It was originally started by a Mr. White, Josiah White, I think. The Quakers were involved with it for for several years. In its beginning, it was an orphanage and school for Indian children. I don't think that only the children from the local tribes of Potowatamee (Sp) and Miami orphans were housed there. I think that any Indian child from any tribe anywhere that needed a home were welcome there. Whites instutite is still in operation today. But instead of housing and educating orphaned Indian Children, it is mainly used as a home for troubled juveniles. It is mainly financed by the various courts that send juveniles there to get there lives back on track.
I think that you should be able to get the history of Whites from Whites itself but if not at least the Wabash Museum should have the histroy. I would think that it is very possible that they would have a list of all the Indian children that lived there over the years, At least the Quakers kept very accurate records of the Quakers, and if they were involved there they may have a record even if no one else does.
My great-Uncle, Elmer Burns, left part of his estate to Whites Institute, it was supported mainly by donations an legacies left to them. In addition, his grandmother raised somewhere from 17 to 28 foster children in her home, during her lifetime. And I think his father and mother had several young people that they took into their home as well.
I believe that he was on the board of trustees or at least involved with Whites Institute in some capacity. It makes me very proud of my heritage, to be from such fine caring people.
I may not remember all of these facts absolutely correct. But Whites Institute it is still in operation and they should have the history of it, I would think that Whites would have a list of all the Indian children they housed there in the early days.
I always thought it such a pretty place, with it pretty white wooden fences that went all around the property, and pretty well cared for lawns and pretty buildings. On one side of the road across from the buildings, they had several horse riding rings again enclosed with the white fences. In fact, I used to say that if my parents died I wanted to go there and live, it always looked as if it would be a nice safe homey place to be. The children attended school on the property. I am not sure but I strongly tend to believe that the Indian children got an education while there. I really think the the Quakers ran the school, and the Quakers had schools on several Indian Reservation across the nations that educated the Indians.
I Hope this helps anyone looking for their family members and maybe will give them a good feeling about where their ancestors were raised.
Whites Institute was really very self supporting and independant, I don't think that they recieved aid from the county or state for support, as they raised horses, sheep, lambs, chickens and cattle and vegetables, and fruit. We went out there and took horse riding lessons one year so they must have been making money doing this also.
Mary Liz King Glassley