Red Bank Register
May 6, 1891
AN OLD RESIDENT DEAD
Mrs. Mary White dies at the age of 92 years.
When she was married in 1816, there were only four houses
in Red Bank -- seventy one living descendents.
Last Thursday night Mrs. Mary White, widow of Elisha White,
died at the homestead on Broad Street at the age of 92 years. She was
the oldest resident of Red Bank, and the history of her life would be
a history of the town.
Her maiden name was Lewis, her father being David
Lewis. She was born at Claypit Creek in the last century. She was named
after Miss Mary Patterson, who was then known as Aunt Polly Patterson.
This branch of the Patterson family were tories in the Revolutionary
War and after the war they moved to Nova Scotia. Early in the present
century Miss Patterson paid a visit to Nova Scoita, and when she came
back she brought a number of silver buckles, which she gave to the
little girl who had been named after her. These silver buckles were made-up
into spoons and stamped with the initials, "M.L." These spoons have
been inuse ever since, and were used by Mrs. White up to the time of
her death. The spoons are still in good condition and the letters are
Mrs. White was married to Elisha White in 1816. She was
married in a small house which stood on the steamboat bank. There is
still a hole past the edge of the steamboat bank, on the green in front
of the Globe Hotel, where the house stood. At that time, there were but
four houses in Red Bank. One of them was the house where Mrs. White was
married. Another was known as the "Bank Tavern," and stood just below where Atkins's Hotel now stands. The third was a very small house which stood in the rear of where Degenring's Hotel now is and the fourth was the Lawrence Earle homestead. At that time the Earle house was on Broad Street, but some years ago it was moved to Monmouth Street and it is now owned and occupied by Mrs. Dolly Venable.
The bridesmaid at Mrs. White's wedding was a Miss Trafford
who afterward became the first wife of the late Dr. James H. Paterson's
father. The groomsman was the late Edmund West of Oceanport. Elisha White,
Mrs. White's husband, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and they were
married shortly after the war was over. Mrs. White often said that during
the War of 1812 she used to go to the top of Beach's Hill where she could
see the British vessels and hear the thunder of their cannons. Mr. White
died twenty-three years ago.
Shortly after his death, the government gave a pension
to all soldiers and widows of soldiers who served in the War of 1812
but Mrs. White did not secure the pension because she had not married
her husband until after the war was over.
Mrs. White has no brothers living and has but one sister.
This sister is Eliza, the widow of Wm. G. Wood, who died many years ago.
She lives on the Scuffletown Road and is 89 years old. The family is
long-lived. Another sister, Mrs. Jane Tilton, formerly of Colt's Neck,
died five years ago at Onondaga at the age of 92 years.
Thirteen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. White. Two
of them died in infancy but the others all grew up to manhood or womanhood.
The children who are living are Capt. John P. White, who lives on Washington
Street; Capt. Foreman White, who lives on Wallace Street; Freeholder
Littleton White, of Eatontown; and Miss Mary White and Miss Jane White,
two unmarried daughters, who live in the old homestead. The oldest child,
Redding L. White, died at Long Branch some years ago. He was married
three times, leaving a child by his first and third wives. One of his
children is Alonzo White of Freehold. Gordon D. White, another son, died at Matawan in 1875. He amassed a fortune of $200,000 and was a prominent man in the county.
Three daughters also died: Ann Eliza, Catharine and Caroline.
None of the daughters was married.
Mrs. White was a remarkably beautiful girl, and she retained
traces of her beauty up to her death. When Red Bank was a small village,
she was almost invariably called in in cases of sickness, and her skill
was such that many persons preferred her aid to that of a regular physician.
Most of her sons got along well in the world and have become
reasonably rich men. All of the sons had a number of children. Mrs. White's
living descendants being six children, twenty-two grandchildren, thirty
eight great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.
The funeral was held on Monday at the Red Bank Episcopal
Church. A large number of persons were in attendance and the service
was conducted by Rev. J.F. Jowitt. The pall bearers were Theodore Sickles,
Forman Morris, Daniel S. Borden and John S. Hubbard. The remains were
interred in the Shrewsbury Episcopal churchyard, where many of her kindred
for generations back are sleeping.