Monday, April 20, 2015

Martin White

Elder Martin White (1802-1862) = Circuit Rider for the Regular Primitive Baptists. Sawmill Owner. Illinois State Legislator & Kansas Territorial Legislator.  Justice of the Peace. Born on December 15, in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky to James & Sally (Allen) White. In 1820, he married Kiturah "Kitty" Ann Fletcher (1805-1867), daughter of James & Rhoda Ann (Griffin) Fletcher. They had twelve children: James Fletcher, Sally, John Wesley, Griffin*, William George, Guilford, Robert, Rhoda Jane, Martha Custis, Sarah Dulcina, Louisa Vashti and Jilson Gallatin.
In 1829, Martin, his father-in-law, and their families immigrated to Sangamon County, Illinois. Ten years later, Christian and Logan Counties were formed from Sangamon County. Martin was elected to the State's General Assembly as the first representative of Christian & Logan Counties in 1840, serving two years. At the same time, Abraham Lincoln was serving his final two years of four consecutive two-year terms (1834 to 1842) as a state legislator.
In August of 1855, Martin and his family moved to Kansas and bought a large tract of land north of the present-day ghost town of Stanton, KS (twelve miles SW of Paola) on the Miami County/Franklin County border. On September 21, he was sworn in as the Justice of the Peace in Osawatomie. Life was hard on the frontier and his family became involved in the troubles of the border between the states. They moved to 7 miles east of Butler, MO. in late 1856, then to Henry County, following Order # 11 in 1863.
Martin had a pulpit made of walnut and he preached in the Liberty on the Mosquito Creek Primitive Baptist church in Christian County, IL,  the Elk Fork & Pleasant Gap, Bates County, MO churches. He attended the Deep Water Association held in Cedar County, MO. Macedonia Church on September 15-17, 1860. Two years later, on April 21, he passed away. His wife, Kitty, was laid to rest next to him after her death in 1867.

Historical Legal Facts: In 1833, Kentucky Law Prohibited Imported Slave Sales and in 1848, Illinois became a Free State.

More to Read:
1.) White's Family & Their Kin. Gladys Esther White O'Neal & Elma Leota White Stoops. 1983.
3.) Primitive Baptist Library at Carthage, Illinois. Click here for a video that explains Old School Primitive Baptists Beliefs.
4.) Christian County, IL. and  Logan County, IL.
5.) Journal of the House of Representatives of the Twelfth General Assembly of the State of Illinois
Original Christian County Courthouse (look at bottom of page)  
6.) History of Christian County, Illinois with Illustrations Descriptive of Its Scenery and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers: 1763-1880. By Calvin Goudy. Edwardsville, IL; Brink, McDonough & Co.; 1880. P. 254.  Repository: Illinois State Library, 300 S. Second Street, Springfield, MO
7.) The Kansas Network to Freedom and the Missouri/Kansas Border War Network
8.) John Brown and the Legend of '56. By James Claude Malin. America Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1942.
9.) Journal of the House of Representatives of the Territory of Kansas. Lecompton, R. H. Bennett, Public Printers; 1857. p. 130.
10.) Major Thomas J. Goforth, Justice of the Peace of Westport (present-day, Kansas City, MO.)
11.) History of Kansas. By Noble L. Prentis. E.P.Greer, Winfield, KS; 1899. p.64
12.) Findagrave   #50298335

Places to see in Kentucky and Illinois:
1.) Conjunction of Slate and Bull Fork creeks (Hwy 461), Means, Menifee county, KY. 
2.) Lulbegrud Baptist cemetery, Prewitt Pike, Klondike, Montgomery Co, KY. (near this spot is where the original Lulbegrud Primitive Baptist church stood.  This church was the James Fletcher family's  home church in Kentucky and it was pastored by both Elder David Barrows, an abolitionist, and by Elder Thomas Boone.)
3.) Conjunction of Sangamon River & Mosquito Creek, Mosquito Twp., Christian Co., IL.
4.) Hwy 28 Trail markers between Mt. Auburn & Decatur, Christian County, IL (Lincoln's 8th Judicial Circuit Trail between  1847-1857)  
5.) Stafford Cemetery, 1800 E & 2975 N, near Osbernville, IL
6.) Trail of Death markers in Springfield & Decatur,  Sangamon River (Hwy 36), IL
7.) Christian County Historical & Genealogical Society, Taylorville, IL (see the first courthouse in Christian County)
8.) Logan County Historical & Genealogical Society, Lincoln, IL
9.) Illinois State Military Museum, Springfield, IL (see Santa Anna's cork leg brought back from the Battle of Cerro Gordo by John Wesley's 4th regiment in the Mexican War).
10.) Old State Capitol, Springfield, IL
11.) Presidential Lincoln Library, Springfield, IL (payroll document that both Lincoln & Martin signed)
12.) Mississippi River.

Places to see in KS. & MO.
1.) Westport Landing River Park on the Missouri River, near the end of Grand Ave, north of the Sprint Center and the Power & Light District, Kansas City, MO
2.) Miami County Historical Museum, 12 E. Peoria, Paola, Ks  
3.) Pottawatomie Massacre Marker, Lane, Franklin Co., KS.
4.) John Brown Museum State Historic Site. Osawatomie, KS.
5.) Old Depot Museum, 135 West Tecumseh, Ottawa, KS
6.) Lecompton's Constitution Hall, Lecompton, KS.
8.) Burnt District Museum, Cass County Historical Society, 400 E. Mechanic St, Harrisonville, MO
9.) Bates County Museum, 802 Elks Drive, Butler, MO
10.)  Order No. 11 Marker Memorial, Bates County Courthouse Lawn, 1 North Delaware, Butler, MO.
11.) Papinville Historical Museum, Market Street,  Papinville, Bates County, MO. and the Marais des Cygnes River Steamboat Landing.
12.) Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, 6424 West Farm Road 182, Republic, MO.  (see Gibson’s Mill)
13.) White Cemetery, Bates County, MO

Leavenworth Weekly Herald, 1/3/1857
“In every relation of life he (Col. Martin White) sustained an unimpeachable character for truth, justice and unswerving integrity.”


  1. My family's history handed down indicates that my great, great grandfather William White was Martin's brother. Our two family histories have never been documented other than my great grandfather Henry Clay White's account. He always told his family that his Uncle Martin fought at the Battle of Wilson's Creek. The following was quoted from the website (Missouri State Guard (S-Z)-- "White, Martin- Field & Staff, 3rd Cavalry, 8th Division, Lieutenant Colonel, Elected 7/30/61, Born in Ky, Residence: Bates County, Mo, Age 58, Resigned 7/13/61"

    1. I have verified with Jeffery Patrick, the librarian at the Wilson's Creek National Park that Martin was indeed there.

  2. Hello:
    We are descendants of Rev Martin White and live in Butler Missouri. Thank you for posting the blog on him. Do you have additional information? We'd love to chat.

  3. Hello Cousin! I wish I had known you were there, because I was in Butler last Saturday for the Order No. 11 Memorial Marker Dedication. Have you seen it yet? It's on the north side of the courthouse. About a third of Bates County, MO. residents returned to the county after the Civil War and some of the Whites returned to reside there. My 2nd great-grandfather, Griffin, died in Illinois, but his son, my great-grandfather returned at the age of 7 to grow up there and married a Bates County gal, one of the Bogarts. My grandmother researched the White family for 28 years and published a book on her findings. Do you have her red book? If not, the Bates County Historical Society has a copy. Glad you stopped by to chat.

  4. HI, Martin is my hisband's 4th great grandfather. He descends through Rhoda Jane. Do you know anything about the circumstances of Rhoda Jane's marriage and divorce from William Whitehead. I've seen mention here and there of Rev White's distates for the young man because he ran with the free staters.

    1. Neither my grandmother or I have ever been able to find Mr. Whitehead's first name and no, I do not know the circumstances of her marriage, nor do I know anything about Martin's distaste of her husband. Other than family tradition, do you have a document supporting her marriage and divorce that you can share with me? I only have one child, a girl, for Rhoda and Mr. Whitehead, named Velma. Did they have other children?

    2. Ran across this and thought I would share it with you.

      WILLIAM WHITEHEAD, farmer, Section 11, Township 17, Range 21, P. O. Paola, is one of the pioneers of Kansas of 1855. He was born in Shelby County, Ill, January 17, 1836. Immigrated to Franklin County, Kas, in 1855 with his father, He made his home at the old Peoria Mission, near the west line of Miami County., He was an earnest Free-state man and took an active part in the turbulent scenes of 1856 and 1857, and was a member of John Brown's company. His wife was a daughter of the notorious Rev. Martin White, who shot Fred Brown at Osawatomie the morning of the battle of August 29, 1856. The old man induced his daughter to separate from her husband on account of his Free-state principles. She died while her husband was in the Union service during the late war. Mr. Whitehead purchased his farm on Section 11, Stanton, in 1858. He has a fine tract of 234 acres.William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas (BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES - STANTON).


    3. Thank you for sharing. I know about William Whitehead now, found his divorce granted by the KT legislature from Rhoda Jane and have visited his grave in the Stanton, KS cemetery.

  5. Through DNA I was able to find her father William Whitehead. There was only the one child with Rhoda but it appears he married in Kansas several times to women from free stater families and had a handful of children. Do you have an email address?

    1. Yes, I do, but I promise not to publish yours.

    2. Hi, Is this the same Rev. Martin White who shot Frederick Brown, John Brown's son? If so, the grave marker should put to rest the story that Jennison and Cleveland killed White in the summer of 1861 near Morristown. This is a great blog! Any information you have would be most helpful.

    3. Mr. Matthews, yes, this is what my 3rd great-grandfather is best known for, however, I've been researching his life for several years and have proven, with the help of other family members, that Jennison did not kill Martin in Morristown, MO. nor did Cleveland Metz kill Martin for his mule. Thank you for the compliment concerning my blog. I have enjoyed writing these little biographies.

    4. This is outstanding! Could you send me some of your sources and the location of the headstone? I am writing a book on the Kansas Red Legs and my first chapter deals with Cleveland.


Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~ Ephesians 1:15-17.