Charles Curtis

official photo of Charles Curtis in 1931, by Strauss Peyton

Date of Birth: January 25, 1860

Place of Birth: Topeka, Kansas, U.S.

Date of Death: February 8, 1936

Place of Death: Washington, D.C., U.S.

*father – English
*mother – French-Canadian/French, Potawatomi Native American, Kaw Native American, Osage Native American

Charles Curtis was an American politician and attorney. A member of the Republican Party, he was the 31st Vice President of the United States, having served from March 4, 1929 to March 4, 1933. He was elected to the position in 1928.

He was the Republican Party’s nominee for re-election as Vice President of the United States in 1932. He was also a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1928.

Vice President Curtis was the only person of documented, significant, Indigenous or Native American ancestry to serve as either President or Vice President of the United States. His heritage was well known publicly at the time. He was also one of three persons of significant non-white descent to be elected to either position; along with Barack Obama, whose father was a Luo Kenyan, and who was U.S. President from 2009 to 2017, and Kamala Harris, who is of Jamaican and Indian descent, and who began serving as Vice President of the United States in 2021.

Vice President Curtis was the son of Helen/Ellen (Pappan) and Orren/Oren Arms Curtis. His father was born in Eugene, Vermillion, Indiana, and was of Colonial American (English) descent. His mother was born near the Kansas River, Shawnee, Kansas, and was of French-Canadian/French and Native American ancestry, including Potawatomi, Kaw, and Osage. He was raised partly on the Kaw reservation at Council Grove, Kansas with his maternal grandparents, speaking Kaw and French.

He was previously a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kansas, from March 4, 1893 to January 28, 1907, a U.S. Senator from Kansas, from January 29, 1907 to March 4, 1913, and again from March 4, 1915 to March 3, 1929, a President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, from December 4, 1911 to December 12, 1911, and Senate Majority Leader, from March 9, 1925 to March 3, 1929.

Vice President Curtis was married to Annie Baird, with whom he had three children.

Vice President Curtis’ paternal grandfather was William Curtis (the son of Thomas Curtis and Eunice Peet). William likely was born in Albany County, New York. He was from a Connecticut family of Colonial American (English) descent. Eunice was the daughter of Gideon Peet and Betty/Betsey Burton.

Vice President Curtis’ paternal grandmother was Permelia Hubbard (the daughter of Noah Hubbard and Cynthia Clark). Permelia was born in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and was from a family of Colonial American (English) descent, mostly based in that state. Noah was the son of Noah Ely Hubbard and Prudence Kellogg. Cynthia was the daughter of David Clark, Jr. and Elizabeth Kellogg, who was born in Canaan, Litchfield, Connecticut.

Vice President Curtis’ maternal grandfather was named Louis Pappan (the son of Louis Pappan). Vice President Curtis’ grandfather Louis born in Missouri, and was of French-Canadian and Potawatomi Native American descent. Vice President Curtis’ great-grandfather Louis was born in Montréal, Quebec, Canada, the son of Pierre Papineau and Marie Josephe Lapierre.

Vice President Curtis’ maternal grandmother was Julie Gonville (the daughter of Louis Gonville and Wy-he-see). Julie was born in Kansas. Louis was born in France, the son of Louis Gonville and Genevieve LeRoi. Wy-he-see’s father, Vice President Curtis’ great-great-grandfather, was Nom-pa-wa-rah, known as He Who Scares All Men, as well as, as Manshenscaw, Monchousia, and White Plume, who was a chief of the Kaw (Kansa, Kanza) Indians. Wy-he-see’s mother, Vice President Curtis’ matrilineal great-great-grandmother, was a daughter of White Hair, Osage Chief Pawhuska.

Vice President Curtis was a second cousin, four times removed, of professional football player Wes Welker, through their Gonville line.

Sources: Information about Vice President Curtis’ ancestry –

Genealogies of Vice President Charles Curtis –

Vice President Curtis on the 1880 U.S. Census –
Vice President Curtis on the 1910 U.S. Census –
Vice President Curtis on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Information about Vice President Curtis’ maternal great-great-grandfather, Chief Nom-pa-wa-rah –

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