901 17th Ave NE 33704

Then and Now — 1932 & 2022 — 901 17th Ave No.

From 1932: “Only one short block from Tampa Bay. An exceptionally well-constructed home. First floor consists of living room, den, music room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and private tile bath. Second flor consists of 5 bedrooms, three tile baths and three sleeping porches: hardwood floors, hot water furnace heat; 3-car garage with 2 bedrooms and bath above. All in first class condition. Will sell furnished or unfurnished. This property is in the hands of the orphans’ court of Pennsylvania. The estate must be settled; therefore this property is being offered at this time for $22,500. Representative from Pittsburg on the property. Sold by Erle Webb, Realtor.”

The first owner of this house was Mrs. Annie F. Wallace, the widow of a Pittsburgh iron and steel manufacturer, who wintered in St. Pete in the 1920’s. Annie died in 1926 and the house went into probate and ended up in the possession of the Orphans’ court of Pennsylvania who placed it on the market in 1932. The house was purchased in 1937 by Dr. Benjamin Lewis White (born on August 22, 1887) and his wife Gertrude. The couple had moved to St. Pete in 1926 from their hometown of Round Oak, Georgia. They had four children, Marjorie (1914), Geraldine (1918), son Beverly (1920) and Wynette (1924). When the house was purchased only Beverly and Wynette were living at home, Marjorie and Gerladine were away at college. Beverly and Wynette attended local schools and were graduates of St. Pete High. Beverly followed in his father’s footsteps end earned a medical degree from Duke.

The Whites lived in this house for 24 years. On March 2, 1959, due to poor health, Benjamin White took his own life by a single shotgun blast, he was 71 years old. Gertrude died two years later on January 14, 1961, she was 72. The couple are buried at Round Oak Cemetery, Georgia.

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