rededicated the restored and enhanced Memorial for Charles Curtis, 31st
Vice President of the United States, at 10:30 a.m on Thursday, July
18, 2002 at the Topeka Cemetery, 1601 SE 10th St., Topeka, Kansas.
of the Colors/Topeka High School Junior Marine ROTC, Greeting/Neil
Firstone, Cemetery Board, Invocation/Gary Mitchell, Prairie Band
Potowatomie Nation, Dedication Address/Charles McAtee, Marine
Corps League, Remarks/Badger Wahwasuck, Chairman, Prairie Bankd
Potawatomie Nation, Flag Raising/US Marine Corps, Placing
of Wreath/Mark Yardley, Federal Home Loan Bank, Acknowledgements
& Thanks/Neil Firestone, Cemetery Board, Retiring the Colors/Topeka
High School Junior Marine ROTC, Benedition/Gary Mitchell, Prairie
Band Potowatomie Nation, Open House/at the restored
Curtis Home, 1101 S. Topeka Blvd.
Marine Corps members and Topeka High School Junior Marine ROTC
added pagentry to the event.
carving has been added to the Curtis headstone. He
married Annie Baird of Topeka in 1884. Their three children were Permelia,
Harry and Leona.
A Son of the
Kanza Nation, Charles Curtis
the printed re-dedication program
Curtis was born in 1860. Young Charlie divided his life
between two worlds:that of his Kanza grandmother on the Kaw
Reserve near Council Grove and that of his father on the dusty
streets of North Topeka and the fledgling Kansas capital. He
attended, but did not graduate from, Topeka High School. As
a good student he gained the admiration and appreciation of
his teachers. He then read law under local attorney Hib Case.
His legal career led to his political career as county attorney
for Shawnee County (1884-1888) and state congressman from the
4th (later 1st) District (1893-1907). In 1907 he was elected
by the Kansas Legislature to the US Senate. Curtis is the only
Kansan to serve in the Senate from both the Lane line of succession
(1907-13) and the Pomeroy (1915-29). By the end of his Senate
career, he was also Majority Leader.
supported their native son for President in 1924 and 1928, but
Curtis settled for second place as vice presidental running
mate to Herbert Hoover on the 1928 Republican ticket.
Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate,
Curtis achieved the highest national position for a native Kansan
and for a descendant of the Kanza people. Though his duties
were few, notable events of his term included addressing the
Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood over radio and formally
opening the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1932. Upon defeat in
the 1932 election Curtis retired, remaining in Washington D.C.
where he died four years later.
Curtis home in Topeka still stands at 1101 South Topeka Blvd.
Cemetery is just southeast of downtown.
prominent Topekans and Kansans
are buried in the Topeka
Some of the graves date to the early
settlement of this area by whites.
Topeka and Shawnee County will
celebrate their sesquicentennial,
150 years, in 2004.
All photos © 2002 by Carol Yoho
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of this event and naming
of new government building for Charles Curtis
in the Topeka Capital-Journal
Charles Curtis web site