A man of energy and excellent practical ability, who demonstrated his patriotism by serving in the Civil war from March, 1865 to November 20, 1865, in the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, Company E. under General George H. Thomas, who has wrought in a worthy manner since and is now one of the substantial men of the reservation, to such an one we with pleasure grant space in the history of the County. William White was born in Jefferson County. New York, on December 1, 1845, being the son of William and Elvira (Freeman) White, natives of New York. Hiram Freeman, great grandfather of our subject, enlisted in the Revolutionary War at the age of seventeen. William came with his parents to Jo Daviess County, Illinois, where he grew up and received his education. During the war period of his life he was in several skirmishes and had bullets graze his face. He was in Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and other places during this time. Mr. White is a member of the G. A. R. in Ames, Iowa. Subsequent to his discharge in Nashville, Tennessee, he returned home and farmed. On February 20, 1868, Mr. White married Miss Susan L., daughter of Henry and Jemima (Dow) Trevits. Eight children have been born to this union, Frank E., married to Marion Burton, is now living in this County, having been a successful teacher in Iowa; Wilna S. Keltner, of Chamberlain, North Dakota, formerly a teacher; Alice A. Keltner, also a teacher, now in the reservation; William H., deceased; Marv L. Melliken, in Spokane; Florence P. died a few days after coming to the reservation, aged seventeen, she was a fine musician; Willis Herbert, owner of eighty acres and, although but eighteen, is doing for himself; Mary L., a graduate of the high school and a good musician. Mr. Trevits was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and his wife in Chautauqua County, New York. He enlisted in Company A, in Illinois, and was transferred to the Third Missouri, where he served until he was taken sick and then discharged, having been in the ranks nearly two years. Ik never fully recovered from this stroke and the last seventeen years of his life were spent in physical helplessness. He died in 1897, in Contra Costa County, California. His wife died in 1888. They were married in Wyandotte County, Pennsylvania, and there Mrs. White was born on August 6, 1849. The family came to Jo Daviess County when she was a child. In 1872 Mr. White moved his family to Boone County, Iowa, and there farmed as he had done in Illinois, and there he remained until 1899, when he came and took his present place, one mile southwest from Nezperce. It is a fine farm, well improved, with elegant modern residence, fitted with all conveniences, a first class barn, and other accessories, as well as a good orchard and so forth.’ Mrs. White secured her first certificate and taught her first school when she was sixteen years old and for twenty-four years she has held high rank among educators. They are both members of the Methodist church and Mrs. White has been superintendent of the Sunday school for three years. Mr. White is a deacon in the church and has been trustee.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903