Born in Georgetown, Ohio, White attended the public schools and the subscription school run by his father, John D. White, where he befriended Ulysses Grant, a classmate. He taught school. He served in the Mexican-American War with Company G, First Regiment, Ohio Volunteers. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1848 and commenced the practice of law in Georgetown, Ohio. He served as prosecuting attorney of Brown County from 1852 to 1854. He served as member of the Ohio Senate in 1859 and 1860.
White was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth Congresses (March 4, 1861-March 3, 1865). He was an unsuccessful for reelection in 1864 to the Thirty-ninth Congress. He resumed the practice of law in Georgetown.
He served as delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1873. He was an unsuccessful candidate for secretary of state in 1896. He died in Georgetown, Ohio, December 7, 1900. He was interred in Confidence Cemetery.