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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Politics/Government > 10106
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Manuscripts by Subject - Politics / Government- #10106

Title: Frank White Papers

Dates: 1891-1953

Collection Number: Mss 10106

Quantity: .75 feet

Abstract: Consists of correspondence, business papers of the Middlewest Trust Company; photographs; proclamations; speeches; scrapbook; newspaper clippings; records of the First Regiment, North Dakota Infantry, including rosters, orders, memoranda, and camp songs; papers relating to White’s nomination to the U.S. Senate in 1920; ephemera; and genealogical materials. Collection includes papers of Edwin Lee White and Thomas Black.

Provenance:  The donor and date of acquisition of the Frank White Papers by the State Historical Society of North Dakota are unknown.  Juliann Henriksen prepared the inventory to the Frank White Papers in January 1984.

Property rights:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyrights:  Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist in this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access:  This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation:  Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.


Frank White was born on December 12, 1856 in Stillman Valley, Illinois. He received a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1880, and in 1904 earned a LL.D. from the same institution.  He married Elsie Hadley on September 19, 1894.  They had one son, Edwin Lee.

White came to North Dakota in 1882 and farmed land bought from the Northern Pacific Railway near Valley City.  In 1890, he was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives and two years later was elected State Senator.  White resigned his State Senate seat and sold his farm at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War.

White was commissioned as Major of the 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry Regiment and commanded the troops in the Philippines.  He participated in numerous engagements and was decorated with the silver star in 1924.  In 1899, he returned to North Dakota and bought a farm near Litchville.  White later opened a real estate and insurance office.

Frank White was elected Governor of North Dakota in November 1900 and served two terms from 1901 to 1905.  During his administration, the state's deficit of $223,000 was eliminated and a sinking fund was created to pay a bonded debt.

White returned to private life in 1905 and organized the Middlewest Fire Insurance Company.  He served as its president until 1913 when the company moved its headquarters to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In 1914, White organized the Middlewest Trust Company of Valley City.  He was president until the outbreak of World War I.  White also served as a member of the North Dakota State Board of Regents from 1915 to 1917.

White also served as a colonel during World War I in command of the 2nd North Dakota National Guard Regiment, which later became part of the 41st Infantry Division. He was designated officer in charge of the Army's Department of Rents, Reclamations, and Claims.  He returned to Valley City after the war and continued serving as president of the Middlewest Trust Company.

President Harding appointed White as Treasurer of the United States in 1921.   He retired in 1928 and assumed the presidency of the Southern Mortgage and Guaranty Corporation of Chattanooga, Tennessee for one year.  In 1929, he became president of a new management and investment company--National Assets Corporation.  He retired from active business in 1933.

Besides his business activities, White was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Masons, the Knights Templar, and the Congregational Church at Valley City, North  Dakota.

Frank White died on March 23, 1940.  He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. with full military honors.

The Sunday Star,  March 24, 1940
Bismarck Tribune, March 25, 1940
North  Dakota, Lounsberry, 1917, Vol. 1, pp. 420-422.


The Frank White Papers date from 1891 to 1953 and occupy one-half cubic foot, one-quarter foot, and one over-size folder.  The papers are divided into three series:  personal papers; military, political, and business papers; miscellaneous papers; and guest books.

The personal papers consist of genealogical materials, Edwin Lee White papers, speeches and writings, and fraternal organization information; all of which covers the years between 1914 and 1953.  The genealogical information is comprised of pedigree charts, correspondence, a map, published material, and descendent listings.  Edwin White's Papers are largely letters and household inventories, with a few other documents, including an insurance policy and an unidentified certificate.  Frank White's speeches and writings round out the personal paper series and consist of subjects like the Declaration of In-dependence, North Dakota, opportunities, and North Dakota bonds.  Finally, the fraternal organization materials are made up of correspondence, tickets, a history of the "Beginning of Masonry in the Philippines" and convention pro-grams.

The military, political, and business papers make up the second series in this collection, and cover the years between 1894 and 1939.  The military records  contain a roster of companies A, B, G, and H, First Battalion, 1st Regiment  North Dakota Infantry, as well as personal correspondence, memorandums, re-ports, orders, camp songs, poetry, and receipts. The political papers consist of letters, endorsements, and while containing a Republican Party County Chairman memo, does not contain any gubernatorial materials.  The business records are made up of correspondence, reports, business cards, a contract with the Northwestern National Insurance Company, and articles of incorporation of the First National Cattle and Loan Company.

The miscellaneous papers series date from 1891 to 1921 and includes the Thomas Black papers, ephemera, and newspaper clippings. The Black papers consist of a diary, letters, documents, and financial accounts. The ephemera consists of church programs, tickets, invitations, Christmas cards, and brochures. The newspaper clippings reflect the various and sundry interests of the White family.

The State Historical Society of North Dakota is the depository for sixteen feet of Middlewest Trust Company records, A-16, which date from 1914 to 1930, and are comprised of administrative correspondence, annual statements, and financial records.  The company records coincide with the tenure of the Frank White administration.


Series I:                Personal Papers, 1914 to 1953, Box 1

Consists of genealogical materials, Edwin Lee White papers, speeches, and writings, and fraternal organization materials.

Series II.               Military, Political, and Business Papers, 1894 to 1939, Box 1.

Series III.             Miscellaneous Papers, 1891 to 1921, Box 1

Consists of Thomas Black papers, ephemera, and newspaper clippings.

Box 2 contains the Frank White collection guest books.


Series I:    Personal Papers

Box 1:
1 Genealogy 1921-1925
2 Edwin Lee White, 1934-1953
3 Speeches and writings, n.d.
4 Fraternal organizations, 1914-1928
5 Miscellaneous, 1919-1930

Series II:    Military, Political, and Business Papers

6 Military:  Roster, 1898
7 Military:  Correspondence, 1898-1939
8 Military:  Miscellaneous, 1919
9 Political paper:  1894; 1920
10 Private business papers:  1927-1929

Series III:    Miscellaneous Papers

11 Thomas Black, 1891-1906
12 Ephemera, 1894-1921
13 Newspaper clippings
14 Newspaper clippings

Box 2:
Guest books

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