Rose Garden PhotographsBlanche Julia White, daughter of Fergus John and Mary Ellen (Dwyer) White, was born on April 23, 1888, at Minnehaha, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory. Her parents owned a one-hundred-sixty-acre land grant and ran a cattle ranch that provided meat to the miners. Blanche helped her mother and siblings run the ranch and take care of the home when her father, Fergus, was not available to help. Fergus died in 1895.

In 1910, Blanche moved with her mother to Prescott, Yavapai County, and worked at the boarding house that her mother owned and operated. She also worked as a secretary at the Bank of Prescott. In 1919, Mary White bought one-hundred-sixty acres of land in the Phoenix-Tolleson area. Blanche’s sister Minnie and her husband Arthur Webster bought forty acres from Mary.  Blanche bought another forty acres on which she ran a small ranch.

When her mother died in 1924, Blanche accepted the responsibility of caring for her brother, Nicholas, who had Down’s syndrome. In addition, she continued to run her forty-acre ranch, as well as her mother’s eighty acres. Because she was taking care of her brother and both properties without help, it became more than she could handle. She sold her acreage and took over her mother’s land. After her brother’s death in 1936, she sold her property and moved to Phoenix.

Although Blanche never married, her extended family was large. She actively participated in the lives of her family members. She contributed both financially and emotionally to all members of her family. For example, she often bought school clothes for her great nieces and nephews. She was a generous and humble woman who never asked for anything in return.

Blanche died on November 5, 1976, in Phoenix and was buried in St. Francis Catholic Cemetery. Her sister Minnie (White) Webster and her mother Mary Ellen (Dwyer) White are also commemorated in the Territorial Women’s Memorial Rose Garden.

Donor: Barbara Downing, great niece, 2011
Photo Located: RGC MS-39, Box U-Z, F-White, Blanch
Updated:  6/17/2015; Gretchen Hough Eastman