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Records of the Kansas Governor's Office : administration of Governor Arthur Capper (1915-1919)

Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)

Date: 1915 - 1919

Level of Description: Sub-collection/group

Material Type: Government record

Call Number: (See individual folders)

Unit ID: 451221

Restrictions: None.

Biographical sketch: Twentieth governor of the State of Kansas, 1915-1919 (Republican); of Garnett.

Abstract: Correspondence and other items received from the administration of Arthur Capper, first Kansas born governor of the State of Kansas from 1915 to 1919, includes general letters; official response letters from and letter concerning State agencies and constituents; and newspaper clippings related to appearances and articles about Governor Capper.

Space Required/Quantity: 38 boxes organized into two sub-series: (1) Numerical and (2) Alphabetical.

Title (Main title): Records of the Kansas Governor's Office : administration of Governor Arthur Capper (1915-1919)

Part of: Records of the Kansas Governor's Office.


Biog. Sketch (Full): Arthur Capper, twentieth governor of the State of Kansas, was born on 14 July 1865, in Garnett, Anderson County, Kansas.

Born to Herbert and Isabella (McGrew) Capper in Garnett, Anderson County, Kansas, Capper became interested in newspapers at an early age. At age 14, Capper became a “printer’s devil” with the Garnett Journal. After graduating from high school, Capper continued his employment in newspapers becoming a typesetter for the Topeka Daily Capital. Working his way up at the Topeka Daily Capital, Capper went on to become the paper’s editor and correspondent for the state legislature and U. S. Congress.

In hopes of advancing further in the newspaper business, Capper moved with his wife, Florence Crawford, to New York to work with the New York Tribune. After spending time in New York and working as a congressional correspondent in Washington, D. C., Capper and his wife returned to Kansas. Between 1893 and 1895, Capper purchased two Topeka newspapers, the Mail and Breeze. In 1911, Capper added to his newspaper ownership and revived his previous paper the Daily Capital.

Capper entered politics in 1912, running as Republican candidate for the Governor seat in Kansas. Defeated by Democratic candidate, George H. Hodges, Capper ran again for Governor in 1914 and was elected as the first native Kansan governor. Capper successfully held office for two terms until 1919 and then turned his attention to the United State Senate where he worked until 1949.

Issues significant during Capper’s gubernatorial administration was Kansas agriculture forming clubs that would evolve into 4-H, and children’s welfare including programs for youths and clubs to benefit children with disabilities.

Capper passed away on December 19, 1951 in Topeka, Kansas at the age of 86. During his life he was featured on the cover of Times magazine in 1926 for being a leader of publishing, served as governor and senator, and ran several successful Kansas newspapers throughout World War I and the Great Depression.

Administrative History

Administrative History: The Wyandotte Constitution of 1859 established the Office of the Governor of the State of Kansas. Some of the more important duties, functions, and responsibilities of the governor are to see that the laws are faithfully executed, to require written explanations from other executive officers – at that time the lieutenant governor, secretary of State, auditor, treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction – upon any subject relating to their respective duties, convene the Legislature by proclamation on extraordinary occasions, communicate in writing such information as the governor may possess in reference to the condition of the State at the commencement of every legislative session, recommend such measures as he may deem expedient, and commission officers of the State.

No formal qualifications for the governor have been legislated, aside from the provision that no member of Congress or officer of the State or United States can serve. The governor is elected by a plurality, not necessarily a majority of votes cast. The governor takes office the second Monday in January following election. He was authorized to hire a private secretary, pardon attorney, and other staff as appropriations permitted.

At the beginning of Capper’s term, World War I had been raging in Europe for one year after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Governor Capper focused his administration on Kansas agriculture serving on several boards and committees as well as being a strong supporter of President Franklin Roosevelt’s relief efforts and administration policies during the First World War.

Scope and Content

Scope and content: The records of the Governor Arthur Capper administration consist of correspondence, 1915-1919, containing 38 boxes.

Items in the series are primarily letters received by Governor Capper, however there may also be reports, invitations, newspaper clippings, and other type of documents. The correspondence is organized into two sub-series: (1) Numerical and (2) Alphabetical.

Portions of Collection Separately Described:

More separate components


Locator Contents
027-08-01-04 to 027-08-06-05   

Related Records or Collections

Related materials: Preceding governor: George H. Hodges
Succeeding governor: Henry Allen

Index Terms

Creators and Contributors

Agency Classification:

    Kansas State Agencies. Governor's Office. Specific Administrations. Capper, Arthur Administration.

Additional Information for Researchers

Restrictions: None.

Use and reproduction: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

Most documents created by governmental entities, including the State of Kansas, are considered in the public domain, although copyright to documents found in public records that were written by individuals of organizations and sent to government agencies may be owned by the writers or their heirs.

Cite as: Note: [document, folder, subseries, or series description], Capper administration (1915-1919), Records of the Kansas Governor's Office, State Archives, State Archives & Library, Kansas Historical Society.

Bibliography: Kansas, Governor's Office, Capper administration (1915-1919). Records, 1915-1919. State Archives, State Archives & Library, Kansas Historical Society.

Action note: Inventory written by Haley Suby, Digital Archivist, 2018.

Accumulation/Freq. Of Use: No additional records are expected.

Holder of originals: State archives, Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka)