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Bernal D. “Bert” Cantwell Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-2020-03

Content Note

This collection from Sandra Cantwell contains the personal papers of law enforcement officer and civic leader Bernal D. “Bert” Cantwell. Materials include correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, political campaign materials, departmental reports and other materials related to Cantwell’s various positions in Kansas law enforcement and local enterprises. Series are arranged chronologically by job position in an effort to maintain original order.

Dates

  • 1932 - 2008

Literary Rights

Literary rights were granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher, to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Biographical / Historical

Bernal D. “Bert” Cantwell was born in Noble, Missouri on June 11, 1932 to John Thomas Cantwell and Retha Mae James Cantwell. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War and received a good conduct medal before being honorably discharged a year after the war’s armistice agreement. Cantwell married Darlene Jeanette Frost on January 22, 1954, but they later divorced in July of 1960. His second marriage was to Margaret Fayelda Jordan Tootle and lasted from September of 1960 to November of 1961. On April 21, 1962, Cantwell remarried Darlene Frost, and the couple went on to have three children together—Deborah Elaine Cantwell, Brenda Joyce Cantwell, and John Eric Cantwell—before divorcing a final time in September of 1973. Cantwell married his third wife, Sandra “Sande” Lee Henderson Simmons, on November 21, 1973, becoming stepfather to her three children—Gary Howard Simmons, Juli Diane Simmons, and Stacey Jolene Simmons.

In 1962, Cantwell began taking night classes at Donnelly College and Kansas City Kansas Junior College (now Kansas City Kansas Community College), eventually earning an associate’s degree in liberal arts in 1974. At some point in the 1960s, he founded Bert’s Downtown Barbershop, which allowed him to meet many people in the community. However, it was his involvement with the Kansas City chapter of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (a.k.a. “Jaycees”) that connected him with local politicians and launched his career in civil service. Cantwell joined the Kansas City, KS Chamber of Commerce Community Affairs Committee, organizing the city’s first “Festival of Progress” alongside leaders from the NAACP. He then became the deputy assessor for Wyandotte County (1970), campaign committee chairman and administrative assistant for Kansas City, KS Commissioner of Finance Pat Hanlon (1970-1972), director of the city’s Parking Control (Feb. 1972-Aug. 14, 1973), and regional planner for the Governor’s Committee on Criminal Administration (Aug. 1973-Oct. 1973).

Cantwell ran an unsuccessful campaign for sheriff of Wyandotte County in 1972 but was later appointed to the position on October 30, 1973 by Governor Robert Docking following the death of Sheriff Jess Boring. Cantwell won reelection in 1974 and 1976 and remained sheriff until September of 1977 when President Jimmy Carter appointed him U.S. Marshal for the District of Kansas. The same year as his appointment, Cantwell earned his bachelor’s degree in administration of criminal justice from Wichita State University. Two years later, he earned his master’s degree and became an adjunct professor at Wichita State, teaching police/community relations for two semesters from 1978 to 1979 and police administration in the spring of 1980.

In December of 1981, President Ronald Reagan opted to replace Cantwell as U.S. Marshal with a republican appointee of his own choosing. Cantwell was quickly hired by Governor John Carlin to be his legislative liaison—a position he held for nearly two years. In May of 1983, Cantwell earned his juris doctorate from Washburn University and left Gov. Carlin’s cabinet to practice general law with the firm Tilton, Dillon & Beck. His time with the firm was short-lived, however, as Gov. Carlin appointed him superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol in November of that same year.

Cantwell, now with the rank of colonel in state law enforcement, continued to head the Kansas Highway Patrol until March 31, 1987. He returned to practicing law—this time as a criminal defense attorney with McDowell, Rice & Smith. In August of that year, Governor Mike Hayden appointed him to the Kansas Racing Commission, on which he served while still working as an attorney.

In 1990, Cantwell ran for attorney general of Kansas against incumbent Robert Stephan and lost the election by less than 1% of the vote. He continued to practice criminal law until January of 1991 when Governor Joan Finney appointed him as superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol once again. Cantwell left the Highway Patrol in September of 1992 to become president of the Kansas City, KS Chamber of Commerce.

Cantwell passed away on July 16, 1996 after suffering a brain hemorrhage while on vacation in Ireland.

Extent

30.5 Linear Feet (41 boxes and 3 OS folders)

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

Series 1 -- U.S. Army Service Materials, 1952-1996
Series 2 -- Barber Materials, 1967-1970
Series 3 -- Kansas City, KS Chamber of Commerce Community Affairs Committee Member Materials, 1970-1979
Series 4 -- Wyandotte County Deputy Assessor Materials, 1970
Series 5 -- Chairman of “Hanlon for Commissioner” Committee Materials, 1970-1971
Series 6 -- Administrative Assistant for Kansas City, KS Department of Finance, Health and Public Property Materials, 1971-1979
Series 7 -- Kansas City, KS Director of Parking Control Materials, 1972-1973
Series 8 -- Member of Kansas Metropolitan Criminal Justice Planning Committee Materials, 1973 and undated
Series 9 -- Realtor Materials, 1973 and undated
Series 10 -- Wyandotte County Sheriff Materials, 1966-1999

  • Sub-Series 10.1 -- Artwork and Joke Materials, 1976 and undated
  • Sub-Series 10.2 -- Awards, 1972-1977
  • Sub-Series 10.3 -- Budget Records, 1977
  • Sub-Series 10.4 -- Calendars/Schedules and Contact Information, 1976 and undated
  • Sub-Series 10.5 -- Commission and Committee Records, 1977 and undated
  • Sub-Series 10.6 -- Communications, 1972-1977
  • Sub-Series 10.7 -- Court Documents and Records Regarding Lawsuits, 1976-1978
  • Sub-Series 10.8 -- Departmental Reports, 1974-1975
  • Sub-Series 10.9 -- Election Materials, 1972-1980
  • Sub-Series 10.10 -- Employee Information, 1973-1976; undated
  • Sub-Series 10.11 -- Events Materials, 1973-1977
  • Sub-Series 10.12 -- Government Information, 1966-1970; undated
  • Sub-Series 10.13 -- Newspaper Articles, 1971-1999
  • Sub-Series 10.14 -- Photos and Scrapbooks, 1972-1977
  • Sub-Series 10.15 -- Policies and Procedures, 1975-1976
  • Sub-Series 10.16 -- Public Programs Materials, 1974-1977
  • Sub-Series 10.17 -- Training Certificates, 1973-1976
  • Sub-Series 10.18 -- Uniform, 1970s
Series 11 -- Member of Governor’s Committee on Criminal Administration Materials, 1975-1981
Series 12 -- U.S. Marshal for the District of Kansas Materials, 1950-1996
  • Sub-Series 12.1 -- Appointment Materials, 1976-1977
  • Sub-Series 12.2 -- Artwork, Decals, Decorative Plaques, and Joke Materials, 1978-2001; undated
  • Sub-Series 12.3 -- Awards, 1977-1980
  • Sub-Series 12.4 -- Badges, Uniforms, and Wallet, 1981 and undated
  • Sub-Series 12.5 -- Books Collected, 1950-1985
  • Sub-Series 12.6 -- Calendars/Schedules and Contact Information, 1978-1989; undated
  • Sub-Series 12.7 -- Communications, 1977-1996
  • Sub-Series 12.8 -- Court Documents, 1982-1983
  • Sub-Series 12.9 -- District Office Reports, 1978-1981
  • Sub-Series 12.10 -- Employee Information, 1979-1980; undated
  • Sub-Series 12.11 -- Events Materials, 1976-1981
  • Sub-Series 12.12 -- Federal Correctional Institutions Information, undated
  • Sub-Series 12.13 -- Federal and State Government Informational Materials, 1978-1980; undated
  • Sub-Series 12.14 -- Newspaper Articles, 1977-1981
  • Sub-Series 12.15 -- Photos, 1977-1981
  • Sub-Series 12.16 -- Training Roster and Certificates, 1984-1995; undated
Series 13 -- Adjunct Professor Materials, 1979-1980; undated
Series 14 -- Colonel and Aide-de-Camp for the Mississippi Governor, 1980
Series 15 -- Wyandotte County Deputy Sheriff Materials, 1981 and undated
Series 16 -- Legislative Liaison to the Governor Materials, 1981-1988
  • Sub-Series 16.1 -- Appointment Documents and Résumé, 1981-1983
  • Sub-Series 16.2 -- Budget Process Booklet, 1982
  • Sub-Series 16.3 -- Calendar/Schedule, Business Cards, Name Card, Paperweight, and Note, 1982 and undated
  • Sub-Series 16.4 -- Communications, 1982-1983
  • Sub-Series 16.5 -- Congressional Directory, Roll, and Passes, 1982-1983
  • Sub-Series 16.6 -- Events Materials, 1982-1983; undated
  • Sub-Series 16.7 -- Photos, 1982 and undated
  • Sub-Series 16.8 -- Newspaper Articles, News Summaries, and Newspaper Scrapbook, 1981-1988
Series 17 -- Leavenworth County Special Deputy Sheriff Materials, 1983 and undated
Series 18 -- Lawyer Materials, 1983-1991
Series 19 -- Kansas Law Enforcement Training Commission Member Materials, 1982-1991; undated
Series 20 -- Member of Governor’s/Attorney General’s Committee on Crime Prevention Materials, 1983-1987
Series 21 -- Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent Materials, 1965-2000
  • Sub-Series 21.1 -- 50th Anniversary Books and Senate Resolution, 1983-1987
  • Sub-Series 21.2 -- Appointment Documents, 1983-1991
  • Sub-Series 21.3 -- Artwork and Joke Materials, 1983-2000; undated
  • Sub-Series 21.4 -- Awards and Honors, 1984-1987; undated
  • Sub-Series 21.5 -- Communications, 1980-1995
  • Sub-Series 21.6 -- Contact Information, 1983-1986; undated
  • Sub-Series 21.7 -- Decals, License Plates, Nameplates, Badges, Memo Slips, Stationery, and Business Cards, 1987-1991; undated
  • Sub-Series 21.8 -- Employee Materials, 1965-1992
  • Sub-Series 21.9 -- Events Materials, 1984-1992; undated
  • Sub-Series 21.10 -- Firearm Certificate of Authenticity, 1987
  • Sub-Series 21.11 -- Floor Plans for Headquarters, undated
  • Sub-Series 21.12 -- Highway Maps, 1967 and 1990
  • Sub-Series 21.13 -- Kansas Law Enforcement Memorial Committee Materials, 1984 and 1991
  • Sub-Series 21.14 -- Kansas State Troopers Association Agreements, 1983 and 1986
  • Sub-Series 21.15 -- Newspaper Articles, 1983-1999
  • Sub-Series 21.16 -- Organizational Charts and Information on the Patrol, 1978-1981; undated
  • Sub-Series 21.17 -- Photos, 1983-1992; undated
  • Sub-Series 21.18 -- Public Service Fliers, 1984-1986
  • Sub-Series 21.19 -- Reports and Meeting Materials, 1983-1991
  • Sub-Series 21.20 -- Schedules, 1986-1987
  • Sub-Series 21.21 -- Training Certificates, 1984
Series 22 -- Member of Governor’s Advisory Council Materials, 1984
Series 23 -- Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Reserve Officer Materials, 1984-1986
Series 24 -- Kansas Racing Commissioner Materials, 1981-1995; undated
Series 25 -- United Way Board Member Materials, 1987-1996; undated
Series 26 -- Kansas Attorney General Candidate Materials, 1983-1995
  • Sub-Series 26.1 -- Campaign Ads, 1990
  • Sub-Series 26.2 -- Campaign Committee Meeting Minutes, 1990
  • Sub-Series 26.3 -- Campaign Finance Records, 1990-1993
  • Sub-Series 26.4 -- Campaign Research, 1989-1990
  • Sub-Series 26.5 -- Communications, 1990-1991
  • Sub-Series 26.6 -- Contact Information, 1990 and undated
  • Sub-Series 26.7 -- Democratic Party Nomination Certificate, 1990
  • Sub-Series 26.8 -- Events Materials, 1990
  • Sub-Series 26.9 -- Newspaper Articles, 1983-1995
  • Sub-Series 26.10 -- Petition for Cantwell to Enter the Race, 1990
  • Sub-Series 26.11 -- Photos and Scrapbook, 1990
  • Sub-Series 26.12 -- Political Cartoon Book, 1990
Series 27 -- Member of Governor’s Criminal Justice Advisory Commission Materials, 1991
Series 28 -- Member of Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Committee on Substance Abuse Materials, 1992
Series 29 -- Kansas City, KS Chamber of Commerce President Materials, 1975-1997
  • Sub-Series 29.1 -- Awards and Honors, 1993-1996
  • Sub-Series 29.2 -- Calendars/Schedules and Notes, 1996 and undated
  • Sub-Series 29.3 -- Communications, 1975-1996
  • Sub-Series 29.4 -- Contact Information, 1989-1996; undated
  • Sub-Series 29.5 -- Cookbook, undated
  • Sub-Series 29.6 -- Events Materials, 1993-1996; undated
  • Sub-Series 29.7 -- Government Information, 1996
  • Sub-Series 29.8 -- Newspaper Articles and TV Reports, 1992-1997
  • Sub-Series 29.9 -- Photos, undated
  • Sub-Series 29.10 -- Reports, Proposals, Presentations, Meeting Agendas and Senate Testimony, 1994 and 1996
  • Sub-Series 29.11 -- Résumés, Business Cards, and Wallet, 1992 and undated
Series 30 -- Kaw Valley Center Board Member, 1995-1996
Series 31 -- School Materials, 1950-1996
  • Sub-Series 31.1 -- Academic Calendars and Schedules, 1981-1982
  • Sub-Series 31.2 -- Assignments and Notes, 1978-1984
  • Sub-Series 31.3 -- Awards, 1977-1984
  • Sub-Series 31.4 -- Correspondence, 1971-1985
  • Sub-Series 31.5 -- Course Catalogs, Registration Information, and Transcripts, 1971-1981
  • Sub-Series 31.6 -- Criminal Justice Research Materials, 1975-1982
  • Sub-Series 31.7 -- Degrees, Certificates, and Diploma, 1950-1983
  • Sub-Series 31.8 -- Events Materials, 1975-1993; undated
  • Sub-Series 31.9 -- Photos, Yearbooks, Directories and Alumni Publications, 1950-1996
  • Sub-Series 31.10 -- Practice Exams, 1979-1981
  • Sub-Series 31.11 -- Student ID and Association Member Card, 1971-1992; undated
  • Sub-Series 31.12 -- Thesis Research Materials, 1953-1979
  • Sub-Series 31.13 -- Thesis Drafts, 1977-1979
  • Sub-Series 31.14 -- Final Copies of Thesis, 1979
  • Sub-Series 31.15 -- Works that Reference Thesis, 1991 and 1994
Series 32 -- Professional and Social Clubs, 1962-1998; undated
Series 33 -- Democratic Party Materials, 1957-2000
Series 34 -- Personal Materials, 1932-2008
  • Sub-Series 34.1 -- Access Passes, Passports, and Voter Registration, 1976-1996
  • Sub-Series 34.2 -- Artwork, Religious, Motivational, Game, and Joke Materials, 1968-1989; undated
  • Sub-Series 34.3 -- Awards and Achievements, 1968-1990; undated
  • Sub-Series 34.4 -- Biographical Information, 1990-1993
  • Sub-Series 34.5 -- Books, Journals, Magazines, and Historical Photocopies, 1963-2001; undated
  • Sub-Series 34.6 -- Contact Information, undated
  • Sub-Series 34.7 -- Correspondence, 1946-2008
  • Sub-Series 34.8 -- Death and Memorial Materials, 1996-2000
  • Sub-Series 34.9 -- Events Materials, Souvenirs, and Materials from Trip to Ireland, 1974-1997; undated
  • Sub-Series 34.10 -- Financial Documents and Materials from Sales, 1972-1999
  • Sub-Series 34.11 -- Kansas City, KS Citizen Materials, 1950-1977; undated
  • Sub-Series 34.12 -- Legal Documents, 1932-1994
  • Sub-Series 34.13 -- Letterhead, Money clips, and Nametag Pin, undated
  • Sub-Series 34.14 -- Maps, undated
  • Sub-Series 34.15 -- Newspaper Articles, 1961-1994
  • Sub-Series 34.16 -- Photos and Scrapbook, 1973-1996
  • Sub-Series 34.17 -- Materials Belonging to Other Members of the Family, 1944-1994

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donation of Sandra Cantwell, 2005-07-15

Processing Information

ALM, 2019-09

Title
Bernal D. “Bert” Cantwell Papers
Author
ALM
Date
2019-09
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
Special Collections and University Archives
Wichita State University Libraries
1845 Fairmount
Wichita KS 67260-0068