This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Judy Simpson. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Silas F. White

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


SILAS F. WHITE was born in Decatur county, Indiana, February 27th, 1829. His father, Wesley WHITE, who was of Irish descent, was a native of Pulaski county, Kentucky, but at an early date removed to Indiana, where he married Miss Nancy ANDERSON, who was a native of Henry county, Ky., about the year 1825, and by whom he had eight children, three of whom died in infancy; the others are still living. The father died in 1841, the mother a year later. The father was a strong Jackson Democrat. The mother was a member of the M. E. Church.

The son, S. F. White, spent the first seven years of his life on a farm. From that date until he reached his twelfth year he attended a common school, of which for a portion of the time Gov. Hendricks was teacher. He was then bound as an apprentice to the tanning and currying trade for five years and a half. At the age of eighteen he left home and travelled to Iowa, Kentucky and Illinois, working at his trade for four years. At the end of that period he was employed by the Wabash and Western R. R. Co., as section foreman, which position he held for four years. During this time and previously he had studied the elementary principles of law, and was so far advanced that in the spring of 1858 he passed the usual examination, and was admitted to practice in all the Courts of this State. On June 5th, 1858, he married Miss Harriet TURNER of Cattauragus county, New York, who was on a visit to Sidney.

On the 15th of March he started for Pike's Peak, California, [? Pike’s Peak is in Colorado!] but at the end of four months returned from his trip disgusted, avowing that if Champaign county could not afford a man a living it could not be found on the continent. He settled down again to his profession in Sidney, until the fall of 1873, when he located in Urbana, his present home. In politics Mr. White is a Democrat of the old Jeffersonian school, and cast his maiden vote for Franklin Pierce in 1852. He is in full communion and sympathy with his party, most soundly indoctrinated in its political creed, and has steadily followed the varied fortunes of its glorious old battle-scarred banner, through all the stirring campaigns it has passed, as well through the dark hour of defeat as when borne proudly aloft at the head of the conquering legions of that historic old party, as it was, amidst the shouts of victory, triumphantly has planted over the embattled ramparts of the defeated foe. He has been frequently called by his political friends in local politics, whose confidence he has, to fill important offices of trust. Under James Buchanan's administration he was postmaster at Sidney.

In his religious views Mr. White is a liberal Christian. His creed, though brief, is yet comprehensive, embracing within its scope the whole human family. It is this, "As ye would that others do unto you, do ye even so unto them." Thus we have given but a brief outline of the history of one who at a very tender age was cast adrift upon the wide ocean of life, to either sink beneath its quicksands, or by the inherent power of native talent and an indomitable will rise superior to his surroundings, and become the architect of his own fortune. The sequel of his own history tells the story. Success in life is the standard by which the world measures a man; it is the measure of Mr. White's ability as a lawyer, and admirably illustrates the wisdom of the old saw, where there is a will there is also a way.

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