William Allen White
William Allen White was born February 10, 1868, in Emporia, Kansas, to Allen and Mary Ann Hatten White. The family moved to El Dorado when he was a year old and remained there through his high school graduation in 1884. William attended the College of Emporia for a year then transferred to the University of Kansas in Lawrence. In 1892 he accepted positions at the Kansas City Journal and Kansas City Star . William married Sallie Lindsay on April 27, 1893. They moved to Emporia, Kansas, in 1895 and became owners of the Emporia Gazette . The following year his editorial “ What’s the Matter with Kansas?” brought him national fame. This continued to grow as he became friends and advisors to numerous authors and political figures; five United States Presidents visited his home. William also wrote a number of books and was the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes; the first was awarded in 1923 for an editorial titled To An Anxious Friend and the second came posthumously in 1947 for The Autobiography of William Allen White which was completed by his son. William and Sallie had two children, William Lindsay and Mary. His daughter’s death in 1921 led to the publication of one of his most famous editorials, titled simply Mary White . To publicly oppose the influence of the Ku Klux Klan, William campaigned to become Kansas governor in 1924; he was not elected. William Allen White passed away on January 29, 1944.
The William Allen White Collection contains letters and telegrams, exchanged between William Allen White and such national figures as Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, William Dean Howells, William Howard Taft, Robert Taft and many others. The texts of approximately 900 articles appearing in the nation’s leading magazines written by and about William Allen White are preserved in the collection, as well as hundreds of newspaper editorials, stories, and features by and about him. The manuscripts of many speeches, editorials, poems, and his personal diary, written during his college years, are included. The realia section of the collection includes original illustrations from the White works, scrapbooks, and materials from world-wide travels. The collection’s photograph section contains numerous photos of William and his family and the many national figures with whom he associated and corresponded.
A two-volume, illustrated, item-level listing of the collection was published in 1968, and can be obtained free of charge.