Ellen White: Woman of Vision


The Office Building And Staff

There was an eight-room office building under construction about 30 yards (27 meters) north of the home. N. H. Druillard was in charge of construction. WV 405.2

Ellen White was eager to get on with the book work that awaited her attention. She now had a good staff: Sara McEnterfer was her personal secretary, nurse, and traveling companion; Marian Davis, Clarence Crisler, Sarah Peck, and Maggie Hare composed her secretarial force; Mrs. M. J. Nelson was cook; Iram James managed the farm; Mrs. N. H. Druillard was her accountant; and Mr. Druillard the builder. W. C. White gave general supervision and served his mother and the General Conference in varied capacities. WV 405.3

We turn our attention now to what was going on at Elmshaven from the standpoint of establishing Ellen White's work there. She occupied the northwest bedroom, at the top of the stairs. This overlooked the prune orchard, which had 2,000 trees and stretched just below the knoll and a quarter of a mile (.4 kilometer) to the west. She was to retain this bedroom until her death. Her office occupied the front bedroom across the hall, facing the south. The large writing room with a bay window that she later used as an office had not yet been built. She suffered somewhat because the room in which she worked had a stove instead of a fireplace. Very seldom did she light a fire in it, choosing rather to dress warmly enough to write. WV 405.4

The bedroom across the hall on the north side of the house was shared by her helpers, Sara McEnterfer, Sarah Peck, and Maggie Hare. Kitty Wilcox, niece of M. C. and F. M. Wilcox, who for a short time served as cook, stayed in the small attic room over the kitchen. The large downstairs formal parlor under Mrs. White's bedroom was converted to a bedroom and used by Mr. and Mrs. Druillard, for a time members of her staff. Others who intermittently helped with her literary work in those winter months were Eliza Burnham and Lillian Whalin, daughter of John Whalin, both borrowed from the Pacific Press. WV 405.5