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History of the Kansas State Treasurer

This page outlines a short history of the Kansas State Treasurer's Office. The office began in 1859 and was, soon after the Capitol's completion in 1870, located there where it remained approximately 100 years. Since then, the office has been housed in the now demolished First National Bank building at 535 Kansas as well as the Security Benefit Building at 700 Harrison. The office is now on the second floor of the Landon State Office Building, 900 Jackson.

There have been 38 treasurers in office since 1859. Each is listed below with a few interesting facts.

 

Treasurers Interesting Facts
William Tholen
1859
  • Ron Estes is the 39th State Treasurer of Kansas. Ron is the first state wide elected official to be elected from Wichita, the largest city in Kansas, in more than 20 years.

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  • Dennis McKinney is the 38th State Treasurer of Kansas. Dennis was appointed to the position by Governor Sebelius in November of 2008.

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  • The State Treasurer's office is the only statewide position to which three women have been elected: Joan Finney, Sally Thompson, and Lynn Jenkins.

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  • The first State Treasurer, William Tholen, never served in the position. After being elected at the state's constitutional convention in 1859, Tholen entered the army. Upon Kansas becoming a state in 1861, Tholen did not return to assume the position.

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  • Of the 39 Treasurers, 32 Republicans have served in the position, while Kansans have elected five Democrats. In addition to Democrats and Republicans, Kansans also have elected two Populists: William Henry Biddle and David Hefleblower.

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  • The most popular first name for State Treasurers is William. Four Williams have served as the state's chief financial officer: Tholen, Spriggs, Hamilton and Biddle. The name Walter comes in at a close second. Three Walters have served in the post: Payne, Wilson, and Peery.

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  • Five Treasurers have resigned before their terms expired: Hayes, Hamilton, Boyd, Rhodes, Sally Thompson, and Jenkins.

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  • Eight Treasurers assumed the position because they were appointed.

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  • Only one treasurer, Walter Wilson, died in office.

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  • In 1974, Kansas voters changed the Treasurer's classification from a constitutional position to a statutorial one. The Commissioner of Insurance also is a statutorial position.

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  • First elected in 1974, Joan Finney served for sixteen years, making her the longest-serving Treasurer. In 1991, Finney left the Treasurer's office to serve as the first woman Governor of Kansas.

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  • In 1974, voters approved a referendum to eliminate several elective positions and expand all the terms of statewide offices from two to four years, beginning in 1978.
Hartwin Rush Dutton
1861 - 1863
William Spriggs
1863 - 1867
Martin Anderson
1867 - 1869
George Graham
1869 - 1871
Josiah E Hayes
1871 - 1874
Samuel Lappin
1874 - 1875
John Francis
1875 - 1883
Samuel T. Howe
1883 - 1887
James William Hamilton
1887 - 1890
William Sims
1890
Solomon G. Stover
1891 - 1893
William H. Biddle
1893 - 1895
Otis L. Atherton
1895 - 1897
David Heflebower
1897 - 1899
Frank Grimes
1899 - 1903
Thomas Kelly
1903 - 1907
Mark Tulley
1907 - 1913
Earl Akers
1913 - 1917
Walter Payne
1917 - 1921
E.T. Thompson
1921 - 1925
Carl White
1925 - 1929
Tom Boyd
1929 - 1933
Wm. Jardine
1933 - 1934
J. J. Rhodes
1934 - 1938
Jibo Hewitt
1938 - 1939
Walter Wilson
1939 - 1945
Elmer T. Beck
1945 - 1947
Richard Fadely
1947 - 1959
George Hart
1959 - 1961
Walter Peery
1961 - 1973
Tom Van Sickle
1973 - 1975
Joan Finney
1975 - 1991
Sally Thompson
1991 - 1998
Clyde Graeber
1998 - 1999
Tim Shallenburger
1999 - 2003
Lynn Jenkins
2003 - 2009
Dennis McKinney
2009 - 2011
Ron Estes
2011 - Present