Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
WHITE, GIL PORTER - With a thorough knowledge of farming and what can be accomplished with Sangamon County land, the young agriculturists of this section are making a good record for themselves and their locality, and their success is being quoted throughout the State. One of those who has already accomplished much is Gill Porter White, residing on the family homestead, Section 26, New Berlin Township, born in Island Grove Township, August 27, 1874, a son of John D. and Mary J. (Luce) White, the former of whom died June 28, 1900 and the latter February 9, 1911.
Mr. White was more carefully educated than many farmer boys and was given the advantages offered by the school of Bates, Ill., and the New Berlin High School. Completing a three years' course, he returned to the farm and, although nineteen years old, rented land from his father and engaged in farming for himself, making his home with his parents until his marriage. This important event took place March 10, 1897, when he was united with Estella Harrison, born in Alexander, Morgan County, Ill., December 14, 1879, daughter of Cornelius C. and Caroline I. (Young) Harrison, the father born in Franklin, Morgan County, Ill., August 27, 1841, while the mother was born in Scott County, Ill., in August 23, 1847. Mr. Harrison left his parents when still a boy, so knows little of the family history, believing however, that he came from the same stock as the late ex-president Benjamin Harrison. Growing up in Morgan County, he enlisted in the United States service at the outbreak of the war and gave his country three years of his life, being honorably discharged. Returning home, he later moved to Alexander, Ill., and here gradually recovered his health, which had been shattered by hard experience as a soldier. As soon as able, he went to work on a farm for a Mr. Alexander, buying and feeding stock. Eventually he went to work in the elevator at Alexander, where he was steadily employed for thirty years, or until his death, September 27, 1904. His widow is making her home with Mrs. Fred Jones, of New Philadelphia, Ill. They had the following children: Lauis C., telegrapher for the Rock Island Railroad; May Belle, wife of Fred Jones, station agent at New Philadelphia, Ill., two children, Harrison and Arthur; Emerson died in infancy; Gilbert C., of Alexander, married Sarah Ruble, two children, Margaret J. and Elsie; Richard N., of Mapleton, Ill., station agent, married Otelia Reaken. The Young family originated in Italy many years ago. Mr. Harrison, like his illustrious relative, was a staunch supporter of Republicanism. Both he and his wife were true, Christian people and devout members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. While strong in his likes and dislikes, Mr. Harrison recognized the right of every man to his own opinion, and was a man whose influence was felt wherever he happened to be.
After marriage Mr. and Mrs. White located on his farm on Section 26, New Berlin Township, consisting of 140 acres. The property had been rented for some time and was run down, but he soon remedied that by putting in tiling, trimming the hedges, and building a beautiful cottage. He not only keeps his premises neat and orderly, but will not permit weeds to grow in the road along his property. Many an older farmer could learn from this progressive young man, who eagerly adopts any method he believes is a good one for his work. With the exception of one years spent in Indianapolis, Mr. and Mrs. White have lived on their farm, realizing that they prefer rural pleasures to those offered by a large city. They have three sweet little ones: Harriette, born June 13, 1902; Margaret D., born August 29, 1903, and baby John C., born September 27, 1905. Mrs. White is a charming lady, who presides over her household with simple dignity, welcoming all visitors with true hospitality. Both she and Mr. White are members of the Presbyterian Church and he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of American of New Berlin. In politics he is a Democrat.
Mr. White operated 200 acres of rich Sangamon County land, which he devotes to general farming stock raising, making a specialty of raising the best grades of cattle and horses. He has been Highway Commissioner, and while in office was able to give his constituents a thoroughly business-like administration and execute the work in his department economically and satisfactorily.