Eber White
  • The Eberwhite community has deep roots in the beginnings of Ann Arbor. Our namesake, Eber White, was one of the first settlers of our city. Eber White came to Ann Arbor in 1824, just three months after Allen and Rumsey (founders of Ann Arbor) had staked out the city. He bought a quarter section of land on the outskirts of the city between what is now Seventh Street and Dartmoor on both sides of Liberty Road. In the early days of Ann Arbor, Liberty was known as White's Road.

    After Eber White bought the land, he returned to his home state, New York, to marry Polly Rogers and bring her back to Michigan. (Eber White was born in Schenectady, New York in 1798; he belonged to a remarkable family noted for its patriotism.) When Eber and Polly White reached Ann Arbor, Eber built a rough log cabin for them to live in on the north side of Liberty. In 1840, the Whites built a more permanent house on what is now the southeast corner of Eberwhite Boulevard and Liberty. They had six children, one of whom (Adelia) married Dr. William Soule, whose name was taken for the street on which Eberwhite School would be built more than 100 years later.

    Eber White was very active in community affairs. In 1827, he joined with four other people to form the first Methodist congregation in Ann Arbor. He was also a chief organizer of the county agricultural society. Eber White also had strong political views. Being a staunch abolitionist, he helped slaves pass through the Underground Railroad. Although originally a Whig, he became a pioneer member of the Republican Party when it formed in Jackson in 1854. Eber White died in 1872 at the age of 71.