Arthur Capper is a finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas People because he was the first Kansas-born governor, a 30-year U.S. senator, a newspaper and magazine publisher, and he established the Capper Fund for Children with disabilities. 1865-1951.
|Photo courtesy Anderson County Historical Society|
Arthur Capper was a successful writer and publisher. He got his start in the newspaper business as a boy growing up in Garnett. Upon his death in 1951, Capper Publishing was the largest publishing house west of the Mississippi River with one weekly, two daily, and five state farm newspapers, as well as two national magazines. All together, Capper's circulation was approximately five million. Also included were two radio stations.
Arthur Capper ran for
office and became the state's 20th governor and the first native-born Kansan to hold that office. On January 11, 1915 he began serving for two terms
Photo courtesy kansasmemory.org
He also served Kansas in the U.S. Senate for five terms (1919-1949). Capper holds the Kansas record for the longest serving senator with 30 years. He retired from office at the age of 83. Capper was a leading proponent and champion of agricultural issues, which endeared him to the hearts of many rural Americans.
Capper was a leader for farming states and was the first to promote pig and canning clubs, and was instrumental in establishing legislation that created and funded 4-H.
Arthur Capper with prize winning corn at the Kansas State Fair in 1930. Photo courtesy Anderson County Historical Society
The Capper-Volstead Act of 1922 is often called the "Magna Carta" of farm cooperatives. The
Capper-Tincher Act of 1922 provided federal government regulation of grain futures trading and
exchanges and later included other commodities. The Capper-Lenroot-Anderson Agricultural
Credits Act of 1923 laid the groundwork for future policies granting agricultural credits and
establishing lending agencies in the field of agriculture.
The lasting legacy of
Arthur Capper is Easter Seals Capper Foundation located in
Capper serving cake at the annual "Children's Day" event held annually on his birthday, July 14. Photo courtesy Easter Seals Capper Foundation
Arthur and Florence Capper never had children of their own but children all over the nation benefited from Capper's unending devotion. "Children's Day" was held annually on July 14th, Capper's birthday. Without regard to race, creed, color or class, this tradition was held from 1908 to 1950 and included a free carnival, pony rides, games, free ice cream and refreshments for all. Nearly 20,000 people attended these events.
The Capper Foundation for Crippled Children became a non-profit charity on September 26, 1934. The good work continues today serving children and families living with autism and other disabilities and training professionals from across the state who work with these children.
Arthur Capper died in Topeka on December 19,
1951 at the age of 86.
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