Another pioneer of The Mexico Ledger will be inducted into the Missouri Press Association's Newspaper Hall of Fame next month. Col. Robert Morgan White, founder of The Ledger, will join his son, L. Mitchell White, and grandson Robert M. White II, previous inductees.
The honor will take place during the 149th annual convention of the MPA Sept. 11 at the Holiday Inn Select Executive Center in Columbia. Col. White's great-granddaughter Laura White Erdel  will be present at the event.
A plaque and a likeness of Col. White will be hung in the press association's office. Other inductees this year include the late George A. Killenberg,  of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat; the late William H. Plummer, Chillicothe Constitution Tribune; and Darryl Wilkinson, Gallatin North Missourian.
The organization also quoted L. Mitchell White's description of his father:  "He was six feet, three inches tall, and weighed close to 200 pounds. He was straight as an arrow and walked with long strides. Always just and fair, he deplored dishonesty and misbehavior. He had little time or use for political demagogues or those in public life who used their positions for selfish purposes or to rob from the public."
Col. White bought the newspaper, which had been printed in Mexico since 1855, as a 21-year-old Westminster College graduate in 1876. At the time, the paper was a weekly, with a circulation of less than 1,000. The Ledger became a six-days-a-week paper in 1888.
His interest in journalism began while editing a monthly newsletter at Westminster. Although he was offered a baseball contract with the St. Louis Browns upon his graduation, he chose journalism.
During The Ledger's formative years, Col. White served in many capacities including publisher, editor, reporter, copy editor, proofreader, bookkeeper and ad salesman.
He also was active in church, civic and charitable organizations in Mexico and in the state of Missouri. He was a former president of the Mexico Chamber of Commerce, and a deacon and elder at the First Presbyterian Church.
Col. White also was a charter member of the Missouri State Historical Society, member of the board of trustees at Westminster College and president of the Alumni Association. He served on the state's eleemosynary board, which included his membership on the board of trustees of the Fulton State Hospital.
In 1919, he turned the daily operation of The Ledger over to his son, L. Mitchell White, and became president of the Mexico Savings Bank. He continued as bank president and Ledger publisher until his death.
In the late 1890s, he was designated as a colonel on the staff of Gov. Lon V. Stephens.
Col. White was active in the Missouri Press Association his entire professional life, including serving as president in 1885. L. Mitchell White followed his father in that position in 1921, and Robert II followed his grandfather and father as MPA president in 1984.
Col. White was recording secretary of the National Editorial Association (now National Newspaper Association) and vice president of the Western Federation of Writers.
Two years before his death, he received the Distinguished Service Medal from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Col. White was most recently honored in 1993 when the Mexico-Audrain Library named a reference room after him, and presented the first Llewellyn Award in his memory. He was an early crusader for a  public library in Mexico, and made the first contact with the Carnegie Foundation which ultimately helped fund the institution.
Upon his death in 1934 at the age of 79, the town's banks and competing newspaper, the Mexico Intelligencer, closed for the day. The Ledger, however, only closed for the hour of the funeral service and printed as usual.