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The White-Pool House

         The White-Pool House represents the
         oldest structure of substance in Odessa's
         Built in 1887 on a small knoll in what is
         now considered South Odessa, the two-
         story red brick house was constructed by
         Charles and Lucy White and their two
         sons, Wilfred and Herbert. A Quaker
         family, the Whites had come to barren
         West Texas from Indiana in the mid-1880's.
         White's grain business in Indiana had suf-
         fered heavy losses in the post-Civil War era
         and this, combined with Lucy's need for a
         dry climate, led the two to load their be-
         longings on a railroad car and begin their
         journey west, attracted by the railroad land
         company's offer of property in Ector County.
         The first recorded transaction regarding the
         White property is a quit-claim deed dated
         July 4, 1887. The house was completed
         within a year, and according to family
         photographs, resembled, to a great extent,
         the home the Whites had left in Indiana.
         According to research, "The outside walls
         were of red brick with plaster masonry over
         wooden lattice boards inside. There were
         four large, high-ceilinged rooms downstairs;
         a family living room, formal parlor, dining
         room and kitchen. There was also a small
         room off the kitchen, probably used as a
         bathroom. A stairway led upward to a large
         hall and three bedrooms on the second
         floor. The house had four chimneys, one
         for the large fireplace in the family room
         with a mantel and slate hearth, and the
         others used as flues for the wood burning
         stoves that heated the rooms and cooked
         the food in the kitchen. There was a front
         porch at the entrance and a large porch
         extending around the east side and across
         the back of the house on the south. All of
         the rooms had beaded ceilings, and the
         door and window facings were sculptured
         molding. The floors, doors, ceilings, and
         other woodwork were all varnished. Native
         sandstone was used for steps at the porches,
         and a rock-lined cellar under the back
         portion of the house was made of native
         caliche rock found on the West Texas
         After her husband died on June 14,1905,
         Lucy White remained less than a year in
         Odessa, moving with her son, Herbert to
         Mineral Wells. The house changed hands
         several times until, in 1923, it was obtained
         by Oso Pool, whose family retained owner-
         ship for the next 50 years.
         Pool had come to Odessa in 1921 after
         serving in World War I, homesteading in
         New Mexico and farming in Plainview.
         When oil was discovered in Ector County
         in 1927, a tremendous influx of people and
         a corresponding housing shortage occurred.
         Seeing the situation as potentially profitable,
         Pool turned his home into an apartment
         building. Through extensive remodeling,
         such as partitioning rooms, adding bath-
         rooms, and closing in porches, Pool created
         a five-unit apartment house from the
         original White home.
         For the next several decades, the owner-
         ship of the White-Pool House was trans-
         ferred between Pool family members. In
         early 1977, Pool decided to give the house
         and six lots of land to Ector County for
         historical preservation,  with the Ector
         County Historical Commission serving as
         The donation was formally accepted by the
         Ector County Commissioners' Court on
         June 12,1978.
         The frequently changing exhibits housed in
         the museum will give the public an oppor-
         tunity to revisit the White-Pool House
         periodically to view and learn about dif-
         ferent periods in the community's history
         in Appreciation...
         The planning and execution of the pres-
         ervation project has required years of indi-
         vidual and group effort as well as num-
         erous contributions by those interested in
         preserving a site of major historical import-
         ance for Odessa. And, the effort has not
         been totally confined to the active members
         of the Commission, since none of the
         progress could have occurred without the
         support of Odessa's Mayor Bob Bryant,
         the Odessa City Council, County Judges
         Gary Watkins and Jan Fisher and the
         Ector County Commissioner's Court.
                          For current available tour times
                               or further information
                                    please call:
Courtesy: Ector County Historical Commission
UT Permian Basin
Odessa, TX. 79762

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 1998