A Kansas Memory Podcast
Governor William Avery Interview
William Avery would have never become a politician if it hadn’t been for a series of disastrous floods in Kansas in the mid-20th century. He was the third generation of Avery’s farming near Wakefield, in Clay County, when President Truman appropriated funds to build two dams in the Blue Valley that would inundate his farm. Avery became an anti-dam leader and was elected to serve in the Kansas Legislature from 1951-1955, and went on to serve in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1955-1965, though he was unable to stop the dam project. In 1965, Avery became Kansas’ 37th governor. Video and a complete transcript of the interview is available on Kansas Memory. The interview is the basis for Dr. Bob Beatty's article "'You have to like people': A Conversation with Former Governor William H. Avery," published in Kansas History, vol. 31 (Spring 2008).