Fonds 378 - White family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

White family fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Reference code

CA MED 378

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Physical description

7 cm of textual records. -- 29 photographs. -- 1 poster

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Name of creator

(1953-07-28 to present)

Biographical history

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.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of: a biography of the Naismith and Allen families (undated); correspondence from the Oxarart Ranch/Maple Creek Cattle Co./Wylie Ranch (1896-1899); receipt book of W.R. Abbott for guns and ammuntition used during the Riel Rebellion (1886); research papers (2) entitled "Indians of the Cypress Hills" (1980), and "Ranching in the Cypress Hills: 1883-1910" by Donny White (1980); pamphlet of the Old Timers Association (Maple Creek) with membership list (1981); history of the Garrison Family by Judy Ann Tuttle Garrison (1982); certificate issued to Henry Sorensen (1947); Defense Research Board award certificate issued to Henry Sorensen (1957); retirement certificate from I-XL Industries Ltd. issued to Henry Sorensen (undated); Community Centennial Train, CP Rail Station, O.S. Maple Creek posters (1983); 1994 Maple Creek Souvenir Calendar (1993); research notes made by Donny White from interviews with Walt Fenrick in 1988-1989; booklets (2) entitled the Fur Trade Journal (1944, 1953); unused stationery from Medicine Hat Fur Breeders Co-op and Fenrick Fur Farms (undated); hand drawn diagrams (2) of the Exhibition Grounds, ca. 1930, drawn by Donny White from information supplied by Bill Woolfrey and Lorne Thompson Sr. (undated); images of various views and residents of Maple Creek, the White family, and views of DRES; 8 Misc. photographs possibly pertaining to the White family members of ranch life and horses (ca. 1928).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Gifts of Donny White, August 19, 1981, July 7, 1983, October 31, 1983, December 10, 1983, March 1984 and 1991, July 1993, 1988, and 1989; P 0905 -- Gift of Janice Forsyth, September 24, 2001.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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There are no restrictions on access

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Associated materials

Biography File. "The Weather Factory" Joseph Fenrick d/b file.

Related materials


General note

Record No. M81.7.1;M83.26.1-.2;M83.42.1;M83.55.1-.2;M83.50.1;M84.25.1-.2;M91.26.1-.3;M93.10.1;M93.11.1;M93.12.1-.2;PC 0361; P 0905

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Esplanade Archives

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  • English

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