Posted on 11/28/2010

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Eartha M.M. White Nursing Home
Former Slave
African Americans
Women's Hall of Fame Inductee

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Eartha M M White and her Mom

Eartha M M White and her Mom
[b.1876 - d.1974]

Eartha Mary Magdelene White was born on November 8, 1876, in Jacksonville Florida. She was the thirteenth child of Clara English White, a former slave. The previous twelve children all died before Eartha was born, the oldest living only until the age of ten. Eartha attended the Stanton School, the Divinity School, and Cookman Institute. In New York City she attended Madam Hall's Beauty Culture School, and at the National Conservatory of Music she was tutored by Harry T. Burleigh and J. Rosemond Johnson.

Over the years Eartha White operated a department store, a taxi service, and a steam laundry, and was licensed as a real estate broker, a census taker and a social worker. Known as the Angel of Mercy for her lifetime of humanitarian and civic service, Eartha White served the sick during the Spanish American War, was the only woman member of a sixty-member inter-racial War Camp Community Service Conference during World War I, served as a member of President Wilson's White House Conference, and functioned as Colonel of the Women's National Defense Program under Mary McLeod Bethune during World War II. She also ran a prison mission and donated property for community projects, including the first park for black children.

In Jacksonville, she re-organized the Union Benevolent Association and established the Clara White Mission to assist the less fortunate members of her community.

And in 1967 she began the Eartha M M White Nursing Home, which grew into the area's largest employer of blacks. She was a Women's Hall of Fame inductee 1986.

Florida Memory Project