White, John Wilburn (1854–1939)

By: Claudia Hazlewood

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: May 28, 2020

John Wilburn White, rancher and banker, son of Thomas Jefferson and Martha Elizabeth (Phelps) White, was born in Gonzales County, Texas, on July 22, 1854. He was educated in the common schools of Gonzales County and at Tehuacana University. In 1876, after working three years in a mercantile store, White began an association with his uncle George W. Littlefield, which lasted forty years. Their first partnership, a livery stable, was traded for a small ranch. In the late 1870s the partners stocked a 6,000-acre fenced range twelve miles from Gonzales on the San Marcos River. In 1882 they bought the Dinner Bell Ranch on Plum Creek, near Kyle. This ranch was sold in 1884, and White went to the LFD Ranch on the Pecos River in New Mexico. In 1884 Littlefield and White bought the Mill Creek Ranch from John W. Gamel. In 1891 White married Cora Jane Bridges of Mason County, and they had six children. In 1905 White organized the Mason National Bank, of which he was president until his death. In 1923 the partnership with Littlefield was dissolved, and White retained the Mill Creek Ranch. He died in Mason on December 26, 1939, and was buried in Gooch Cemetery.

Lewis E. Daniell, Texas—The Country and Its Men (Austin?, 1924?). J. Evetts Haley, George W. Littlefield, Texan (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1943). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Civic Leaders
  • Business
  • Patrons, Collectors, and Philanthropists
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Claudia Hazlewood, “White, John Wilburn,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 03, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/white-john-wilburn.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 28, 2020