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On the Anniversary of 'In Cold Blood,' Remembering Herb Clutter: A Kansas Legend

Kansas Heritage Center/hpj.com

High Plains residents may recognize the name Herb Clutter as the patriarch of the family that was brutally slain in Truman Capote’s true crime masterpiece In Cold Blood. But for folks in Southwest Kansas, the substance of Herb Clutter’s life is of so much more importance than its unfortunate conclusion. As the High Plains Journal reports, admiration for the man still resonates through Holcomb and Garden City almost 60 years after his passing. Clutter was a man of faith and deep integrity, a loving father, and a leader in business and agriculture.

He served the farmers of Kansas by founding the Kansas Wheat Growers Association. After that venture was successful, he founded the National Association of Wheat Growers. Clutter was also instrumental in the passing of legislation that helped create the Kansas Wheat Commission. All of these organizations have had decades of profound and beneficial effects on the state economy, and on the pride Kansans feel as part of the nation’s breadbasket.

Memorials for Herb can still be found throughout Garden City.