Dana Hummer was born in Topeka in 1917, the son of Clayton and Elva Hummer. The fourth of eight children in Oakland, he found his life changed dramatically when his father died when Dana was 9 years old. His mother sent Dana and two brothers to an orphanage in Manhattan. He lived at the Oddfellows Hall until he was 15 before returning to Topeka.

Louise Lungstrum came from an East Topeka family. She was the second of 13 children born to Frank and Lena Lungstrum. At 19, Louise was an instructor at a dance studio at 7th and Quincy Street in downtown Topeka—known as the Egyptian Ballroom. A shy, yet dashing Dana Hummer was one of her students.

The two began dating and in 1943 were married in Aiken, S.C., not far from where Dana was stationed in Augusta, Georgia, as a member of the Army Air Corp.

In six months Dana received overseas orders. Louise returned to Topeka while Dana went to Naples, Italy, and North Africa during World War II. After the war, he returned to Louise and Topeka to resume his career in law enforcement and life of service to the community. He eventually became Chief of Police in 1963, a post he held until he retired a decade later.

As police chief, Dana Hummer initiated several important programs. He began the department’s helicopter program in 1971, the chaplain program and the bomb disposal unit. He introduced hand-held radios for police officers and purchased the first computers for the police department.

Dana started the “ride-a-long” program, which offered Topeka youth (and adults) opportunities to learn first-hand what policemen do on a daily basis. The ride-a-long program eventually led to a Junior Police program for young people, and Explorer programs about police work.

The 60s were turbulent times in the nation and in Topeka. Louise remembers them as difficult years. During Dana’s tenure as police chief, the city suffered two major blows. In 1965, the Kansas Avenue Bridge collapsed. Then came the devastating Tornado in June of 1966, that ripped through Topeka, inflicting millions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses and Washburn University.

As police chief during the 60s and early 70s, Hummer was faced with a protest walkout by Topeka High School African-American students over the issue of black history. Racial tensions were high across the nation, and Topeka was no exception. Dana was faced with keeping law and order, while at the same time trying to be fair to all citizens, regardless of race.

With all of Dana Hummer’s achievements, Louise was always there, sharing in the successes and the failures, the joys and the tragedies. They worked side by side through it all. Her love and encouragement were not lost in his success. “He used to tell me that I was ‘the wind beneath his wings,'” she remembers.

What would having Hummer Sports Park named in their honor have meant to Dana?

“He would have been very proud and humbled,” says Louise. As for her, she thinks it's “great.”

“This park is a wonderful addition to Topeka,” she says. “I know it will benefit young people in this city for many years to come.”

Hummer Sports Park will serve as an important sports venue for Topeka and many of its athletes in years to come. It will also stand as a lasting tribute to one of Topeka’s great stories of love and success.

Source: HummerSportsPark.com

Biographies

Cyrus K. Holliday
Cyrus K. Holliday was one of the founders of Topeka, in which, for many years, he »
Rev. John M. Whitehead
Rev. John M. Whitehead Excerpted from Deeds of Valor Like An Angel Among the Wounde »
Franklin Loomis Crane
Franklin Loomis Crane -Cemetery Founder In 1883, Franklin Loomis Crane celebrated hi »
George T. Anthony
George T. Anthony By Edith Connelly Ross A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans »
Sam Radges
Sam Radges Many Topekans may not recognize his name, but they will recognize the sto »
Thomas A. Osborn
Thomas A. Osborn By Mrs. Edith Connelly Ross A Standard History of Kansas and Ka »
Col. John Ritchie
COL. JOHN RITCHIE was born in Uniontown, Muskingum Co., Ohio, July 17, 1817. His p »
Abe Scrinopskie
Abe Scrinopskie Abe Scrinopskie was born in Sake, Russia, in 1895, the son of Eli an »
William Eagleson
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Frye W. Giles
Frye W. Giles Among the cities of Kansas, Topeka, its beautiful capital, rears her l »

Obituaries

Mrs. Farnsworth Dies
Mrs. Farnsworth Dies   Prominent Church Worker and Club Woman Lived Here 36 Ye »
LaVerna E. Manis
LaVerna E. ManisBorn in Topeka on Jul. 3, 1921Departed on Oct. 17, 2011 and resided i »
Amanda Rose Gardner
Amanda Rose Gardner Mass of Christian Burial will be at noon Friday at St. Matthew »
Arthur J. Schulte
Arthur J. Schulte Arthur J. Schulte, 78, 2030 Collins, died Friday, September 2, at »
Belva L. Sandmeyer
Belva L. Sandmeyer, 88, passed away Saturday, July 23, 2011, at her home in Topeka »
Harland D. Hal Coffman
Harland D. Hal Coffman Harland D. Hal Coffman, 81, of Topeka, passed away on Sunday, »
John J. Sandmeyer
John J. Sandmeyer, 86, of Topeka, was called home on Thursday, May 28, 2009. Mr. S »
David “Bumper” Brian Cook
David “Bumper” Brian Cook David “Bumper” Brian Cook, 16, Topeka, died Thursd »
Mary Geraldine Bellman
Mary Geraldine Bellman Mary Geraldine Bellman, 78, of Topeka, passed away on Wedne »
Ellen Marie Malstrom
Ellen Marie Malstrom Ellen Marie Malstrom, 96, Topeka, died Thrusday, November 19, 1 »
M. L. “Peggy Anne” Mills
M. L. “Peggy Anne” Mills Margaret Landon “Peggy Anne” Mills, 77, Topeka, die »
Mrs. Cora E. Schulte
Mrs. Cora E. Schulte Mrs. Cora E. Schulte, 81, 4712 SW 6th, died Friday, October 10, »
Robert R. Knight
Robert R. Knight Robert R. “Bob” Knight, 75, Topeka, died Thursday, August 28, 1 »

Family Stories

Dana Hummer
Dana Hummer was born in Topeka in 1917, the son of Clayton and Elva Hummer. The fo »
Lowell Manis
 Lowell Manis Lowell Manis overlooks the grounds of the historic Topeka Cemeter »
Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis in 1928 during his political campaign to become United States Vice »
ELDER ARRIVES AT ASTORIA, OREGON
ELDER ARRIVES AT ASTORIA, OREGON Carrying 67 Survivors Of the Wreck---Partial List »
The Shulls
The Shulls From newspaper dated August 19, 1907 IN MEMORY OF TOPEKA GIRLS WHO LOST »

Contact Info

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About  Historic Topeka Cemetery

Historic Topeka Cemetery is operated by its lot owners, each of whom is a member of the Topeka Cemetery Association. Day-to-day operations are overseen by the association’s nine member board of directors and conducted by the superintendent.

As you walk the grounds or visit the website, know that your loved ones rest with ours. As they have been since its founding in 1859, Historic Topeka Cemetery’s caretakers are committed to respectful maintenance and preserving memories for generations to come.

Thank you for your support and patronage of Historic Topeka Cemetery, the oldest chartered cemetery in Kansas.

 

Historic Topeka Cemetery

1601 SE 10th Avenue . Topeka, Kansas 66607

(785) 233-4132

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