James Grafton White was born on March 21, 1815, in Morgantown, Virginia, and was the third of eleven children of William and Mary (Darling) White. James married Mary Cotton on September 5, 1835. They settled in what was called Wise Run atop Mount Tabor near Wadestown, Virginia. Their four children were Eliza, Stephen, Cassandra and John Wesley. The original Mount Tabor School log building was built on their farm and later moved a short distance away. It was known by most at that time as the White School, since a majority of its teachers, not surprisingly, were Whites. James was Commissioner of Schools for Number 10 Western District of Virginia for 16 years, as well as very active in the organizing and leadership of the Mount Tabor Methodist Episcopal Church. I’m told you can see his walking stick still hanging on the wall of the church. The Methodist Episcopal Church split in 1844 over the issue of slavery. Mount Tabor Methodist Episcopal Church was abolitionist. The branch that supported slavery tacked the word “South” onto its name. Mary died at age 50, on October 1, 1865, and James at age 69, on May 24, 1884. They are buried in the White cemetery above the White reunion grounds in the Battelle District of Monongalia County.