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New Jersey Obituaries - July 14, 1897 - Esek White

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Death Of Esek White

He Was Township Collector For Forty Years

Never Beaten at any Election During That Time - His Funeral Held on Monday-Candidates for the Place Made Vacant by His Death

Esek White, who for forty years was collector of Shrewsbury township, died at his home on Spring street last Saturday morning. He was 72 years old. Death was caused by paralysis. He was first stricken several weeks ago. This stroke was a slight one and he speedily recovered from it. Two weeks ago he was again stricken with paralysis, and he gradually sank until his death.

Mr. White was a Republican, almost from the organization of that party. He was first elected collector of the township in 1856. From that time on he held the office continuously up to the time of his death, with the exception of one year. That year there was a dispute between the collector and the township committee. Esek White had been elected collector in the spring, but had neglected to carry out some of the provisions of the law regarding collectors, and the township committee displaced him and appointed Orrin Curry as collector. The next spring an effort was made to defeat Mr. White for collector, but he was elected by an overwhelming majority.

After that time an occasional effort was made by Democrats to elect a member of their party as collector, but always without success. The last effort of this kind was made in 1889, but when the votes were counted Mr. White had over 400 majority. For many years previous to 1889 the Democrats had made no nominations against either Esek White for collector or Richard Sickles for assessor. After the death of Richard Sickles in 1888 there was a big factional fight in the Republican party over the election of his successor, and in the demoralization of the Republican party the Democrats felt that they had an opportunity to displace Mr. White and to elect a Democrat in his place, but their hopes proved unfounded.

Mr. White was a very easy-going collector, and it is probable that he lost much more through his office than he ever made out of it; and there is very little doubt that the income from his real estate had to go to make up some of these losses. He allowed himself to be buncoed by people who evaded their tax in various ways. Some of these people would give notes, the payment of which Mr. White would guarantee. Others would promise to pay him in a short time, and on the strength of these promises Mr. White would not advertise them as delinquent taxpayers, and would thus become personally responsible for the tax. Sometimes the notes would be paid, but oftener they would not. Sometimes the men who promised to pay would pay, but more times they would not. In his settlements with the township committee Mr. White would turn in the amount of uncollected tax, advertised as delinquent taxes, and would pay in cash the balance due the township, as shown by the duplicate. The township thus lost nothing by the failure of the property owners to pay their notes, or to redeem their promises, but the loss fell on Mr. White personally. It is said that among Mr. White's possessions are a heap of notes nearly a foot high, which have been given to him in payment of taxes, and which have never been paid. Those who are best acquainted with Mr. White say that for ten years past certainly, and perhaps for twenty years past the money he lost in this way exceeded the entire pay he received as collector.

After Mr. White was first stricken with paralysis he felt that he would not live very long, and he busied himself in preparing to give up his office. He had arranged to resign as collector, and his resignation was to have been written and delivered to the township committee on the evening of the day when he was stricken with paralysis the second time.

Mr. White was the father of eight children, three of whom are living. The living children are Esek Henry White, Mrs. Caroline Allaire, wife of Dustan Allaire; and Adaline, wife of Howard Rogers. Mr. White's wife was Miss Henrietta Conrow, who died some years ago.

The funeral was held on Monday afternoon from his late residence on Spring street. Mr. White was a member of Navesink lodge of Odd Fellows, of Mystic Brotherhood lodge of Free Masons, and of Shrewsbury lodge of Knights of Pythias. He was permanent secretary of the Odd Fellows lodge, and had held this position 39 years. He was a member of the Free Masons lodge for 27 years, and was one of the original members of the Knights of Pythias lodge. The pall bearers were John Sutton, John A. Worthley, John Stiles, Daniel Stilwagon, Fred Supp and William J. Sickles.

Mr. White's estate consists off the lot and building at the corner of Broad and Mechanic streets, a lot on Wallace street, and the property on Spring street where he lived. The lot at the corner of Broad and Mechanic streets is 25x100 feet, and is the most valuable of his real estate. Joseph Salz, who now occupies the property, has a lease on the store which has four years still to run. Besides his real estate Mr. White has also some personal estate.

Per Death Notice: At Red Bank, on Saturday, July 10th, Esek White, aged 72 years and 3 months.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, July 14, 1897

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