This is the headstone of Charles Curtis. He is buried at the Topeka Cemetery, 1601 SE 10th Avenue, Topeka, Kansas, 66607 (785-233-4132), Lot 80. His wife, Annie Elizabeth Baird Curtis, is buried beside him.
The Topeka Cemetery (and ME!) would like to see more respect paid to Charles Curtis. The Board has taken under advisement a proposal for improvements, lights for displaying a flag at night, replace the current flagpole, place iron railings around the entire Curtis plot, donations can be sent to the Topeka Cemetery (see address above), please note on the donation that it is for Charles Curtis grave site!
Improved grave site is re-dedicated
By Steve Fry The Capital-Journal
As six descendants of Charles Curtis watched Thursday morning, the grave of the 31st U.S. vice president was re-dedicated in Topeka Cemetery.
"I think it's really great," said Sarah Silva, a great-great-niece of Curtis. Silva and her two brothers, Joe Myers and William Henry Myers, had "been told about him when we were growing up. We're very proud of all this."
Other Curtis relatives who attended the re-dedication were Lauren Myers, 9, a great-great-great niece; Tiersa Myers, 7, a great-great-great-great niece; and Liz Myers Everett, widow of Dan Myers III, great-nephew of Curtis.
Curtis, who was vice president from 1929 to 1933 under President Herbert Hoover, is buried with his wife, Anna Baird Curtis, in an eastern section of Topeka Cemetery.
"This is an extremely proud moment for Indians because Charles Curtis was a Native American," Badger Wahwasuck, chairman of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, told about 75 spectators. Curtis was one-eighth Kaw Indian.
Charles McAtee, judge advocate for the Kansas Department of the Marine Corps League, profiled Curtis' early life then read a letter from Vice President Dick Cheney, who lauded Curtis as a "champion of the farmer and an advocate for women's suffrage and their active involvement in government" and as a strong supporter of legislation granting citizenship to Native Americans.
The re-dedication started with an invocation in Potawatomi, the Topeka High School Junior Marine ROTC posted the colors, three active-duty Marines raised the American flag and Mark Yardley, chief financial officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank, placed a wreath at the grave. Curtis was instrumental in creating the home loan bank system and placing one of the 12 banks in Topeka.
The Marines participated in the ceremony because the League restored the grave site 25 years ago, McAtee said.
After the re-dedication, several Curtis descendants toured his restored home at 1101 S.W. Topeka Blvd., which is owned privately by Nova and Don Cottrell. Sarah McNeive, a member of the cemetery board of directors, spearheaded the Curtis grave restoration.
Improvements to the grave site included engraving the vice presidential seal and Curtis' offices on his headstone, installing a new flag pole, rebuilding broken curb, installing posts and chains around the grave and providing perpetual care. Curtis was Shawnee County attorney for two terms, a congressman for eight terms, a U.S. senator for 20 years and majority leader of the U.S. Senate.
Donors to Curtis Grave Refurbishing include: the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, North Topeka Historical Society, Capital Federal Foundation Fund, Delta Theta Chi, Jo A. Urban, Lloyd Woodburn, Joe and Barbara Driver, Pam and Ted Ensley, Harriet Wallace, James and Elain Adkins, Bradford Poston, Nova and Don Cottrell, Federal Home Loan Bank, John Haupt Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sac and Fox Nation, Topeka Chapter DAR, Allan Russ, Donna Frederick, Don Bogren, Monte L. Stiles, Carolyn Heubner, Franklin Crader, Ann Andrews, Ruth Lawson, U.S. Marine Corps, Topeka High School, Lilian V. Lineback, Curtis Home Restoration, Capitol Post No. 1, American Legion, Doug Wallace, Marine Corps League, Stevens Welding, Met-Con Products Co., Gough Engraving and Morningstar Construction.
Steve Fry can be reached at (785) 295-1206 or email@example.com
Notice article following:
FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Per an article in the Topeka Capital Journal, on Thursday, May 22, 1975.
"A grave site ceremony Sunday to honor Charles Curtis, former U.S. vice-president, will feature a flagpole construction and erected by a number of local Topeka organizations.
The flagpole, including spotlights for night display, will include a four foot high base. A memorial program at 7 pm, Sunday in the Topeka Cemetery will include raising a flag that once flew over the Iwo Jima monument in Arlington, Virginia National Cemetery.
The Topeka Detachment of the Marine Corps is sponsoring the memorial service.
Roy Hatke, league spokesman, said organizations assisting in the flagpole placements are Armco Steele Corp., Degginger's Foundry, Kansas Sand and Concrete, Naval Reserve Mobile Construction Battalion, Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., the Neil Toedman Agency and the Topeka Cemetery Association.
The league plans an annual memorial service at the Curtis grave site, Hatke said. The program Sunday will include a 19 gun salute, Curtis biography, flag and flagpole dedication and the placing of a wreath.
Hatke said although the Topeka Cemetery maintains the grave site, no one has had ceremonies at the grave site in recent years."
UPDATE 1999: I visited the grave site myself, there is a flagpole but not on any four foot base (see picture below, flagpole is thin, right behind grave stone), there are not any lights. There have not been ANY memorial services performed either, per the Topeka Cemetery. Also, per the Topeka Cemetery, the flag was always being stolen, they had requested a locking device from the Marines who SAID they had it, but it was never delivered, so no flag is flown over the grave site on a daily basis, the American flag is flown only on special occasions like Memorial Day.
The headstone shown below is the reverse side, of the stone shown above.
Curtis Memorial Gardens
Charles Curtis Trail
calling all Boy Scounts
The Curtis Trail is a 10 mile, fun, educational, and historical hike around the downtown
and northern area of the city of Topeka. It commemorates Kansas’ only vice president,
and the only VP to ever have an appreciable amount of Native American heritage.
Please show respect by wearing your uniform and hiking the trail according to the BSA
“Guide to Safe Scouting.”
It may be an entirely urban trail, but it should at least still be taken seriously.
By making this trek in Topeka, Ks, you can earn the 30th year commemorative Curtis Trail patch.
In Lawrence, Kansas at the Haskell Indian Nations University is located Curtis Hall, at Building number 5, was constructed in 1902 at a cost of $25,000. This housed the kitchen, bakery and dining hall for students.
When the building was first constructed, the bakery and the employee's dining room were in the basement; student's dining room was on the first floor; and the Domestic Science Department which included mending, was on the second floor. Part of the basement and the second floor have been used for various types of classrooms during the years.
Curtis Hall was named for Charles Curtis, who served four decades in Congress and as Vice President in the Herbert Clark Hoover administration. Charles Curtis was the speaker at the dedication of Curtis Hall.
The original Curtis Hall was demolished and a new Curtis Hall was built in its place. The building retained the name and it is still the students dining room.
Charles Curtis did the dedication for the new school stadium in October 1926, he was also the first Indian to contribute to the funding for the stadium that was funded entirely by Indians.
Haskell Indian Nations University benefited with Charles Curtis in Congress, he helped to get through Congress much of the funding needed for the school to stay in operation!!
In the Topeka Capitol Journal, on Jan. 21, 1999, an article by Dick King:
"The birthday of Charles Curtis, a native Topekan and former vice-president of the United States from 1929 - 1933, will be commemorated with a special pictorial cancellation.
"Postal Service to mark Curtis' birthday"
It will be offered from noon to 1:30 pm, Monday, Jan. 25th at the Curtis house, 1101 S.W. Topeka Blvd., and then by mail for 30 days.
Collectors may present philatelic items at the home to receive the cancellation or mail items to Charles Curtis Station, Postmaster, 424 S. Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas, 66603-9611.
Postmaster B. Steven Pinkerton said envelopes and cards should be addressed and have first class postage. They will be returned through normal channels. Collectors wishing items returned under protective cover should include a larger stamped and addressed envelope.
All requests received must be postmarked by Feb. 24th, 1999.
Collectors wishing more information may call Larry Dreher at the post office at (785) 295-9113."
During my research, I was made aware of some students in school in Tucson, Arizona who are trying to get Charles Curtis on a Post Office Stamp. I finally connected with these 200+ students of whom I am very proud of! They have worked so hard, Thank You!!! The classes were mixed 4th and 5th grade students taught by Mr. Bob Koehler, at Steele Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona.
If you want to help in this effort to get stamp with a picture of Charles Curtis, to have Charles Curtis on a special postage stamp because of his achievements, please use the stamp request form below I have been checking with the US Post Office on the recommendations of just how to go about getting Charles Curtis on a stamp.
Please print out the stamp request form mail it to the address, listed at the bottom of the form. If you could please inform me or Mr. Bob Koehler in Tucson, AZ, at firstname.lastname@example.org that you have done this, I would like to know how many people are interested enough to do this! Or you can sign this on-line petition.
Donations- If you have enjoyed what you have read on this web page, and you would like to help with any of the areas listed here (stamps through the school, cemetery, research for web page), please consider our donations section.
Seeing the stamp of Mount Vernon reminded me about the Historical site of the Charles Curtis home at 1101 S.W. Topeka Blvd. one block south of the Kansas Capitol State House in Topeka, in full view from the south steps of the Capitol, it is truly a treasure of Topeka, if not all of Kansas.
There are many different things named for Charles Curtis, Curtis Hall at Haskell University in Lawrence, Kansas; there was Curtis Junior High School in Topeka, Kansas (now being made into apartments); and there is a Charles Curtis Greenway Park, located in North Topeka, Kansas. There is a Curtis Middle School located in Wichita, KansasPlease sign my guest book, to let me know what your comments,
suggestions or questions for this website and about Vice-President Charles Curtis
Please Sign My Guestbook
Return to Home Page http://www.vpcharlescurtis.net/index.html
Overview of Charles Curtis life
Timeline A: The Indians in Kansas
Timeline B : The timelines of Kansas and the USA
Timeline C - Major events and Famous Firsts
Biography A : Charles Curtis and his extended family genealogy.
Biography B : Charles Curtis (before going into Politics)
Politics and Beliefs of Charles Curtis
Legacy left by Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis home in Topeka, Kansas
Signature Bldg. New Kansas State Office Building named for Charles Curtis
Resources and recommended books for reading.
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