A Man from Kansas: The Story of William Allen White

A Man from Kansas: The Story of William Allen White

A Man from Kansas: The Story of William Allen White

A Man from Kansas: The Story of William Allen White

Excerpt

Forty-eight years ago, a farm boy near Emporia, I became the Quaker Valley correspondent of the Emporia Gazette because I hungrily wanted the paper and there was no other way to get it since my father belonged to the faction and subscribed to the local newspaper which opposed Mr. White's point of view. This work paid no cash, but it brought me the Gazette free, subscriptions to magazines, occasional books, a pass to the circus each summer when it came to Emporia, and the friendship of the man whose influence on my life has been greatest.

The freshness and breadth of the young editor awoke an answering echo in my heart. Momentous years, busy, disturbing, glorious years with multitudinous demands and varied interests have come and gone since those far-off days when we were so happy and so poor. But the heart always echoed when he spoke. Neither time nor distance, trouble, misunderstanding, differences, pressing demands, nor any other thing, ever stilled its response.

This book seeks to share with others some of my delights in his joyous spirit, to give the feel of him and thus help others to understand better what made him what he was and thereby gain fresh faith and inspiration with which to tackle their day- to-day problems in this self-crucified, busy, beautiful world of ours.

This impressionistic high-lighting and interpretation of Mr. White's career and personality rests largely on the memories of forty-six years of close friendship, our common background, and his Gazette editorials.

In the late spring of 1945, I reread, in bound volumes of the Gazette, all of the editorials Mr. White wrote between 1895 and 1943, and selected and recorded by dictaphone portions of many of them for quotation or reference purposes in this book. This task flooded my memory with countless incidents of our long friendship. In all but three or four instances he was "kind and helpful and generous and charitable and forgiving. . . ."

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