Frank Thayer Whited since 1887 has had an increasing part in the lumber manufacturing industry, centering at Shreveport, and is an executive in a group of companies representing probably the largest amount of capital and facilities engaged in the lumber industry in Northwest Louisiana.
Mr. Whited has lived most of his life in Louisiana, but was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1860. His father, Samuel Whited, who brought his family to Louisiana about the close of the Civil war, was a native of Pennsylvania, and lived for some years in Indiana. He spent some time in New Orleans as a commission merchant, and in 1803 removed with his family to Ouachita Parish, where he purchased a fine plantation, known as Ambleton," located about ten miles east of Monroe, where he spent the remainder of his days. His death occurred in October, 1898, at the age of seventy-six years, having occurred preceded to the rest eternal but a few months by his worthy wife and helpmate, who died in March of the same year, at the age of seventy-five years. They had reared a family of three children, namely: Alvin H., now a resident of Houston, Texas; Emma, who became the wife of Alfred E. Miller and is deceased; and Frank T., the immediate subject of this review.
It was on the home plantation that Frank T. Whited came to manhood, acquiring a good education and fitting himself for a life of practical business. Soon after removing to Shreveport, in 1887, he engaged in lumber manufacturing, with interests in Northwest Louisiana and in Texas. He and associates owned and operated a number of mills over that district. Since 1904 he has been a member of the group of which Mr. E. A. Frost is the leading figure. In 1908, through the consolidation of a number of large lumber mill interests, the present Frost-Johnson Lumber Company was formed, of which Mr. Whited is first vice president and Mr. E. A. Frost is president. This concern is at present perhaps the largest manufacturer of lumber in the Southwest, having two mills in Arkansas, five in Louisiana and one in Texas. The executive headquarters are in Shreveport, and the general sales office is maintained in St. Louis. The corporation also has a number of subsidiary companies, and among these Mr. Whited is president of the Union Power Company, president of the Jasper (Texas) Lumber Company, vice president of the Mansfield Railway and Transfer Company, vice president of the A. & L M. Railway Company, vice president of the Nacogdoches & Southeastern Railroad Company, president of the Frost-Whited Investment Company, treasurer of the Perfection Oak Flooring Company, and is a director of the Commercial National Bank of Shreveport.
While the multiplicity of his business enterprises have made heavy demands upon his time and attention, Mr. Whited has ever found opportunity to take an active and lively interest in those affairs tending towards the advancement and betterment of his community, and he has at all times accepted the responsibilities of a public spirited and progressive citizen. He has been a prominent factor in making Shreveport a modern, progressive city, and in winning for the city the industrial, commercial and financial standing which has placed Shreveport among the representative metropolitan centers of the South. He is a director of the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, and is a trustee of the First Methodist Church. He has long served as a trustee of Centenary College, and was one of the most liberal contributors to its endowment fund, thus substantially signifying his interest in providing educational opportunities for the youth of today. In fraternal circles he is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, a Knight Templar and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.
On December 4, 1881, Mr. Whited married Mrs. Katie Bowman Gordon, who died November 3, 1922. She was the daughter of James Bowman, and was born on her father's plantation, "Alphenia," in Tensas Parish, Louisiana. Her grandfather, Matthew Bowman, was of the old established South Carolina family and a kinsman of Bishop Bowman, of the Methodist Episcopal Church (North). Coming from South Carolina at an early day as a missionary of the Methodist Church, Matthew Bowman was one of the first Protestant ministers in Louisiana. In 1921 Mr., and Mrs. Whited gave a beautiful memorial window, in honor of the memory of their fathers, Samuel Whited and James Bowman, to the Representative and Memorial Church of the Methodist Church (South), located in Washington, D. C. Katie Bowman married W. R. Gordon, and of this union one child survives, namely, Carrie Gordon Adger, wife of James H. Adger, of Shreveport.
To the union of Frank T. Whited and Katie Bowman Gordon were born five children, as follows: Harry Worth Whited; Samuel James Bowman Whited; Margaret, now Mrs. D. C. Scarborough; Nita, now Mrs. J. B. Greer; and Frank T., Jr., all residents of Shreveport with the exception of Harry W., who is a resident of Houston, Texas.
July 28, 1924, Mr. Whited married Miss Pauline Rodgers, of Little Rock, Arkansas, and a daughter of Rev. J. B. Rodgers, a well-known Methodist Episcopal minister.