Joseph W. White

Stories of Guernsey county by Wm. Wolfe Page 590

Joseph W. White

     Joseph W. White was born in Cambridge in 1822.  He attended the common schools, such as they were in that day, and was a student for one term in the Cambridge Academy.  This was a chartered educational institution on North Seventh street, with studies a little beyond the common branches.  For a short time he held a position in a newspaper office in Columbus.  Returning to Cambridge he read law, teaching school in the meantime.

     One year after being admitted to the bar, he was elected prosecuting attorney of Guernsey county, by the Democrats, and reelected in 1847.  For many years he was a leading member of the Guernsey county bar.   Two prominent attorneys of fifty years ago, Judge E. W. Mathews and Judge J. W. Campbell, had been his law students, and with each of them he was a law partner.

     Elected to Congress.—In 1862 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress of the Sixteenth district which then was composed of Tuscarawas, Harrison, Guernsey and Noble counties.  His Republican opponent, whom he defeated, was John A. Bingham.  Although Mr. Bingham was a candidate for congress several times before 1862, and at least three times afterwards, this was the only time he was ever defeated.  Mr. White served but one term.

     In the celebrated Brough-Vallandigham campaign of 1863, Mr. White, then a member of Congress, took an active part, not only in Guernsey county, but in several parts of the state. His ability as a campaigner was recognized by his party and his services as such were sought.

     An Enterprising Citizen.—At all times he took much interest in local civic affairs.  He was a member of the board of education, a member of the council and mayor of the town.  It was while he was mayor that the Town Hall was built.  That the Cleveland and Marietta Railroad might be completed through Guernsey county, he contributed much time and money.  Joseph W. White was a valuable Guernsey county citizen of the last century.


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