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First spouses of Kansas

Kansas has had many first ladies and a couple of first gentleman since 1861, when the 34th state entered the Union. When Topeka was chosen as the capital city in 1861, there was no permanent residence for the governor's family to reside. At that time they lived in Topeka hotels and boarding houses. Then in 1901 the state of Kansas purchased the Erasmus Bennett house at 8th and Buchanan to be used as the governor's mansion. Cedar Crest, near 6th and Fairlawn, became the governor's residence in 1963, and continues to serve that function.

The Woman's Kansas Day Club initiated a project in 1959 to create dolls of each of the first ladies and first gentlemen of Kansas. Members donated those dolls to the Kansas Historical Society.


Prior to designated governor's residences (1861-1900)

Sara Tappan Doolittle Lawrence Robinson (1861-1863)

Rebecca Ann Canaday Carney (1863-1865)

Isabel Marshall Chase Crawford (1865-1868)

Mary Manning Sturtevant Green (1868-1869)

Charlotte Richardson Cutter Harvey (1869-1873)

Julia Delahay Osburn (1873-1877)

Rosa A. Lyon Anthony (1877-1879)

Susan Jane Parker St. John (1879-1883)

Elizabeth Rider Glick (1883-1885)

Ida Challiss Martin (1885-1889)

Amanda Leonard Humphrey (1889-1893)

Ida Bishop Lewelling (1893-1895) (daughter Jesse served as hostess)

Caroline Jenkins Nash Morrill (1895-1897)

Sarah J. Boyd Leedy (1897-1899)


Governor's MansionGovernor’s Mansion (1901-1962)

Emma Lenora Hillis Stanley (1899-1903)

Ida B. Albert Weede Bailey (1903-1905)

Sarah Louisa Dickerson Hoch (1905-1909)

Stella Hostettler Stubbs (1909-1913)

Ora May Murray Hodges (1913-1915)

Florence Crawford Capper (1915-1919)

Elsie Jane Nuzman Allen (1919-1923)

Mary Purdom Davis (1923-1925)

Barbara Ellis Paulen (1925-1929)

Minnie E. Hart Reed (1929-1931)

Helen Coolidge Woodring (1931-1933)

Theo Cobb Landon (1933-1937)

Eula M. Biggs Huxman (1937-1939)

Cliffe Dodd Ratner (1939-1943)

Marie Thomsen Schoeppel (1943-1947)

Alice Frederickson Carlson (1947-1950)

Elisabeth Blair Sutton Hagaman (1950-1951)

Marcella Tillmans Arn (1951-1955)

Leadell Schneider Hall (1955-1957)

Cora Hedrick McCuish (1957-1957)

Mary Virginia Blackwell Docking (1957-1961)


Cedar CrestCedar Crest (1963 to present)

Arlene Auchard Anderson (1961-1965)

Hazel Bowles Avery (1965-1967)

Meredith Marina Gear Docking (1967-1975)

Olivia Fisher Bennett (1975-1979)

Ramona Lenore Hawkinson Carlin (1979-1980)

Karen Bigsby Hurley Carlin (1981-1985)

Patti Ann Rooney Hayden (1987-1991)

Spencer Finney (1991-1995)

Linda Graves (1995-2003)

Gary Sebelius (2003-2009)

Stacy Abbott Parkinson (2009-2011)

Mary Stauffer Brownback (2011-2018)

Entry: First spouses of Kansas

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: December 2015

Date Modified: January 2016

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.