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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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White, William Edgar

by William S. Powell, 1996

19 Jan. 1861–29 Mar. 1935

See also: White Furniture Company

Photograph of William Edgar White from the Greensboro Daily News, March 31, 1935.William Edgar White, furniture manufacturer, was born in Mebane, the son of Stephen Alexander and Mary Jane Woods White. He received his education at the Bingham Military Academy, located near his home, before working as a telegraph operator for the Southern Railway until 1881. With his brother, David A., and a capital investment of $420, he then established the White Furniture Company, of which he was president until his death over half a century later. The company made furniture of the highest quality and earned an international reputation.

As a Republican White was active in local political affairs and a member of the school board; he was a director of the State Fair and helped organize the Mebane tobacco market. A member of the Presbyterian church, he was involved in its work. White never married. The White Furniture Company ceased operations in 1994.


Greensboro Daily News, 31 Mar. 1935 (portrait).

Raleigh News and Observer, 30 Mar. 1936.

Who Was Who in America, vol. 1 (1943).

Additional Resources:

Vincent, William Murray. "William E. White." Historic Alamance County: An Illustrated History. Historical Publishing Network. 2009. 70-71. (accessed March 8, 2013).

Image Credits:

"William E. White." Greensboro Daily News, March 31, 1935. D-7.


I am a descendant of the White family. William Edgar White was my 5th cousin.

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