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Joseph Norman Dolley

Joseph Norman DolleyJoseph Norman Dolley was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 14,  circa 1859, to Joseph Norman and Ellen (Broderick) Dolley. At an early age he joined his father to work as a sailor.

In 1885 Dolley came to Kansas and located at Maple Hill in Wabaunsee County, one of the first settlers and a founder of the town. There he operated a blacksmith shop. Dolley’s involvement soon became involved in other business ventures, serving as president of the Commercial National Bank of Alma, vice president of Stockgrowers' State Bank of Maple Hill, known as Dolley's Bank. He was president of the Mid-Kansas Milling Company of Alma, the Kansas Home Mutual Life Insurance Company of Topeka, the P. C. C. Oil & Gas Company of Chanute, the Maple Hill school board, vice president of the Wabaunsee County Telephone Company, and member of the Retail Merchants' Association of Kansas. Dolley married Mary E. McClellan October 13, 1887. They had one daughter.

In 1902 he was elected to the state legislature, then to the state senate to years later. During the 1908 presidential campaign he was chairman of the Republican state central committee. In 1909 he returned to the state legislature and served as speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives. There he worked toward the passage of the guaranty law.

That same year Dolley was appointed state bank commissioner by Governor Walter R. Stubbs. Dolley is credited with encouraging the Kansas Legislature to pass the blue sky law in 1911. Kansas was the first state to enact the blue sky laws, which protect investors from securities fraud. It served as a model for similar statutes in other states.

He died in Topeka, Kansas, May 7, 1940, of injuries sustained when hit by a car while crossing the street.

Entry: Dolley, Joseph Norman

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: April 2014

Date Modified: February 2019

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