Dorothy Andrews Elston Kabis

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Dorothy Andrews Elston Kabis
33rd Treasurer of the United States
In office
May 8, 1969 – July 3, 1971
PresidentRichard M. Nixon
Preceded byKathryn E. Granahan
Succeeded byRomana Acosta Bañuelos
Personal details
BornDorothy Andrews
March 22, 1917
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJuly 3, 1971(1971-07-03) (aged 54)
Sheffield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Russell Ransom Elston
Walter Kabis

Dorothy Andrews Elston Kabis (March 22, 1917 – July 3, 1971) was a Republican Party activist from the U.S. state of Delaware who was appointed the 33rd Treasurer of the United States, having served from May 8, 1969, until her death. In turn, she was not only the only Treasurer to die in office, but also the only Treasurer to marry another person while in office.


Elston Kabis was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to Reginald Hastings Andrews and the former Mabel Aston. She was attending Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee when she married Russell Ransom Elston (1911–1975) in 1936. The couple divorced in 1960. During the 1940s and 1950s, Elston worked in the legal department at the Du Pont Company in Wilmington, Delaware. After 1946, she also operated a nursery farm in Middletown.[1]

Elston Kabis became active in Republican politics beginning with the Eisenhower administration. She worked in the Delaware office of the Farmers Home Administration from 1956–59. She was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1956 and 1960, serving on the rules and platform committees. She was also a member of the Delaware Republican State Central Committee from 1954 to 1958.[1]

Considered a moderate conservative, Elston endorsed Barry Goldwater for President in 1964 but thereafter announced that she preferred Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, considered the most liberal of serious Republican candidates. However, she supported Nixon's nomination at the convention in Miami Beach, Florida, and was rewarded with an appointment to the office of Treasurer of the United States, the fifth consecutive woman to hold the position.[2]

Elston Kabis joined the GOP women's auxiliary group, the National Federation of Republican Women, in 1954 and was elected president at the NFRW convention in 1962, a post that she held from 1963–68. The most publicized of all NFRW elections was held in Washington, D.C. in 1967 to choose a successor to Elston. Normally the First Vice President, then conservative Phyllis Schlafly, would have been unopposed for the top position. When Schlafly sought to move up to the presidency, however, Elston worked covertly against her, and Schlafly lost to Gladys O'Donnell, a favorite of the Republican moderates, who drew the active support of Governors Nelson Rockefeller, Winthrop Rockefeller of Arkansas, and George Romney of Michigan.[2] Elston Kabis was also active in the League of Women Voters as well as the Methodist Church.[1]

Elston Kabis died of a heart attack in Sheffield, Massachusetts at the age of 54 while visiting her father's grave.[3] In her honor, the NFRW established an internship program for young women.[4]

Name change[edit]

Following her appointment as Treasurer by U.S. President Richard M. Nixon as Dorothy Andrews Elston, she married Walter L. Kabis (1914–2009), a World War II Pacific Navy veteran on the USS England (DE-635) and a school principal from Wilmington, Delaware in 1970 and changed her name to Dorothy Andrews Elston Kabis.[3] She became the first (and so far only) treasurer to have their name changed while in office, an event significant because the signature of the Treasurer of the United States appears on U.S. paper currency.

As Elston, Kabis signature appeared on the series 1969 one dollar bill. The resulting change in Kabis' signature appeared first on the Series 1969A note, so designated to show a different name as Treasurer, even though it was the same person.[5]

Signatures from year 1969 U.S. Federal Reserve notes. Kabis's signatures are at left.


  1. ^ a b c Dorothy Andrews Elston Kabis biographical information, Who's Who in America, 1970–1971, p. 662
  2. ^ a b Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism, Princeton University Press, 2005, pp. 138–59
  3. ^ a b TIME
  4. ^ National Federation of Republican Women Archived August 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Richard Nixon: Statement Announcing Nomination of Romana A. Banuelos as Treasurer of the United States, The American Presidency Project, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2007. Accessed 2007-07-23.
Preceded by
Kathryn E. Granahan
Treasurer of the United States

Dorothy Andrews Elston Kabis

Succeeded by
Romana Acosta Bañuelos
Preceded by
Ruth Parks of Colorado
President of the National Federation of Republican Women

Dorothy Andrews Elston of Delaware

Succeeded by
Gladys O'Donnell of California