The Anthony Family Exhibit and Susan B. Anthony presentation at the museum was one of the highlights of 2012! A few copies of an eight page booklet, available in the gift shop, gives a summary of the Anthony family of Leavenworth as well as a description of the family ephemera that was on exhibit for the event. Of special note are two portraits, on loan from Dale Brendel of The Leavenworth Times and photos from the private Anthony Collection of Bonnie Campbell, local resident.
There were other Anthonys in Leavenworth!
Another Anthony who resided for a time in Leavenworth, was somewhat overshadowed by his older brother, the infamous Colonel DR Anthony. Jacob Merritt Anthony (1834-1900), younger brother to Daniel Read Anthony and his sister, Susan B. Anthony, arrived in Kansas in April, 1856, having followed John Brown, the militant abolitionist, who had frequently visited Rochester, New York. “Merritt settled near Osawatomie where he helped defend settlers to maintain Kansas’s status as a free territory against marauding proslavery Missouri “border ruffians.” Forsaking his Quaker faith and heritage, he served as a captain in the Seventh Kansas cavalry during the Civil War. (from 1861 to its close in 1865) He was a member of Wm. H. Lytle Post, G.A.R.” Known as Merritt to his family, he married a cousin, Mary Almina Luther (1839-1915), daughter of Sylvester and Margaret Luther. During the Civil War, Merritt served as a captain in the Union army and once the war was over, joined his family in Leavenworth, living near his brother Daniel Read. In 1869 the family settled permanently in Fort Scott, in the southeastern part of the state. Mary & Merritt had six children. Merritt died suddenly in 1900 in Fort Scott of a heart ailment, at the age of 66. The funeral sermon by Rev. C.W. Porter, Fort Scott, eloquently described Merritt’s love of liberty and devotion to country saying: For 25 years I have known him as the friend of reform, the faithful law-abiding citizen, ready to labor and to give of his means for any cause that promised help to his fellow man.
George Tobey Anthony (1824-1896), seventh Governor of Kansas, was a second cousin to D.R. Anthony and his sister, Susan B. Anthony. Born on a farm in New York, his Quaker father died when he was five, consequently, at an early age, he had to work to support himself and his mother and siblings. He eventually ran a hardware store and served as a county loan commissioner before serving in the Civil War as a captain of the 17th New York Independent Battery. Following the war, he moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, where he became the editor of several newspapers, before being elected governor of Kansas in 1876. Governor Anthony was known for his extraordinary public speaking and debating skills. “Not long after the patent on the telephone was issued to Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, the first telephones were installed in Kansas. The newly elected governor began using it for expedient communications across the State. “George Anthony’s administration wasn’t without its thorns. The great ‘Grasshopper panic’ of 1873 still plagued the economy. Anthony therefore prioritized the administration’s budget to effect programs that required little or no State funding, established a State reformatory for younger criminals and a state commissioner of fisheries, and advocated a stronger temperance movement in government. The greatest crisis for Anthony was the railroad strike of 1877.” Anthony suffered from diabetes and died from pneumonia in 1896. He became one of four governors buried in Topeka Cemetery, and is interred not far from his predecessor Thomas A. Osborn, also of Leavenworth. As a resident here, Anthony built the gable-front Italianate home at 912 South Esplanade, later owned by cattle baron, and wealthy businessman, Michael Ryan.
Two additional cousins also resided in Leavenworth in the early days: Major Scott J. and his younger brother, Webster D. Anthony. Both were born in Cayuga County, New York, in the 1830s and emigrated to Kansas in 1856. Scott engaged in the mercantile business at Leavenworth as Bailey, Anthony & Co. Webster was employed in the office of the Register of Deeds here, but in 1860, the brothers departed for Colorado during the gold rush, along with numerous other pioneer Leavenworthians, and remained in the Denver area.
What happened on 5 November 1912?
In the Kansas State election of 1912 the equal suffrage amendment to the State Constitution was approved! So, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Kansas. To commemorate this historic event, the Kansas State Legislature passed a resolution, at the urging of Tom Mach, of Lawrence and author of “Angels at Sunset” (a story portraying the abuses women endured to secure their rights) honoring the centennial of the passage of Kansas suffrage. The resolution reads, in part: “A RESOLUTION commemorating the Kansas Angels at Sunset Centennial.
WHEREAS, In 1912, the great state of Kansas distinguished itself by becoming the eighth state in the nation to permanently enact women’s suffrage. When election day came on November 5, 1912, hundreds of women worked at the polls all day, and sat up far into the night for the returns. They felt their efforts were sufficiently rewarded when the final count showed 175,246 votes for the amendment and 159,197 against.”