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Below is a family biography included in History of Page County, Iowa published by Iowa Historical Company in 1880.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WHITE, W. B., teacher, P. O. College Springs; was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, September 12, 1822. His father and mother (the parents of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters,) emigrated to Muskingum county, O., in the spring of 1826. He was a farmer and Willison B. White, his third son, labored on the farm until the age of sixteen, then entered Muskingum College in 1843, receiving an education that qualified him for a professional teacher. Obtained his scholarship by his own personal effort, teaching in winter and attending college during the remainder of the year. On the 14th of April, 1847, he was united in marriage to Rachel W. McClenahan of Oxford township, Guernsey county, Ohio, by Rev. Hugh Forsythe of Fairview. He still continued in the business of teaching, taught in all grades of schools from the rural district up to the college; taught as an assistant with Rev. J. E. Alexander, in the Miller Academy at Washington, Ohio, then superintended the Barnesville Union schools in Belmont county, Ohio. Also New Concord schools and the schools of Quaker City, Guernsey county, Ohio. Commenced teaching in 1842 and taught in Ohio until 1870, then removed to Page county, Iowa, purchased a farm in Amity township, erected comfortable buildings and put it under cultivation. Continued teaching until 1875, having taught in all sixty terms. During the late war he served four years and four months. Enlisted at New Concord, Muskingum county, Ohio, on the 9th of August, 1861 in the 15th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, for three years, and at the expiration of this time reenlisted at Strawbury Plains, East Tenn., for three years longer, during which time he served as hospital steward for the regiment, caring for the sick and wounded in the field, hospital and on the battle-ground, and marched with the army, and had to be up to the line of battle in the hour of danger, and assist in dressing the wounded. Was under Rosecrans; then under Gen. Wm. Sherman, and at the siege of Nashville and the two days battle there, under Gen. Thomas. Was in the battles of Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Look-Out Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and 120 days in the Atlanta campaign, and at the siege and taking of that place. He also participated in the battle of Franklin and the demoralizing of Hood’s army, at Nashville; and after the surrender of Lee and other departments of the rebel army, his regiment, with some others, was ordered to Texas; landed on the 8th of July, marched to Green Lake, and went into camp for a few days. Then took up their line of march for San Antonio. Garrisoned that place until the 15th of December, 1865. Orders came to muster out; took up line of march to the Gulf, and reached Columbus, Ohio, December 25th, 1865, and received pay and discharge, and arrived home to greet dear friends. The subject of this sketch had the pleasure of the companionship of his wife until January 12th, 1880, when she was taken with paralysis on Saturday, and died Monday, 9 A. M., in her fifty-seventh year. In July following he was married to Emily Walker Merritt, who was born of Yankee parentage, on the Western Reserve, in Ohio, and grew up on a farm, surrounded by such influences as sent the old war-horse, J. R. Giddings, to Congress for twenty-five years. Completed her education in Oberlin, Ohio, and, after teaching several terms in Cleveland and the country schools on the Reserve, becoming initiated into all the mysteries of “boarding around,” was married in 1861, at the age of 23, to Jerome Merritt, and, after teaching with him for 18 months in southern Indiana, went to his home, at the head of Lake Superior. In 1873, feeling that a farming country would be better suited to the development of the five boys that had been born to them, they came, with these and one daughter, to make for themselves a home in Page county. No family ever entered the Kingdom of Page with higher hopes and fonder anticipations than did they when they settled on a piece of railroad land, five miles west of Clarinda; the husband working on the farm during the week, and preaching on the Sabbath. Teaching during the winter, thus using every endeavor to improve his own condition and that of others, only to see one reverse after another waste away the accummulations of years. In 1878 a naturally strong frame yielded to quick consumption, and, after three months’ sickness, at the age of 46, he passed to the other side, giving as his last testimony, “I shall not wear a starless crown,” leaving his wife with small means to provide for herself and children the comforts of life, which she did until her marriage with the subject of this sketch, and by this union she is more amply prepared for carrying out the plans devised by herself and deceased husband in reference to the more liberal education of her fatherless children.

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This family biography is one of 558 biographies included in The History of Page County, Iowa published in 1880.  For the complete description, click here: Page County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Page County, Iowa family biographies: Page County, Iowa Biographies

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