William H. White

White Lumber Company.

The W. H. White Lumber Company was located on Eighth Street between NP Avenue and the NP railroad tracks, as can be seen in the 1897 photograph above. In the photo, one can see the old Fargo High School (burned down in 1916) in the upper right, the second Cass County Courthouse (burned down in 1903), in the upper center, and the Dakota Business College (still standing but out of business) in the upper left.

William H. White was born in Whiting, Vermont, July 31, 1851, the son of a railroad man who moved to Minnesota in 1869. White was educated at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and at one time was a resident of Chicago, where he was engaged in the lumber business with his father. In 1871 they moved to Brainerd, Minnesota, and in 1872 White moved to Moorhead where he began a lumber business.

White sold the lumber to the NP railroad that was used to construct the bridge across the Red River in 1873. In the fall of 1873, White opened a lumber yard in Bismarck but returned to Moorhead after one year. In 1874, White was running flatboats of lumber down the river. In the fall of 1874, White moved to Fargo and grew his business to 23 lumberyards in the Red River valley.

William H. White.

For many years White was the oldest lumberyard in continuous operation in North Dakota. White also was a Director of the First National Bank of Fargo. White married Miss Anna M. Williams in Philadelphia on July 20, 1876. White was a member of the Methodist Episcopal faith. He is said to be the first member of that faith in North Dakota and is credited with building the first Methodist church in North Dakota in 1874.