This two-part series brings you photographs from the Hugh Lawson White Photograph Collection, comprising thirty-eight black and white prints of various scenes of White, and his gubernatorial administrations (1936-1940 and 1952-1956). The collection has been digitized and is available to view online.
Hugh L. White (1881-1965) was born in McComb and later lived in Columbia in Marion County, after the successful sawmill business started by his father moved to that city. White became president of the company, called J.J. White Lumber Company in 1909. He served three terms as mayor of Columbia, and gained fame for his ability to attract industrial companies to the county. White ran for governor of Mississippi on the success of these programs.
White’s first administration (1936-1940) was notable for this type of initiative, named Balancing Agriculture with Industry (BAWI) after the state legislature adopted it in 1936. The program attracted companies such as the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation to Mississippi through bond issues and tax breaks. He also sought to spur economic development through the expansion of the highway system, homestead exemptions on taxes, and diversification of the crops grown in the state.
After his first term as governor, White served one term in the state legislature from 1944-48. He would run for governor again in 1951.
Westley F. Busbee, Jr., Mississippi: A History (Wheeling, Illinois: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 2005), 234-37, 274-279.
David G. Sansing, “Hugh Lawson White: Forty-fifth and Fifty-first Governor of Mississippi: 1936-1940; 1952-1956,” Mississippi History Now (January 2004), http://mshistory.k12.ms.us/articles/265/index.php?s=extra&id=145 (accessed December 16, 2010).