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White, Alex

Posted by MarthaCrossSargent 
White, Alex
March 16, 2007 01:55PM
Dr. John J. Dickey Diary, Fleming County, Ky. Recorded in the 1870's and
beyond. Reprinted in Kentucky Explorer, Volume 11, No March, 1997, pp.
106-107. By permission. Clay County.

ALEX WHITE (by Captain Byron)
Alex White, son of Hugh White, Sr., was seven years old when his
father, Hugh White, came to Clay County. He was born in 1800 in
Tennessee. Hugh White was born about Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He
emigrated to Southwest Virginia. His father was probably named William
who owned slaves in Pennsylvania, and when emancipation took place, he
emigrated to save his slaves. He settled near Abingdon. Hugh and his
brother, James, were engaged in the manufacture of salt at King's Salt
works near Abingdon. Hugh White and father, with other members of his
family moved first to Yellow Creek, Bell County. Hugh White and his
brother-in-law, Baugh, made salt on Collin's Fork near the mouth of
Baugh's Branch, or England's Branch. The well is still there, called
Baugh's salt well. As late as 1820 Alex White and his uncle, James,
hauled salt from Goose Creek to Powell's Valley, Virignia, and from that
point took it in flat boats to Huntsville, Alabama. With money thus made,
James White, brother of Hugh White, bought a cotton plantation in Alabama.
The making of salt was first from salt springs, then from dug wells, then
from bored wels. Hugh White died in 1856 aged about 81, so that he was
born about 1775 [sic]. This would make him 32 years old when he came to
Clay County. Alex was his oldest son. He died in 1884, aged 84 years
old. Hugh White's wife was Caine. Her relatives still live near
Barboursville [sic]. Hugh White was built about like his grandson, Judge
B. P. White, who resembles his grandfather very strongly. The Whites are
of Scotch-Irish descent. Hugh White was worth perhaps $50,000 when he
died. He owned a large number of slaves. When he died his things were
divided amongst his children. He had divided a great many before. He was
a man of broad views. He was a Whig in politics and usually active in
elections. His son, John White, was elected to Congress in the thirties
and went five terms in succession. He was Speaker of the House one or
more terms. Hugh White was a man of bright mind, strong body, and was
active at the time of his death. He was given to drink in his middle life
but was temperate in his old age. He was after the order of an old
British cavalier, large ideas and liberal views. James White died young
and was worth a million dollars. He was a man of remarkable energy. He
made salt and carried on other kinds of business. Hugh White had 13 or 14
children. John White said, "The idea of hauling salt to Powell River and
shipping it to Alabama was original with James White." He made salt on
Goose Creek. Alex White was his manager. He sold the salt at Huntsville
at $5.00 per bushel. His home was near or at Abingdon, Virginia. He ws
one of the richest men in the United States and was worth a million. He
lived in the saddle and was prominent in salt manufacture in Virginia,
King's Salt Works. The Prestons and Robinsons of Abingdon also became
rich in manufacturing salt. There was a salt lake at Abingdon. The
workmen left their tools in the bottom of a deep well one night. The next
morning when the well went down a lighted candle was put on a board and
from the bottom of the well it floated away illuminating the surface of
the lake.

White King Baugh Collins England Powell Caine Preston Robinson
PA VA Bell-KY Barbourville-Knox-KY AL

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