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White, Sarah Stiles (1840-1925)


Posted By: Geo Clinton (email)
Date: 1/16/2016 at 13:53:50

Jefferson Bee - February 25, 1925 - The death of Mrs. O.J. White on Thursday morning takes from the ranks of Jefferson people one of the first residents of this city. She was ill only a few days, in fact many near friends did not know of her sickness until learning of her death.

Mrs. White came to Jefferson in 1859, so has seen this locality grow from its almost primitive state to the highly developed region it now is. No woman here has been more universally admired and beloved than Mrs. White. Her kindly acts during the many years, are now reverently remembered by scores of folks, who mourn her as a true and devoted friend.

From the early days on she was a "mother in Israel," responding to the call of countless homes for help during cases of sickness, and at the bier of the dead to console and aid those who were in sorrow. To write her history is to record the events of 65 years of the community. The farm owned by them, just northeast of the platted town, is still known as the "O.J. White farm." There they planted one of the first groves in the county, and with it a splendid orchard, the best for many years in the locality. The active part (a line of print in unreadable) White and her husband will never be forgotten by the "old timers" who were their neighbors and friends.

Sarah Ann Stiles, only daughter of Job C. and Hannah Wiley Stiles was born December 27, 1840, at Xenia, Ohio and died Thursday morning at 6 o'clock February 19, 1925 at her home in Jefferson.

In 1854 she started with her parents and brothers for Iowa, coming down the Ohio river to Keokuk. Starting overland for Greene county, their team gave out, and they stopped at Eddyville until 1859 when they again took up their journey with the intention of joining their long time neighbors and friends the William Anderson and Snodgrass families.

Reaching Greene county, they met Park and Harve Thornton, between Buttrick and Hardin Creeks and inquired the way to the William Anderson home. Arriving there, they were given a hearty welcome. The Stiles family established their home a short distance west of the mouth of Hardin Creek.

On June 4, 1861, she was united in marriage with Oliver J. White, who had come to Jefferson from Adel in 1857. The marriage took place in Jefferson, where the bride had lived for more than a year, and where she has lived ever since. Mrs. White, this winter told how late in the month of her marriage, sat eating dinner with a company of ladies in the home of Mesdames Ida Orr and Samantha Walton, when friends rushed in to tell them that company of Indians had just come up Jackson's hill.

The men flocked to the house knowing that their wives were there, but soon the Indians came near enough to show that they carried a white flag. The red faces went into camp under the big tree which is yet to be seen in the L.R. Wilcox yard. Here they stayed for several days and several of the Jefferson women went to visit them and take food for the sick Indian children.

She was very much interested in the Greene county boys of 1861, who went away to war. Mr. White would have gone, but was rejected because of physical disability.

Mr. and Mrs. White went to housekeeping in the summer of 1861 in a house just west of the present residence of Dr. and Mrs. Young. Here they brought the first kerosene lamp and the first sewing machine in Jefferson which was a Singer. Mr. White established a shoe shop upon coming to Jefferson and was the first shoe merchant. In an early day, the court house stood upon the present site of the Anderson grocery. This he purchased and moved across the alley to the present site of the L.T. Grisier store. This he occupied until he erected the fine brick building which now stands on the site and is occupied by the L.J. Grisier Co.

Mrs. White was known for her deeds of kindness helping to care for the sick, and rendering her sympathy and helpfulness to those in sorrow. Her heart went out to the down and outer, and nothing gave her more pleasure than to help him get on his feet again. In those early days, when trained nurses were not to be had, she was invariably on hand to greet the newest arrival an the city, and many of our citizens today owe their lives to the skill and loyalty of this good woman who would not be deterred by the most contagious disease in rendering aid to the afflicted and sick.

She and her husband were both identified with civic and fraternal organizations. Her husband was initiated into the local Masonic lodge, in the first class, after the charter members while she has been a faithful member of the Woman's Relief Corps, the Beulah Rebekah lodge and the B.B.B. society.

To Mr. and Mrs. White six children were born, of the five sons, Volney, died in infancy; Osa R. and Harley A. died in young manhood; Fred C., of Cassandaga, Florida; and Grant, of Seattle; and one grandchild, Sarah White, still survive. Her one daughter, Mrs. Elsie Jones has been her faithful companion and nurse for the last four years. Upon her falls a burden of grief, for no one will miss the good mother so sorely as this dutiful daughter, who has so lovingly and tenderly ministered to the aged mother.

Mr. White died February 21, 1909, sixteen years ago last Saturday.

The funeral was held Sunday afternoon from the Slininger Funeral home, with the W.R.C. and Rebekah lodges in attendance. Mrs. Coburn sang "The End of a Perfect Day," Mrs. Eva Head read the obituary, Mrs. E.B, Wilson gave the address and Mrs. Coburn sang, "Our Yesterdays."

The W.R.C. gave their ritualistic service at the Funeral Home, while the Rebekahs conducted their burial service at the graveside. The pallbearers were all lifelong friends and were Park Thornton, Will Grisier, O.G. Wynkoop, Frank Hassett, Lawrence Kendall and George Phillips.

It is an interesting fact to know that Mrs. White lived in Jefferson for sixty-five years and fifty four years of that time she lived in the same voting precinct. Last November she was happy to cast her vote for Coolidge.


Greene Obituaries maintained by Cheryl Siebrass.
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