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1899 to 1944
Red Rocks, the Whites’ House and a True-Blue Kansan
William Allen White
By Roger Wm. Heineken
Old Teddy, the fox terrier disappeared and didn’t come home. Three days later, William Allen White editorialized in his Emporia Gazette about the missing family friend. His words were published in newspapers throughout the country in those days and within the week hundreds of local calls and letters from all over the nation started pouring into the Gazette office. Those responding were reporting sightings or offering a pup from an out-of-state litter. Such was the fame and favor for this editor from Emporia.
White could and did write on all subjects; from the homey advice on preparing some favorite recipe, to a sarcastic assault on the Klan in Kansas, to suggesting that the “women’s clubs of America raise more hell and fewer dahlias”. His way with words made him the voice from the heartland and introduced him to the leading politicos, presidents, writers and social thinkers of the first half of the 20th century.
This link takes you to some of White’s well known editorials:
Many of these movers and shakers of American culture visited White at his beloved home, “Red Rocks”. The main-line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe made Emporia an easy stop-off for a visit with the “Sage of Emporia” as he came to be known. “…there is no ocean trip, no month in the country, no known drug equal to the reviving quality of twenty-four hours spent on the front porch or in the sitting room of the Whites’ house in Emporia...” wrote Edna Ferber, the most successful female novelist in the first half of the 20th century and currently on the 83-cent US commemorative postage stamp.
See these images of White with Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and Albert Einstein
Sixty years after he died on Kansas Day, White is still considered to be the most influential man in Kansas history. His statue is one of four gracing the second floor rotunda of the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka joining the likes of Dwight Eisenhower, Amelia Earhart, and Arthur Capper.
Learn more about White and his career
In 2001 after 100 years of family ownership, White’s granddaughter, Barbara White Walker, gave the home and contents at 927 Exchange St. to the citizens of Kansas. With $700,000 in federal grants, “Red Rocks” has undergone cataloging, restoration, interpretation and ADA adaptation. The William Allen White House State Historic Site is the first historic property to deal with 20th century Kansas history. The house will be dedicated and opened to the public on Saturday, May 14, 2005 at 2:00 PM.
Keep posted on upcoming events at this page
Visit the William Allen White House State Historic Site and related Emporia sites to rediscover the life and times of a true-blue Kansan.
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Emporia and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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