White, Donny

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White, Donny

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Dates of existence

1953-07-28 to present


David White was born in Ireland, in 1863. He emigrated to Bellevue, Ontario, at an early age, where he worked on a farm for an uncle. In 1884, he joined the NWMP, and in 1885, he was transferred to Regina where he witnessed the hanging of Louis Riel on the morning of November 16, 1885. In 1886, he was transferred to Maple Creek, serving there as well as in Medicine Hat. He ran the ferry at Police Point for a time before the first bridge across the South Saskatchewan River was built. While here, he met Elizabeth (nee Russell); they were married in Regina, and after David's discharge from the NWMP, moved to their ranch on the North slope of Cypress Hills. David and Elizabeth had 8 children: Matilda, William, Sam, Anne, David, Robert, Phoebe, and Alberta. David passed away in 1942, and his wife in 1946. William White, the eldest son of David and Elizabeth, married Elsie (nee Garrison) in 1915. They lived on the White Ranch where they raised 7 children; William "Billy", Bobby (who died in 1982), Howard, Margaret, Ross, and Doug. William White died in 1955, and Elsie, in 1987. Billy White, son of William and Elsie, was born in Maple Creek in 1917. He received his education there and worked for various ranchers in the area, as well as for his father. He was also a Fire Ranger in the Cypress Hills Park for a couple of years. Billy married Hazel (nee Garrett) in 1941, and continued to ranch with his father until 1944, when the family purchased the Cross Ranch near Eastend. In 1972, they sold the ranch to their son Raymond, and bought the Cheeseman Ranch near Maple Creek, where he continued ranching until 1984. He retired due to ill health that year, selling the ranch to his son David. Billy and Hazel had 5 children: Raymond, Gail, Judy (who died in 1949), David and Donny. Donny White was born in Eastend, Saskatchewan, on July 28, 1953. He recieved his early education at Eastend, and attended University in Saskatoon and Calgary, graduating with a B.A. and a B. Ed. In addition, he did some Post Graduate Studies at the John F. Kennedy University in San Francisco. Donny has been employed as a Program Co-Ordinator for the Fort Calgary Interpretive Centre, and also a Research Officer for Saskatchewan's Provincial Historic Parks, having worked for several seasons at the Fort Walsh National Historic Site. Donny has remained active in many heritage related organizations promoting the preservation of Western Canada's cultural heritage, and is currently focusing his research on Native and Metis peoples, ranching in the Cypress Hills, and his most recent interest, the works of pioneer photographer Geraldine Moodie. Donny is currently employed as the Curator of Cultural History at the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre (formerly the Medicine Hat Museum and Art Gallery) and has held this position since 1981.


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Esplanade Archives

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