Mrs. Emma (McREDMOND) WHITE
Emma McRedmond was born in Seattle on February 11, 1869, the daughter of Captain Luke and Kate (BARRY) Morse McRedmond. Her masculine middle name, Francis, was bestowed to honor Francis Prefontaine, early and revered Catholic priest. Her father, a sea captain, took out a homestead on the site of the town of Redmond when she was three years old.
As a child she helped her family clear the property. At the age of 12 she came to Seattle to be educated at Holy Names Academy, then located at Sixth Avenue and Jackson Street. She remained there four years. Prior to that, she attended school at her own and at the nearby farm house.
The school came to the pupil in those days, the students, congregating at one another's homes for a month or two, the teacher staying with them. Among other youngsters her own age with whom she studied in this fashion was Mary Woodin, whose father established the settlement that later became Woodinville.
"Redmond today is a thriving, bustling little community in the fertile Sammamish River Valley, but a woman whose requiem will be sung at St. Joseph's Church tomorrow morning (July 25, 1932) could remember when her family constituted the entire population of the town.
She could remember when Redmond was a day's trip up the Sammamish slough from Bothell, when she was appointed postmistress there at the age of 16 years on March 21, 1885 until January 26, 1898. She became proprietress of the famous Hotel Redmond which opened in 1900, to which future Presidents Howard Taft, Teddy Roosevelt as well as William Jennings Bryan, Percy Rockefeller, Sam Hill and other notables came to hunt, fish and ride horseback.
The State Constitution was amended in 1910 to allow women to vote. This date marks the rise of women to positions of prominence in public office at state and local levels. Emma was one of the first women in the State to run for public office. She was nominated without contest on the Democrat’s ticket for County Clerk for King County in 1912. Emma, organized the Woman's Democratic Club. The political power of women began to be a factor in a number of issues, including prohibition of alcohol, education, and the elimination of corruption in government. Women also became a powerful force in professional life and the labor movement. The contributions of women and their organizations to the political, social and cultural legacy of King County has been enormous. Many parks, hospitals, churches, schools, libraries, arts organizations and museums are the result of their pioneering work.
Judge White's reputation first as an attorney and later as a jurist, grew. The family was drawn to Olympia, and again to Seattle to live, but always harkened back to Redmond. Both the Judge and his wife liked the quiet restfulness of the country.
The Hotel Redmond prospered in 1910-12. It was a popular weekend place for tourists crossing Lake Washington by ferry and traveling overland by horse and carriage. The train was running in those days, too. Mrs. White remembered when they laid the rails of the Seattle, Lakeshore & Eastern into and through the town that took her father's name.
Mrs. Emma Frances White was the widow of former Supreme Court Justice William H. White who died in 1914. His widow lived on the old farm, in the old hotel, until six months ago (in January 1932). She preferred it to life in the city. Emma was charter member of the Pioneer Daughters of Washington State.
She died Thursday night, July 24, 1932, at Providence Hospital at the age of 63, leaving a colorful history, an enviable reputation for resourcefulness, kindliness and neighborliness. Her daughters, Mrs. Raymond Locke Gardner of Seattle, Mrs. Lloyd Eacrett of Bellingham and Miss Dorothy R. White of New York City, and her sister, Mrs. Anna M. Smith of Seattle (now Portland) were recalling her life yesterday.