May White

Descendent of Clara Barton; 103 years old

Well, I just graduated from [Oxford] high school and I went to business school in Worcester. And, then I worked at State Mutual. Then I got married. And at that time, you couldn’t work when you were married. Of course I went right through the Depression ………… to go to the bank one day and the next [day] a man would be sitting on the street selling apples.  This business that’s going on now [in Washington] bothers me.  Boy, I went through that and it was awful.  And, so that’s what happened there.  So I got a job.  I went to work.  First thing I did was buy a car. 


May O. White was born July 8, 1908 in Oxford, Massachusetts. She is a descendant of  the Pilgrims who came from England on the Mayflower and settled initially in Salem, MA, and later to establish Oxford. She is proud of her family history and historical value of the houses they built in the 19th century. Being a member of the Historical Commission in Oxford, she is helping to establish a Historic District, which designation would preserve these homes. May and her family worked in Worcester, taking advantage of the railroad connection. In this interview she discusses her family history and especially her close relationship with her grandmother’s aunt, Clara Barton, the most famous citizen of Oxford, who started the American Red Cross. She reflects upon the fact that married was Mrs. White’s caregiver, Carol, who helps May from time to time to hear and women could not work, as per company rules. May did not go to college as the family had extensive medical bills for her sister and could not afford second college tuition. However, she graduated from a private business school for girls in Worcester and most of the time she focused on the business end, even at the time when they owned with her husband Ray a restaurant in Grafton.

Interview Date: 
July 28, 2011
Interview Focus: