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Elmer, Missouri - Early History
Mr. and Mrs. George Wilhite
(Reprinted from Elmer Centennial, 1987)
Mrs. George (Fanny) Wilhite was the first woman that was ever employed as a cook by the Hanlin Supply Company for the Santa Fe Railroad. Her husband, George, worked in the commissary at that time.
Mr. and Mrs. Wilhite began working as cooks for Mr. Pat Wigal's section gang. In 1936, the Hannlin Supply Company hired them and they worked a cooks for extra gangs, bridge gangs, and the like. Mrs. Wilhite, with some assistance, has cooked for 80 men at a time. She did all of the baking which consisted of breads to all kinds of pastry.
The couple has worked with the railroad from Chicago to Denver and as far south as El Paso, Texas. Mr. Wilhite quit the work in 1940 when he was badly burned as a result of a gasoline explosion, which took place in Leesburg, New Mexico. He remained in the hospital for seven and one half months and was in several hospitals afterwards. Mrs. Wilhite quit in 1945.
Mr. Wilhite was a farmer before he worked on the railroad. The couple also ran a grocery store in Elmer for three years prior to their cooking job.