Laura Rogers White, 1852-1929, Laurel County

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Laura Rogers White was a well known architect and suffragist from Manchester, Kentucky. She was born on December 11, 1852, the daughter of Daugherty White and Sarah Watts White. She had many accomplishments throughout her career as an architect, and she was able to use her education to achieve those milestones. White attended the University of Michigan from 1871-1874, and received her Bachelors of Science degree with many achievements in, particularly, mathematics. She then continued her educational career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for one year where she studied architecture. She then took her talents to Paris, France where she also studied architecture for one year at l’Ecole Special d’Architecture.

She was a Sunday school teacher and was extremely involved in her church, but she made sure to use her degree in architecture in Kentucky. She is best known for her design of the First Christian Church of Ashland, located in Ashland, Kentucky. The building was completed in the year 1890. She also designed other smaller buildings, however, she is most famous for her design of the First Christian Church of Ashland. Laura was just one of 118 architects in Kentucky, and out of those 118, she and one other were the only females.

White’s article on True Bi-metalism was published by The Sound Currency Magazine (New York). She also wrote an article on Magnetic Declination.

Along with her career, she was involved with many organizations in the state, both as a leader and a member. She was the first chairman of the Civic Department of the Woman’s Club in Ashland, Kentucky; she was the director of the Huntington Branch of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae; and a member of the Outdoor Art League of Louisville. Laura also was the president of the Ashland Equal Rights Association, was Chairman of the Peace and Arbitration Committee of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association, a Kentucky delegate at the first annual Women’s Peace Party Convention in Washington D.C., and worked as draughtsman in the Office of the Supervisory Architect of the Treasury Department in D.C. for two years. White was an annual attender of the National Suffrage Association and Association of Collegiate Alumnae, and was a lifelong member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association starting in 1902.

Laura White never married or had any children. She died at her sister’s (Elizabeth White Hager) home in 1929 in Owensboro, Kentucky. She is buried at the White family cemetery at Goose Rock in Clay County, Kentucky.


Resources

Estridge, Danna C. “Laura R. White: Teacher, Scholar, Architect.” Laurel County History Museum and Genealogy Center (blog), February 11, 2016. http://laurelcokyhistorymuseum.org/2016/02/11/laura-r-white-teacher-scholar-architect/.

Leonard, John William, Woman’s Who’s Who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada: 1914-1915. New York: The American Commonwealth Company, 1914. 875.

The Journal of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, 1912. 2.

Forty-Third Annual Report of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association. New York City: NAWSA Headquarters, 1911. 51-52.