Emporia - Home of William Allen White
When native-born William Allen White entered college at Emporia in 1884,
the city, incorporated in 1857, already was called the Athens of Kansas
because of its two higher schools. The State Normal, now Kansas State
Teachers College, was established in 1863, and the College of Emporia
where White enrolled was founded in 1882.
In 1895, Bill White, now a journalist, became owner of the Emporia Gazette. As he rose to literary and political prominence, he brought national fame to his home town. Will Rogers had White in mind when he said, "Kansas has more real newspapermen than all the rest of the states combined." White was an independent Republican who took his politics seriously, yet was the friend and confidant of leaders of both political parties. If he thought the occasion demanded, he could forsake the organized parties, as he did in 1924 when he ran for governor as an independent. But White's greatest influence derived from his writings. Through his elegant editorial voice, he interpreted the eagerness of Middle Western people for a rule of true democracy.
W. A. White died January 29, 1944. His courage, conscience and intelligence, abetted by a keen sense of humor, made him highly respected. He helped mold the America of his day.
Erected by Kansas State Historical Society & Kansas Turnpike Authority
South end of the EmporiaService Area