Described as conservative and low-key, Elliott Kelly (E.K.) Edmiston made a name for himself as a successful oilman in the Kansas petroleum business for almost 70 years. He entered the oil business in 1927 as a bookkeeper for a Wichita independent, Tom Johnson. Once the depression hit, Mr. Edmiston was laid off, so he began taking classes at the University of Wichita, focusing on business and geology. A year later, he was rehired and there he remained until graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and with a minor in Geology in 1936. Mr. Edmiston went into business for himself in 1945, formed his own company, E. K. Edmiston Drilling Company in 1951, and stayed active in the business as Edmiston Oil Company, Inc. until 1988.
Like his wife, Kathlien, he was very involved with Wichita State University. He served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors being elected President in 1953 and was a lifetime member of the Fairmount Society, WSU’s most prestigious giving club.
The 24-hour study room in the northwest corner of the Ablah Library is named for Mr. and Mrs. Edmiston. The funds for this room were provided by their three children.
Mr. Edmiston’s family and friends created the E.K. Edmiston Endowed Scholarship in Geology when he passed away in 1995.