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Centennial History of Hurricane (1994 Edition): May Harte Wolfe White and Ira Cleveland White

Ira and May White family, 1934
Front row – left to right: Phyllis (Chilk) Sabree, Ira (Pop) Pauline (Pooch) Sunderland, May (Mom), Billie Rappold.
Middle row – left to right: Rosemarie Forsyth, Emma Hall, Arguerite Handley
Back Row – left to right: Ira Clifford, Glen Lozier, Robert Elmer

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. In 1994, the Centennial Committee published a follow up book which included family histories which were not submitted in time for the 1988 Centennial History. This week’s selection is the 50th history from The Centennial History of Hurricane WV Continued — 1994.


This is written in loving memory of our Mom and Pop, May Harte Wolfe White and Ira Cleveland White.

Ira was born in Marmet, West Virginia, January 1, 1892 to Alberta “Bertie” Jarrell White and John William White. The Whites had come to West Virginia from Culpepper, Virginia.

May was born January 9, 1890 in Meigs County, Ohio, to Emma America Wolfe and Daniel Boone Wolfe. The Wolfes had migrated from Germany and Holland.

May Wolfe came to West Virginia in 1907. She was 17 years of age and had qualified for her teaching certificate. Her first school was at Teays, West Virginia. She boarded in the homes of “Mother” SmalIridge and the Stover Family. She taught for several years and was noted for her outstanding influence for education. Later, she came to CulIoden as teacher and principal in the one room school which was located on the Walton property, east of Chancey’s Greenhouse. She boarded with the John Chapman family. Later, a school was built next to the Missionary Baptist Church. She finished out her teaching career at this school. M. C. Fizer took over the realms.

Ira’s family came to Hudson, West Virginia, located on Charleys Creek from Marmet. Later, they moved to Culloden where his father, John was in the lumber mills business. Their property was joined next to the glass plant (now).

John White & L. R. White (no relation) were responsible for the property of the Culloden Cemetery. By this time, Ira was in the oil and gas field business and come back to school to take a refresher class in math and fell in love with the “school marm”, May Wolfe.

They were married January 7, 1914, settled in Culloden and built a house (which still stands on Main Street). Their grandaughter and grandson-in-law, Robin White Chaney and Allen Chaney and family live in the “Homestead.”

Born in this union were nine children.

Ira Clifford of Culloden married O’dana Mathews.

Arguerite (deceased) of Hamlin married to Ira Handley.

Emma of CulIoden married to Clifton Hall.

Glen L. (deceased) married to Cleo Hall.

Robert E. of California married to Selma Leath.

D. Rosemarie of Maryland married to Chester Forsyth.

Billie C. of Hurricane married to Donald Rappold.

Phyllis “Chilk” of St. Albans married to Charles M. Sabree Jr.

Pauline “Pooch” of Hurricane married to Joe Sunderland.

They have sixteen grandchildren, twenty-nine great grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

After their 4th child was botn, May retired from teaching to become a full time homemaker.

We were taught to honor our father and mother and to respect our elders and to serve our Lord and Savior.

They always quoted this scripture to us:

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.
A clean character is more precious than silver or gold.
Honor and shame from no condition rise. Act well thy part. These are the honorlies.

We attended the Ball’s Branch Baptist Church and the Culloden Missionary Baptist Church.

Mom and Pop were known for their family gatherings and caring for others. They always raised a large garden and always shared with those in need.

May was always ready to help the sick. She was there to help the doctor deliver the babies in her community.

May and M. C. Fizer, principal of Culloden Elementary, organized the first P.T.A. at the school. After many fund drives (bringing radio personalities to Culloden, pie socials, etc.), they were able to furnish the kitchen and facilities in the cafeteria for the school.

Ira continued in oil and gas fields as a driller and contractor until he retired.

He was a member of Hurricane Masonic Lodge and she was a member of Hurricane 116 Order of Eastern Star.

They were married fifty-nine and one-half years.

Ira died May 22, 1973. May died June 22, 1976.

We shall always love them and we miss them very much. The children.

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