Robert White (West Virginia State Senator)

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Honorable
Robert White
Member of the West Virginia Senate
from the 15th district
In office
1930–1934
Prosecuting Attorney for Hampshire County
In office
1912–1928
Personal details
Born (1876-05-28)May 28, 1876
Romney, West Virginia, United States
Died August 15, 1935 (1935-08-16) (aged 59)
Romney, West Virginia, United States
Resting place Indian Mound Cemetery, Romney, West Virginia, United States
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s)
  • Mabel Glasscock Fitch
Relations
Children John Baker White
Mabel Glasgow White Cornwell
Elizabeth Steele White
Roberta Huston White McFarland
Robert White, Jr.
Residence Romney, West Virginia, United States
Alma mater Potomac Academy
West Virginia University College of Law (LL. B.)
Occupation
Religion Presbyterian

Robert White (May 28, 1876 – August 15, 1935) was an American lawyer and Democratic politician in the U.S. state of West Virginia. White served four consecutive terms as the Prosecuting Attorney for Hampshire County (1912–1928) and served one term in the West Virginia Senate (1930–1934) representing the state's Fifteenth Senatorial District in the 40th and 41st Sessions of the West Virginia Legislature. During the 1933 legislative year, White served as the floor leader for the Democratic Party members of the West Virginia Senate.

White was a member of the White political family of Virginia and West Virginia and was the son of Hampshire County Clerk of Court and West Virginia Fish Commission President Christian Streit White (1839–1917) and the grandson of Hampshire County Clerk of Court John Baker White (1794–1862). White was a nephew of West Virginia Attorney General Robert White (1833–1915).

Early life and education[edit]

Robert White was born on May 28, 1876 in Romney, West Virginia.[1][2][3] He was the second child of Hampshire County Clerk of Court Christian Streit White (1839–1917) with his second wife Catharine Steele White (1837–1869)[1][3] and the third eldest of his father's five children.[3] White was a grandson of Hampshire County Clerk of Court John Baker White (1794–1862)[3] and a great-grandson of the prominent Virginia judge Robert White (1759–1831).[3] His uncle Robert White (1833-1915) served as Attorney General of West Virginia and his brother John Baker White (1868–1944) was a military officer and later served as a Charleston city councilman and president of the West Virginia Board of Control.

White received his early education in the public schools of Romney, and attended Romney's Potomac Academy.[3] He commenced his career in public service at the age of 16[3] when he began serving as the Deputy Clerk of Court in the office of his father, Christian Streit White, who was then serving as Clerk of Court for Hampshire County.[3] In 1894, White graduated from Potomac Academy at the age of 18.[3][4] Two years later, he began his studying jurisprudence in the West Virginia University College of Law in Morgantown.[3][4] He graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1899,[3][4][5] earning a Bachelor of Laws degree.[5] White cast his first vote for Democratic Party presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan in the United States presidential election of 1900.[3]

Law career[edit]

From 1903 until 1912, White was associated with his father Christian Streit White (pictured) in a law practice in Romney, West Virginia.

Following his graduation in 1899 from West Virginia University,[3] White returned to Romney and established a law practice.[3][5] In 1903, he became associated with his father Christian Streit White in a law practice, following the conclusion of his father's term as Hampshire County Clerk of Court.[3] White continued to practice law with his father until 1912, when he was elected to his first term as Prosecuting Attorney for Hampshire County.[3][4]

Political career[edit]

Before the age of 21, White represented Hampshire County as a delegate to a West Virginia Democratic Party state convention.[6]

In 1912, won election to serve as the Prosecuting Attorney for Hampshire County.[3][4] He was elected to the position four times, and served four four-year terms from 1912 to 1928.[3][4][6] While serving as the county's prosecuting attorney, White was a strong proponent of the Good Roads Movement[3] and under his leadership, the first concrete bridge was constructed in Hampshire County by the County Court.[3]

Between 1917 and 1922,[7][8][9][10] in addition to serving as the county's prosecuting attorney, White served as the Commissioner of School Lands[7][8][9][11] and as one of the Chancery Commissioners for Hampshire County, along with Joshua Soule Zimmerman and James Sloan Kuykendall.[7][8][9][10]

In 1930, White was elected to serve in the West Virginia Senate representing the state's Fifteenth Senatorial District.[6][12][13] He served in the 40th and 41st Sessions of the West Virginia Legislature and completed his term in 1934.[12][13][14] White served as the floor leader for the West Virginia Senate's Democratic Party members during the 1933 legislative year.[6]

Affiliations[edit]

White served as a master of the Masonic Lodge,[3] and was affiliated with the Odd Fellows.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Gravestone marker for Robert White's interment site
Gravestone (pictured) at the interment site of Robert White at Indian Mound Cemetery in Romney, West Virginia.
Gravestone marker for Mabel Fitch White's interment site
Gravestone (pictured) at the interment site of White's wife, Mabel Glasscock Fitch White.

Marriage and issue[edit]

White married on January 7, 1903 in Washington, D.C.[3][15] to Mabel Glasscock Fitch,[3][5][15] the only child and daughter of E. H. Fitch and his wife Laura Glasscock Fitch.[3] Fitch was a native of Vanceburg, Kentucky[3] and she attended Marshall College while her family resided in Huntington.[3] Fitch completed her education in Washington, D.C.[3] White and his wife Mabel had five children:[3]

  • John Baker White[3][16] (born February 11, 1904)[16]
  • Mabel Glasgow White Cornwell[3][17] (born February 18, 1906),[17] married James Leighton Cornwell on August 25 1926 in Hampshire County[18]
  • Elizabeth Steele White[3][19] (born April 23, 1908)[19]
  • Roberta Huston White McFarland[3][20][21] (born June 18, 1912),[20] married William Frank McFarland on June 13, 1936 in New Cumberland[21]
  • Robert White, Jr.[3]

White's wife Mabel was an active member of the Presbyterian church[3] and died on July 5, 1915[3] and was interred at Indian Mound Cemetery in Romney.[22]

Later life and death[edit]

White never remarried following his wife's death in 1915.[2] After several months of illness,[6] White died at his residence in Romney on August 15, 1935 at the age of 59[2][6][23] due to arteriosclerosis and myocarditis.[2][23] White was interred with Masonic rites on Saturday afternoon, August 17, 1935[2][6][23] at Indian Mound Cemetery in Romney.[2][22][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Birth Record Detail: Robert White", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved November 17, 2013 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Death Record Detail: Robert White", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved November 17, 2013 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj Callahan 1923, p. 635.
  4. ^ a b c d e f West Virginia Bar Association 1935, p. 193.
  5. ^ a b c d West Virginia University Alumni Association 1903, p. 199.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Robert White: Former West Virginia State Senator Started Political Career Early", The New York Times (New York City, New York), August 16, 1935, retrieved November 17, 2013 
  7. ^ a b c West Virginia Legislature 1917, p. 45.
  8. ^ a b c West Virginia Legislature 1918, p. 45.
  9. ^ a b c West Virginia Legislature 1921, p. 58.
  10. ^ a b West Virginia Legislature 1922, p. 814.
  11. ^ West Virginia Legislature 1922, p. 813.
  12. ^ a b Munske & Kerns 2004, p. 180.
  13. ^ a b West Virginia Legislature 2011, p. 434.
  14. ^ West Virginia Legislature 2011, p. 423.
  15. ^ a b "Marriage Record Detail: Robert White", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved November 17, 2013 
  16. ^ a b "Birth Record Detail: John Baker White", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved November 17, 2013 
  17. ^ a b "Birth Record Detail: Mabel Glasgow White", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved November 17, 2013 
  18. ^ "Marriage Record Detail: Mabel Glasgow White", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved November 17, 2013 
  19. ^ a b "Birth Record Detail: Elizabeth Steele White", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved November 17, 2013 
  20. ^ a b "Birth Record Detail: Roberta Huston White", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved November 17, 2013 
  21. ^ a b "Marriage Record Detail: Roberta Huston White", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved November 17, 2013 
  22. ^ a b "Indian Mound Cemetery: Hampshire County's Most Historic Cemetery - List of Interments", HistoricHampshire.org (HistoricHampshire.org, Charles C. Hall), retrieved November 17, 2013 
  23. ^ a b c d "Death Record Detail: Robert White", West Virginia Vital Research Records (West Virginia Division of Culture and History), retrieved November 17, 2013 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]