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California Genealogy and History Archives

Biographies
of
San Bernardino County and Riverside County

 

S. A. WHITE One winter at Riverside and vicinity in 1898 converted Mr. and Mrs. S. A. White into enthusiastic lovers of the varied charms of that environment, and from a winter home Riverside became the permanent residence of Mr. White, where he spent the years of his retirement from active business happily and also employed his time and services in various directions for the public good so as to win him a rich esteem, fully recognized in the tributes paid him when he passed away.

In 1899 Mr. White had a winter home constructed at 833 Tenth Street. Intended only as a winter home, he became so enamored with the climate and the city that two years later he disposed of his business interests in the East and became a permanent resident of Riverside. In 1908 he constructed the permanent home at 1017 Tenth Street where Mrs. White still lives. It is an artistic triumph of the Colonial type, and the beauty of its exterior architecture is enhanced by the interior furnishings, which represent many priceless treasures that have come down through the family from two hundred to three hundred years.

Mr. and Mrs. White entered heartily into the life of the community, acquiring both city and country interest, though their chief attention was given to the beautifying of the home place. Mr. White, while not active in political matters in the city of his adoption, advocated most sincerely the importance of clean politics, often expressing himself along this line in the newspapers. Clean business, clean living and clean politics were his hobby. Cheerful, considerate and charitable, he endeared himself to all with whom he came in contact, and his death involved a real loss to a much wider circle than that of his family and immediate friends.

S. A. White was born at East Randolph, Massachusetts, February 21, 1845, son of Samuel L. and Silence Swift (Adams) White. The genealogy of the White and Adams family antedates the Revolutionary period. Both families were of English descent, the Adams family being of a branch of the distinguished Adamses of Massachusetts. The late Mr. White was much interested in tracing the genealogy of his own lines and those of Mr. White, and prepared three exhaustive and interesting volumes on the subject. His father, Samuel L. White, was born at East Randolph in 1818. and lived there until his death in 1894. For many years he had charge of an express business between East Randolph and Boston.

S. A. White was educated in the grammar and high schools of his native town. He left high school to answer the call for volunteers during the Civil war, and at the age of eighteen became a member of Company I, 42d Massachusetts Infantry. He entered the army in 1863, and served until his honorable discharge at the end of his term of enlistment.

Following the war he engaged in the boot and shoe business as an employe of die manufacturing firm of L. B. White of Brockton, Massachusetts. After two years as superintendent of the factory he went to Boston, and for seven years was traveling representative for the shoefinding firm of B. F. Brown of that city. During this time he made a splendid record as a salesman, and having in the meantime acquired a broad and varied knowledge of the business in all departments, he resigned from his engagement with Mr. Brown and in a small way began the manufacture of shoe-findings for shoe factories. Then ensued a period of rapid progress, resulting in the building up of a plant for shoe upper finishes that was the largest of its kind in the world, and besides the big plant in Massachusetts he conducted a factory at Montreal, Canada, a branch store at Leicester, England, and agencies in Germany, France and Australia. It was to this business that he gave his time and energies closely and with successful application for a quarter of a century, until he sold out to make his permanent home in California.

He enjoyed to the full the playtime that a busy life had earned, but would not have been wholly contented unless some small business claimed his attention. He bought and planted ten acres of oranges at Victoria and Van Buren Avenue, built a log cabin on the ground and named the place Log Cabin Grove. He invested in city property, one of his purchases being the Central Block and the Annex, which he remodelled.

During a business trip at Leicester, England, Mr. White became affiliated with the Masonic Order, and ever afterward manifested a deep interest in that fraternity. He became a member of the Knight Templar Commandery in Boston, subsequently demitting to the Riverside Commandery No. 28, and served as its eminent commander one year.

The first wife of Mr. White was Emma J. Burbank, of Lowell, Massachusetts. By this union there was one daughter, Alice E. White, who died at Riverside in 1903. The only son, Arthur Burr White, is a graduate of the Boston School of Technology, and while a well-qualified civil engineer his time is being given to the more congenial vocation of raising citrus fruits and nuts at Riverside. Arthur B. White is married and has five children: H. Cumings White, Lawrence Adams White, Arthur Burr White, Jr., Jane Amsden White and David Linfield White, the first three being students in the public schools of Riverside.

At Boston, Massachusetts, November 2, 1887, Mr. S. A. White married Miss Belle K. Sanger. She was born in Boston and represents one of the old and cultured families of that city. Her father, D. Otis Sanger, was a Boston merchant, was of English ancestry, and some of his forefathers fought in the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars.

 

Source:
History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011