Zach T. White
Zach T. White

Zach T. White

Zachariah Taliaferro White (1850-1932) was an El Paso pioneer, who would become a farmer and land developer, millionaire and philanthropist. He arrived in El Paso in 1881 with $15,000 sewed in his vest and could only see mud houses and two streets. He considered El Paso “a good venture” because of the opening of the railroads later that year. White’s success story started with a grocery store, a hardware store and the investment in the utilities in El Paso. He organized the El Paso Gas, and acquired the gas and electric companies as well as a lot of land. Other investments included the construction of the first Santa Fe Street bridge, the organization of the Santa Fe Street Railway, the trolley car line from El Paso to Ciudad Juárez, and the building of many facilities and businesses; amongst them the Paso Del Norte Hotel (now Camino Real Hotel) in 1912. 8,000 acres in the valley, stretching from above the ASARCO smelter to a point 10 miles from the original town of El Paso, belonged to White. He built the streets, laid the water mains, erected the water works and built the homes for the people who developed the Upper Valley. He also donated 126 acres of his land for the construction of the El Paso Country Club to make the Upper Valley attractive to investors and to increase land value. The original Zach White Elementary School was located on Doniphan between Sunset and Country Club Roads (now part of Kohlberg School). The present Zach White Elementary School is located on Roxbury in the Upper Valley off River Bend. Zach White’s first wife, Maggie Mathias, died in 1890, leaving one daughter. With his second wife Maude Bounds (1892) the couple had two daughters. With modern utilities, luxury hotels, rich farmlands, schools and other organizations, White contributed significantly to the growing of El Paso in the first decades of the 20th century.

Area: Upper Valley / Country Club

Collection: Stout-Feldman Studio Photographs

Source: University of Texas at El Paso Library - Special Collections Department

Reference ID: PH074-219L

Uploaded by: El Paso Museum of History

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im 100 years old. Zach White is cool!

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