Biography of Stephen Mallory White
as revealed by
The Biography of His Brother, Edward White
& His Father, William Francis White
Source: James M. Guinn. History of the State of California and Biographical Record of Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties; An Historical Story of the State’s Marvelous Growth from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. By Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Author of A History of Los Angeles and Vicinity, History of Southern California, Secretary and Curator of the Historical Society of Southern California, Member of the American Historical Association, Washington, D. C.; Also Containing Biographies of Well-Known Citizens of the Past and Present. Chicago : The Chapman Publishing Co., 1903. © 1902 by Chapman Publishing Co. pp. 326-327
Other Subjects Mentioned in Text:
EDWARD WHITE [2nd]
The name which Mr. White bears is one which has been long and honorably associated with the history of California. His father, William F. White, a pioneer of the Pajaro valley, was born in county Limerick, Ireland, in 1816, being a son of Edward [1st] and Ellen (Griffin) White.
When four years of age he was brought to America by his parents and settled in Chenango Point (now Binghamton), N. Y., but later removed to Susquehanna county, Pa., where the parents attained to advanced years and passed away. The mother was a sister of Gerald Griffin, the poet (born 1803, died 1840). Through successive generations it has been noticeable that many of the family have inherited eloquence of speech, others have inherited the power to express thoughts in vivid and rhythmic language such as the Irish poet used, while still others have shown commercial talents of a high order.
The education of William F. White was completed in Oxford (N. Y.) Academy. He became a commercial traveler for a New York firm and traveled through the southern states. On one of his trips he met Frances J. Russell of Savannah, Gal, whom he afterward married. About the time of their marriage the gold fever broke out and he and his wife decided to join the argonauts for the far west. Proceeding to New York, they secured passage with Captain Hamilton and in January of 1849 started around Cape Horn for San Francisco. On board were some three hundred passengers, among whom Mrs. White was the only woman. They endured the hardships of a voyage of six months, during which water failed and the passengers were put on a limited supply. Incipient rebellion arose, but was promptly suppressed, and in June the ship entered the harbor of the Golden Gate. Among the passengers were many college students, wholly unused to hardships and illy fitted to cope with the difficulties confronting pioneers of the coast. Some of these, finding only a few small buildings instead of a “Golden” city, did not leave the vessel, but applied to the captain for work to defray the expenses of the return journey. As the crew had all deserted for the mines, the captain was obliged to take such help as he could get, and so availed himself of the ex-students and outfitted his vessel for the long return journey.
It had not been Mr. White’s intention to follow mining, and. he at once embarked in mercantile pursuits with D. J. Oliver and J. R. McGlynn. In I852 he sold his interest and purchased a part of the Sul Si Puedes rancho, in connection with E. Kelley, E. Casserly, J. R. McGlynn, W. W. Stowe, William Davidson and Mr. Blair, a tract of thirty-two thousand acres being bought for $40,000. Subsequently the land was divided and W. F. White became owner of three thousand shares. On this estate he erected the first substantial house built in the vicinity. As there were no sawmills in this country, the lumber used in the construction of the house was brought from Maine. On the land he had cattle and conducted a dairy, continuing for some years, then retiring to San Francisco. The ranch is now owned by Judge G. M. Bockius.
To a man of Mr. White’s active temperament and patriotic spirit an interest in local politics and national problems was characteristic and constant. In 1878 he was elected a member of the constitutional convention, and later received from Governor Irwin an appointment as bank commissioner of the state. He died at his residence in Oakland, Cal., in May, 1890, aged seventy-four years. His widow is still living and makes her home with her daughters in San Francisco. Their children were named as follows: Ellen (who died in infancy); Mary, Edward, Stephen M., Ellen, Genevieve, Rhoda, Lillie and Fannie.
The second son, Hon. Stephen Mallory White, was born in San Francisco in 1853, and received his education in Santa Clara College, graduating in 1872. He studied law with Hon. Charles B. Younger of Santa Cruz and was admitted to the state bar in 1873, after which he went to Los Angeles to practice. Old lawyers, remembering the days of their youth, can imagine his position, among strangers, without influence or prestige, yet undertaking the difficult feat of gaining a foothold. There was much in his favor, as he was an eloquent speaker, a fluent writer and a quick debater. Yet even with these talents there seemed no opening. For six months he struggled along, then decided it was useless to wait longer and began to think removing elsewhere. After his mind was fully made up to investigate other towns, a man invited him to deliver an address at the celebration of St. Patrick’s day, March I7. Having decided to leave, he first declined; but, on being importuned, consented to remain and speak. At the conclusion of his able address to a very large assembly he was congratulated by hundreds and was told by many that he had opened a road to fame. This event changed his entire future. He remained, soon won a case, and from that day on had as large a practice as he could handle. An honorable service as district attorney was followed by his election to the United States senate, where his efforts in behalf of the San Pedro harbor bill gave him national prominence. The arduous work of the office undermined his health and while still a young man he died in February of 1899 . His wife, Hortense, nee Sacriste, is the mother of four children William, Gerald, Hortense E. and Estelle.
The eldest son of William F. White was Edward White, born in San Francisco June 25, 1851, and educated in Santa Clara College. In 1874 he began for himself by renting farm land and later bought Calabasa rancho [Rancho la Laguna de las Calabazas] of two thousand acres, where he engaged in the dairy business and developed a fruit industry. At this writing eight hundred acres of the tract are in his possession. Much of the property is set out in apples, apricots, cherries and various small fruits, and there is also a dairy of fifty Durham cows. In 1889 he moved his family to Watsonville, where he has since made his home. His wife, Annie, is a daughter of John Royse, a pioneer of Pajaro valley, and they have six children, Edward, Jr., Ellen, Stephen, Lucille, Raymond and William. Another son was lost in infancy. The family are members of the Roman Catholic Church.
Associated with William Dehart, under the firm title of White & Dehart, in 1895 Mr. White established a large lumber mill, but this was soon developed into a box manufactory, his interest in which he recently sold. In November of 1899 he was elected county supervisor and at this writing he is also a trustee of the Agnew insane asylum, under appointment from Governor Gage. The reputation which his father established has been maintained by himself, and in every respect he has proved himself an able business man, a capable financier and a progressive citizen.
1901 Feb 27
Source: Surf 1901 Feb 27 1:2
A LAWYER’S WILL.
The Testament Devised by
The Late Stephen M.
A Model in Spirit and Dimensions –
Estate Exceeds a Hundred
Written four days before his death on a fly leaf torn from a book and much scratched, the olographic [sic] will of the late Stephen M. White was filed for probate in Los Angeles yesterday. The brief will is as follows:
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17, 1901. – I hereby will, devise and bequeath to my beloved wife, Hortense, all my property. I appoint her executrix of this, my last will, without bonds. I recognize my children—William, Hortense, Estelle and Gerald G. I revoke all wills theretofore made by me.
STEPHEN M. WHITE.
The petition shows that the deceased left an estate valued at about $118,000.