William L. White

White’s Lake, formerly located along 29th Street in the North of Grand neighborhood, was named for developer William L. White, who came from his native town of Oskaloosa to Des Moines in 1868 by foot (Des Moines Register obituary, 1926).

He owned a successful shoe business in Des Moines for more than 45 years. He and his wife, Ella, had five children. In Brigham’s tome, “The History of the City of Des Moines and Polk County,” White is described as a member of the Republican Party, attended the Unitarian church, and was a generous family man: “He has always been a lover of his home and would gladly at any time remain absent from a social function to spend a quiet evening at home with his family” (Vol. II, p. 511, 1911).

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