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White Fruit House
Fort Wayne Reader
The interior of the White Fruit House on the corner of Calhoun and Wayne in the 1890s
Another major contributor to the growth of Fort Wayne was James B. White and his large family. White was born in the town of Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland, in 1835 and immigrated to America in 1854. Arriving in Fort Wayne by packet boat on the canal, he was penniless and had to store his trunk at the canal office temporarily until he could afford to redeem it. He went to work in the stone yard of John Brown, a fellow Scotsman, and later married Brown’s half-sister, Maria Brown, a native of Glasgow. After a distinguished career in the Civil War, White opened a successful grocery and fruit business, known as the White Fruit House, at Calhoun and Wayne streets. In a short time the business grew into the largest wholesale and retail distributor of fruit in northern Indiana and northeastern Ohio. In 1892 he joined his son John in organizing the White National Bank, while another son, Edward, became president of the Fruit House. A descendant of this family was Edward White, a Gemini and Apollo-era astronaut and the first American to walk in space.
Excerpt from Allen County History Book
Photo courtesy of The History Center/Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society
302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802