DescriptionFew cities are associated more widely with Kansas' journalistic tradition than Emporia, the home of William Allen White. As the outspoken editor and publisher of the Emporia Gazette 1895-1944, his incisive writing influenced national affairs. An essay on free speech, “To an Anxious Friend,” won White a Pulitzer Prize in 1922.
Reminders of the “Sage of Emporia” are numerous. They include the William Allen White Library at the 6,000-student Emporia State University, William Allen White Memorial Drive and a commemorative statue in Peter Pan Park. Not the least of these memorials is the Emporia Gazette itself, still published by his family.
In 1953 the city became the first in the nation to observe Veterans Day thanks to the forward thinking of another patriotic citizen. Because Armistice Day honored only World War I veterans, Alvin J. King proposed renaming the holiday in order to include World War II and Korean War veterans. With the endorsement of a fellow Kansan, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Congress officially changed the name to Veterans Day one year later, and in 2003, Congress declared Emporia its founding city.
The Howe House & Welsh Farmstead, 315 E. Logan Ave., is an 1867 limestone dwelling that reflects period style. Tours may be arranged; phone (620) 340-6310. Recreational facilities are available at several sites, including Peter Pan Park, Randolph and Rural streets, and at Soden's Grove Park, which features the David Traylor Zoo of Emporia. White Memorial Park, at Sixth and Merchant streets, contains park benches and street lamps in the style of the 1920s. A bust of White's son, William Lindsey White, is the main feature of the park.
Several nearby reservoirs offer fishing, boating and swimming: Lyon, Melvern, Council Grove, Pomona and John Redmond lakes all are within a 45-minute drive.
Visitor InfoEmporia Convention & Visitors Bureau 719 Commercial St. EMPORIA, KS 66801. Phone:(620)342-1600 or (800)279-3730
Self-guiding toursBrochures outlining walking, biking and driving tours of Emporia are available from the visitors bureau.
Things to SeeAll Veterans Memorial