Stubbs, Walter Roscoe, 18th governor of the State of Kansas, was born at Richmond, Wayne county, Ind., Nov. 7, 1858. His ancestors were Quakers, who were opposed to shams and hypocrisya trait which he inherited in a marked degree. While he was still in his childhood his parents went to Iowa. In 1868 they removed to Kansas, where the future governor attended the common schools and was for a time a student in the University of Kansas at Lawrence. He began his business career when he was twenty years of age, by working two terms on a railroad grading contract. Subsequently he became a contractor on his own account, and also became interested in agricultural pursuits. When the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific company decided to build a line of railroad from St. Louis to Kansas City, there was a spirited competition among contractors for the work of grading the road-bed. Mr. Stubbs drove over the proposed route, examining carefully the nature of the work to be done, submitted a bid and secured the contract, which amounted to about $3,000,000, and upon which his profits were something like $250,000. This gave him a good start and his business as a contractor increased until it reached a volume of from $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 a year. Mr. Stubbs did not enter the arena of politics until he was past forty years of age. In 1902 he was nominated by the Republicans to represent a district of Douglas county in the lower house of the state legislature and was elected. His record was evidently satisfactory to his constituents, for in 1904 he was reëlected and at the opening of the ensuing session was made speaker of the house, and he also advocated a reform in the methods of doing the state printing. In 1906 he was for a third time elected to the legislature, and in 1908 was elected to the office of governor, being the first candidate nominated for that office at a state-wide primary under the new law. At the close of his first term he was renominated after a spirited contest, and in Nov., 1910, was reëlected for the term ending in Jan., 1913. Gov. Stubbs is regarded as belonging to what is called the "progressive wing" of the Republican party. In his messages to the general assembly he has been consistenteven if somewhat radical at timesin his advocacy of such measures as the initiative and referendum and the recall of unworthy or incompetent public officials. He is a 32° Mason; is a public-spirited citizen; takes a keen interest in all questions pertaining to civic progress, and his judgment of human nature, gained as a large employer of men, enables him in a majority of instances to form a correct estimate of those with whom he comes in contact.Pages 772-773 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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