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People - Notable Kansans - Stanley, William Eugene, 1844-1910

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Carry Nation portrait

Carry Nation portrait
Creator: Reid, Albert Turner
Date: 1901
Pencil portrait of Carry A. Nation by Albert T. Reid (1873-1955). The title is the First Press Picture of Mrs. Nation. Nation met with Governor William Stanley at his office in the Kansas Capitol on January 29, 1901, to protest the illegal existence of joints (saloons) in the state. Reid made note of Nation's blackened right eye, which was given to her by the wife of an Enterprise jointist days earlier. Suggesting that the state's prohibition laws were not being enforced, Nation pointed to her bruise and said, "Governor, you gave me that black eye." This sketch ran on the front page of the Topeka Mail & Breeze on February 1, 1901.


Letter : J. B. Tomlinson to Governor William Stanley

Letter : J. B. Tomlinson to Governor William Stanley
Creator: Tomlinson, J. B.
Date: January 19, 1901
The warden of the Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing, J. B. Tomlinson, writes Governor William Eugene Stanley, of Topeka, concerning the events preceding the lynching of Fred Alexander, an African American man, on January 15, 1901. Alexander was charged with the rape and murder of Pearl Forbes and the rape of Eva Roth, white women from Leavenworth. Local citizens formed the Leavenworth Vigilante Committee to lynch Alexander. The State Penitentiary at Lansing held Alexander to protect him from the mob pending confession or trial. The letter discusses the formation of the mob, their demands and intentions, and the appointment of special deputies to guard the prison. The letter also describes the sheriff's failure to protect the prisoner. Tomlinson released Alexander to the Leavenworth County sheriff on January 15 for a preliminary hearing at Leavenworth. A mob took Alexander from the county jail that afternoon and burned him alive in broad daylight. Alexander consistently maintained his innocence. Although criminal executions were legal in Kansas until 1907, no state executions had occurred since 1870 due to previous governors' refusals to order sentences of execution. Such lynchings may have been motivated, in part, by some citizens' lack of confidence in the state's criminal justice system.


Penitentiary table

Penitentiary table
Date: 1899
Margaret Long Stanley donated this wood inlaid table that had been presented to her husband, William E. Stanley, during his term as Governor of Kansas (1899-1903.) The table was made by William Payne Harvey, an inmate at the State Penitentiary at Lansing convicted of murdering the mayor of Kinsley. Harvey was released after serving eighteen years at the penitentiary.


Theodore Roosevelt, Newton, Kansas

Theodore Roosevelt, Newton, Kansas
Date: July 02, 1900
These two black and white photographs show the Governor of New York, Theodore Roosevelt, campaigning as the Republican candidate for the U.S. vice-presidency in Newton, Kansas. In the first photograph Roosevelt is standing on the rear platform of a train with Kansas Governor William Stanley, and an unidentified gentleman. The second photograph shows Roosevelt speaking before a crowd in Newton Hall. Roosevelt and President William McKinney defeated the Democratic challenger William Jennings Bryan and running mate Adlai Stevenson I in the November general election.


William Eugene Stanley

William Eugene Stanley
Date: Between 1899 and 1903
This black and white photograph shows William Eugene Stanley, (1844-1910). Stanley, a native of Ohio, settled in Jefferson County, Kansas in 1870 to practice law. He entered public service, in 1871, by serving as the Jefferson County attorney, (1871-1872). A few years later he became the Sedgwick County attorney, (1874 to 1880). In 1880, he made a political bid for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives and served one term as a Republican from the ninety-second district, (1881-1883). Stanley resumed his political career in 1898, when he was elected the fifteenth governor of Kansas. He was also re-elected in 1901 to a second term. Stanley left office on January 12, 1903 to return to private life in Wichita, Kansas and to practice law. On October 13, 1919, William Eugene Stanley died at the age of 66. He was buried at the Highland Cemetery in Wichita, Kansas.


William Eugene Stanley

William Eugene Stanley
Date: Between 1899 and 1903
This black and white photograph shows William Eugene Stanley, (1844-1910). Stanley, a native of Ohio, settled in Jefferson County, Kansas, in 1870 to practice law. He entered public service, in 1871, by serving as the Jefferson County attorney, (1871-1872). A few years later he became the Sedgwick County attorney, (1874-1880). In 1880, he made a political bid for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives and served one term as a Republican from the ninety-second district, (1881-1883). Stanley resumed his political career in 1898, when he was elected the fifteenth governor of Kansas. He was also re-elected in 1901 to a second term. During his administration, the Kansas supreme court was increased to seven justices and funds were appropriated to finish the construction on the statehouse. Stanley left office on January 12, 1903 to return to private life in Wichita, Kansas, and to practice law. On October 13, 1910, William Eugene Stanley passed away at the age of sixty-six. He was later buried at the Highland Cemetery in Wichita, Kansas.


William Eugene Stanley

William Eugene Stanley
Creator: Baldwin, Fred
Date: Between 1899 and 1903
These two cabinet cards show William Eugene Stanley, (1844-1910). Stanley, a native of Ohio, settled in Jefferson County, Kansas in 1870 to practice law. He entered public service in 1871, by serving as the Jefferson County attorney from 1871 to 1872. A few years later he became the Sedgwick County attorney from 1874 to 1880. In 1880, he made a political bid for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives and served one term as a Republican from the ninety-second district from 1881 to 1883. Stanley resumed his political career in 1898, when he was elected the fifteenth governor of Kansas and was re-elected in 1901. During his administration, the Kansas supreme court was increased to seven justices and funds were appropriated to finish the construction on the statehouse. Stanley left office on January 12, 1903 to return to private life in Wichita, Kansas and to practice law.


William Eugene Stanley

William Eugene Stanley
Date: Between 1890 and 1903
This sepia colored photograph shows William Eugene Stanley (front row wearing a dark suit) during military maneuvers for the Kansas National Guard in Ft. Riley, Kansas. Stanley entered public office in 1871. In 1898, he was elected as the fifteenth governor of Kansas, a position he held until 1903. Afterwards, he returned to Wichita, Kansas to practice law.


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