Source: Fountain County Indiana History. 1881 Van Buren township By H.W. Beckwith, page 301
CAPTAIN WILLIAM WHITE, (deceased), was one of the first settlers of Fountain county. He was a native of Washington co. Virginia, and born March 27 1776. The same year his parents moved to what is now Roan county Tennessee. He firs visited Indiana in 1811, with, an exploring expedition seeking for a location and camped upon Helt’s Prairie, Vermilion county Indiana, where he afterward in 1816, bought some 1,200 or 1,500 acres of land, now owned by his son James White. Returning to Tennessee he enlisted under Gen. Jackson in the war of 1812, commanded a company of men under Gen. Coffee through the creek and Seminole war, and fought in the battle of Talladega, Ennukfaw, and the sanguinary conflict of, Horse Shoe Bend. In 1829 he immigrated with his family to Fountain county settling on Coal Creek, at what is now Van Dorn’s Mill, here erecting the first mill in the county, a rude log structure not designed for much else than grinding corn. The mill-stones which can be seen at Covington were found upon the farm of Cyrus Rush. These he dressed and put in running order without the aid of anyone else. Many of the gray-haired men, then boys, well remember going to Capt. White’s mill for their regular supply of cornmeal. At that time his mill was the most important place in the county, and he one of the most prominent men. Capt. White’s mill was the place of the early musters, one of the first regular preaching places in the county. Here it was the belated traveler, the unfortunate emigrant was sure of generous treatment and friendly assistance. In 1835, he removed to his farm in Vermilion county, where he resided till 1872, when he came to live with his son-in-law, Judge Coats, where he died in 1873. He came to Indiana when the council fires of the savage were scarcely extinguished, when the greater part of her territory was a wilderness. He lived to see the state rich and prosperous, checkered with railroads and telegraph lines. He was a man of great force of character, firm and determined, generous and kind hearted, always ready to assist the needy, and anxious for the welfare of his neighbors. He exerted a controlling influence in the politics of the county in an early day. He was a great admirer of Jackson, and voted with the democratic party till Kansas troubles, when old as he was, he went to the scene of the trouble that he might ascertain for himself whether what he head heard was true, the result was that he returned a republican of the first rank, and made speeches telling what he saw in Kansas, against the democracy from his own county down the Wabash some distance south of Terre Haute. His retentive faculties were great, there were few events respecting the political history of our government with which he was not familiar. His remains were laid to rest on the old place at Van Dorn’s Mill, where his wife and two of his children are buried. He raised a family of three sons, and four daughters, He left five children to mourn his departure. The image of a few faces will be borne longer in the memories of the citizens of Fountain county than that of Capt. William White.
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