While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Brian Hart

WHITE, AMBROSE B. (1811–1885). Ambrose B. White, Grayson County pioneer and founder of Whitesboro, was born in Ohio on October 24, 1811, and spent the early years of his life near Springfield, Ohio, and in the Illinois Territory. After taking part in the Blackhawk War in the Illinois and Wisconsin territories in 1832, he married Sarah Elizabeth Murdah, whom he had met during the war, on June 20, 1833. In the spring of 1848 White, his family, and several other families began a southward trek from Illinois to Texas. After some two months of travel they arrived in the area of extreme western Grayson County commonly known as "wolfpath," due to the presence of wolves in the heavily wooded area. In this unsettled place-supposedly only one house stood between this area and the county seat, Sherman, fifteen miles to the east-White established and helped to survey a settlement, which became White's Colony. The isolated location of the community, a fact which encouraged those who lived there to build homes relatively close to one another, ensured slow growth prior to the Civil War. When the Butterfield Overland Mail's route through Texas took its stage coaches very near White's Colony, White erected the Westview Inn as a stop on the route. For a time those living in the community apparently used the names White's Colony and Westview Inn interchangeably when referring to their place of residence. White cared for and supplied teams of horses used on the overland route and in this way brought a fairly regular supply of cash into this community. This fact eventually attracted settlers, although no more than fourteen families were reported to have lived at White's Colony by the beginning of the Civil War. During the war White volunteered for Confederate service, received a commission as a captain, and organized a company of men that fought with Bourland's Frontier Regiment along the Red River. After the war White watched his town grow; he died there on December 17, 1885.

Grayson County Frontier Village, History of Grayson County, Texas (2 vols., Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1979, 1981). Graham Landrum and Allen Smith, Grayson County (Fort Worth, 1960; 2d ed., Fort Worth: Historical Publishers, 1967). Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Brian Hart, "WHITE, AMBROSE B.," accessed May 27, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwh17.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...