from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
John P. White, president of district No. 13, of the United Mine Workers of America, residing in Oskaloosa, was born in Coal Valley, Rock Island county, Illinois, February 28, 1870. His father, Joseph White, was born in Ireland and about 1855 crossed the Atlantic to the United States, locating in Rock Island county, where he was in the railroad employ. He was a member of the Catholic church and he voted with the democracy. He married Catherine Burns, also born in Ireland. His death occurred in 1873, when he was fifty-five years of age and he is still survived by his widow, who has reached the age of seventy-six years and makes her home with her son John. She, too, is to communicant of the Catholic church. In their family were seven children: Mary, now deceased; James B., a coal miner living in Appanoose county, Iowa; Thomas J., a mechanic at Pekay, Iowa; Anna, who is twin sister of Thomas and the wife of James D. Martin, a farmer of Monroe county, Iowa; Joseph, who lost his life in the coal mines in Lucas county, Iowa, at the age of nineteen years; Mary Ellen, the wife of John J. Brown, a miner at White City, Mahaska county; and John P. In the public schools of his native town John P. White began his education, which was continued in the schools at Lucas, Iowa. He went into the coal mines at the age of fifteen years at that point and remained at Lucas until 1899, going to Oskaloosa the following year to make his home, having been elected to the office of secretary and treasurer of the United Mine Workers of America, district No. 13, in August, 1889. Early in his connection with mining interests he had come to realize the necessity of the miners being banded together for mutual protection and for the advancement of their interests, for wealthy owners had every opportunity, if unscrupulous, to exercise oppressive measures. He became an active member in the United Mine Workers of America and has since been identified therewith. In 1904 he was elected president of district No. 13, and has his headquarters at No. 105 High street west. This district covers the state of Iowa and also Putnam county, Missouri. His field of work is therefore a large one and of more than ordinary importance. He has been a most active and earnest worker in the order and is a man of fine presence, who is largely self-educated and self-made but who has made steady advancement throughout his entire life both in the lines of business success and of mental improvement. He is an organizer of marked ability and has the quality that attracts friends from all classes. In 1891 Mr. White was married to Miss Ida Berthold, who was born in Burlington, Iowa, in 1872, a daughter of Gottlieb and Anna Berthold, the father of bookkeeper for the White Breast Fuel Company. Mr. and Mrs. White have five children: Thomas, Paul, Marie, Gladys and Mildred, all of whom are now living with the exception of Gladys. The parents are members of the Catholic church and Mr. White is a stalwart democrat in his political views and affiliation. He belongs to the Foresters of America as well as to the organization in which he has taken such an active and prominent part until his worth and ability have won recognition in his election to the presidency of the district.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy