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Benjamin S. Paulen

Politician, governor. Republican. Born: July 14, 1869, DeWitt County, Illinois. Died: July 11, 1961, Fredonia, Kansas. Served as 23rd Governor of Kansas: January 12, 1925, to January 14, 1929.

Benjamin Paulen

Benjamin Sanford Paulen was born in DeWitt County, Illinois, on July 14, 1869, to Jacob Walter and Lucy Bell (Johnson) Paulen. Later than year his family moved to Wilson County, Kansas. There he grew up and graduated from Freonia High School in 1887. He attended one term at the University of Kansas. Paulen took a course at Bryan and Stratton Business College in St. Louis, Missouri. He began working in his father’s merchandise store in 1889.

Paulen married Barbara Ellis in Holton, Kansas, on February 14, 1900; they had no children.

He was elected lieutenant governor in 1922. Paulen captured the Republican nomination for governor in 1924, and competed in a lively three-way campaign for governor with William Allen White running as an independent on an anti-Ku Klux Klan platform.

Paulen was elected as the 23rd governor of Kansas. He took office on January 12, 1925. Governor Paulen signed the 1927 kindergarten bill into law. During his term legislators legalized cigarette sales and began to tax them, approved a state gasoline tax, established an insurance code, and organized a banking board. Paulen served two terms in office.

After his terms in office concluded Paulen served as president of the Kansas Bankers Association. He was a member of the executive council fo the American Bankers Association. He was also a member of the state constitutional revision committee in 1957. He died in his hometown of Fredonia on July 11, 1961.

Entry: Paulen, Benjamin S.

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: February 2017

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.