and his mother of North Carolina. The former came to Illinois in 1830, and settled in McLean County,
where, after attaining to suitable age he engaged in contracting and building, which he followed for twenty years.
He then purchased a farm of 280 acres, near Holder, this county, which he has since occupied and been industriously
engaged in raising stock and grain. He was one of the pioneer Abolitionists of the county, and since the war has
been a strong Republican in politics. He has always taken an active part in educational and religious matters,
and been a Class-Leader and Trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years. His family included three
children: Mary C., Mrs. Keeney, of Kansas; J. B., of our sketch, and Asa E., also of Bloomington.
J. B. White remained with his parents until he was seventeen years old, and upon the outbreak of the late war enlisted as a Union soldier in Co. K, 39th Ill. Vol. Inf. With the exception of a few months, during which he remained at home on account of a crippled knee, he served from Sept. 19, 1861, to Dec. 16, 1865. He participated in the battle of Winchester, and other engagements in the Shenandoah Valley, and along the James River, and endured bravely and faithfully the privations and vicissitudes of war, receiving an honorable discharge at the close. After his return home he worked at the carpenter's trade, and in 1869 engaged as a contractor and builder. In the fall of that year he was married to Miss Mary, the daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth H. (Edwards) Coale, of Holder, this county. Of this union there have been born five childrenóWilliam Lloyd (deceased), Elizabeth H., James L., Laura A. and Annie C.
Mr. White became a resident of Bloomington in 1870, and at once established his present business, which has now grown to large proportions, and gives employment to thirty men. He is thoroughly skilled as an artisan, and is his own architect, making his drawings, plans, etc. The family residence is a handsome structure, and was erected in 1886, at a cost of $4,000.
Politically Mr. White is a Republican, and greatly interested in the cause of temperance. He is prominently connected with the First Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mrs. W. belongs to the Society of Friends at Benjaminville. Our subject is a member in good standing of the G. A. R., and both socially and as a business man occupies an enviable position among the first citizens of Bloomington.
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), 490. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.