HON. HUGH WHITE, was born in Whitestown, December 25, 1798; he was seventh in lineal descent from the
Elder John White, and was a son of Hugh White, Jr., the third son of the pioneer who was for three years a soldier
in the Revolutionary war, and was for a while on board of a privateer. Hon. Hugh White was a worthy descendant
of the illustrious founder of Whitestown. He inherited in full measure the noble characteristics of the race. He
was upwards of six feet in height, weighed about 250 pounds, with flashing black eyes and strong manly bearing.
His earlier education in the common schools was interspersed with hard labor on the parental farm, and this occupation
in those days meant labor such as the present generation scarcely comprehend. He remained at home enjoying a quarter's
schooling each winter until 1819, when he commenced a continuous routine of instruction, partly under the counsel
and encouragement of his elder brother, Canvass White, who was at the time of his death the leading engineer in
the construction of canals, and who was the originator of the Croton water system for New York city. Hugh White
prepared for college under the guidance of his distinguished brother. Canvass, and was graduated from Hamilton
College in 1823, after the customary four years in a full classical course. After graduating at Hamilton College,
he fitted, for the bar in the office of Colonel Charles G. Haines of New York city, having as a fellow student
John A Dix. He soon turned his attention, however, to business pursuits, and in 1825 was located in Chittenango,
engaged in the manufacture of a water lime called White's Water Proof Cement, it being the first cement made in
America; this he afterwards manufactured at Rondout in Ulster county; later he built up the Rosendale Cement Works
where he manufactured much of the cement used on the Croton Aqueduct. He was also largely interested and engaged
in the development of the water power of Cohoes on the Mohawk. In 1844 he was chosen representative to Congress
where he served three terms. He was then active with the Litchfields, D. B. St. John, Governor Hunt, John Stryker
and others in building the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railroads which were carried to a successful
conclusion. In 1830 he moved to Cohoes, Saratoga county, where he resided until his death, which occurred October
6, 1870. Mr. White was also engaged in other enterprises of a manufacturing and business nature. He took and executed
large private contracts, and followed agricultural pursuits somewhat extensively all his life. He was a man of
strict integrity, honest, upright and broad minded, and won honorable distinction; he was persistent in pursuit
of a purpose, though impassionate in his manner of obtaining it. He conscientiously respected the rights and privileges
of others and aided many a struggling man on the road to success and prosperity. No person ever left a fairer name
or a more unblemished record. He was of a frank and patriotic nature, always acted with the whigs and republicans,
and while in congress, though not gifted as a parliamentary debater, yet he exercised an important influence on
legislation in the house and held prominent places among the committees. As a climax to his legislative career,
it was well understood in Washington that on his retirement from congress he was to be appointed United States
minister to Spain, but the early demise of President Taylor, and the succeeding of Vice President Fillmore to the
presidency, disappointed him and his friends and supporters.
Hugh White was born a business man, his plans were broad and comprehensive, his mind was analytical, and his intellectual
grasp of methods was marvelous; he was persistent and practical, and was possessed of an indomitable will with
rare executive talent; he was also experienced as a financier. He was president of the Saratoga County National
Bank at the time of his death. In religion he was a life long Presbyterian, and was a liberal benefactor and an
active promoter of all public enterprises. Mr. White was married in the thirtieth year of his age, to Maria Mills
Mansfield, daughter of William Punderson Mansfield of Kent, Connecticut. She was a lady of much education and refinement
and of exemplary womanly graces, a mother, helpmate and friend in the highest sense of the terms, and died in.
July, 1888. Only two children survive them: a son, William Mansfield White, whose sketch appears in this volume,
and Isabel, wife of Hon. W. W. Niles, a prominent lawyer of New York city.
White family members in Oneida County
White, De Lancey P.
White, Fortune C.
White, Henry D.
White, Hugh, Hon.
White, Moses T.
White, William M.
White, William P.
Young, William C.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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