Thomas White

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JUDGE THOMAS WHITE, of Indiana, Indiana Co., Pa., president judge of the "Old Tenth" Judicial district, then composed of the counties of Armstrong, Cambria, Indiana, Somerset (soon transferred to another district) and Westmoreland, was born Dec. 14, 1799, and died July 22, 1866.

Thomas White read law in the office of William Rawle in the city of Philadelphia, and after his admission to the bar, in 1821, located in Indiana and commenced the practice of his profession. He was then aged about twenty-one years, and was very soon in successful practice. He was also agent of George Clymer, who owned a large quantity of land in Indiana county. He was appointed president of the Tenth Judicial district in 1836, succeeding Judge John Young (who resigned), and served his full term, until 1847. As the constitution of the State then was, Judge White was appointed for life or, as the technical expression of his commission is, "dum bene sese gesseret" (while he behaves himself). But a new constitution was framed in 1838, which changed the term of president judges to ten years. Under this change Judge White�s term expired January, 1847. Francis R. Shunk, a Democrat, being governor, refused to reappoint Judge White, who was a Whig, although a large majority of the people of the district petitioned for his reappointment. The Senate, however, having a Whig majority, rejected all the governor�s nominees for the vacancy. When the Legislature adjourned no one was commissioned to succeed Judge White. But Governor Shunk appointed, Jeremiah M. Burrell for a year to hold the courts. This created legal controversy. To avoid further controversy, and at the request of Judge White and his friends, John C. Knox of Tioga county was appointed in the spring of 1848 to fill the vacancy. Judge White was an eminent lawyer, a just judge, and presided over the several courts of his district with distinguished ability. He was instrumental in establishing the Indiana county Agricultural Society, was one of its main projectors and supporters, and its president from its origin until his death. He devoted much of his time to agricultural pursuits.

Source: Page 952, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed December 1998 by Kathy Zagorac for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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