Created By: Wichita History Walk
Among Wichita's history of entrepreneurship stands White Castle, the world's first hamburger chain. Founded in Wichita in 1916, fry cook Walter Anderson borrowed $80 to open his first hamburger stand at 800 E. Douglas. After expanding to four stands, he partnered with real estate and insurance agent Billy Ingram to build the first stand under the name of White Castle at 110 West 1st St. (now 1st and Broadway) in 1921 for $700. Their iconic white buildings looked like small castles. Their popular hamburgers were small 5-cent sliders, sold singly or according to their singular slogan: Buy em by the Sack. By 1921, there were 8 White Castle stands in Wichita selling about 8,000 hamburgers to 2,000 customers daily. Lloyd Hay later designed modular steel buildings for the chain, the first of which was constructed at Douglas and Hillside in 1928. By 1934, there were 123 White Castles in 16 cities. Billy Ingram bought Anderson's shares in the business and moved it to Columbus, Ohio in 1934. Three White Castles remained in Wichita under the ownership of AJ King for a number of years.
This point of interest is part of the tour: East Douglas Heritage