Walter Anderson was born November 26, 1880, in St. Marys, Kansas. In 1916 Anderson began to sell hamburgers out of a streetcar body in a busy intersection in Wichita, Kansas. His hamburgers were a hit, and the number of hamburger stands grew until he had enough money to open his own shop.
In 1921 Anderson met E.W. Ingram and together they began the restaurant chain White Castle in Wichita. White Castle was the first hamburger chain in the United States and became famous for its little burgers. Anderson developed an assembly line kitchen, built a reputation for cleanliness, and introduced paper hats and napkins. By 1931 White Castle had expanded to 116 locations in 11 different states.
Anderson eventually sold his share of the business to Ingram in 1933 and continued to live in Kansas working in several different companies, including the Swift airplane factory, which he helped start in 1927. Anderson died December 13, 1963, in Wichita, Kansas.
Photo courtesy White Castle Management Company.
Entry: Anderson, Walter
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: June 2012
Date Modified: January 2016
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