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Sallie Lindsay White

Teacher, journalist.  Born: December 3, 1869, Nicholasville, Kentucky.  Married: William Allen White April 27, 1893. Died: December 19, 1950, Emporia, Kansas.

Sallie Lindsay White and William Allen WhiteSallie Moss Lindsay White was born in Nicholasville, Kentucky, a small town near Lexington, on December 3, 1869, to Joseph Moss Lindsay and Frances “Fannie” Batchelder. When she was eight years old she moved with her family to Atchison and then to Kansas City, Kansas. She graduated from high school and at 16 became one of the youngest teachers ever to serve in the Kansas City school system. She loved teaching and advised her female students to be teachers because it required creativity. She read to her students, told them stories, and imparted the courtesies of life during her five years of teaching.  

When she was teaching school in Kansas City, Sallie read one of William Allen White’s poems in Kansas City Star, where he served as reporter and editorial writer. She approved of the poetry and shared it with her friends. Soon she met Will at the old Scribblers’ Club. He was impressed with her, dressed in her plumed hat and heart-stealer muff.  She and William Allen White were married April 17, 1893, in her parent’s home at 338 Waverly Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas. 

Sallie and Will bought Emporia Gazette in 1895, moving to Emporia that year.  Will taught her about newspaper work: she learned to edit copy, read proofs, write society news and features, and all other aspects except selling advertising and setting type.

In 1899 the Whites moved into a home at 927 Exchange Street. Their children, William Lindsay was born in 1900. Their daughter Mary Katherine was born in 1904. In 1920 the family moved out of the house as it underwent renovation. Before the family could return home, their teenage daughter, Mary, died from injuries in a horseback riding accident.

Sallie became interested in community life, believing that work is fun, not drudgery.  She enjoyed entertaining statesmen, authors, and publishers at Red Rocks.  She invited class reunions from Emporia State University to her large front porch.  She belonged to the Woman’s Club and organized a Red Cross drive, planned picnics for the Gazette employees, and made cakes for the church food sale.

She had a passion for collecting colored table glass and old rose moss china, which was her mother’s pattern. She and William furnished their home with collections from their worldly travels of rugs, furniture, prints, paintings, and pottery.

“I have been doing the thing I wanted more than anything else in the world to do,”  Sallie once said.

Sallie died December 19, 1950, in Emporia, Kansas.

Entry: White, Sallie Lindsay

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: December 2012

Date Modified: December 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.