Emporia, Ks - William Allen White Park Images - Peter Pan Memories
William Allen White
This post will address the town of Emporia, Kansas where the noted newspaper man William Allen White lived as well as the memory of his special little Peter Pan. Let me explain...
Sometimes one learns a bit about people and history by accident. That is what happened when we were traveling from Houston up to Iowa to visit relatives one year. We spent the night in Emporia, Kansas and this is what came of it.
Always on the lookout for interesting things to do or see when in different locales, I read about Peter Pan Park and we decided to check it out.
In so doing, we learned much about an important public figure in Emporia whose statue resides in the park. William Allen White not only made an imprint on this town but was also a person known nationally.
Lake in Peter Pan Park / Emporia, Kansas
Mr. William Allen White statue
Peter Pan Park in Emporia, Kansas
Peter Pan Park
This is what was inscribed near his statue in Peter Pan Park:
"Emporia is known for the eloquent small-town wisdom of editorials written by William Allen White, the late publisher of the Emporia Gazette. A memorial to White, who died in 1944, sits on the tree-rimmed shore of a lake in Peter Pan Park. The name of this municipal park derives from an editorial White wrote after the death of his young daughter, Mary, in a riding accident. 'She was a Peter Pan, who refused to grow up,' White eulogized, affirming that her enthusiastic spirit remained even after her body was laid to rest."
William Allen White was born in Emporia and grew up in nearby towns in Kansas. He attended Kansas Universities and when an adult decided to make Emporia his home.
In 1895 he purchased the newspaper in his hometown for the sum of $3,000. He became the Emporia Gazette's editor, but was also an author and politician.
He figured largely in the Republican party and became a spokesperson for people living in the middle of America.
Five Republican Presidents became friends of his and slept in his home in Emporia. These night-time guests were the following: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.
That must have been quite something for the local townspeople to have American Presidents in their midst!
The municipal park is a little beauty. A small lake was reflecting the colored leaves of the Fall season when we happened to visit there in October.
The bronze statue of Peter Pan shows a saucy little imp in a playful pose.
Peter Pan Park in Emporia, Kansas
Loved this story when I was growing up!
Most people are familiar with the story of Peter Pan.
It was one of my favorite stories and films when I was a child growing up in the 1950s.
Cute video of Wendy and Peter Pan flying. "I NEVER want to grow up!!!"
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As stated at the top of this short article, spending just one night in Emporia, Kansas sparked my education about William Allen White and the legacy that he left behind him.
It also brought back my childhood memories of Peter Pan. Hopefully you will have some fun with your memories as well.
If you happen to be driving through Emporia, Kansas, be sure and check out Peter Pan Park.
The park is a little gem of a place that invites one to linger and enjoy its beauty.
Learning about William Allen White, The Emporia Gazette and viewing Peter Pan Park was a treat!
© 2009 Peggy Woods
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