Funston, Frederick, 1865-1917

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Biographical History

Frederick Funston (1865-1917) was a journalist, military man, and scientific explorer. He was born on November 9, 1865, in New Carlisle, Ohio, and attended the University of Kansas. After college he became a special botanical agent for the Department of Agriculture. From there, he assisted Frederick Coville on the Death Valley Expedition, 1890-1891. He recorded many of his impressions of the expedition, sending them back to be published in the Iola Daily Register. Funston worked for many newspapers and on the Santa Fe Railroad. At that time, he became involved with a campaign for Cuban independence at Madison Square Garden in New York. Funston signed up as a Cuban revolutionary and arrived on Cuba in 1896; he served for 18 months. After returning to the U.S., he became a commander of the 20th Kansas Regiment during the Spanish-American War. He was also involved with recovery efforts after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. From 1908-1910, he served as Commandant of the Army Service Schools at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and in 1913 he became Commander of the Hawaiian Department. Through 1914, he was engaged as the military governor of Vera Cruz to preserve peace. Funston was then appointed as Commander of the Southern Department, which comprised most of the Mexican border. He died on February 19, 1917.


  • Library of Congress. NACO. Control Number: n 84017628
  • Frederick Funston Papers. Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved December 2011 from

Related entities

United States Dept. of Agriculture: He became a special botanical agent for the Department of Agriculture.

Birth Date


Death Date



  • Soldiers
  • Botany
  • Journalism


Personal name


  • Soldiers
  • Journalists
  • Botanists