Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


As one of the pioneer educators of northern California, William White rendered valuable service to his state and although many years have elapsed since his death, his memory is still enshrined in the hearts of those who knew him, for his life was purposeful, active and useful-the expression of high ideals and worthy motives. A native of Massachusetts, he was born February 28, 1837, and received his early instruction in the common schools of Roxbury, that state, continuing his studies in Williams College. After his graduation Mr. White went to the Sandwich islands, where he was made acting postmaster general, and early in the '60s he arrived in Santa Cruz, California. From that time until his death in 1894 he devoted his talents to the profession of teaching and was numbered among the most able educators of the early days, following the most advanced standards in his work. He taught at Santa Cruz for a time and enjoyed the distinction of being the first teacher in the first building erected for educational purposes in Watsonville. He also taught in the first high school built at San Jose and subsequently became an instructor in the schools of San Francisco. He was painstaking, conscientious and thorough in his work and made friends where-ever he went, being always courteous and considerate in his treatment of others. He subordinated all other interests to the demands of his profession, and his connection with social or fraternal organizations was limited to membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Mr. White was twice married and his first wife, Sophia E. Hall, of Honolulu, died at Santa Cruz in 1863, leaving a son, Ed. O., who is still residing in Honolulu. A daughter, born in Honolulu, became the wife of Rev. Frank Palmer, of Boston, Massachusetts, but is now deceased. On April 25, 1870, Mr. White married Miss Arminta E. A. Allison, a daughter of N. B. and Sarah Jane (Clark) Allison, natives of Ohio. Mr. Allison crossed the plains to Calfornia in pioneer days of 1854, becoming the owner of a desirable ranch in the Pajaro valley, and was one of the first men in this section to plant an apple orchard. He reached the advanced age of ninety-three years. His old homestead on the San Juan road is still in possession of the family. Mr. Allison was the first depositor in the Bank of Watsonville which was established in 1874. Mrs. White was but four years old when her parents made the long journey to the Pacific coast and her public school training was supplemented by a course in the State Normal School of California. Like her husband, she has done notable work along educational lines, and for thirty years she has been a teacher in the public schools of Watsonville. She has always had charge of the first grade and many of the city's younger residents received their first preparation for life's duties and responsibilities under her guidance. She is a zealous member of the Presbyterian church, also a member of the woman's auxiliary of the Y. M. C. A., and has served as president of the Woman's Saturday Afternoon Club of Watsonville. Mrs. White has a brother, Byron Allison, and a sister, Mrs. A. T. Dresser, of Watsonville. To Mr. and Mrs. White was born a son, William A., now a commercial traveler; and a daughter, Eva Louise, who was a teacher in the public schools of San Francisco and is now deceased.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.