Alfred Landon History
Alfred (Alf) Mossman Landon was born in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania on September 9, 1887. He grew up in Ohio and moved with his family to Kansas in 1904 when he was seventeen. The move to Kansas was the result of the emerging oil and gas business in Kansas. Alf Landon became interested in politics and at the age of 27 became Montgomery County (KS) Chairman for the Progressive Party. In 1915 Alf Landon married and his father gave him the house at 300 West Maple Street, Independence, KS as a wedding present. He lived in the house until he became Governor in 1932. He became Governor of Kansas in 1932 and again in 1934. Alf Landon was the only Republican Governor elected in 1934 in the United States. He was the Republican Party presidential candidate in 1936. He retained ownership of the house throughout his presidential campaign and used pictures of the house in his presidential campaign literature. He died at the age of 100, October 12, 1987 in Topeka, KS.
Alf Landon's House
Alf Landon's house is located at 300 West Maple in Independence, KS and was built in 1904. He lived there for 17 years until he became Governor of Kansas in 1932. He continued to own the home and spent time there until his 1936 presidential campaign. He came to Independence on the eve of the presidential election in 1936, stayed in the house and voted the next morning. This house became a political hub for Kansas and to a large extent, the Nation during the 1920's and 30's. Political leaders came to Independence because Alf Landon lived here.
In the early summer of 2004 a large national drug store chain decided to come to Independence, KS. The square block they wanted to purchase included the Landon house. Several months of work and negotiations resulted in the developer purchasing the block and agreeing to give the Landon house to the Independence Historical Museum. This required moving the house to a new location which the developer agreed to pay for. The developer's contribution to the Museum was $102,000 which covers the cost of acquiring a new site, moving the house, and securing it at the new site. The house is in the process of being moved as of March 4, 2005. A group of people lead by Senator Derek Schmidt has agreed to raise the necessary money to restore the house. The new address will be 300 So. 8th Street, Independence, KS 67301.
The Landon Center, Concept and Future
The plans for the future of the Alf Landon house is to create a political site focusing on the first 50 years of the 20th century, 1900 -1950. The Landon Center will have a strong Landon theme and a significant educational element as part of the future. At the completion of the restoration process, the Center will be available for political research, meetings, receptions, educational tours, and special events. The Dole Institute located at Kansas University and the Landon Lecture series located at Kansas State University plan to participate with activities held at The Landon Center. Other organizations that have expressed an interest is participation with The Center are: Independence Community College, Campus Compact, Greenbush Organization, and the Kansas State Historical Society.
The Landon Center welcomes anyone wishing to participate in this project. It will take several months of fund raising and work to complete restoration of the Landon house. The Center is interested in any Landon memorabilia and any political items for the period 1900 -1950. Anyone wishing to make a financial contribution is encouraged to do so. The Independence Historical Museum is a 501(c)3 organization and the owner of this house and project. Any contribution of items or money will be tax deductible. You can contact the Independence Historical Museum or Norman Chambers, Museum President at the following phone numbers and address.
Independence Historical Museum
Independence, KS 67301
Independence, KS 67301