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Arthur Capper

Gov. Arthur Capper

  • January 11, 1915 - January 13, 1919
  • Republican
  • July 14, 1865
  • December 19, 1951
  • Kansas
  • Married Florence Crawford
  • NGA Chair
  • Senator


ARTHUR CAPPER, the first native-born governor to serve Kansas, was born in Garnett, Kansas on July 14, 1865. His education was attained in the Garnett public school system. After graduating from high school in 1884, he learned the printing trade. He started out inking the printing rollers at the Garnett Journal, and eventually became the successful owner and publisher of several newspapers and publications, including the Capper’s Weekly, the Topeka Daily Capital, the North Topeka Mail, and the Missouri Valley Farmer. Capper entered public service in 1910, with an appointment as president of the Board of Regents for the Kansas Agricultural College, a position he held for three years. He won the 1914 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was sworn into the governorship as the twentieth governor on January 11, 1915. He was reelected to a second term in 1916. During his tenure, commissions and boards were combined, a state appropriation budget system was authorized, unproductive state agencies were dissolved, a revised “blue sky” law was sanctioned, and a new civil service commission was established. Also, World War I matters were addressed, a new state highway commission was organized, a “bone dry” prohibition law was enacted, and a board of administration was approved. Capper did not seek a third gubernatorial term, but ran instead for the U.S. Senate in 1918. He was elected to five consecutive terms, serving from March 4, 1919 to January 3, 1949. Governor Arthur Capper, who founded the Capper Foundation for Crippled Children in 1920, passed away on December 19, 1951, and was buried at the Topeka Cemetery.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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