Arthur Capper Memorial - Garnett, Kansas
The Arthur Capper Memorial in Garnett, Kansas marks the site of the former birth home of the first native born Governor of Kansas.
Arthur Capper was born in Garnett, Kansas, to Herbert and Isabella McGrew Capper on July 14, 1865. Young Arthur sold newspapers at the age of 10. He received a toy printing press as a gift at the age of 12, which he used to print advertising handbills and cards for Garnett businesses.
At the age of 13, Arthur started working as a "printer's devil" at the Garnett Journal. A printer's devil is an apprentice in a printing office who did such things as mixing tubs of ink, running errands, setting and fetching type.
Upon graduation from Garnett High School, he moved to Topeka, Kansas and went to work typesetting for the Topeka Capital. Capper was an ambitious, hard worker and was soon writing for the paper as well. In time, he purchased the Topeka Mail and Topeka Breeze. Eventually he became the owner of the Topeka Capital and added more publications, including Capper's Weekly. He also purchased one of the first radio stations in Kansas, WIBW.
Capper developed employees who he treated like partners and was able to turn over the businesses to his employees and have a career in politics. He was a two term governor of the State of Kansas and when term limits prevented his running for a third term, he ran for US Senator, where he won five consecutive terms, serving from 1919-1949, and retiring at the age of 83. Over the years he did many things for young people, including the founding of the Capper Foundation for Crippled Children and the youth agricultural clubs which eventually merged to become 4-H.
Arthur Capper died on December 19, 1951 and was buried in Topeka Cemetery.
LS-7/17 copyright 2017 by Keith Stokes