Pages 125-126, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




ROBERT F. WHITE.—One of the early settlers in Geneva township, Allen county, and a gentleman whose prominence as a farmer and whose influence in public affairs is universally recognized, is Robert F. White, of Iola. He settled on the H. L. Spencer farm, on the Neosho


river, in 1866 and from that date till his recent removal to Iola he was one of the central figures of his township. He was born in Washington county, Indiana, November 20, 1834, but his parents removed to Hendricks county and there Mr. White was married and from that point he came into Kansas. He is a son of Maximillian White who was born in North Carolina in March 1801 and whose parents settled in Washington county, Indiana, in 1814. Caleb White, our subject's grandfather, was a shoemaker. He was born in North Carolina, belonged to the Quaker sect and passed his later life as a farmer. He married Parthena White and both are buried in Washington county, Indiana. The children of this pioneer couple were: Josiah, Ann, Sallie, Penelope, Margaret, Jeanette, Caleb and Maximillian White.

Maximillian White was one of the prominent local Whigs in Indiana and was married in Washington county to Ruth, a daughter of Lewis and Jane (Thompson) Woody. Jane (Woody) White died in 1841. Their children were: Anna, deceased, wife of Simeon Clayton; Asenas, deceased, who married Samuel Nixon; Eliza, deceased, was married to Edwin Pead; Lewis W., deceased; Robert F., our subject; Walter, deceased, and Martha White.

Robert F. White is a typical countryman. His youth and vigorous manhood were passed amidst rural environments and his student days, proper, were confined to the district schools, finishing them with a term or so in an academy. He began life on a farm, when of age, and every other business is a stranger to him. He left Indiana in 1859 and settled on a farm in Lyon county. He was in the state militia during the war and was called out to chase Quantrell, Bill Anderson, and to repel Indian invasion and to defend Kansas against the Price raid.

Mr. White was first married in 1854 to Esther Hadley. She died in 1869 and in 1872 he married Elizabeth Odell. Mrs. White was a daughter of Isaac and Mary Odell, both from Tennessee. Mrs. White was born in Coles county, Illinois, in 1834. The other Odell children are: George W., of Reno county, Kansas; James H., of Neosho Falls, Kansas; Mollie, wife of John W. Parker, of Coles county, Illinois, and Mattie D., wife of D. M. Smith, of Mattoon, Illinois.

Robert F. White's children are: Jennie, deceased, wife of A. C. Settle; J. R. White, who died at twenty-one; Frank D. White, of Geneva, who married Hester Saferight, and Enos White, who died at twenty-one.

If R. F. White is well known for any one thing it is as a Republican. He was one of the first voters with the party but he did his first hallowing in a political campaign for Gen. Harrison in 1840. He has voted at every presidential election except the one in 1860, when he was not a voter. He has not aspired to serve the people in a public capacity but did so as Trustee of his township, by appointment.

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