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 Georgia <I>Neese</I> Gray

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Georgia Neese Gray Famous memorial

Birth
Richland, Shawnee County, Kansas, USA
Death
26 Oct 1995 (aged 97)
Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas, USA
Burial
Berryton, Shawnee County, Kansas, USA
Memorial ID
6635589 View Source

29th US Treasurer. A member of the Democratic Party, she served in this position from June 1949 until January 1953 and was the first woman to do so. Her father was a well-established farmer, businessman, banker, and property owner in Richland and Topeka, Kansas. After graduating from high school in 1917, she briefly attended College of the Sisters of Bethany (now defunct) in Topeka before transferring to Washburn University in Topeka where she majored in economics. Following her graduation in 1921, she moved to New York City, New York to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and enrolled at the Franklin Sargent School of Dramatic Art. She toured the country with several stock companies and in 1929 married her manager, George M. Clark, whom she divorced in the 1940s. With the onset of the Great Depression in 1931, she abandoned her career and returned home to care for her sick father. In 1935 she worked as an assistant cashier at her father's bank and when her father died two years later, she inherited all of his holdings. In 1936 she was elected a member of the Democratic National Committee from Kansas and was an early supporter of future US President Harry Truman. Following Truman's election to US President in 1948, he nominated her in June 1949 as US Treasurer, to fill the position vacated by the death of William Alexander Julian. In January 1953 she resigned her position and was replaced by Ivy Baker Priest She then married Andrew J. Gray, a journalist and press agent, but continued to be known as Georgia Neese Clark. When the town of Richland was bought out in the 1960s by the US Army Corps of Engineers to create Clinton Lake, she was instrumental in pressing Congress to provide funding for the project so the town's property owners would not be held in a stalemate, not knowing when they were going to be able to relocate. She died at the age of 97. The Georgia Neese Gray Performance Hall at the Topeka Performing Arts Center is named in her honor and the Georgia Neese Gray Award is given to Kansans who have served in elected office at the municipal and/or county level and who have performed outstanding service to their local community in the pursuit of the principles of the Kansas Democratic Party. In February 2008 she was inducted into the Topeka Business Hall of Fame.

29th US Treasurer. A member of the Democratic Party, she served in this position from June 1949 until January 1953 and was the first woman to do so. Her father was a well-established farmer, businessman, banker, and property owner in Richland and Topeka, Kansas. After graduating from high school in 1917, she briefly attended College of the Sisters of Bethany (now defunct) in Topeka before transferring to Washburn University in Topeka where she majored in economics. Following her graduation in 1921, she moved to New York City, New York to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and enrolled at the Franklin Sargent School of Dramatic Art. She toured the country with several stock companies and in 1929 married her manager, George M. Clark, whom she divorced in the 1940s. With the onset of the Great Depression in 1931, she abandoned her career and returned home to care for her sick father. In 1935 she worked as an assistant cashier at her father's bank and when her father died two years later, she inherited all of his holdings. In 1936 she was elected a member of the Democratic National Committee from Kansas and was an early supporter of future US President Harry Truman. Following Truman's election to US President in 1948, he nominated her in June 1949 as US Treasurer, to fill the position vacated by the death of William Alexander Julian. In January 1953 she resigned her position and was replaced by Ivy Baker Priest She then married Andrew J. Gray, a journalist and press agent, but continued to be known as Georgia Neese Clark. When the town of Richland was bought out in the 1960s by the US Army Corps of Engineers to create Clinton Lake, she was instrumental in pressing Congress to provide funding for the project so the town's property owners would not be held in a stalemate, not knowing when they were going to be able to relocate. She died at the age of 97. The Georgia Neese Gray Performance Hall at the Topeka Performing Arts Center is named in her honor and the Georgia Neese Gray Award is given to Kansans who have served in elected office at the municipal and/or county level and who have performed outstanding service to their local community in the pursuit of the principles of the Kansas Democratic Party. In February 2008 she was inducted into the Topeka Business Hall of Fame.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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FIRST WOMAN TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


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