Frank Carlson (Frank Carlson)

Frank Carlson

Born in 1893 near Concordia, Kansas, Frank Carlson attended public schools and Kansas State University before serving in World War I as a Private. After the war, he returned to Concordia to farm. He was elected as a Republican to first the Kansas House of Representatives in 1928 and then to the United States House of Representatives where he served from 1935 to 1947. In 1946 he was elected governor of Kansas. As governor, he pushed mental health programs as well as a long-term highway project. In 1949, Kansas State Senator Clyde M. Reed died, and Carlson appointed Harry Darby to fill the seat. Darby continued his service in the Senate until Carlson himself was elected to fill the seat in 1950. Instead of waiting until January to be sworn in, he took his seat on November 28, 1950 (it is very common for someone who is elected to a Senate seat that is at the time occupied by an unelected appointee to be sworn in early), leaving the office of governor to Frank L. Hagaman who served less than two months. In 1952, Frank Carlson campaigned to get fellow Kansan Dwight D. Eisenhower into the White House, and then brokered a deal through Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft, known as “Mr. Republican”, and became majority leader. According to Billy Graham’s biography Just As I Am, Carlson invited Eisenhower to the Senate Prayer Breakfast, which thus became the first Presidential Prayer Breakfast, thereafter an annual assembly of all three branches of government, continuing to this day. Carlson was re-elected twice, in 1956 and 1962, before returning to Concordia for retirement.

Senator Frank Carlson served a term as president of the United States Senate Prayer Breakfast Group. He was therein featured by U.S. News & World Report on July 1, 1968 by editor, David Lawrence, for his strong moral and spiritual influence in the nation’s capital. He was also a member of the board of directors of World Vision. Carlson died in 1987 in Concordia and was buried there in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. The federal court building in Topeka is named in his honor, US 81 from the Nebraska state line north of Belleville to Salina is named the “Frank Carlson Memorial Highway”, the Frank Carlson Library in Concordia is named in his honor, and Wichita State University hosts the Frank Carlson Lecture Series.

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Born

  • January, 23, 1893
  • USA
  • Cloud County, Kansas

Died

  • May, 30, 1987
  • USA
  • Concordia, Kansas

Cemetery

  • Pleasant Hill Cemetery
  • Concordia, Kansas
  • USA

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