Born on 2 July 1827 in Brewer, Penobscot County, Maine, John Sibley White was the sixth of seven children of Augustine and Mary (Sibley) White. Little is known of his early life, but he is found in East Eddington, Maine, near Brewer, until 1855, after which his whereabouts are unknown until the 1860s. In 1863–1864, he is found in Baltimore, where he was employed in the roofing business and resided at 111 Conway Street. Later in life he was sometimes addressed as “Major White,” but no record of military service has been found.

By 1866, John S. White was in St. Louis and employed by Page, Smith, Lewis & Company, a prominent roofing business. The company incorporated in 1867 as the St. Louis Coal Tar Company. John held the position of superintendent until about 1872, when he became vice president. He was named president of the company by 1874 and remained in that capacity until 1889.

Prior to his marriage in 1873, St. Louis city directories indicate he lived at various locations including the St. Nicholas Hotel (1868) and the St. Clair Hotel (1871–1872).

On 5 June 1873, John S. White, then forty-five years old, married in St. Louis to Henriette Françoise Emilie Juvet, age twenty-nine, a Swiss immigrant who had been in the U.S. with her family since about 1849. The couple’s only child, Bernadine Antoinette White, was born on 11 March 1874. The family was active in the Unitarian Church of the Unity.

The White family moved frequently within St. Louis, sometimes sharing quarters with Mrs. White’s parents, the Juvets, and later with Bernadine White’s in-laws, the Mertons. The family first lived at 1509 Papin Street (1874–1875) and then moved to 1816 Gratiot Street where they resided from 1876 to 1880. From 1881 to 1884, they lived at 1837 Preston Place, and from 1885 to 1895, they shared a home at 2104 Waverly Place with Mrs. White’s parents. The latter two residences were located near Lafayette Square. They lived from 1896 to 1898 at 2125 Geyer Avenue, then moved to 4177 Shenandoah Avenue in 1899, remaining there until 1905. From 1906 to 1908, they resided at 3950 Russell Avenue. John White’s final residence was 844 Meramec Avenue, in Clayton, from 1909 to 1912.

John Sibley White
John Sibley White, about 1900
Photo in the collection of Charles Livermore Wells
Used with permission

In 1890, John S. White left his position as president of the St. Louis Coal Tar Company and became president of the Commonwealth Casualty Company. He stayed in this position until 1893, when he became secretary of the Bradbury Marble Company. He served as secretary and treasurer until 1907, when he was eighty. From 1908 to 1912, the year of his death, he maintained an office outside his home, but it is not clear if he was employed.

John Sibley White died at his home in Clayton on 4 November 1912 at the age of eight-five. The cause of death is recorded as endocarditis. He was cremated at the Missouri Crematory on 6 November 1912.

(Sources are available upon request.)

Written by Charles Livermore Wells, CG
October 2017

© 2018, St. Louis Genealogical Society

Return to St. Louis City/County Biographies.

Last Modified: 26-Oct-2018 11:32