One of the prominent merchants of Lenapah, Nowata county, is John E. White, who was born at Boyds Creek, Tennessee, on the 21st of March, 1875. His paternal great-grandfather came to America from England and was a missionary to the Indians in North Carolina. His father, N. B. White, was a farmer and is now deceased. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Charlotte Huffaker, is still living and is residing on the home farm John E. White was named for his mother’s half-brother who died in the prison at Andersonville while serving in the Civil war.
In the acquirement of an education John E. White attended the public schools of Tennessee and later enrolled in a prep school, after which he became a student in the Carson & Newman College, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1898. In the latter part of that same year he came to Indian Territory and located at Lenapah, where for three years he was engaged in teaching school. He was instrumental in building the first schoolhouse here and was for many years a member of the board of education.
On the 23d of January, 1904, he was appointed postmaster of Lenapah, in which office he was active for nearly ten years. From 1914 to 1917 he worked in the post office at Nowata and for a time in 1908 was active in railroad mail service but resigned after a few trips. Subsequently he was offered a position in the post office at Muskogee but declined and returned to Lenapah, where be established a mercantile business, in the conduct of which he has since been active. Mr. White has won for himself a prominent place among the successful merchants of Nowata County and has built up an extensive and ever increasing patronage. While acting as postmaster here he applied himself as closely and intelligently to the duties of the position that the office became third class and his fellowmen find that he conducts his store on the same conscientious basis, thereby achieving more than substantial success.
Mr. White married Miss Sarah E. Ferguson, a native of Tennessee, they being childhood friends. To their union the following children were born: Gladys, who is the wife of Lee Oendy; John Allen, fifteen years of age and a senior in the Lenapah high school; and Leilla, Helen, Mary and Clarence, all students in the grade schools.
Mr. White is a progressive and public-spirited citizen and may always be counted upon to give aid in the furtherance of any movement for the development and improvement of the general welfare.