In Memoriam: Mont C. White (1875-1901)

Mont C. White (3 October 1875 Adair Co., KY — 2 April 1901 near Lafayette, Lafayette Parish, LA) was son of Jesse V. and Catherine Frances (Loy) White. Mont’s mother was known by nicknames deriving from both her first and middle names. She was “Kitty” (nickname for “Catherine”) in early Loy family records and spelled “Kitty” or “Kittie” in all U.S. census records except 1880, where she was written as “Catherin[e] F.” In other records, such as obituary, she was “Fannie” or “Fanny.” Her gravestone reads “Kittie F.” She was daughter of Sellars [also spelled Cellas] Loy, youngest son of Martin Luther Loy, son of John Loy, son of Martin Loy (to America 1741).

In preparing for this post, I did find one article on Mont from the Kentucky Kindred Genealogy website. However, it erroneously gives Mont as having two brothers that died young: Anthony and Autney. There were only three children in the family: Anthony G. (who was written as “Antony G.” in 1880 census), Mont C., and Lula E. The 1900 census gave Kitty with 3 children, 2 living; then after Mont’s death she was listed in 1910 census with 3 children, 1 living. Additional notes: Although Mont’s sister Lula’s grave marker gives her birth year as 1882, she was age 1 month (born May) in 1880 census and age 20 with May 1880 birth in 1900 census.

Mont’s gravestone is the only place that gives his name as “Montia” (probably a misspelling of Monte, pronounced “Montie”) with middle initial, while everywhere else it was simply “Mont” or “Mont C.”

From Wednesday, 1 December 1897 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 3:

Mont White was in Lebanon last Friday.

From Wednesday, 12 January 1898 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 3:

Mont White is at Raywick, Marion county, on business.

Then on Wednesday, 27 September 1898 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 3:

   Mr. Mont White, of this place, who has been making his home in Monticello for some months, met a recruiting officer last week and enlisted in the service of his country and has already started to a point up north and will, in a short time, with his regiment take passage to the Philippine Islands. It is a long journey, but should Mont have g[illegible] [illegible]th during his stay in the Far East the trip will be worth much to him. He is a stout, healthy young man, and has he is not likely to be called upon to do any fighting, we predict he will return safe and sound, with many interesting stories to repeat.

[Note: In one part of article the print was faded, making some words illegible.]

That same page mentions that Mont’s father had made a visit to Monticello. Obviously to visit his son:

Mr. J. V. White was in Monticello last Saturday.

From Wednesday, 6 December 1899 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 3:

   Mr. J. V. White, of this city, received a letter from his son Mont, who joined the army some time ago. He was enroute to the Philippines. His letter was written while stopping at Gibraltar. Every body who knows Mont says that he will make a gallant soldier, and we all wish him a safe return to the sunny clime of his native land—Adair county Kentucky.

From Wednesday, 11 April 1900 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 3:

   Mr. Mont White, who is a solider in Philippine Islands, writes to his father, in this city, under recent date that he is getting along nicely. He states that two companies of his regiment engaged the Philipinos a few days before he wrote, killing three hundred men. The Americans only lost two men. He writes that he will probably reach home by next Christmas.

On 1 June 1900, Mont was enumerated in the 1900 census for Military and Naval Population, in Enumeration District 200, at “Sorsogon in the field,” Island of Luzon, Philippine Islands, Seaport: Sorsogon, Company K, Regiment: 47th Infantry U.S.V. [United States Volunteers], Arm of Service: Infantry. Mont White, Corporal, Residence in U.S.: Columbia, KY, born October 1875 age 24 born KY with parents born KY.

From Wednesday, 13 June 1900 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 1:


BACON, P.I., Apr. 16, 1900.

   Editor of News: –As I have just received some of my home papers which I was glad to get, I have concluded to write a few lines to my friends, thinking that they will be glad to learn that I am still living.
   It does me good when I get The Adair County News. I can sit down, read, and tell how every body is getting along back in old Kentucky. I am far away, but it seems like I am at home while reading the paper.
   It will soon be seven months since I joined the army, and I have been in good health all the time. There has not been a day but I was able to do my duty.
   This is a fine country. It is very warm during the day, but cooler at night. Every thing is green and beautiful, and at all times there are plenty of fruits.
   This little town is about 240 miles from Manilla [sic], on the banks of the Pacific Bay. It is a beautiful place.
   There are only twenty of us soldiers stationed here, but we have had some fighting. We have been here three months. I do not know how long we will hold this place. These people don’t have many guns; they use bows and arrows and a big, long knife. The name of the knife is Bandon. We hardly ever see any of the natives in the day. They do their fighting at night, and as soon as day comes they put away their arms; then we can not tell them from the ones who are friendly. These people are all black and brown in color, and they go about half dressed. The women do most of the work. They raise plenty of horses, cattle and hogs, chickens and turkeys, and of course we have plenty to eat. We get plenty of fresh meat and eggs. Of course when we are on the march we get less.
   There are lots of beautiful sights here, such as burning Volcanoes. The 9th of this month there was an earthquake that shook this Island as if it would turn it over. It was very exciting for a few moments; we could hardly stand up. We often feel small shakes. Well, I will have to stop writing, as we have recieved [sic] orders that the enemy is approaching. April 18th. The battle is over. We engaged the enemy. 200 strong. There were only twenty of us, but we killed twenty-seven and I do not know how many we wounded. The fight lasted but a few minutes. We were too hot for them. None of us were hurt. We have only lost one man out of Company K. since we have been on the Island, but I do not know how many the regiment has lost. I think not many.
   I could write more, but this is enough for the present.

Very truly,

While Mont was still in the Philippines, the day after Christmas 1900, at 8 p.m., his sister Lula married James Carl Strange, who for many years was editor of The Adair County News.

From Wednesday, 16 January 1901 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 3:

   Mr. Mont White, who is in the Philippine Islands, has been in the hospital since August. He writes that he is not seriously ill.

From Wednesday, 27 March 1901 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 3:

   Mr. Mont White, of this place, who was a soldier in the Philippines, has been lying dangerously ill in a hospial [sic] at San Francisco, Cal, for several weeks. He was taken sick on the Islands and transported to the hospital in San Francisco for better treatment. His parents and sister have been anxiously hoping that he would be well enough to return home, but a cloud came over their pleasant anticipations last Thursday. A dispatch from the surgeon stated that Mont was “leaving ground.[“] The word “leaving” was evidently a mistake in transmitting the message, and was certainly written “losing.” In the afternoon Mr. J. V. White, who is father of the young soldier, left for San Francisco. Two hours later another message came stating that there was but little hope for Mont’s recovery. It is hoped that he may take a turn for the better, and will live to reach his home. In the meantime the anxious and distressed family have the sympathy of this community.

From Wednesday, 10 April 1901 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 3:


Sick Almost Unto Death He Starts From San Francisco.

Accompanied by His Father to Be With His Mother and Sister When the End Came


   Two years ago the subject of this writing left his home in this place and located temporarily in Monticello. He had been engaged in business but a short time in that place when a recruiting officer appeared on the scene and Mont enlisted for the Philippines, joining the 47th regiment United States Volunteers. In three months he was upon the Islands doing good service for his country. Letters came as often as transports would convey them, and in nearly every one up to last October he spoke of his good health and how well he was enjoying the life of a soldier.
   In December, if we remember correctly, the family received a letter stating that his health had somewhat broken down, and that he had been relieved from active service. His condition grew worse and subsequently he was transported to San Francisco for better treatment. Reaching that place letters continued to come, Mont claiming that he was improving and would soon be able to start home. He evidently had a flattering disease, one calculated to put death out of his mind. Ten days before he died a letter was written in which he stated his intentions upon reaching home.
   In the meantime his parents became uneasy and a message was sent to the hospital in San Francisco making inquiry as to his condition. The answer came “Mont White very low.” Another message was sent from here bringing about the same response. Upon receiving this last word the father of the young man left for San Francisco intending to bring his son home. He reached his destination, and upon the advice of physicians, in company with his boy, he left for Columbia.
   Mont stood the travel very well until they reached the State of Louisiana, and when near Lafayette he grew rapidly worse and died in a few minutes.
   The sad intelligence was soon known here and all heads were bowed in sorrow.
   The body embalmed the father started homeward, the saddest journey of his life.
   The remains reached Columbia Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock, and in one hour thereafter, upon the advice of a physician, were interred in the city cemetery. A very large crowd attended in body, a just tribute to a young and popular citizen who succumbed to disease, terminating in death, while following the flag of his country.
   To the heartbroken parents and only sister this whole community tenders its profoundest sympathy.
   Resolutions upon this death passed by the young men of Columbia, can be found upon our first page.

From same page:

   Mr. J. V. White and family desire to return their grateful thanks to the people of this community for kindness and sympathy manifested during the illness and death of a devoted son and brother. Sympathy extended in this affliction will never be forgotten, likewise the tender words of condolence will be remembered as long as the bereaved ones are permitted to live.

From Wednesday, 10 April 1901 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 1:


Me[illegible] Pay Tribute to a Dead Companion and Friend.

   April 2d, the sad intelligence of [the] death of Mont White, who lo[st hi]s life while en route for h[ome] was received and a meeting o[f] [th]e young men of Columbia w[as] at once called and held in the [court?]-house to pay tribute to his [mem]ory.
   The following resolutions were [ado]pted:
   WHEREAS, As our beneficent [Cr]eator has taken from the walks [of] life one of our noble, brave and [w]orthy young men, Mont White, [in] the bloom of young manhood, [w]ith bright prospects and laudable ambition; and
   WHEREAS, He being the only son of fond and loving parents, we deem it our duty and esteem it a great privilege, to express our sympathy in this sad bereaved.
   Resolved, That in this death we have lost a true friend, the community a worthy citizen, the family a devoted child and the country one of her loyal sons.
   2d. That the young men of this town attend the burial, in a body as a special tribute of respect to our deceased companion whose death we sorely regret.
   3d. That we admire his courage in response to a call of his country to fight her battles in a foreign land, and in whose service his stout and manly form succumbed to disease that cost him his precious life.
   4th. That these resolutions be published in our county paopers and a copy of same be presented to the bereaved family.

The above article image shows crease from original paper, making some words difficult to determine.

From Wednesday, 1 May 1901 The Adair County News (Columbia, KY) pg. 3:

   Mr. J. V. White came to the News office last Friday morning and exhibited for inspection a number of Philippine coins. They were all copper pieces but one—a half silver dime of South American money. The copper money ranged in denominations from one-quarter of a cent to one cent, and was issued by the Philppine [sic] Government. The coins were in a little sack and were the property of his son, Mont, who got them upon the Islands.

Note: Although the U.S. took control of the Philippines in 1898, U.S. issued coins didn’t begin until 1903. Prior to the U.S. control, coins had been issued by the Spanish government, which controlled the Philippines.

According to the Pinoy Kollektor blog, there is mention of “Rebel Coinage”:

   “The Philippine Insurrection in 1896 resulted in the proclamation of the First Philippine Republic on June 12,1898. General Emilio Aguinaldo, who was elected president, immediately took steps to adopt a national coinage and currency system. Existing specimens reveal two different types of two centimos de peso made of copper, reportedly struck in the military arsenal in Malolos, Bulacan, in 1899. With the surrender of General Aguinaldo these were withdrawn from circulation and declared illegal.”

The description of Mont’s copper coins seems to match the description of these mentioned above. Especially as the news article states Mont’s coins were minted by the Philippine Government. I’m curious to know where Mont’s coins ended up in later years. Mont’s sister Lula (White) Strange, the only heir of her parents, had two children but only Lula’s daughter Mary Frances survived to marry. As Mary Frances had no children from either of her Bishopp and Heskamp marriages, and her first husband’s nephew and niece were listed as Mary Frances’ sole survivors, the coins possibly may have gone to them.

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