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Harry Darby Edit Profile

politician , United States Senator

Harry Darby, United States senator, manufacturing company executive. Recipient numerous awards for civic activities.


Darby, Harry was born on January 23, 1895 in Kansas City, Kansas, United States. Son of Harry and Florence Isabelle (Smith) Darby.


BME, University Illinois, 1917. Master of Engineering, University Illinois, 1929. Doctor of Laws, St. Benedict's College, Atchison, Kansas.

Doctor of Laws, Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri. Doctor of Laws, Kansas State University. Doctor of Laws, Manhattan and Washburn University, Topeka.

Distributed control system, Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas.


After the war he became successful in business ventures in several different fields including insurance, steel, railroads, utilities and banking. He served on the Kansas State Highway Commission from 1933 to 1937. During World War II he established the Darby Steel Corporation in the West Bottoms at Kansas City, Kansas.

The plant built most of the Landing craft tank's (LCT's) that were used in various amphibious invasions. The plant built one craft a day and floated them more than 1,000 miles down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, Louisiana prompting their "Prairie Ships" nickname. Darby's plant at the mouth of Kansas River could hold 8 135í LCTs and 16 Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM)s in various stages of construction.

Darby served as the Republican National Committeeman for Kansas from the 1940 National Convention to early 1964, when he resigned the position. On December 2, 1949, He was appointed to fill a United States Senate seat to replace Clyde M. Reed (who had died November 8) by Governor Frank Carlson, despite the fact that his only prior government experience was four years on the state highway commission. He kept his seat until November 28, 1950, when he was succeeded by Frank Carlson, the very man who had appointed him to the seat.

Darby returned to Kansas City and lived there until his death. He was buried in Highland Park Cemetery in Kansas City. Interstate 635 (Kansas–Missouri) is named the Harry Darby Memorial Highway for him in both Kansas and Missouri.


As a senator, Darby was a friend of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, a fellow Kansan.


Active 4-H Club, Boy Scouts American. Member Republican National Committee for Kansas, 1940-1964. Trustee various cultural institutions, associations.

Trustee, chairman Eisenhower Foundation, Abilene, Kansas. Chairman Eisenhower Presidential Library Commission, Abilene. Chairman emeritus American Royal Livestock and Horse Show.

Member executive committee Kansas Livestock Association, Agricultural Hall of Fame. Director, trustee National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Served from Second lieutenant to captain, Field Artillery United States Army, 1917-1919.

With Advertising Educational Foundation. Fellow American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Member Navy League United States, Kansas City Crime Commission, Kansas Registration Board Professional Engineers, University Illinois Foundation, American Society of Civil Engineers, National, Kansas society professional engineers, American Hereford Association, American National Livestock Association, Society of America Military Engineers, American Society Agricultural Engineers, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, 40 and 8, Military Order World Wars.

Clubs: Masons (32 degree), Shriners, Jesters, Kansas City, Automobile of Missouri, Saddle and Sirloin, Rotary, River, Terrace, Man of the Month (Kansas City, Kansas). Chicago; Chevy Chase, Capitol Hill (Washington).


Married Edith Marie Cubbison, December 17, 1917. Children: Harriet Darby Gibson, Joan Darby Edwards, Edith Marie Darby Evans, Marjorie Darby Alford.

Harry Darby

Florence Isabelle (Smith) Darby

Edith Marie Cubbison

Harriet Darby Gibson Darby

Joan Darby Edwards Darby

Edith Marie Darby Evans Darby

Marjorie Darby Alford Darby