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Calvin R. White, one of the best known pioneers of Idaho, now residing in Boise, was born near Boston, Massachusetts, July 27, 1836, his parents being Samuel B. and Sarah (Richardson) White, natives of the Bay state. The father was for many years connected with the Boston & Lowell Railway, and died in the city of Boston when about seventy-six years of age. He was a son of Samuel White, also a native of Massachusetts, in which state his death occurred when he had passed the psalmist’s span of life of three-score years and ten. The mother of our subject died in Winchester, Massachusetts, in 1880, when about seventy-four years of age.
In the public schools of South Woburn, Winchester and Boston Calvin R. White acquired his early education, which was supplemented by a course in the Warren Academy, at Woburn, Massachusetts. At the age of thirteen he went to sea, and spent fourteen years before the mast, being in command of a vessel during one-half of that period. He made seven trips to Calcutta and visited many other foreign ports, thus gaining a broad knowledge of the various countries and their peoples. On quitting the sea he located at San Francisco, where he spent the winter of 1862-3 and then came across the country to the territory of Idaho. For four years he resided in Centerville and in Placerville, and then removed to Garden Valley, where he remained about seven years. At the first two places he was engaged in placer mining and at the last named place carried on agricultural pursuits. Subsequently he removed to Jerusalem, four miles above Horseshoe Bend, and while living there he was elected to the territorial legislature, becoming a member of the sixth session, as a representative of Boise County, when that county sent eight members to the assembly. In 1875 he removed to Indian valley, in what was then Ada County, but is now a part of Washington County. There he carried on farming and stock-raising, making his home at that place for two years, when he removed to what was then known as Little Salmon valley, in Idaho County, now Washington county. Since 1879 the place has been known as Meadows and a post office was located there. For nearly twenty years Mr. White efficiently served as postmaster, and in addition to his duties he carried on farming and stock raising and engaged in the hotel business. He conducted his hostelry until December. 1898, and his hotel was one of the best known in that section of Idaho, for hospitality there reigned supreme and the genial landlord was very popular with his guests. At the close of the year 1898, however, he severed all business connections with Meadows and removed to Boise, where he has since made his home.
In 1864 Mr. White was united in marriage, at La Grande, Oregon, to Miss Lydia Hopper, a native of Illinois. She died in 1889, leaving eight children, and at Weiser, in 1893 Mr. White was again married, his second union being with Miss Lucy Hall, a native of Belfast, Maine.
In politics he is a Democrat and cast his presidential vote for William Jennings Bryan in 1896. Socially he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having become a member of the order in Centerville thirty-one years ago. He is now past grand and is one of the exemplary representatives of the fraternity. His sterling worth, his upright life and his fidelity to principle commend him to the confidence and respect of all, and as a worthy pioneer of Idaho he well deserves mention in this volume.