Biography of Henry Holmes White

Henry Holmes White, President and manager of the Oklahoma Engineering, Machine & Boiler Company and thus identified with one of the leading industrial enterprises of Muskogee, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, December 13, 1868, and is a son of Isaac DuBose and Caroline Octave (Holmes) White. He was educated at the Citadel, the military academy of South Carolina, from which he was graduated with the class of 1889, and, following the completion of his course, he occupied a position as draftsman with the South Carolina Railroad. He thoroughly learned the machinist business in the railroad shops in which he was employed for four years, and the gradual development and expansion of his powers qualified him for positions of larger and larger responsibilities. For a time he was Superintendent of the Light & Power Company at Americus, Georgia, and removed to Belleville, Illinois, where he continued in business along similar lines until November, 1892. In that year he became connected with the Portsmouth (Va.) Gas Company, for which he acted as manager for almost a decade or until April, 1902. In the latter year he went to Belleville, Illinois, where he entered the employ of H. M. Byllesby & Company as manager and in August, 1904, was sent to Enid, Oklahoma, as general manager for the firm.

On the 1st of February, 1905, Mr. White was transferred to Muskogee, where he continued to act as general manager and engineer until January, 1910. At that date he transferred his efforts to the Pacific coast, going to Portland, Oregon, where he filled the position of engineer in connection with Pacific coast properties owned by H. M. Byllesby & Company, remaining in Portland until July, 1912. Removing to Seattle, Washington, he there opened an office as. a consulting engineer and practiced his profession until January, 1914. At that date he again came to Oklahoma, settling in Muskogee, and for seven years he was the efficient and valued city engineer, continuing in the position until March, 1921, when he resigned and organized the Oklahoma Engineering, Machine & Boiler Company, of which he is the President and manager. He established the plant which is now in active operation and the business of the company is steadily growing. He also practices as a consulting engineer and his broad study and wide experience well qualify him for the important work of this character. He belongs to the American Association of Engineers and at all times is constantly broadening his knowledge through reading and investigation.

In October, 1918, Mr. White was united in marriage to Mrs. Rosa L. Cummings, widow of the late Major St. James Cummings and daughter of George W. Witte, a cotton merchant of Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. White is widely known in Masonic circles. He is a member of the Muskogee blue lodge, the Muskogee Commandery, and the Indian Consistory. He is also a member of Bedouin Shrine Temple, having for four years been Captain of the Shrine patrol.

MLA Source Citation:

Benedict, John Downing. Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma: including the counties of Muskogee, McIntosh, Wagoner, Cherokee, Sequoyah, Adair, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922. Web. 16 January 2015. - Last updated on Dec 11th, 2011

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