Editor's note: This web only newsletter was not mailed to members of the association.
Web Newsletter -- October, 2005
"It started with a ghost story"
"It started with a ghost story. They told me the ghost was
Mr. White," Lino Dizon told Ruth White over lunch on Monday,
Prof. Lino L. Dizon, head of the Center for Tarlaqueno Studies at the
Tarlac State University in the Philippines, was in Millburn for the
day to check out the home town of Frank Russell White. Later in the week
he presented a paper at the Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois.
When the Millburn area was settled about 1840, three brothers named White came from
Scotland to an area just northwest of Millburn. Frank Russell White, grandson of
that settling generation, was born on June 8th, 1875. Some time later, the
family left Millburn for Lyons, Nebraska. Frank always referred to
Millburn as his home.
Frank returned to Illinois and trained as an educator. He was in the
Philippine Islands at the time when the Thomas, a shipload of educators, made its
way to the islands as a part of our federal government's plan to
make English the official language there. These American educators, whether they
actually shipped on board the Thomas or not, were collectively referred to
Frank rose quickly in the ranks of education supervision and became
the Governor of Education for the Philippines. He was considered a
powerful force in education until his tragic, early death from disease
on August 17th, 1913.
Lino's fascination with this ghost named Mr. White has led to his
authoring of a book:
Mr. White : a 'Thomasite' history of Tarlac Province, 1901-1913:
in honor of Frank Russell White. The paper he delivered in
Springfield was about this same topic.
Several locations were toured around town during the visit:
- The files in our museum were consulted during conversations
held there with Ruth White, secretary of the association.
Ruth's former husband was Homer White, a descendent of
those original three brothers. Unfortunately, we don't
have very much information about Frank's branch of the
White family in our files. Lino presented the museum
with two photographs of Mr. White, one in a group
identified as members of the Masonic Order.
- Millburn School Superintendent Jim Menzer guided a tour of
Millburn School East. Lino was impressed with many of the
programs within the school and drew parallels to what
he knew about Mr. White's work. Nobody is quite sure which local
school Frank actually attended, but Millburn School certainly
grew from roots in the community that Frank called his home.
- Rev. Jed Watson showed Lino around the Millburn Congregational
Church. Access to old church records was discussed, but they
are not in a readily accessible format. Jed stated that
work would soon begin to pull the records together and
index them. He would let Lino know when that work was
completed. We know that Frank White attended church here.
- Ruth and Lino walked the Home Oaks Cemetery at the
corner of Grass Lake and Deep Lake Roads. Several members
of the White family are buried there. Studying the stones
did not divulge any new information.
- Ruth led a driving tour of the countryside, identifying
the locations near Millburn that have been referred to
during Lino's research. Much of the area is now subdivisions
and the original home sites are no longer available.
- Lino visited the Antioch Public Library and reviewed
microfilm from the period around the death of Frank
Russell White in 1913. No new information was found.
Lino sent his thanks by email, saying, "...how important it was for me to be in
Millburn, to be in the birthplace of Mr. White...help me thank Dr. Menzer,
Rev. Watson, and, of course, Mrs. Ruth White for helping me realize one of
the most important trips in my life."
Ruth White, HMCA secretary;
Jim Menzer, Supt. of Millburn School; and
Lino L. Dizon, taking a tour
of Millburn School East.
Rev. Jed Watson and Lino Dizon
near the altar in the
sanctuary of Millburn
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