Biography of George E. White
Round Valley Township, Mendocino County, CA Biographies





George E. White. This pioneer gentleman, whose portrait it affords us much pleasure to present to our readers in the body of this work, is a native of Virginia, having been born in Lewis County, that State, August 17, 1832. He is a descendant, through his mother, of the noted family of Jacksons, so well and favorably known all through Virginia; the brave and honored Stonewall Jackson, who fell at his post during the late war, being a cousin of Mr. White. Young White was reared on a farm, attending the common schools a part of the time, and remained in his native State till 1849. In April of that year, leaving his parents behind, he crossed the plains with an ox team, in company with an uncle, Cummings E. Jackson, one brother, Sylvanus White, and two second cousins, James T and Edmond J. Jackson. The party arrived at Lawson's ranch, on Deer creek, September 10th, of the above mentioned year. After remaining there about one week Mr. White and his friends went to Shasta county where they engaged in mining In a short time Mr. White became i11 and was obliged to abandon that vocation, and he returned to the Sacramento valley where he spent the winter of 1849-50. His uncle remained in Shasta county, and having contracted a fever, died during that winter, and in the course of the next season his cousins returned to the East His brother spent the winter with him, and in the spring they purchased some teams and goods and went to Nevada City, where they opened a store, which they continued for three or four months only. They then disposed of their interests there, and returned with the teams to Sacramento City, and engaged in freighting from that place into the mountains. Their next business venture was the establishment of a ferry across the Sacramento river in Tehama county, twelve miles below the town of Tehama, which they did in the fall of 1850, and conducted it during that winter. In the spring they disposed of this business, and Mr. White proceeded to Rush creek, where he engaged in mining, and his brother returned to the East. He continued his mining operations at the above named place during the summer, and in the fall went to what was known as Ford's ranch, where he spent the winter. In the spring of 1852 he returned to the home of his youth, via Panama, arriving in March and remaining till July of that year. He then went to Missouri where he resided till April, 1853, when he again set out across the plains with an ox train, this time accompanied by his brother Sylvanus. Mr. White and another of their party left the train behind, and arrived in Marysville in September. From there he proceeded to Stony creek, where he spent the winter. In May, 1854, the subject of this sketch, accompanied by George Hudspeth, Dr. Atkinson, James White, Calvin White, and another man whose name has been forgotten, passed over the mountains and entered Round valley, Mendocino county. The party was prospecting for gold in the mountains of that section, and it was by accident that they came upon the beautiful valley. In the valley they came upon the trail made by Kelsey and his parity and found where they had carved their names on a tree. After spending two days in the valley they returned to Tehama county. The grass was so high that that they could not see any Indians, although their movements were easily discernible by the motion of the grass caused by them in passing through it. Mr. White was the first man to ascend what is now called the Blue Nose mountain, north of Cove, and from this fact the peak was long called White's mountain. On returning to Tehama county he,in company with. Enoch J. Gibson, located a ranch which they held till the fall of 1857, when they disposed of it and moved into Round valley to a place which Mr. White had located in April of the previous year. This place contained Originally about one thousand acres, and is comprised in his present homestead, and was also the first land located upon by any one in the valley. After locating this tract of land he placed Charles Bourne in charge of it, for which services he divided the place with him, and returned to Tehama county for the purpose of attending to his interests there, which he finally disposed of as stated above. During that fall he went to Los Angeles and, in company with Andrew Hunter, purchased about seven hundred head of cattle, which he, in the spring of 1857 (after dividing cattle with Hunter), drove through Solano, Colusa, and Tehama counties into Round valley. During this time, however, Bourne had gone out into the valleys and purchased a band of about five hundred cattle, which he took into the valley, arriving there ahead of White, and thus gaining the honor of bringing the first stock into Round valley, while White drove the second lot into it. The Indian reservation was established in 1856, and there were a few of the employes of the Government upon it. Sanders Hornbrook and Martin Corbett came into the valley in the fall of 1856, and about the same time came ____ Lawson and ____ King. The first house erected in the valley was a cabin built by Charles Bourne and occupied by him while in charge of the White ranch. Mr. White has continued to prosper since the day he first located in Round valley, and now counts his acres by the thousands. In his homestead he has about two thousand five hundred acres, also three other sheep ranches in Mendocino county, comprising, all told, some thirty five thousand acres. In Trinity county his landed possessions are simply immense, the tract being about forty miles long and about six in width. This, for convenience, is divided into five separate ranches, or rather ranges. He also owns, in the same county, another tract of about thirty thousand acres. These ranched are all stocked with sheep, there being on all of them about thirty thousand head. He owns, also, a very large band of cattle, and of horses and mules together about three hundred head. In 1878 Mr. White erected his beautiful mansion, which is reputed to surpass any residence either in Mendocino county or in the State north of San Francisco, in elegance and taste. It is supplied with all the modern conveniences, having water and gas in every room. It is truly a palatial residence in every respect. In 1867 Mr. White paid a second visit to his native State, and while there, in May, 1868, was united in marriage with Miss Alice, daughter of Esias and Margaret Fetley, a native of Virginia. In 1872, accompanied by his wife, he again visited his early home, returning to California in August of that year. His wife's. health was now failing her, that fatal emissary of death, Consumption, having chosen her as one of his victims She passed out of this life July 7, 1873. Her body was embalmed and taken to the far away home of her childhood for sepulture.


From:
History of Mendocino County, California
Alley, Bowen & Co., Publishers
San Francisco, California 1880


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