Ann HARTSHORN14 was
born on 16 Jul 1836 in Ohio. She died on 5 Jun 1916 in Olathe, Johnson
Co., KA.. She was buried in Olathe Memorial Cemetery, Olathe, Johnson
Copied from the Olathe Daily Mirror of June 8, 1916
MRS. LYDIA A. HODGES
Lydia A. Hodges was born in the state of Ohio, July 16, 1836, and died at Olathe
(Johnson Co.) Kansas, Monday June 5, 1916, thus rounding out almost eighty years
of useful, active, and forceful life.
In the broad sense she was a forceful and masterful woman. Pioneer blood was
in her veins. Her father, Dr. George Hartshorn was not only a physician, but
was Methodist Preacher of the type that the in the early and middle part of the
last century carried the Gospel to the Western Wilderness; and so after Lydia
Hartshorn in young womanhood had married W. W. Hodges, a young school teacher,
the family went to Wisconsin--then frontier country--and finally in 1869 the
Missionary, the Schoolteacher,and Home Builder--always the woman-- came to Kansas
by wagon over the trail that led to high hopes in the new country that is now
The Hodges family pitched its tent and set up its alter on Block 80,Olathe, and
there throughout the struggles of Forty-seven years that home has remained and
none has departed therefrom save through the gates to the silent city.
Essentially Lydia A. Hodges was home builder, a family builder, and a character
builder. She took the very highest pride in keeping her family together on that
sacred spot where she fought out for them the problems of early life and imparted
to them the strength of character, firmness of purpose, that business and political
integrity and manliness which has enabled her sons to take a commanding place
in the business and political affairs of the state.
When the younger son went to Topeka in 1913 to be inaugurated as Governor our
great state, there was back of her maternal pride a note almost of regret that
the family circle was to be broken even temporarily. An intimate friendship of
over 40 years with Mrs. Hodges enables the writer to say that whatever of business
and political success has come to Frank and George Hodges, they owe their to
their mothers's ideals of true manhood and her wise counsel and her insistence
of that ideal.
When the time was ripe for civic improvement in Olathe, it was the son of this
woman who led the fight for it and won, and today the magnificent street and
sewer improvements in Olathe trace back to the home in Block80. If the statute
books of Kansas are filled with progressive laws, in a great measure , these
laws are to be credited to the legislature and Governor who received his training
in that home. Even the great lumber business of Hodges Brothers is a monument
to the mother's business sagacity and ideals.
Lydia Ann HARTSHORN and William
Wesley HODGES were married estimated 1855. William
Wesley HODGES14 was born
in 1829. He was born in 1829 in Virginia. He died in
1883 of Olathe, Kansas. He died in 1883 in Olathe, Johnson Co. KA..
He was also known as William Westley HODGES. He was buried in Olathe
Memorial Cemetery, Olathe, Johnson Co., KS. He was in Teacher.
William was a school teacher, a man of fine intellectual and moralcharacter,
and while at his death he left his family little materialproperty, he left an
honored name and a character which his own childrenstrove to emulate. W. W. Hodges
evinced a great fondness for young peopleand had the ability to win their regard
and thus did much to influencethe formative character of many youth
Keep in mind the family had arrived in Olathe less than a year prior, wehave
not determined when William continued his teaching career in Olathe.
The1870 Olathe City, Olathe Township, Johnson County, Census dated June4,1870,
lists William Hodges as a Grocer, Age 31; Lydia as keeping house,Age 24; The
oldest child Frank Age 11; George Age 4; Minnie Age 2. Thisresearcher has both
William and Lydia as ten years older. If this censuscited age is correct Lydia
would have had her first baby at age 13, notan impossibility but improbable from
the standards of society at thattime.
The 1850 Census of Richland County, Wisconsin Has Lydia as 14 and thatwould make
her age 34 in 1870 which is the correct age as far as thisresearcher can determine.
Lydia Ann HARTSHORN and William Wesley HODGES had the following children:
|Eunice Daniels HODGES.|
|Frank HODGES14 was born in 1863.
He was born on 19 Sep 1863 in Orion, Richland Co., WI. He appeared
in the census enumerated on 25 Jun 1870 in The federal census of 1870 enumerates
Francis Hodges with his grandparents George and Betsy Hartshor. [NEED
TO DEFINE SENTENCE: AKA (Facts Pg)] He died in 1962 in Olathe, Johnson
Co., KS. He was buried in Olathe Memorial Cemetery, Olathe, Johnson
Co., KS. He was in Business man, Lumber Yard, Olathe, KS.
The Federal U. S. census of June 12, 1900 enumerates the family of FrankHodges
as living in original Town, Olathe; Olathe Twp., Johnson Co., KSas follows.
Hodges, Frank Sr.; born 9/1863; age 36; married 6 years; born WI;lumberman.
Jessie; born 11/1868; age 31; married 6 years; born KS; 1 child born 1child living.
Frank Jr.; born 7/1898; age 1; born KS
Copied from the Johnson County Democrat of September 4. 1947
An interview with Frank Hodges and a young contestant in a model airplanemeet.
There will be plenty young citizens of every age in Olathe (Johnson Co.KS) Friday
night as the old settler's celebration opens with a preview ofthe Midwestern
States Championship Model Airplane Meet by youngsters fromJohnson county at the
court house square.
Friday night at 7:00 contestants, who will compete at the all day meethere next
Sunday, will invade the Olathe gathering of seniors and showthem the speedy planes
that interest old and young in our air age.
This afternoon at his spacious home, Frank Hodges, Kansas financier,publisher,
and lumberman compared notes with Bobby (Red) Sutton whoproudly told Mr. Hodges
the performance of of his 75 mile-an-hour modelairplane. Mr. Hodges, who vividly
recall his arrival by covered wagon toOlathe on August 12, 1869, told Sutton
that the little plane covered moremiles per hour than the wagon train in a week
" I remember the date, August 12, 1869 because there was a total eclipseof
the sun that day, and the superstitious natives and the ShawneeIndians thought
it was the end of the world. While we had come fromWisconsin where there were
lots of Indians, we thought all the rough onesin the world were right here in
Olathe," he said.
Mr. Hodges recalled his grand father, Dr. George Hartshorn, was a man ofmany
talents who formed this wagon train complete with outriders andbuggies, and that
the train had gathered Mason City, Iowa, for a generalexodus to more open and
"My grandfather Hartshorn was a Physician, ordained minister, and lawyer,and
he had made and lost several fortunes by 1869. He was a great, huskyman who left
the lush lands of Wisconsin for the wild state of Kansas. Weferried across the
Misouri (River) on a little boat at Kansas City andparked the somewhat imposing
cavalcade on the west side of Main Street atabout where 12th street is now. I
remember there were cornfieldsstretching out to the west."
"We finally stopped a Olathe-- my father, mother, brother, sister andI--because
my mother was ill, and we have been here ever since-- at leastmy brother, Govenor
George H. Hodges and I are still here. Ourgrandfather went on to Princeton while
we were bound for Texas, I'venever regretted our decision to grow with Kansas."
"We settled in Olathe on West Park street where we now own three storebuildings;
we later moved to a place on west Loula. I remember that therewasn't anything
between our house and the Pacific Ocean
except a little back fence."
Mr. Hodges, immaculate in a cool summer suit, rumpled Bobby Sutton'sflaming red
hair and chuckled, "I wonder what those Shawnees, with theirwar-paint and
black braided hair, would think of this little airplanethat flies faster than
From the Olathe Daily News July 7, 1988
How it was then, later, now
Pat Davis, who used to work at this newspaper, dropped by a copy of anitem that
Frank Hodges, Hodges Brothers Farmers' and Builders' Supplies,later the Hodges
Lumber Yard had printed up in the form of a hand bill in1921. It makes pretty
good reading in 1988. I starts out.
"fifty-two years ago (1869) on a hot August day two canvass coveredwagons
, a top buggy and other vehicles, drew up in the shade of a highboard fence surrounding
the old Fair Grounds east of the Friscorailroad tracks. The day was blistering
hot, the sky was cloudless, theburning wind from the southwest came across a
thousand miles of scorchingprairies. Bye and Bye a black piece seemed bitten
out of the side of thesun and then a total eclipse blotted out the sun out of
the sky, chickenswent to roost and an unearthly light filled the Heavens.
"The cavalcade had driven from near the Minnesota Line. Composing thecaravan
was W.W. Hodges his rosy cheek black-eyed little wife , two boysand a girl, Dr.
George Hartshorn (physician) and his wife, parent of Mrs.Hodges. That's how we
happened to be Old Settlers, and here we will abideforever.
"The prairies were of an emerald grass, now gone forever, a kind whenonce
plowed under will never come again. The Sweet Williams starred theprairies as
far as they could reach; the flocks of prairie chickens flewup in every slough,
the creeks were clear for the water ran off thesod....free land could be had
only a few miles away. the finest quartersection (of land) could be bought for
$800, a Price which three acrescommands now. (1921). A few dollars cash outlay
would keep a family incomfort for a year. Hard wood could be had for a dollar
or two a cord;Coal was only $2.50 a ton; corn was 15 to 20 cents a bushel; quails
50cents a dozen; choice beef steaks eight cents a pound.
"we never heard of thoroughbred chickens then. Chickens were chickensexcept
the Dominecks.. Bird dogs were not pedigreed then. In those daysyou merely whistled
up your dog, threw your muzzle loading gun over yourshoulder, arranged your shot
and powder flask , saw to it that you hadyour cap box in your pocket and trudged
out across Myers Gant's fieldsand there scare up flock after flock of prairie
chickens and kill as manyas you could carry. quails were to small to waste load
"In those good old days we had $1 a day hotels, haircloth sofas,tintypes,
congress shoes, livery stables, hoop skirts, kerosene lamps,red underskirts,
natural complexions, parlor sea shells, mustache cups,buggy rides, real blonds,
sideburns, ten cent shaves, stovepipe hats,hitching posts."
But today (1921)
Hodges goes on under this subtitle"But today we have;
"The movies, manicures, automobiles, 50-cent haircuts, joy rides, tightskirts,
$18 shoes, wrist watches, $2.50 wheat, daily baths bridge, whist,silk hose, the
shimmy tea wagons, 25-cent shaves, wireless, $100 suits,traffic cops, plucked
eyebrows, aeroplanes, and we do business by;telephone, telegraph, trucks, and
automobiles and we handle more of it inone day than we used to in six months.
The early days were happy carefree days; they were full of joy, but wewould not
go back to them if we could."
And today (1988)
And if he were writing today (1988) he would say:
Today we have video tapes for television, $14 haircuts, tighter skirts,$150 shoes,
digital watched, $3.80 wheat (start to get the picture whyfarmers complain?),
teens who take two showers a day, make overs, gourmetTV dinners, desktop publishing,
stress seminars, and guided tours to findprairie chickens.
The following excerpts are taken from the publication for the 1957Centennial
celebration of Olathe, Johnson Co., KS, "Arrows to Atoms1857-1957"
a historical album of Olathe. Kansas:
Hodges Bros. Lumber Co are listed as sponsors.
Frank Hodges is listed on page 18 as a teacher at one time in the OlatheRed Brick
high school which had a meager beginning in1865.
Olathe Centennial Organization ,page 30, named Frank Hodges as a memberthe committee
established to entertain the Celebrities.
Page26, The power of the press... THE JOHNSON COUNTY DEMOCRAT
The Johnson County Democrat under the ownership of George and FrankHodges and
the editorship of S. T. (Sam) Seaton began publishing November25, 1921. To start
the paper, the subscription list and franking rightsof the DeSoto Eagle Eye were
purchased from Mr and Mrs Charlie Ward.
The paper set up shop with a used Linotype machine, small presses and astaff
which in the early years included Frank Hodges Jr., Anna Grieves,William P. McGee,
Ignatz Adamek, Blanch Wiswell Corlett, Powrie Doctorand others. It was housed
at its present location across the street fromthe Courthouse on the west side
of the square. In November 1928 theOlathe Register was purchased from Charles
O. Horner, well known figurein the Chautauqua business.
Through the years. men of widely varying attributes have occupied theeditor's
chair, each leaving with the paper some of the essence of hisintellect and personality.
The List of editors includes Sam Seaton, JohnHipp, Vaughn a. Kimball, Paul A.
Guess, Charles A. Sanders and William W.Reddig
In a hundred years Johnson County had few Democratic Newspapers. Thefirst newspaper
in the county, The Olathe Herold, a democratic paperstarted by John M. Griffen
on August 29, 1859 was destroyed duringQuantrails raid on Olathe on September
6, 1862 . and not revived. At thededication of the courthouse in 1892, a second
Olathe Herold , Also aDemocratic paper was in existence with T. P. Fulton as
The second Democratic paper in Johnson County started on May 18, 1882, byW. C.
Paul was called the Johnson County Democrat. It was consideredsecond to none
in the state in editorial and typographical excellence.The Paul family, who were
related by marriage to the Taylor Family ofDeSoto, moved to Nashville, Tennessee
and the paper went out of business.
When George and Frank started a Democratic newspaper 1n1921 they revivedthe name
of its predecessor, The Johnson County Democrat, to define itspolitics and it's
intended scope of coverage.
Past president of "The Old Settlers Club" 1917
The First National Bank
The First National Bank of Olathe on the southeast corner of thecourthouse square
for the past seventy years, received its charter fromthe treasury dept, bearing
the date , June 7, 18887. After informalmeetings early in 1887 , opening its
doors for business the followingmonth......
...on the site 1887 stood the grocery store of Price and Welch. J. L.Price ,
son of a Carolin a planter gave up his grocery when he waselected the first cashier
of the bank and utilixe3d his building to housethe bank. As secretary of the
bank he kept meticulous minutes recorded inin his beautiful script which are
highly prized by the bank today...
The Bank has had only five presidents in It's seventy years, LewisBryfogle, 1887-1907;
John l. Pettyjohn, 1907- 1920; Frank R. Ogg,1920-1930; Frank Hodges, 1930-1955,
now board chairman Murray H. Hodges.Present day bank directors are...Frank Hodges,
Murray H. Hodges. (page39&54)
Fank Hodges, senior member of the Hodges Lumber Company, and one ofOlathe's most
capable business men, was born in Wisconsin, September 19,1863, and came to Kansas
in (August 12) 1869, in a prairie schooner withhis parents, his brother, George,
and his sister, and settled in the thenfrontier town of Olathe.
In his early years Mr. Hodges taught Olathe schools, later becomingengaged in
the lumber business with his brother. While he had a veryactive business career,
he has given generously of his tome to publicaffairs. He serve as mayor of Olathe
for two terms and remembered as themayor "who took the town out of the mud."
During his terms as mayor theplan for water and sewage system and universal grading
of streets wassponsored and the 20-million gallon reservoir for the waterworks
Mr Hodges has been Identified with the Democratic party all his life andhas taken
a active part in the welfare of the party. During World War II,he was appointed
by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the ReconstructionFinance Corporation.
Mr. Hodges is a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and is an ardent lover ofthe
out-of-doors, and is known as a big game hunter. (Page 46)
The Hodges Brothers Lumber Company had its beginning in 1889 when GeorgeH. Hodges
, a young man, who had worked for the G. B. Shaw and the F. R.Lanter lumber yards,
borrowed money from W. H. Betts, Cashier of thePatrons Cooperative Bank, and
bought out the Charles Pettigrew lumberyard. This yard was located just west
of the Sante Fe tracks diagonallyacross from the present location of the Hodges
Brithers lumber warehouse.
A year or two later Frank Hodges, an older brother joined the firm andthus began
a joint association in business which has continued unbrokenthroughout the years,
although the brothers engaged in wide and variedfields of activity George becoming
a prominent politician, statesman andbanker; Frank, a leading businessman, banker,
realtor, sportsman and biggame hunter.
The original company expanded until it owned and operated fourteenbuilders supply
yards located in various towns in eastern Kansas. Elevenof those branches are
still being operated as home-owned yards and theirmanagers live in and are part
of the communities which they serve.
It is a significant fact and a point of pride that many of the earlyemployees
of the Hodges Brothers company spent almost their entire wholelifetime in the
service of the organization:.........(no Hodgesmentioned)(Page 46)
In 1934 George H. and Frank Hodges gave a block of land which lies atPopular
and Woodland. (This is the site of the Olathe Swimming Pool)(Page 51)
HODGES14 was born on
6 Feb 1866 in Orion, Richland, Wisconsin. He was born on 6 Feb 1866
in Orion, Richland Co., WI.. He died on 7 Oct 1947 in Kansas City,
Jackson, Missouri. He died on 7 Oct 1947 in Memorial Hospital, Kansas
City, Jackson Co., MO.. He was buried on 10 Oct 1947 in Olathe Memorial
Cemetery, Olathe, Johnson Co., KS. He was buried in Olathe, Johnson,
Kansas. He was in Lumber Yard Owner, Banker, Politican.
He served in the military in Adjutant, First Regiment, Kansas National Guard.
George was a banker of wide influence in Kansas City and northeast Kansas and
author of "Good Roads Law." He was mayor of Olathe, Kansas, member
of Kansas state senate, 1905-1913, 19th Governor of Kansas, winning the closest
election, 29 votes over Arthur Capper); 1913-15 director of 33 banks, 33nd degree
Mason and cousin of Gov. Patterson of Ohio.
Moved to Olathe Kansas at age of 3 with His family.
Comments: George Hartshorn Hodges, Banker, and Mayor of Olathe Kansas. Member
of Kansas State Senate 1905-1913; Governor 1913-1915: Author of "Good Roads
Law"; 33-Degree Mason; Cousin of Governor Patterson of Ohio and Governor
Mann of Virginia
HON. GEORGE H. HODGES, the nineteenth governor of Kansas, was chief executive
of the state from January, 1913, to January, 1915. Of his capable administration
as governor, marked by progressive leadership throughout, a complete review is
given elsewhere in this publication in the chapter devoted to the work of the
governors. The following paragraphs serve to supplement that review with some
of the more personal details and his place as a Kansas citizen and business man.
A resident of Kansas nearly fifty years, George Hartshorn Hodges was born at
Orion, in Richland County, Wisconsin, February 6, 1866, a son ofWilliam W. and
Lydia Ann (Hartshorn) Hodges. When he was three years ofage, in 1869, his parents
brought him to Kansas and they located at Olathe, in Johnson County, where he
has lived almost his entire life. His father was a school teacher, a man of fine
intellectual and moral character, and while at his death a few years later he
left his family little material property, he left an honored name and a character
which his own children strove to emulate. W. W. Hodges evinced a great fondness
for young people and had the ability to win their regard and thus did much to
influence the formative character of many youth.
Governor Hodges was educated in the public schools of Olathe and in 1886,at the
age of twenty, began work as a yardman in a local lumber yard. His work was characterized
by more than routine and perfunctory performance .Not only did he distinguish
himself by the studious attention to details and the fidelity to duty, but he
evidenced a broad sense of business ethics which were exemplified by his later
business successes on a larger scale and his career in the public eye. In a short
time he was made manager in the lumber yard, and in 1889 he and his brother established
a business of their own under the firm name of Hodges Brothers. In this initial
enterprise Governor Hodges was advanced sufficient money by a friend to enable
him to buy an old yard in a remote part of the City of Olathe. It was with considerable
difficulty that he got his business started, and one of the factors in its early
success was the liberal expenditure of money for first-class advertising. The
firm of Hodges Brothers has been in business since 1889, and it is proprietor
of ten or more lumber yards distributed all over this part of the state. Mr.
Hodges is a director of the First National Bank of Olathe and several other commercial
enterprises. He at one time served as adjutant of the First Regiment Kansas National
Guard. He is a Knight of Pythias, an Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a Mason
and has attained the thirty-third honorary degree in the Scottish Rite.
Mr. Hodges comes of democratic parentage, his father being a Virginian;in fact,
the family tree seems to have borne democratic governors -former Governor Patterson
of Ohio, Governor Mann of Virginia and Governor Hodges being distant relatives.
At one time he served as a member of the Olathe City Council and his brother
and business partner, Frank, was for two terms mayor of that city. Prior to his
election as governor, Mr. Hodges served in the Kansas State Senate from 1904
to 1912. He is the second democrat ever elected in Kansas to a state office.
The larger facts of his political experience preceding his election as governor
have been well described in an article published about the beginning of Mr. Hodges'
administration as governor and written by S. T.Seaton, a well-known Kansas editor.
Those paragraphs are given herewith for the value they possess as supplementing
the estimation of Governor Hodges' executive administration.
"In 1904 there was a sort of political uprising in the senatorial district
composed of Johnson and Miami counties. The republican factions could not agree
upon which 'boss' to elect. The democrats had their senatorial convention that
year at Paola and placed George H. Hodges in nomination for state senator. He
could not make much of a speech in those days, but he was a good rustler and
hand shaker, and when the votes we recounted in November his majority in the
two counties was something over nine hundred. He thus became a state senator
at a time when the people were just awakening to their political rights and it
was just dawning upon them that there was such a thing as being progressive.
"In 1908 Senator Hodges was again a candidate for state senator and was
again elected by about 1,400 majority. During his eight years' service in the
senate he had become a campaign speaker second to none in the state,and his reputation
and his ideas had permeated practically every county and town. In 1910 he was
a candidate for governor and again carried the Johnson-Miami district by about
700 majority and reduced the republican majority in the state from 45,000 to
16,000. In 1912 he again carried the Johnson-Miami district by about 1,100 and
the state by an official majority of twenty-nine.
"In his eight years' service as state senator Governor Hodges was always
in the forefront of every fight for the enactment of progressive measures. He
was one of the little band of progressives who fought the good fight for those
ideas when it took courage to make the fight. During his service as state senator
there was at no time more than five democratic members in that body, yet he made
himself a recognized leader on the floor of the senate and more than once turned
the scale in favor of progressive measures. In those eight years no vote of his
was cast against progressive measures, and the soundness and practicability of
most of the reform laws enacted during that time are largely due to the wisdom
of his counsel and the uncompromising attitude he has at all times taken in support
of progressive principles.
"As a member of the railroad committee of the senate he laid the foundation
for the present general railroad law. With Senator Stewart of Wichita he brought
in a minority report. A majority of the senate was determined that the law should
not authorize the railroad commission to begin rate inquiries and proceedings
for rate reductions except upon complaint of shippers. Senator Hodges and his
associates were equally determined that shippers should not be saddled with the
expense of preparing complaints; they insisted that the commission should be
authorized to proceed on its own motions. Hodges and his associates were defeated
in their efforts at the 1905 session, but two years later the commission was
given this authority, which was demanded by the public sentiment which Senator
Hodges and his associates had awakened by the discussions in 1905, and it was
his support that made possible the enactment of the present public utilities
law in 1911. In fact the public utilities law was written by him and three other
senators appointed by the Senate. As governor he appointed the first utilities
commission to serve Kansas - in fact one of the first commissions appointed in
the United States. It was only because Governor Hodges was broad-minded enough
to lay aside politics and support the measure, which was being pressed by the
preceding administration, that it became a law.
"He introduced and secured the passage of the reciprocal demurrage bill,the
coal-weighing bill, the tax on express companies; was joint author of the bill
simplifying the Australian ballot law and subsequently made avaliant fight for
the enactment of the Massachusetts ballot law, the passage of which as governor
he secured from a democratic legislature in1913. Jointly with the senator from
Wyandotte County he was author of the anti-pass law; he prepared and secured
the passage of a bill making a 15per cent horizontal reduction in the freight
rates on grain and grain products. He was one of the few senators who opposed
the passage of the inheritance tax law, which was repealed by the democratic
legislature in1913. He helped prepare and pass a bank guaranty law, and the anti-lobby
bill. His vote made possible the Kansas primary election law, which took the
nomination of public officials from the bosses and gave it to the people. He
secured the passage of a law requiring railroad companies to block and guard
switches for the protection of employees. He supported the bill which strengthened
the child labor law and introduced the first measure in the senate providing
for the publication of text books and their distribution by the state at actual
cost; also the bill requiring reports of accidents should be made to the state
factory inspector. The bill requiring a better bond under the laborer's lien
law. He supported the workman's compensation and employers' liability laws and
secured their amendment and extension from the legislature of 1913. He was the
author of the first good roads measure passed in Kansas - was author of the concrete
bridge bill and was the pioneer good roads advocate of the Middle West. These
are the most important items in Senator Hodges' legislative record."
As governor he achieved a distinction throughout the entire United States by
his recommendation that the cumbersome, unwieldily two-house Legislature be abolished
and a single legislative body of small membership become the law-making body
of the state. His advocacy of the commission form of government for county and
state was noteworthy, and it is growing in popular favor. He is a recognized
authority on state government and is thoroughly conversant with the delinquencies
of the present inefficient form of state and county government.
Mr. Hodges is best known in democratic circles as the man "who made his
party over." By the force of his own personality he forced his party to
abandon its life-long advocacy of re submission of the prohibitory law sand to
become the champion of the strict enforcement of the prohibitory laws of Kansas.
During his term of office the illicit sales of intoxicating liquors became almost
For two years Governor Hodges has been constantly speaking in behalf of national
prohibition and is recognized as one of the ablest if not the foremost prohibitory
speaker of the country.
The above article was copied from Blue Skyways-a service of the Kansas State
1918 KANSAS AND KANSANS Chapter 65 Part 1
Gov. GEORGE H. HODGES
[Photograph by Willard, Topeka]
The administration of Governor George H. Hodges achieved much for Kansas .Governor
Hodges had much experience in dealing with public institutions of the State.
He had served in the Senate with distinction,and was thoroughly familiar with
the needs of Kansas and her institutions. He gave the state a genuine, thorough
business administration. In the Senate Journal of 1913, at page 847, will be
found a review of the administration of Governor Hodges. A careful study of that
document will show that much was done for the good of Kansas during his official
In the ceremonies of surrendering his office and the installation of his successor,
Governor Hodges reviewed the work of his administration. It is the best account
of what he accomplished to be found, as follows:
We close our administration today with the consciousness that every obligation,
pledged or implied, has been complied with. Of the fourteen platform pledges
possible to fulfill, thirteen have been written into the statute books of this
state. We have given Kansas the full measure of our limited ability. The public
has but scant concern for the retiring public official. His efforts are ended.
But they view new officials with an honest measure of expectation. I do not believe
it is in bad taste to recount a few of the records of Democratic accomplishment.
We believed, and the public in general thought, that this state was upon a cash
basis. We found one-fourth of the 1913 taxes, amounting to$832,000, drawn in
advance, and practically all spent, in the liquidation of bills contracted in
A penitentiary burned to the ground, was committed to our keeping -encumbered
with an indebtedness of $19,000. We leave it rebuilt, and in the best physical
condition and the best moral condition known in its history.
The finest penal twine plant in the world has been built, and for the first time
in the history of the state an adequate supply of filtered water is now furnished
We leave the beautiful Memorial hall finished, while it was bequeathed to us
an enclosed building with a $10,400 indebtedness against it.
We have a state textbook plant that solves the school book question for all time
Both the tuberculosis sanitarium at Norton and the insane asylum at Larned are
completed. Sewers, power plants, water supplies, are provided,that will be adequate
for the growth of that institution for twenty years to come. The orphan's home
at Acheson, the institution for the feeble-minded at Winfield, the state hospital
at Osawatomie, have all been provided with adequate water supplies. Silos of
3,000 tons' capacity have been built during the past two years at the state institutions.
Wonderful improvements have been made at the Osawatomie hospital. Food and supplies
were being stored in rat-infested vermin-ridden rooms. They are now taken care
of in a magnificent fireproof building. A cold storage plant of more than adequate
size has been built. Splinter floors and roach-infested wainscoting have been
replaced with tiled floors and tiled wainscoting, and the institution is now
in splendid physical condition,which should be a pride to the people of the state.
Our great educational institutions, instead of pulling, against each other, are
now articulating and working harmoniously one with the other,under a single board.
The wonderful improvement made in these institutions is the result of the one
board experiment, so-called, and it proved beyond the peradventure of a doubt,
that in limited numbers accountability and responsibility defined.
The change in the oil inspection department has netted the state an additional
revenue of $35,500 more a year than ever before.
The grain department has been an asset to the state rather than a liability.
We have paid a bond of $211,000 during our administration.
I believe there is directly attributable to the efficiency of the fire marshals's
department, almost a million dollars less fire loss a year than in the past.
The obnoxious direct inheritance tax laws were repealed and in lieu thereof a
corporation tax law was passed, which has netted the state almost $200,000 the
first year of its activity.
The women of Kansas have been recognized by this administration for the first
time in the history of the state, and while there was but one position of responsibility
held by a woman when I became executive, there are now twenty-three who are a
part of this administration; and the board that I deem the most important in
the state has as one of its members a woman. We have women superintendents at
the schools for the deaf, the blind, the orphan asylum, the girls' industrial
school, and women also fill other positions of responsibility. These women appointees
have lived up to the full measure of their responsibility.
There has been no department of state that we are responsible for but that has
filled every expectation. You will pardon my calling attention to the wonderful
record of the bank commissioner's department. There have been eight bank failures
and in only one instance was it necessary to appoint a receiver, the cost of
such receivership amounting to less than a thousand dollars. The other seven
banks that failed were reorganized and put in a going condition at less than
an average cost of $225 to each bank. Not a depositor has lost a penny, nor has
a dollar been taken from the depositors' guaranty fund to replace any loss. We
but ask a comparison in this department, as well as in all others, with former
We said in the campaign that the departments under our control would be administered
economically and with the lowest possible expense. A comparison of the maintenance
of all the state institutions - other than educationally - will show a decrease
as compared with the expenditures of two years ago.
State institutions have been built that were necessary. Water supplies have been
provided. Irrigation plants have been completed. The operations of farming have
been increased a hundred per cent, and the decided increase in the number of
scholars in our schools have necessitated a greater expenditure than heretofore
for educational purposes.
The expense of conducting the department directly under my charge - the executive
office and resident - has been $18,000 less during my tenure of office than the
amount spent the last two years by my predecessor.
It might not be amiss to speak a word about the greatest social problem that
confronts the state, namely, the penitentiary. It has been the interpretation
of the pardon board, pardon clerk and myself that when a prisoner serves his
minimum sentence he should be paroled if he has a clear prison record. The governor's
function in board paroles is merely clerical. He should be relieved of that burden
and the action of the board should be final.
The board has paroled a few over 400 during the past two years. In other words,
that many prisoners have served their minimum term and have been released. The
executive has paroled up to and including December 1, 204.There are men who have
not served their minimum. In every case the pardon board has investigated thoroughly
and in a painstaking manner, the record of these men, and they have recommended
them for executive clemency. The chairman of the board advises me that seventy
of these men have been paroled because they were in an advanced stage of consumption,
paralyzed or crippled. A number of these men were paroled that they might die
outside of the prison walls. Of the 200 given executive clemency, but twenty-seven
have violated their paroles. The balance of these men are by their honest efforts
winning their way back into society, providing for their wives and families,
and becoming constructive citizens. I feel that giving these men a chance to
become self supporting is one of the most pleasing duties of an executive.
It is true that divers and sundry rumors have been set afloat in opposing papers
saying that we had been overstepping the bounds of reason in the matter of paroles,
but we do not feel that we have.
A commission has been appointed, and their recommendations are filed in the office
of the governor-elect for the further improvements of the Kansas penitentiary,
and I feel that it is highly important that the men who are confined behind the
prison walls should be housed in such a manner that when they have served their
minimum sentence they will not leave the prison infected with tuberculosis, as
quite a percentage of the men now are.
The experience of my tenure of office emphasizes to me the necessity of a change
in the departments of state to procure that which the public desires - greater
efficiency and more economy. The shortened ballot and a legislature consisting
of one body of a small number of legislators, will be a step in the direction
of a solution of the problem. The same recommendation applies with equal force
to county officials.
The prohibition laws of our State have been enforced equally as well if not better
than ever in the history of Kansas.
In looking back over the efforts of the various departments of this administration
the past two years, I commend myself upon having appointed loyal, efficient Kansans,
who have placed their state obligations above personal desire or politics. I
have given this state my best efforts and I feel more than satisfied with the
results accomplished, and while it perhaps may be presumptuous to prophesy, but
I doubt very much whether there will be a single law of moment passed by the
last legislature that will be repealed, or that a single policy of moment now
in effect in any of the state departments will be changed. Minor details may
be changed,as is always the case, as we correct by the benefits of experience.
I bespeak for my successors from the Democratic papers of this state,that which
has been denied me by the Republican press - the truth. I earnestly hope that
the citizenship of Kansas, irrespective of politics,will co-operate with the
governor of this State in each and every righteous endeavor that he may attempt.
I earnestly wish for him a successful administration. Our love for our great
commonwealth and our loyalty to Kansas, not only inspires me, but should inspire
every Kansan,irrespective of politics, to be ready to assist in any and every
manner whatsoever for the continued growth, prosperity and upbuilding of the
great Sunflower state.
The above article was copied from Blue Skyways-a service of the Kansas State
Obituary of George Hodges, from The Olathe Mirror, Olathe Kansas
GEORGE HODGES DIES SUDDENLY TUESDAY.
Former Govenor Passes Away At Age 81
George H. Hodges, former Govenor of Kansas, Olathe lumberman and bankerdied about
8 o'clock Tuesday evening at the Memorial hospital, Kansas City MO. He was 81
Mr Hodges became ill Tuesday afternoon while attending a meeting of the board
of directors of the City National Bank and Trust company. His wife Mrs. Ora M.
Hodges was waiting for him when the meeting ended and noticed he was pale and
ill. A physician was called and she accompanied him to the hospital. He became
unconscious around 6 o'clock and died two hours after. Death was caused by a
coronary occlusion according to physicians.
With him when death came were Mrs. Hodges and his daughter and son-in-law, Mr.
and Mrs. A. C. Langworthy 2215 West Sixty-fifth street;his son Murray H Hodges
and his niece and her husband Mr. and Mrs. William Benton.
Mr. Hodges had not led an active business or political life since 1920when he
was seriously ill.
First Democratic Governor;
He was elected the first Democratic Governor of Kansas in 1912 by a majority
of 29 votes over Arthur Capper, veteran United States Senator. He had previously
served two 4-year terms as a State Senator where he introduced the Hodges road
law which advocated the principles of permitting the petitioners for a road to
create there own benefit district. Govenor Hodges was the first to propose the
unicameral State Legislature, advocating that the legislative body remain in
continual session. For years he received letters from students of government
from many parts of the world. He was a strong advocate of national prohibition
and was on the lecture platform for that cause for some time after leaving the
During the first World War he was a major in the Red Cross and was decorated
by King Albert of Belgium. He was instrumental in sending50,000 barrels of flour
to the hungry in Belgium. He had the wheat donated by the farmers, the milling
donated by millers and the transportation to the seaboard by the railroads.
Mr. Hodges was delegated to the Democratic convention at San Francisco in1920
and was considered as the selection for vice-president on that ticket, which
He was one of the oldest residents of this community. Born February 6,1866, in
Orion WI He came to Johnson County with his parents, William W. Hodges and Lydia
Anna Hodges, in 1869 making the trip in a covered wagon.
He attended public schools in Olathe and with his brother, Frank Hodges,entered
business here in 1886. He was a partner with his brother in the firm of Hodges
Bros., which operated a chain of fourteen lumber yards,have wide banking interests
and business real estate holdings in the county.
He gained success by hard work, having started at the lathing trade,later in
1886 he went to work as a lumber yard salesman and bookkeeper. Three years later
with borrowed capital he operate his own lumber yard,delivering his lumber on
foot as he owned no team and wagon. Later he was joined by his brother, and the
present Hodges Bros. Lumber company was developed.
Director In Bank:
He was among the first directors of the board of the City National Bank and was
a director of the First National Bank here and the State Bank of Stanley and
the Overland Park Saving and Loan association.
The firm owns the Johnson County Democrat.
He was thirty-third degree mason and is listed in Who's Who.
For the past twenty years following a partial regaining of his health. Mr Hodges
spent much of his time in the lobby office at the First National bank greeting
old friends and visiting with the public .Saturday afternoons he enjoyed strolling
along the street stopping here and there to shake hands and engage in pleasant
conversation with old friends and acquaintances. For many years it was his custom
to visit with young businessmen listening to their points of view on many subjects
and adding a few friendly words of encouragement or a piece of advice from his
store of experiences.
Surviving him besides his wife, son, daughter and one brother are four grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 o'clock Friday afternoon in the Christian
church. The body will lie in state from 11:00 A. M. to 2:00 P.M. The family requests
no flowers. Burial will be in the Olathe cemetery.
The following excerpts are taken from the publication for the 1957Centennial
celebration of Olathe, Johnson Co., KS, "Arrows to Atoms1857-1957"
a historical album of Olathe. Kansas, page 32:
George Hartshorn Hodges 1866-1947
When George Hartshorn Hodges was elected Govenor of Kansas in1912 he was the
second Democrat to be elected in the states fifty-one year history He brought
to the office a knowledge of government acquire by study and experience as member
of the Olathe city council two years and eight years in the Kansas Senate.
An early advocate of hard surface roads during his years in the Kansas Senate,
he was the author of the Hodges rock road law and chairman of committee that
wrote the public utility law. He was instrumental in the passage of the two-cent
railroad fare law, the anti-pass law , the primary election law, suffrage for
women, railroad safety regulations and reduction of freight cars for grain and
grain products. He introduced the first bill for the state printing and distribution
of texts for public schools.
Early in his public career he advocated the commission form of city government,
and the right of referendum and recall. He became a national authority on unicameral
During the two years he served as governor of Kansas , with a Democratic majority
in the Kansas Legislature, thirteen of the fourteen pledged of the Democratic
platform were voted into law. He brought to the office business methods and progressive
After women won the right of suffrage in 1912 he appointed twenty three women
to important state posts. He took the state educational instructions out of politics
by placing them under a non-political administrative board. The bonded debt of
the state was paid off. State institutions were built and repaired.
During World War I when Belgium was the victim of German oppression, he appealed
to every Kansan to give either two bushels of wheat or a barrel of flower for
Belgium relief. In ninety days, 50,000barrels of Kansas flour were on their way.
For this service the late King Albert decorated him in 1925 with the Golden Cross,
Officer of the Crown.
Although he was not elected to a second term he spoke widely over the nation
on public issues and was recognized as prohibition leader. After the United States
entered World War I, he served as a Major in the American Red Cross and as a
civilian on the staff of Major General Leonard Wood.
In 1920 as a delegate to the Democratic Convention at San Francisco, he one of
the nine men who wrote the platform. Upon his return, he suffered a serious illness
which ended his active political career . Although his name appeared on the ballot
as Democratic candidate fir United Stated Senator, he was unable to campaign.
He was born at Orion, Wisconsin on Feb 6, 1866. He came to Olathe as a small
boy in a covered wagon in 1869 withe his parents, his older brother, Frank and
a sister. The two boys early began their close business association, first herding
the town cows , then lathing houses. For three years George Hodges worked as
yardman and bookkeeper in the Olathe lumber yard before starting his own lumber
business on a borrowed capital in 1889. In 1891 his brother, Frank, joined him.
During the years that followed their lumber business grew into a countywide business.
His his brother, Frank, he began publication of the Johnson, County Democrat
in 1921. Hew served as director of several banks. He died October 7, 1947. Those
who knew George Hodges best liked him for his humor, courage and kindness.
The Hodges Brothers Lumber Company had its beginning in 1889 when George H. Hodges
, a young man, who had worked for the G. B. Shaw and the F. R.Lanter lumber yards,
borrowed money from W. H. Betts, Cashier of the Patrons Cooperative Bank, and
bought out the Charles Pettigrew lumber
|Minnie M. HODGES14 was born in 1869 in Mason City. Cerro Gordo co., IA.
She died in 1899 in Olathe, Johnson Co., KS. She was buried in Olathe
Memorial Cemetery, Olathe, Johnson Co., KS.
The following excerpts are taken from the publication for the 1957Centennial
celebration of Olathe, Johnson Co., KS, "Arrows to Atoms1857-1957"
a historical album of Olathe. Kansas, page 42:
An historical photo on page 42 shows members of the social club, TheCatnation
club. two of those depicted are Minnie Hodges and Ora Murry,who eventually became
Mrs. George Hartshorn Hodges' wife.