From “History of Wheeling , Ohio County, West Virginia and
Representative Citizens,” by Hon. Gibson Lamb Cranmer, 1902.
Typed by Carol Taylor Lanza.
WILLIAM WHITE, a prosperous carpenter of Valley Grove, Ohio County,
West Virginia, was born June 13, 1851, is a son of Madison White and
grandson of James White. The latter, who was born in Scotland, of
Scotch-Irish parentage, came to this country in the eighteenth century,
and became an extensive land owner and farmer. He was eighty years old
at the time of his death. Madison White, father of the subject of this
sketch, was born in Ohio County, near Roney’s Point. He resided on a
farm near Bethany, Brooke County, West Virginia, at his death, which
occurred from typhoid fever at the age of thirty-five years. He chose
for his wife Margaret Jane Howard, and to them were born four children,
as follows: William; Mary Jane, widow of George Murphy, residing in
Independence, Washington County, Pennsylvania; James M.; and Martha,
widow of G.F. Wharton, residing in Columbus, Ohio.
William White followed the occupation which his ancestors chose,
that of a farmer, but in later years he has followed the trade of
carpenter. He has always been very successful, and is prominent among
the leading residents of Ohio County. He was married in 1877 to Agnes
Miller, a daughter of George W. Miller, who is a farmer of Washington
County, Ohio. Our subject and his wife have been blessed with six
children, namely: George C., who was born May 18, 1878, and is baggage
master for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, served one year in
the Spanish-American War as a member of Company G, 4th Regiment
Immunes; Charles M., who was born June 22, 1880, is now at work on the
telephone line; Ira M., born January 31, 1883; Laura B., born April 3,
1885, who is clerking in a general store at Valley Grove; William H.,
born April 18, 1890, and died September 1, 1890; and Letha M., born
October 16, 1891, who is living at home.
James M. White, the brother of our subject, was born March 27,
1855, and for the past seventeen years has been conducting a portable
sawmill at Valley Grove. In 1880 he married Maggie Raines, a daughter
of Robert Raines. Five children were born to James M. White and his
wife: Nina, born November 24, 1881, married William P. Collett, a
carpenter residing in Valley Grove, who is at present employed on the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad; James G. Blaine, born May 10, 1884; Maggie,
born September 8, 1887; Bertha, born November 22, 1889; and Joseph
Lehrman, born November 28, 1891. James M. White is a Republican.
Religiously, he is a Methodist. He is a member of Lodge No. 966,
I.O.O.F., of West Alexander, Pennsylvania, having passed through the
various chairs and having represented the local lodge at the Grand
Lodge held at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1892.
William White, subject of this sketch, is a Republican in politics.
He is a believer in the Methodist faith. Fraternally, he is a member
of Lodge N. 966, I.O.O.F., of West Alexander, having joined that
organization eighteen years ago, and has passed through all the chairs.
He has also belonged to Encampment No. 293, at Claysville,
Pennsylvania, for the past six years.
MRS. MARGARET A. (WHITNAH) VAN METER, a highly respected resident of
West Liberty, Ohio County, West Virginia, was born near Martinsburg,
West Virginia, and is a daughter of John G. Whitnah. The latter was
born near Martinsburg in 1787, and became a soldier in the War of 1812,
after which he engaged in farming until his death, in 1854, at the age
of sixty-seven years. His father, Henry Whitnah, was a soldier of the
Revolution and a pioneer of New Jersey. He also followed farming and
lived to reach the advanced age of ninety-two years, a man who enjoyed
the respect and highest esteem of every one with whom he was
Margaret A. Whitnah was joined in marriage in March, 1845, with
Vincent H. Van Meter, who was born on the old Van Meter homestead in
Ohio County, in 1817. He was the son of Joseph and Margaret Van Meter,
and grandson of Abraham and Elizabeth (Burns) Van Meter. Elizabeth
Burns was born in Scotland, where she belonged to a prominent family of
that name, and came to America at an early day. Abraham Van Meter was
born in Virginia, and fought in the Revolutionary War. Joseph Van
Meter was born in Berkeley County, Virginia, and moved to the farm now
owned by our subject in 1809. Vincent H. Van Meter, who had two
brothers, Joseph and Robert, always lived on the old farm and in the
house built by his father. The house is located on a rise of ground
and commands an excellent view of the surrounding country. He engaged
in agricultural pursuits, and made a specialty of raising fine horses
and sheep. He also bought and sold cattle extensively. He was a man of
estimable character and commanded the respect and admiration of his
fellow men. He died April 24, 1901. Mrs. Van Meter resides on the old
farm and has many intimate friends in her section of the county, in
which she has lived for so many years. A pleasing feature of this old
estate is an excellent orchard, which was planted more than a century
ago, and still bears abundantly, many of the trees being from 18 inches
to two feet in diameter.
Jan Gysbesten Van Meter, who founded the Van Metre (or Van Meter)
family in this country, emigrated to New York in 1663 from Bommel, a
city of Holland. Governor Gooch of Virginia gave a grant of 40,000
acres of land to two of his descendants, Jan (or John) Van Metre and
Abraham Van Metre. Their descendants settled in Ohio County, West
Virginia, and in Kentucky and Ohio. Of those settling in Ohio County,
Joseph Van Metre, a great-uncle of Vincent H., built Fort Van Metre.
John Van Metre, his brother, took up the land where West Liberty now
stands, and left a man in charge by the name of Black, who built the
place known as Black’s Cabin. Abraham Van Metre afterward owned the
land where West Liberty is, and sold two acres to Ohio County for $20.
Joseph Van Metre, father of Vincent H., had five brothers: Abisha,
Josiah, Asahel, Abraham and Isaac, and three sisters: Ruth, Naomi and
Elizabeth. Joseph Van Metre was killed or drowned in the Ohio River,
when on his way to the Ohio side of the river to hunt; his gun was
found in the river forty years later.