William Edward “Bill” White, Sr., (10.20.1920 – 6.9.1988) came from St. Petersburg, Florida, to study at Johnson C. Smith University. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree he went on to New York University to earn a Master of Arts. He served in Europe during World War II, then married Wilhelmina McDonald in 1951. Their son, William Jr., grew to adulthood in this house on Van Buren Avenue.
After the government took land along Van Buren Avenue in 1968 to build the Northwest Expressway (now Brookshire Freeway) White won appointment to the Charlotte Redevelopment Commission, a place where he could call attention to the harm that such projects did to neighborhoods.
In addition to his teaching career, Bill White, Sr., was active in teacher organizations, the Boy Scouts and the School Workers Federal Credit Union and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Credit Union. “Bill will be remembered for his culinary arts, his love of lawn and garden care,” recalled the obituary in his funeral program. “He enjoyed working with his neighbors on their lawns and gardens. As a lover of the outdoors, he was happy when boating or fishing.”
About 1980, Rev. and Mrs. Mayo L. Rich moved here from 1649 Patton Avenue, two blocks away in McCrorey Heights. Rev. Rich was an African Methodist Episcopal Minister who had led Greater Bethel AME Church and also worked for the city’s mental health agency.
Ranch style house, one-story tall in red brick. There is a main section with a low hipped roof. A slightly smaller bedroom wing, also with a hip roof, extends at the east side. A similar wing that extends at the west side holds a carport.
This is the only dwelling remaining in this block of Van Buren Avenue. The rest were demolished or moved about 1968 to allow construction of the Northwest (Brookshire) Freeway. Indeed the paved surface of Van Buren Avenue is no longer extant in this block: the house is accessed from the side off Creek Street.
First appeared in city directory
1959 – William E. White. Teacher, Northwest Jr High.
1981 city directory — Flossie D. Rich, retired.
See 1649 Patton Avenue, McCrorey Heights,