Front Page Sunday: MCP, May 8, 1975

September 25, 2022

Front Page Sunday: MCP, May 8, 1975

Front Page Sunday is presented by the Mason County Historical Society in partnership with Mason County Press. During this series we will bring to you select front pages of the Mason County Press when it was a weekly newspaper, from 1938 to 1976 and then 1986-1987. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

May 8, 1975

Top headline: Service Station Owner Moves to the Whitehouse. 

Scottville businessman Jimmy White purchased Martha’s Place Restaurant from his sister, Martha Paulsen, and named it The White House Restaurant. The restaurant was located just south of the modern North Country Cafe on a lot that is now part of the Scottville Shell gas station. 

Jimmy White was a distinguished citizen of Scottville. He served as mayor and also served as fire chief. Prior to owning the restaurant, he owned a service station which was located on the southeast corner of State Street (US 10) and Reinberg Avenue (that building is still there). 

Jimmy and Martha were the children of Jesse and Dona (Sims) White. 

Jimmy was born on Dec. 20, 1923 and died on Oct. 9, 2005. He spent his early childhood in Scottville and, during the Great Depression, lived in Carr Settlement with extended family. During that time his mother worked as a telephone operator for Carr Telephone. He attended Locke School through the eighth grade. The family moved back into Scottville when his father had health issues and he graduated from Scottville High School in 1941. 

He spent time working at Buckinham’s Bowling Alley (above the former Business Print building in downtown Scottville) as a pinsetter. After high school, he moved to Bay City and managed several gas stations. During World War II, he moved to Muskegon and worked in a factory before returning to Scottville. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1948 and served until 1949. He then spent the remainder of his life living and working in Scottville. 

Jimmy also drove school bus for Scottville/Mason County Central schools, drove truck for Phillips Fuel Oil and worked part-time for Stephens Funeral Home, where he worked for over 50 years. After returning from the Army, he managed Pure Oil gas station, owned by Max Jenks, on Main Street. He and his wife, Barb, opened Zephyr Gas Station on East State Street (location of the current MCC bus garage). In 1953, he returned to managing the Pure Oil station. In 1955, the Whites opened a Standard Oil gas station at State Street and Reinberg Avenue, operating that station until 1974. 

Jimmy served as mayor from 1973-1974. He became fire chief in 1974 and served in that role until the early 1980s. 

The White’s children included Sandi, Gladys, Etta, Shirley, Randy and Ruth Marie (who died as an infant). 

Martha Paulsen was born on June 22, 1921 and died on March 23, 2014, 30 minutes after her twin sister, Mary (Worthington), who is also mentioned in the article. She also worked at Laundryland laundromat on South Main Street and as a home health aide. Like Jimmy, she grew up in Carr Settlement and Scottville. She graduated from Custer High School in 1941 and, in 1941, married Harry Paulsen from Sugar Grove.

Martha’s children included Ellen, Edwin, Bonita, and Mark. 

These editions are part of the collection of the Mason County Historical Society, which operates Historic White Pine Village, Port of Ludington Maritime Museum and the new Mason County Research Center in downtown Ludington. Learn more here. 

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