The Historic White-Pool House
A Cornerstone of Odessa History since 1887
The Historic White-Pool House is a Texas Antiquity, Texas Archaeological Landmark,
and it is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
The Museum is also a proud member of Texas Pecos Trails and Discover Odessa.
About The Historic White-Pool House
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. The outside walls are red brick with plaster masonry over wooden lattice boards inside. The rock-lined cellar is made of native caliche rock found on the West Texas Prairie.
The Whites, a Quaker family, had come to barren West Texas from Indiana in the mid 1880’s. The White’s grain business in Indiana had suffered heavy losses in the post-Civil War era and this, combined with Lucy’s need for a dry climate, led the family to load their belongings on a railroad car and begin their journey west, attracted by the railroad land company’s offer of property in Ector County.
After her husband died on June 14, 1905, Lucy White moved with her son, Herbert to Mineral Wells, Texas. The house changed hands several times until it was obtained by Oso Pool in 1923. Oil was discovered in Ector County in 1927, and a tremendous influx of people and a corresponding housing shortage occurred. Seeing the situation as potentially profitable, Oso Pool turned the home into an apartment building. Through extensive remodeling, such as partitioning the rooms, adding bathrooms, and closing in porches, Pool created a five-unit apartment house from the original White’s home.
For the next 50 years, the ownership of the White-Pool House was transferred between two family members. Oso Pool decided to give the house and six acres of land to Ector County for historical preservation. The donation was accepted by the Ector County Commissioners Court on June 12, 1978. The White-Pool House Friends, a non-profit organization was formed in 1986 exclusively for charitable and educational purposes to preserve the historic heritage of the house
Charles White was born to a Quaker family on November 15, 1824 in Woodville, North Carolina. He married Lucy Haughton on May 24, 1852. Charles came to Odessa for his wife's health (Odessa was advertised as a health spa by the railroad company) and for a new start after the bankruptcy of his grain business in Indiana. He sold his home in Raysville, Indiana to his brother, loaded his furnishings on a railroad car and headed west. Charles died June 14, 1905 in Odessa, Texas as the result of being kicked by a horse. He developed peritonitis and died a few months short of his eighty-first birthday.
The Pool Home, pictured as it appeared in the 1920's. Oso W. Pool, or a member of his family, either held title to the house or held the mortgage from the time of its purchase in 1923, until its donation to Ector County in 1977.
RIGHT : Ida B. Pool is pictured in
front of her home in the winter of
1939. The alterations made by Oso
Pool in 1927 can be seen in this
photograph. The apartments were
made during the oil boom and rented
to various community members for housing.
ABOVE: Oso William Pool is pictured in his WWI uniform about 1918