Biography of William H. White of Fargo North Dakota

William H. White, born on July 31, 1851, in Whiting, Vermont, is the proprietor of North Dakota’s oldest established lumber business. The son of Lyman P. White, he grew up in Vermont and completed his education at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. White began his lumber business in North Dakota on April 20, 1872, supplying timber for the first railroad bridge over the Red River at Moorhead. He expanded his operations to include lumber yards in Fargo, Pembina, and Bismarck. Over 36 years, he developed a network of 23 lumber yards across the Red River Valley, making him one of the most enduring and progressive businessmen in the state.

William H White
William H White

William H. White, proprietor of the oldest established lumber business in North Dakota, is one of the most progressive and enterprising men of the state. He was born in Whiting, Vt., July 31, 1851, in which state his ancestors have been identified with the Colonial and Revolutionary history and with the legislative enactments of the state for some generations back.

Mr. White is the son of Lyman P. White. His early life was spent in his native state of Vermont with his father, who was a business man; and probably from him he received that spirit of commercial activity which has so successfully enabled him to complete everything he undertakes. His education was com-pleted at Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis.

Mr. White began his lumber business in North Dakota, April 20, 1872. He sold and delivered at this time the bill of timber for the approach of the bridge over the Red river at Moorhead, which permitted a railroad to enter Dakota for the first time. He then rafted lumber down the Red river for sale to form the first building operations at Grand Forks. He opened up a yard in Fargo and Pembina, and in 1873 he conducted a lumber business at Bismarck, the first, also, in that part of the state. Since that time, from his Fargo business, he has developed a system of twenty-three lumber yards located in different parts of the Red River valley. He has been continuously engaged in the lumber business in North Dakota during the past thirty-six years, and has been in business for a longer period of consecutive years than any other merchant in the state.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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