James Larkin White (July 11, 1882 – April 26, 1946), better known as Jim White, was a cowboy, guano miner, cave explorer, and park ranger for the National Park Service. He is best remembered as the discoverer, early promoter and explorer of what is known today as Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico.
Jim White was born on July 11, 1882, on a ranch in Mason County, Texas. He started working in the cattle business at a very early age and preferred it to the school his father forced him to attend. He preferred "bustin' broncos to books and blackboards". One day, when Jim had had enough of school, he begged his father to let him do something else. "I want to be a cowboy", he said. So, when he was 10 years old, his father agreed to take him to the southeastern corner of the New Mexico Territory. He left him at the ranch of John and Dan Lucas (XXX Ranch). His father bought land at Lonetree, just west of the developing town of Eddy (Carlsbad today), and moved the rest of the family there three years later. Jim occasionally stayed at his family's small horse farm, but mostly lived and worked at the Lucas ranch.
Learn more about Carlsbad Caverns National Park, free from the National Park Service.