Frank White was born in Illinois and came to North Dakota in 1882. He began farming in the Valley City area, and joined the National Guard. He saw action in the Spanish American War, and resigned his state senate seat to fight in the Philippines. White was active in insurance, real estate, farming, and politics after his return. After serving two terms as Governor, White reentered active military service during World War I. He was named U.S. Treasurer in 1921.