White family descendants settle in River Falls and Andalusia

Published 2:38 am Saturday, December 16, 2017

Today’s column will be a continuation of the review of the White family, which was featured in the past two columns. It has been made possible by securing additional genealogical data and some photos.

In the last column, some of the children of George White and his second wife, Seline “Sina” (Lowery) Godwin, were featured along with their children. These were mainly the two older twin sons, James C. and John Clement White, who were both outstanding leaders in their communities. The most readily available genealogical data to this writer has been on the John Clement White family, so it will be the focus of today’s column.

Seated in front of the Searight Church of Christ log building before it burned in the 1920s are four children of George and Sina White: John Clement White and Dr. James C. White. Standing: Sarah Drucilla “Sallie” White and Frances “Fannie” Seline Alvery White Rawls.

John Clement was born in 1843 along with his twin brother in Henderson, Ala. He grew up and rendered service in the Confederate Army after which he returned to Pike County and later moved within a few years to Searight where his family had settled. He had prepared himself to teach school, so he was hired to teach in Andalusia from 1971 to 1973. He then returned to Searight to teach in his home community. He fell in love with one of his students, Sarah Wyse Lowman (1859-1924), and they were married there in 1876. Sarah was the daughter of Malachi Lowman (1820-1862) and Martha Wyse (1820-1894). Family lore claims Martha’s family was from Holland.

John Clement and Sarah White were the parents of the following children: James Samford, b. 1876, d. 1938, m. 1904 Daisy Dean Linam (1881-1973); Joyce Cornelia, b. 1878, d. 1964, m. Lazarus Parker (1874-1953); John Burie, b. 1880, d. 1951, m. Amanitus Sims (1883-1967); Joseph Oscar, b. 1882, d. 1896, single; Justus Arthur, b. 1885, d. 1975, m. Tessie Mae Perkins (1882-1977); Artie Missie, b. 1889, d. 1972, m. Berle LaFayette Boyett (1886-1964); Lena Mae, b. 1892, d. 1968, m. John Ransom Caton (1889-1933); and Esther Pauline, b. 1896, d. 1922, single. Artie and Esther were school teachers in Andalusia and in later years they lived together in a house on Second Street where their parents had lived. Like their parents, they were faithful members of the Church of Christ on South Three Notch Street.

Among the children there were four sons and four daughters. All four of the boys’ names began with the letter “J.”, but they were all called by their middle names. All four daughters were called by their first names. The third son, Joseph Oscar White, died at age 14.

The family of the second oldest son, John Burie White, was reviewed in last week’s column. Some of the other children’s families will be outlined at this point.

The oldest son, James Samford White, was married in 1904 to Daisy Dean Linam, daughter of James Henry Linam (1853-1924) and Susan “Susie” Elizabeth Crane (1858-1937). Samford and Daisy made their home in the River Falls community of Covington County. Samford was appointed to serve as Postmaster of the River Falls Post Office. He was later employed by the Horseshoe Lumber Company in that town. He requested and received permission for his wife, Daisy Dean White, to be his assistant.

At the time, the post office was located at the end of the Wright Brothers and Dunn Commissary, which was the official store for the Horseshoe Lumber Company. Following the flood in 1929, which destroyed everything around the lumber company, the post office was operated out of the White home. Later, the Government rented the small office of Dr. W.W. Pierson which had been vacant since his death. Mrs. White served as postmistress for 30 years and was always active in her church and community. There is a portrait of Mrs. White currently hanging in the River Falls Post Office Building, which rests on the grounds of the Three Notch Museum in downtown Andalusia.

Samford and Daisy White were the parents of the following three children: James Marvin, b. 1906, d. 1988, m. 1929 Ruth Montgomery Watson (b. 1905); Henry Paul, b. 1907, d. 1972, m. 1929 Mary Ellen Grant (1908-1981); and Esther Pearl, b. 1913, m. Robert Lee Nix (b. 1913). The children married and moved away from their River Falls home where their parents lived out their lives and were buried in the River Falls Cemetery.

The youngest daughter who was married, Lena Mae White, wed James Ransom Caton, the oldest son of Willie Allen Caton and Florence Ellafair Taylor. They made their home in Andalusia where James Ransom established the Caton Transfer Trucking Company. They were the parents of the following children: Louise, b. 1911, d. 1976, m. Nathaniel “Nat” Waller Jr. (1910-1991; James Ransom Jr., b. 1913, d. 1992, m. Lois Barrow; and Charles Bethea “Fay,” b. 1915, d. 1985, m. 1936 Carolyn Boron Brunson.

The White family descendants married into some prominent families in Covington and Crenshaw Counties. They were well-respected and contributed much to the development of the area.

Sources for this story include Ancestry.com, family records of Charles Lowman, family stories in The Heritage of Crenshaw County, Alabama, written by Sharon Drue Wright Ward and an article in “Along the Three Notch Trail,” a newsletter published by G. Sidney and Polly Waits in September 2001.

Anyone who may see something that needs correcting in the above is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.