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October 28, 2008 - Jody Murphy
The last home of Wood County's last Governor, A.B. White, was torn down this weekend and nobody seems to care.
That's a real shame, considering Wood County has a historical preservation society and a historic landmarks commission. While there was evidence White lived - and died - at the 1040 Murdoch Avenue residence. Neither group put much effort into determining if the house had much historical value to the city. Bob Enoch, head of the historical preservation society practically brushed the whole thing off.
Wood County has had four governors: Arthur Boreman, the state's first chief executive; William Stevenson, No. 3,; J.B. Jackson and former newspaper editor A.B. White. Boreman's former home is a downtown parking lot, marked with a plaque. Though it is a NICE parking lot!
The Stevenson house - or what is left of it - is a condemned building waiting to happen.
There is no Jackson home. So that leaves Whiteás house. Or rather it did.
The historical heads here in Wood County have said they have been unable to confirm White's ownership of the property. That's true. A search of the county's records show neither White nor his wife owned any property associated with 1040 Murdoch. Those records also don't show White or his wife owning his former Parkersburg homes.
Newspaper articles on White's passing, noted the family had at least two homes in the city, a house on Fourth Street with four acres of pasture and a 15-room house on Murdoch Avenue. A search of the Wood County clerk's deed room found no such listings for the Whites. And a search of the 1040 Murdoch Ave. property, owned by F&B Properties, found no link to the Whites. The property has been transferred 11 times with deeds dating back to 1865.
The obituaries of White's death state the 1040 address where he died was his longtime residence, but the historical folks shrugged their shoulders. So did the city.
Nobody had to time to look into this to see if was true. By some accounts (call me crazy for believing two newspaper articles and an obituary) it appeared to have a lot validity.
Yeah. Why bother.
Of course that didn't stop you guys from raising hell about the Blizzard mansion being torn down earlier this year.
Now, it doesn't matter about the White because it's too damn late. And that's a shame. And the local historical societies and the city should take some heat for it.
I'm not some guy who runs around thinking we should save every old home in the area cause George Washington's horse might have left a deposit in the front yard. But if something is worth preserving, it should be preserved. With the White house we will never know.
Now a place which has signs touting its ties to early statehood and governor's mansion has one less former governorás residence. The only one left is the Stevenson house, which is probably the one governor's mansion that needs razed.
Too late now.
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Wood County's last governor A.B. White. The governor's final residence was torn down over the weekend.