Arthur Capper

Arthur Capper (July 14, 1865 – December 19, 1951) was an American politician from Kansas. He was the 20th Governor of Kansas (the first born in the state) from 1915 to 1919 and a United States Senator from 1919 to 1949. He also owned a radio station (WIBW in Topeka), and was the publisher of a newspaper, the Topeka Daily Capital. [1]

Arthur Capper
CAPPER, ARTHUR C. SENATOR LCCN2016860456 (cropped)
United States Senator
from Kansas
In office
March 4, 1919 – January 3, 1949
Preceded byWilliam Thompson
Succeeded byAndrew Schoeppel
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
December 14, 1916 – September 16, 1924
Preceded byWilliam Spry
Succeeded byEmerson Harrington
20th Governor of Kansas
In office
January 11, 1915 – January 13, 1919
LieutenantWilliam Yoast Morgan
Preceded byGeorge H. Hodges
Succeeded byHenry Allen
Personal details
BornJuly 14, 1865
Garnett, Kansas, U.S.
DiedDecember 19, 1951 (aged 86)
Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Florence Crawford

Life and career

Capper was born in Garnett, Kansas. He attended the public schools and learned the art of printing. He became a newspaper publisher, eventually owning several newspapers and two radio stations. The best known of his publications, Capper's Weekly, had an enormous readership among farm families and served as the base of his political support in Kansas. "Capper's" continues today as a bimonthly glossy magazine that focuses on rural living.

Capper first entered politics in 1912 when he became the Republican candidate for Governor of Kansas. In addition to a reputation built from his newspapers, he was also the son-in-law of former governor Samuel J. Crawford. He was defeated by Democrat George H. Hodges. However, Capper was elected governor in the next election in 1914 and served as Governor of Kansas from 1915 until 1919, winning re-election in 1916. He was the first native Kansan to serve as the state's governor.

Postcard for 1912 campaign for governor

Having served two full terms as governor, Capper was not permitted to run for a third term by the Kansas State Constitution. Instead, in 1918 he ran for election to the United States Senate and won. Capper became a long-serving senator, representing Kansas as one of its two senators for five 6-year terms. He was in the Senate from 1919 to 1949, and prominent among Republicans who supported the relief efforts and other policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration. He did not seek reelection in 1948.

Capper was particularly interested in issues relating to agriculture. Before his time as governor, he served as President of the Board of Regents of Kansas State Agricultural College (now known as Kansas State University) from 1910 to 1913. While in the United States Senate, he at times served as chairman of the Committee of Expenditures of the Department of Agriculture and the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry. He also at times served as chairman of the Committee on Claims and the Committee on the District of Columbia. In the latter role he played a crucial part in starting the D.C. Alley Dwelling Authority in 1934, the first housing authority in the country.[2] He co-sponsored the Capper-Volstead Act. In 1923 Senator Capper brought forward a constitutional amendment with an anti-miscegenation provision outlawing mixed-race marriages, but struck out the passage after protest from African-American organizations and stated it was an unnecessary troublemaker. The withdrawal of this section by the Senator was made easier because he himself did not write the bill. It was drawn by the attorney of the American Federation of Women's Clubs.[3]

In April 1943 a confidential analysis by British scholar Isaiah Berlin of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the British Foreign Office described Capper as:

a solid, stolid, 78-year-old reactionary from the corn belt, who is the very voice of Mid-Western "grass root" isolationism. A newspaper proprietor who was once described as contriving to sit on the fence and keep both ears on the ground at the same time. Like Johnson and Nye, an unwavering opponent of all the Administration's foreign policies, including reciprocal trade.[4]

Capper became Chairman of the Senate's Agriculture Committee in 1946; by that point, at the age of 81, he was nearly deaf and his speech was difficult to understand.[5] He joined the Congressional Flying Club in 1947 at the age of 82 and took up flying lessons, as the oldest member of Congress, from Mrs. Pearle Robinson part owner of the Hybla Valley Airport just outside of Washington D.C.[6][7]

After retiring from the Senate, Capper returned to his home in Topeka, Kansas where he continued in the newspaper publishing business until his death. He was buried in Topeka Cemetery in a plot adjacent to Governor Crawford.

See also

  • List of people on the cover of Time Magazine: 1920s – January 18, 1926


  1. ^ "Arthur Capper of Kansas Dies; Senator 30 Years." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 20, 1951, p. 18.
  2. ^ Paige, Jerome S.; Reuss, Margaret M. (May 1982). Safe, Decent and Affordable: Citizen Struggles to Improve Housing in the District of Columbia, 1890-1982 (Studies in D.C. History and Public Policy, Paper No. 6). Washington, D.C.: University of the District of Columbia, D.C. History and Public Policy Project. p. 5.
  3. ^ Miscegenation, Time Magazine, July 23, 1923
  4. ^ Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943" (PDF). Wisconsin Magazine of History. 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR 4634869. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013.
  5. ^ Dirk Johnson and David Herszenhorn, "In South Dakota Race, Gauging the Impact of a Senator's Health", The New York Times, October 23, 2008, page A16.
  6. ^ "The Senator is Learning to Fly". The Daily Times-News. Burlington, North Carolina. August 15, 1947 – via open access.
  7. ^ "Sen. Capper, 82, Learning to Fly". Harrisburg Telegraph. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. August 14, 1947 – via open access.

Further reading

  • Socolofsky, Homer. Arthur Capper: Publisher, Politician, and Philanthropist (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press), 1962.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Walter R. Stubbs
Republican nominee for Governor of Kansas
1912, 1914, 1916
Succeeded by
Henry Allen
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Kansas
(Class 2)

1918, 1924, 1930, 1936, 1942
Succeeded by
Andrew Schoeppel
Political offices
Preceded by
George H. Hodges
Governor of Kansas
Succeeded by
Henry Allen
Preceded by
William Spry
Chair of the National Governors Association
Succeeded by
Emerson Harrington
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
William Thompson
United States Senator (Class 2) from Kansas
Served alongside: Charles Curtis, Henry Allen, George McGill, Clyde M. Reed
Succeeded by
Andrew Schoeppel
Preceded by
Elmer Thomas
Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee
Succeeded by
Elmer Thomas
Andrew Frank Schoeppel

Andrew Frank Schoeppel (November 23, 1894 – January 21, 1962) was an American politician and a member of the Republican Party. He was the 29th Governor of Kansas from 1943 to 1947 and a U.S. Senator from 1949 until his death. He was born in 1894 in Claflin, Kansas and died in 1962 of abdominal cancer at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland.

Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg

Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg was a housing project on Capitol Hill in Southeast Washington, D.C. Arthur Capper was known to the residents as "Capers." First built in 1958, the project consisted of the Arthur Capper Senior, Arthur Capper Family, and Carrollsburg Family developments, and housed 707 households. The project's architect was Hilyard Robinson. It was named for Kansas Senator Arthur Capper who as chair of the District of Columbia Committee helped create the first housing authority in D.C.

Benjamin S. Paulen

Benjamin "Ben" Sanford Paulen (July 14, 1869 – July 11, 1961) was the 23rd Governor of Kansas.


Capper is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Andy Capper (born 1973), English journalist

Arthur Capper (1865–1951), American politician

Charles Capper, American historian

Charles Capper (politician) (1822–1869), British Member of Parliament

Edmund Capper (1906–1998), English bishop

Freddy Capper (1891–1955), English footballer

Gavin Capper is a fictional character on the soap opera Shortland Street

Jack Capper (1931–2009), Welsh footballer

James Capper, East India Company

John Capper (1861–1955), senior British Army officer

Louisa Capper, children's writer

Stewart Henbest Capper (1859–1925), Scottish architect

Thompson Capper (1863–1915), senior British Army officer

Warwick Capper (born 1963), Australian rules footballer

Wilfrid Merydith Capper (1905–1998), countryside campaigner in Northern Ireland

William Capper (1856–1934), senior British Army officer

Capper–Ketcham Act

The Capper–Ketcham Act (enacted on May 22, 1928), sponsored by Sen. Arthur Capper (R) of Kansas and Rep. John C. Ketcham (R) of Michigan, built on Senator Capper's background running "Capper Clubs" to teach boys and girls about agriculture. The legislation officially recognized and provided matching funds to States to create "4-H" clubs for demonstration work to enable counties to hire youth and home agents. It also granted federal money to agricultural extension network and the work of agricultural colleges. The "Future Farmers of America" (FFA) was founded through the Act.

Capper–Volstead Act

Capper–Volstead Act (P.L. 67-146), the Co-operative Marketing Associations Act (7 U.S.C. 291, 292) was adopted by the United States Congress on February 18, 1922. It gave “associations” of persons producing agricultural products certain exemptions from antitrust laws. It is sometimes called the Magna Carta of cooperatives.

Dean of the United States Senate

The Dean of the United States Senate is an informal term for the Senator with the longest continuous service, regardless of party affiliation. This is not an official position within the Senate, although customarily (since 1945) the longest-serving member of the majority party serves as President pro tempore.

The current Dean is Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Emerson Harrington

Emerson Columbus Harrington (March 26, 1864 – December 15, 1945) was the 48th Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1916 to 1920. He also served as Comptroller of the Maryland Treasury from 1912 to 1916.

George H. Hodges

George Hartshorn Hodges (February 6, 1866 – October 7, 1947) was an American politician and the 19th Governor of Kansas (1913–1915).

Henry Justin Allen

Henry Justin Allen (September 11, 1868 – January 17, 1950) was the 21st Governor of Kansas (1919–1923) and U.S. Senator from Kansas (1929–30).

List of United States Senators from Kansas

This is a list of United States Senators from Kansas. Kansas was admitted to the Union on January 29, 1861, and its senators belong to Class 2 and Class 3. Kansas's current senators are Republicans Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran. 29 of Kansas's senators have been Republicans, 3 have been Democrats, and 2 have been Populists. Kansas last elected a Democrat in 1932, which is the longest streak of having Republican senators in the nation.

Navy Yard (Washington, D.C.)

Navy Yard, also known as Near Southeast, is a neighborhood on the Anacostia River in Southeast Washington, D.C. Navy Yard is bounded by Interstate 695 to the north and east, South Capitol Street to the west, and the Anacostia River to the south. Approximately half of its area (south of M Street, SE) is occupied by the Washington Navy Yard (including the Naval Historical Center), which gives the neighborhood its name. The neighborhood is located in D.C.'s Ward 6, currently represented by Charles Allen. It is served by the Navy Yard – Ballpark Metro station on the Green Line.

Topeka Cemetery

The Topeka Cemetery is a cemetery in Topeka, Kansas, United States. Chartered since 1859, it is the oldest chartered cemetery in the state of Kansas.The cemetery holds the remains of several prominent Kansans including Charles Curtis, 31st Vice President of the United States under Herbert Hoover, Cyrus K. Holliday, founder of the city of Topeka, and Senator Arthur Capper. The cemetery is notable for its Mausoleum Row, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. The National Register Listing was enlarged in 2017.

The cemetery holds a monument to Kansas soldiers who died in the Battle of the Blue, a 75 ft granite shaft.

United States Senate Committee on Claims

The United States Senate Committee on Claims was among the first standing committees established in the Senate. It dealt generally with issues related to private bills and petitions. After reforms in the 1880s that created judicial and administrative remedies for petitioners, it declined in importance, and was abolished in 1947.

The United States House of Representatives also had a Committee on Claims until 1946, when its duties were absorbed by the United States House Committee on the Judiciary.

United States Senate Committee on the District of Columbia

The United States Senate Committee on the District of Columbia was one of the first standing committees created in the United States Senate, in 1816. It had jurisdiction over the District of Columbia. It continued to exist until the reorganization of 1977 when, following the granting of home rule to the district, its duties were transferred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs.


WIBW (580 AM) is a Topeka, Kansas-area news, talk, and sports radio station. It is currently owned by Alpha Media, which began September 1, 2015, and was previously owned by Morris Communications.

WIBW transmits 5,000 watts around the clock. The signal is non-directional during daylight hours, and directional at night. Its two-tower night pattern pushes the signal broadly to the west and central Kansas, somewhat away from the Kansas City area, though it still delivers a secondary signal there. Due to WIBW's location at the bottom of the AM dial, plus Kansas' flat terrain and excellent ground conductivity, WIBW boasts one of the largest daytime coverage areas in the country. During the day it easily covers most of the Kansas City metropolitan area and provides at least a grade B signal to most of the eastern half of Kansas and west to Wichita, Salina and Hays. With a good radio, it can be heard as far north as Omaha and Lincoln, as far south as Tulsa and as far west as Dodge City. In sum, the station's full daytime coverage area includes most of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma, even touching edges of Texas, South Dakota, Illinois and Arkansas.

William Howard Thompson

William Howard Thompson (October 14, 1871 – February 9, 1928) was a United States Senator from Kansas.

William Spry

William Spry (January 11, 1864 – April 21, 1929) was an American politician who was the third Governor of Utah. He is the namesake of the William Spry Agriculture Building that houses the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

William Yoast Morgan

William Yoast Morgan (born Cincinnati, Ohio April 6, 1866; died Hutchinson, Kansas, February 17, 1932) was an American newspaperman, author, and politician. He was the lieutenant governor of Kansas from 1915 to 1919 serving under Governor Arthur Capper.

Territorial (1854–61)
State (since 1861)
Class 2
Class 3
(1829–1857; 1863–1881)
Agriculture and Forestry
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

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