William Allen White Home Dedication, Emporia, Kansas
Dedication of the William Allen White Home, Red Rocks, May 14, 2005

[title] The Home
The home of William Allen White, Emporia, KS, became a new state historical site at this dedication, May 14, 2005. Free tours of the home and a reception followed the ceremony.

Red Rocks, corner view
Red Rocks, side viewRed Rocks from the back
Red Rocks from the front Red Rocks front porch Don Coldsmith, Max Yoho, Carol Yoho standing in the back yard, Red Rocks

[title] Speeches & Honors
Jennie Chinn, Executive Director of the Kansas State Historical Society and Governor Kathleen Sebelius spoke. Mary Helmer accepted the Jay Warren Brinkman Historic Preservation Award on behalf of the city of Emporia.
Governor Kathleen Sebelius takes the stage Governor Sebelius speaks
Pre-dedication introductions onstage
Carolyn Kuhn accepted the Jay Warren Brinkman Historic Preservation Award on behalf of the city of Emporia. Jennie Chinn, Executive Director of KSHS introductions and opening remarks Governor Sebelius makes additional remarks
[title] The Crowd

A crowd of citizens, visitors, and media attended this mid-afternoon event.

A television crew from KTWU's "Sunflower Journeys" recorded the event.
A good sized crowd congratated for the dedication
Attendees visit prior to the dedication Bill Shaffer and Jim Kelly of KTWU videotape the dedication A reception, with cookies and punch, and free home tours followed the dedication

History, below, is from the Dedication booklet handed to visitors at the dedication.
Information provided by the Kansas State Historical Society: wawhitehouse@kshs.org

William Allen and Sallie Moss Lindsay White

William Allen White
White was born Feb. 10, 1868, in Emporia, KS. He was the only surviving son of Dr. Allen White and Mary Ann Hatten White, was raised in El Dorado, KS, and attended the College of Emporia and the University of Kansas. He worked for several newspapers and married Sallie Moss Lindsay in 1893 while living in Kansas City. Their two children were Mary Katherine and William Lindsay. In 1895 White bought the Emporia Daily Gazette and moved to Emporia. He became nationally know in 1896, at the age of 28, after writing his anti-Populist editorial "What's the Matter with Kansas?" He influenced people and politicians through his editorial writings, winning the Pulitzer Prize for his editorial "To an Anxious Friend," written in defense of freedom of speech. He died Jan. 29, 1944. After his death he was awarded the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for "The Autobiography of William Allen White."

Sallie Moss Lindsay White
Mrs. White was born Dec. 3, 1869, in Nicholasville, KY. Her family moved to Kansas City, KS, when she was eight. At the age of 16 she started teaching school, marrying White on Apr. 27, 1893. She served as White's intellectual equal, confidant, advisor, and critic. Sallie died Dec. 19, 1950, at the age of 81, in Emporia.

Mary Katherine White
Mary was born June 18, 1904, in Emporia, KS. As a baby, Mary was frail and her parents later encouraged her to gain strength through outdoor activity. She loved horseback riding, reading, drawing, and helping others. Mary was assistant editor of her high school annual and was involved with the Y.W.C.A. Mary's car was the center of her social life. Tragically, Mary died at the age of 16 in a horse riding accident. Her head took a blow from a low-hanging limb when she turned to wave to a friend. She never regained consciousness and died three days later from a skull fracture on May 13, 1921, in Emporia.

William Lindsay White
William was born on June 17, 1900, in Emporia, KS. Young Bill, as he was called, attended the University of Kansas but received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1924. He married Kathrine Klinkenberg on Apr. 29, 1931, in New York City. Together they adopted a European war orphan, Barbara. William Lindsay served in the Kansas legislature in 1931-32, working in Washington, and was a war correspondent for 40 American daily newspapers during the 1930s. He became a roving editor for Reader's Digest in 1942. William Lindsay inherited the job as editor/publisher of the Emporia Gazette when his father died in 1944. For many years he divided his time between Kansas and his New York apartment. He died on July 26, 1973 at the age of 73.

Kathrine Klinkenberg White
Katherine was born July 9, 1903, in Cawker City, Kansas, the daughter of Peter Henry Klinkenberg and Frances Buckner Klinkenberg. She was raised in Ottawa, KS, and attended the University of Kansas and the University of Wisconsin. She worked for Time magazine and was assistant curator at the Library of Congress. Kathrine married William Lindsay White in 1931, in New York City. She spent parts of each year in New York and parts in Emporia with her husband. She was active in the family newspaper, eventually moving to Emporia when her husband became ill. After William Lindsay's death in 1973 Kathrine became the Gazette's editor. She died at the age of 85 on August 17, 1988, in Emporia.

One hundred years after William Allen White purchased the Emporia Gazette, his great-grandson, Chris White Walker, serves as editor of the newspaper.
Mary Katherine White
William Lindsay and Kathrine Klinkenberg White

William Allen White House
White, his wife, Sallie, and his mother, Mary, moved into Red Rocks in 1899. Initially renting the house, the Whites purchased the home in 1901. The home was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. In 2001 William Lindsay White's daughter, Barbara, and her husband, David Walker, donated the house to the Kansas State Historical Society.
  The home was built around 1889 by Almerin Gillett in the Queen Anne style. It was known as Red Rocks because of the red sandstone shipped from Colorado to construct the first floor. In January 1920 a spark from the chimney started a fire on the roof and destroyed the third floor. William Allen contracted with Wight and Wight architectural firm of Kansas City for reconstruction, changing the look to Tutor Revival and moving the entrance from Exchange St. to 10th St. Simultaneously the house was enlarged. Dormers were added on the north and south sides of the third floor. Sleeping porches were enclosed and a terraced garden, pergola, and lily pool were also built. The Kansas State Historical Society opened the house to the public on May 14, 2005. Visit the KSHS site to learn more.

© 2005 by Carol Yoho
Visit  Acme e-media archive
Send comments about this site

Visitor comment about this page, published 9/1/2009—
I have never forgotten about 16 year old Mary White, who died from a horseback riding accident.  I discovered Mary White when I saw the movie Mary White, the Paramount produced of her short life.  After watching it, I was always interested in her. Her life inspiried me. I developed good self-esteen from watching this movie. I wanted to be just like Mary White. Years have passed since that day, but I thought about her today and wanted to see if she was on the internet. And she was. She was a beautiful girl.  It is still sad to me that I was not able to meet her in my lifetime. And sad to me that she died at the young age of 16.  It must of been so sad for her family to lose such a beautiful child. Someday I would like to visit her grave and the graves of her entire family  I have a special place in my heart for all of them. She has been gone for 88 years now.  Time just flies.  I hope there is life after death and that is where I will meet this beautiful family. Teri Williams, Salt Lake City, Utah

Read William Allen White's editorial about the death of his daughter, "Mary White."