The seventy-second annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society and board of directors was held in the rooms of the Society on October 21, 1947. In the absence of Gen. Milton R. McLean, president, the annual meeting of the directors was called to order by Vice-President R. T. Aitchison at 10 a. m. First business was the reading of the annual report by the secretary.
At the conclusion of last year's meeting, the newly elected president, Gen. Milton R. McLean, reappointed Judge John S. Dawson and T. M. Lillard to the executive committee. The members holding over were Robert C. Rankin, Charles M. Correll and General McLean.
The 1947 legislature granted several increases in the Society's appropriations for the next biennium.
The largest item was $38,000 for new steel stacks and a book elevator in the library. As explained in last year's report, this additional shelf room is badly needed. Unfortunately, costs of steel and labor have advanced so much since the job was estimated last year that it is questionable whether the installation can be made for the money. This won't be known until bids are asked for on the specifications, which are now being prepared by the state architect.
Salary increases of twenty per cent were requested. Owing to the pressure for emergency appropriations for buildings and other post-war programs, salary raises averaged only about ten per cent. It isn't necessary to point out how this compares with the rise in living costs.
Other special appropriations include the following: $2,000 for cleaning and repairing the Goss collection of birds in the museum; an increase of $1,000 a year for compiling the Annals; $4,000 for painting the museum and auditorium; $1,800 for a tractor at Old Shawnee Mission; $1,000 for re-roofing the East building at the Mission; and an increase, for the biennium, of $4,000 in the printing and binding fund.
During the year 3,000 persons did research in the library, an increase of nearly 400 over the preceding year. Of these, 1,223 worked on Kansas subjects, 890 on genealogy and 888 on general subjects. Numerous inquiries were answered by letter and 105 packages on Kansas subjects were sent out from the loan file. In the Library of Congress catalogue, 72,571 cards were filed from October, 1946, to June, 1947. Beginning last June, the Library of Congress discontinued sending cards, since the catalogue is now issued in book form each month, with quarterly and yearly cumulations. From April 1, 1946, to January 1, 1947, 1,278 newspaper clippings were mounted.
Many gifts of Kansas books and genealogies were received from individuals.
Typed and printed genealogical records were presented by the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America.
Microfilm copies of the Proceedings of the American Indian Mission Association from 1843 to 1852, and copies of the Indian Advocate, Louisville, Ky., from July, 1847, to January, 1855, were purchased.
During the year, 1,288 pictures were classified and catalogued and added to the picture collection. Among them are 800 kodak pictures of scenes along the routes of the Oregon and Santa Fe trails, taken in the 1920's.
There are at present only twelve states which have central archives for old public records. One of these is Kansas, and the Historical Society is its archives department. A new policy of state records disposal, requiring approval by a records board and authorization by the legislature before any record may be discarded, was put into operation for the first time this year. The 1947 legislature gave seven departments and agencies permission to destroy certain records, contingent on refusal by this Society. We accordingly inspected these records and kept out those that will be of permanent value. Archives accessions for the year are as follows:
Dates, Quantity, Source, Title:
Governor's Office Correspondence Files of Governor Schoeppel, 1943-'45 51,000
Although the records of this division now total approximately a million and a half separate manuscripts and 30,000 manuscript volumes, it is the only de-
partment for which no permanent shelving has ever been provided. As a result, many of its records are not easily accessible. It is possible that many of these documents can eventually be microfilmed. However, until we can undertake a survey of the vast quantities of archives still stored in the state house which may have to be accepted by the Society, no plans for permanent equipment can be made.
Fifty-five manuscript volumes and 6,086 individual manuscripts were received during the year.
The South-Western Stage Company's passenger register (1874-1879) was donated by Mrs. R. R. Hollis of Fergus Falls, Minn., through the Wisconsin State Historical Society. This company, despite its name, operated in northcentral Kansas. The stage line ran between Concordia and Waterville from 1874 through 1878, and from Kirwin to Beloit beginning in 1879.
Through the courtesy of Mrs. Roy F. Good, of Gashland, Mo., and Rep. J. O. Gunnels, of Colby, the Society was permitted to microfilm two early-day account books of particular interest. The earlier volume is the day book of an unidentified Westport (Mo.) trading house from October, 1839, to October, 1840. The names of Kansas City pioneers Allen McGee, John C. McCoy, William M. Chick and A. B. Van Bibber, among others, appear often in the entries. The other volume, a "Miami Post Day Book," runs from December. 1847, through September, 1849. The accounts therein are chiefly with individual Indians, probably Pottawatomies.
Twenty letters of Allen T. Ward, written between 1835 and 1861, were given by Mrs. Fred W. Honens of Sterling, Ill. Mr. Ward worked at Shawnee Methodist Mission in the 1840's and 1850's and supervised the construction of the Kansas Methodist Mission at Council Grove.
Before William Allen White's death, historian Dr. Walter Johnson microfilmed selected correspondence and other papers of Mr. White. A positive copy of the microfilm is one of the valuable acquisitions of the year. Mr. White's papers are now in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
Papers pertaining to Richard Realf, from Richard J. Hinton's collection. were given by Oswald Garrison Villard of New York City. Included are a number of letters by Realf.
Western Kansas records of special interest were received from P. J. Jennings of McCracken. They include seven diary volumes (1871-1885) kept by Dr. Louis Watson who went to Ellis county as manager of the Western Kansas Agricultural Association; 12 books of his weather records; and five diaries (1888-1894) kept by H. G. Watson, nephew of Louis, who developed a large ranch in Ellis county. Mr. Jennings also gave a typed manuscript containing his boyhood recollections of Ellis county pioneers.
A part of the papers of James Barnes Whitaker, Shawnee county pioneer, have been presented by his granddaughter, Mrs. Evelyn Whitney of Topeka. In the territorial period Mr. Whitaker was sheriff, and also a deputy U. S. marshal; he served for a number of years as county surveyor and was later city engineer of Topeka. Among the papers given by Fenn Ward, of Highland, are two letters written by S. E. Hardy "on the plains" in 1850, describing events of his company's
overland journey to California. The first letter mentions the Iowa Mission near present Highland.
Other donors were: W. T. Bishop, Mrs. Gilbert L. Blatchley, L. G. Bodine, Mrs. Charles Bowers, Mrs. Samuel J. Brandenburg, Irving L. Brooks, Dr. Edward Bumgardner, Mrs. W. H. Creitz, Mrs. Frank H. Cron, James W. Dappert, Dickinson County Historical Society, Mrs. Fred Farnsworth, C. B. Fiester, First Congregational Church of Topeka, E. L. Forsyth, Good Government Club of Topeka, J. Jay Henderson, Mrs. Chloe Berry Howe, J. W. F. Hughes estate, C. C. Isely, Kansas Press Association, Cecil Kingery, Irving R. Lovejoy, A. S. McCutcheon, Gen. Milton R. McLean, Mrs. L. F. Maneval, Karl A. Menninger, Mrs. Cecil W. Meredith, Joseph M. Piazzek, George A. Root, Judge J. C. Ruppenthal, Mrs. A. B. Seelye, Mrs. John F. Sennrich, Robert. Stone, L. L. Strong, Jr., Boyd B. Stutler, Mrs. Nelle C. Terrill, Mrs. Caroline Travis.
The microfilm division has now photographed more than half a million pages of Kansas newspapers. The film of the Topeka State Journal, 1879-1930, which was the first major project, ran to 23,657 linear feet, or 236 100-foot reels. Figured at seven pages to a foot, this means that the total number of pages of the Journal now on microfilm is approximately 165,599. The second job was the Topeka Daily Capital. It was microfilmed from its beginning in 1879 through 1935; a total of 235,137 newspaper pages. This film of 57 years of the Capital is contained in 367 reels. We are now filming the Wichita Eagle. So far, the Weekly Eagle, 1872-1919, and the Morning Eagle, 1884-1915, have been photographed. The Morning Eagle and the Evening Eagle, which began in 1927, are to be brought down to date.
The Society is grateful for the excellent cooperation of Kansas publishers. It is necessary for them to send in all their back issues, to be collated with those of the Society, so that the best possible file can be assembled for filming. For work done thus far, mention should be made of Oscar Stauffer and Ed Chapman of the Topeka State Journal; Sen Arthur Capper, Henry Blake and Milton Tabor of the Topeka Daily Capital; and Marcellus Murdock and Dick Long of the Wichita Eagle.
Other documents and newspapers microfilmed during the year are: Early records of the Friends, church in Kansas; records of the First Congregational church, Topeka, 1855-1927; the Oxford Register, in 11 reels, covering the years 1912-1932, and two reels of miscellaneous Negro newspapers. These last were filmed as part of a national project sponsored by the committee on Negro studies of the American Council of Learned Societies.
Among the newspapers which the Society expects to microfilm soon are the Leavenworth Times (excepting early issues previously photographed), the Burlingame Enterprise-Chronicle, and the Wichita Beacon.
It is not always easy to determine what papers should be filmed first, but some of the factors which influence the selection are: The condition of the Society's file of the newspaper; the extent to which it is used; the rate at which the paper is deteriorating; the need for it to fill gaps in the Society's collection; and of course, consideration is given to the requests of publishers whose office files may require immediate preservation.
Thirty-one hundred patrons were served by the newspaper and census divisions during the year. Fifty-six hundred single issues of newspapers and 6,317 bound volumes were consulted; 3,967 census volumes were searched and from them 2,324 certified copies of family records were issued. These census records are used in making claims for old-age assistance, social security, railroad retirement, pensions and insurance endowments, and for delayed birth certificates and passports.
The 1947 List of Kansas Newspapers and Periodicals was issued in August. It showed 683 newspapers and periodicals being received regularly for filing. These include 56 dailies, one triweekly, 12 semiweeklies, 385 weeklies, one three times monthly, 28 fortnightlies, 16 semimonthlies, three once every three weeks, 112 monthlies, 13 bimonthlies, 27 quarterlies, 23 occasionals, four semiannuals and two annuals, coming from all the 105 Kansas counties. Of these 683 publications, 247 are listed as independent, 127 republican and 21 as democratic in politics; 92 are school or college, 42 religious, 22 fraternal, eight labor, nine industrial, 15 trade and 100 miscellaneous.
On January 1, 1947, the Society's collections contained 51,629 bound volumes of Kansas newspapers, exclusive of more than 10,000 bound volumes of out-of-state newspapers dated from 1767 to 1947.
During the year the Society purchased a positive microfilm of the New York Times, 1851-1870, in 69 reels. Five positive microfilm reels of The Cherokee Advocate, Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, O. T., 1881-1897, came as a gift from the Library of Congress. These are copies of the original files of the Advocate in the collections of the Kansas State Historical Society which the Congressional Library borrowed for filming. A gift from the United Spanish War Veterans, Topeka, was three bound volumes of The National Tribune, Washington, D. C., 1940-1942. Among the donors of other miscellaneous newspapers were: C. A. Coe, Cottonwood Falls, George A. Root and Constance Van Natta, Topeka, and J. L. McCorison, Jr., Boston, Mass.
The Annals of Kansas has been completed through 1899, a total of nine years having been compiled during the past fiscal year. In addition, all state reports, proceedings of all organizations, and nearly all the newspapers for the year 1900 have been worked through. Proceedings for several organizations have been brought up to 1910.
The principal sources for the Annals are the Topeka Daily Capital, the Wichita Eagle and the Kansas City (Mo.) Times. All references to events which took place in cities and towns other than Kansas City, Wichita and Topeka, are verified in the newspapers of those places. For example, a dispatch from Pittsburg is checked in the Pittsburg newspapers.
Other publications are read for specialized information. An example is the Kansas Farmer, official organ for farm organizations and a source of agricultural news. During the Populist regime, the Topeka Advocate was the official state paper. State reports are read and streamlined. These include: agriculture, banks, charities, coal mines, health, insurance, labor, railroads, meteorology, population and education.
As life in Kansas becomes more complex, the newspapers have more pages, if not more news, and the annalist's job becomes heavier. This probably means that our present average of seven or eight Annals years each fiscal year cannot be maintained.
The compilation is being made by Miss Jennie Owen under the direction of the secretary, with the following advisory committee: Fred Brinkerhoff of Pittsburg, Cecil Howes of Topeka, Dr. J. C. Malin of Lawrence and Justice William A. Smith of Topeka.
The attendance for the year in the museum was 39,248, an increase of 6,355 over the preceding year. The largest number on any one day was 1,565, when the Santa Fe railroad sponsored a special tour by parties from out of town.
There were 25 accessions. Among the most interesting was a pair of hand-carved wooden shoes, more than 18 inches long, which were used in an early-day Kansas brewery. The brewer wore them over his regular shoes while raking hops. They belonged to Theodore Weichselbaum, who made beer at Ogden in the 1870's. They were given by Mr. E. K. Frank, Tulsa, Okla.
Another accession that has attracted much attention is a Great Smith touring car which was built in Topeka in 1908. It was given to the Society by Dr. Clement Smith, who, with his brother, owned and operated the company.
Mr. L. R. Hershey, of Olathe, gave a Colt's model pocket pistol of navy caliber, converted (1872) to .38 rim fire. An engraving on the cylinder depicts a stagecoach holdup.
Mrs. Edward Keith of Kansas City, Mo., gave a silk hat which had belonged to her grandfather, John James Ingalls, United States senator from 1873 to 1891. For many years Ingalls was the most prominent politician, orator and author in Kansas.
Since the first of the year all the pictures in the museum and all the exhibits in 45 large cases in the main gallery have been cleaned and restored. As mentioned in the report on the legislature, appropriations were made for painting the museum and for cleaning and repairing the Goss collection of birds. If suitable bids can be secured, this work will be done before the end of the fiscal year.
been subjects for extended research: Biography: John Brown and his New England supporters; James H. Lane; Edgar Watson Howe; Meriwether Lewis and William Clark; Ewing Herbert; the congressional career of Victor Murdock. General: Populist orators of Kansas; Kansas Court of Industrial Relations; a study of the Hollenberg, Kan., community; Baptist church history in Kansas; teaching of mathematics in Kansas; state tax administration; the rise and fall of political radicalism in Kansas; child labor in Kansas; agrarian discontent in the Middle West; folksongs of Kansas; New England Emigrant Aid Society; the Grange; Farmer's Union; dust bowl; first Manhattan newspaper.
The Kansas Historical Quarterly is now in its sixteenth year. One of the most interesting features the magazine has published was concluded in the May number this year. This was the diary of Hiram H. Young, which appeared in five installments during 1946 and 1947. Parts of the diary were reprinted as they came out by several Kansas newspapers. Another of the year's contributions, one that has been of special value to libraries and schools, was the 20-page bibliography of the writings of William Allen White. It appeared in the February number and was compiled by Dr. Walter Johnson, of the University of Chicago, and Miss /Alberta Pantle, a member of our staff. Also of service to students of history and genealogy is the annual list of books purchased by the Society, compiled by the librarian, Miss Helen McFarland.
It has been 20 years since the state acquired the Mission property. It was then virtually in the country, with only a few scattered houses in the neighborhood. Now it is surrounded by homes on all but the north side, where there is a golf course, and that will soon be subdivided. As a result, local attendance at the Mission has increased each year, even during the war. During the past year visitors included an unusually large number of school groups.
Next week, on October 27, the Kansas society, Daughters of the American Revolution, will make their annual pilgrimage to the Mission. A number of
the relics on display in their rooms have recently been placed in a special glass case which was a gift of Miss Harriet E. Stanley of Wichita.
A collection of articles from the Miss Anna E. Henderson estate, recently presented by Mrs. Tom Davis of Shawnee, is now on display in the museum which is sponsored by the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society. Among them are a trundle bed and a number of early-day school books.
These rooms and those sponsored by the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of 1812 and the Daughters of American Colonists are in the East building. The Society is indebted to these organizations for their cooperation.
The number of visitors at the First Capitol building on the Fort Riley reservation is still below what it was before the war. Several minor repairs were made on the building and grounds during the year.
The various accomplishments noted in this report
are due to the Society's splendid staff of employees. I gratefully acknowledge my
indebtedness to them. Special mention, perhaps, should be made of the heads of
departments: Helen M. McFarland, librarian; Edith Smelser, custodian of the
museum; Mrs. Lela Barnes, treasurer; Nyle H. Miller, microfilm director and
managing editor of the Quarterly; and Edgar Langsdorf, archivist and manager of
the building. Attention should also be called to the work of Harry A. Hardy and
his wife Kate, custodians of the Old Shawnee Mission, and to that of John Scott,
custodian of the First Capitol. Respectfully submitted,
At the conclusion of the reading of the secretary's report, Frank A. Hobble moved that it be accepted. Motion was seconded by T. M. Lillard and the report was accepted.
Vice-President Aitchison then called for the report of the treasurer, Mrs. Lela Barnes:
August 18, 1946, to August 31, 1947.
This donation is substantiated by a U. S. savings bond, Series G, in the amount of $1,000. The interest is credited to the membership fee fund.
This report covers only the membership fee fund and other custodial funds. It is not a statement of the appropriations made by the legislature for the maintenance of the Society. These disbursements are not made by the treasurer of the Society, but by the state auditor. For the year ending June 30, 1947, these appropriations were: Kansas State Historical Society, $64,010; Memorial building, $8,798; Old Shawnee Mission, $3,801; First Capitol of Kansas, $1,134.
On motion by Frank A. Hobble, seconded by T. M. Lillard, the report was accepted. The report, of the executive committee on the audit by the state accountant of the funds of the Society was called for and read by John S. Dawson:
October 17, 1947.To the Board of Directors,
Kansas State Historical Society:
The executive committee being directed under the bylaws to check the accounts of the treasurer, states that the state accountant has audited the funds of the State Historical Society, the First Capitol of Kansas and the Old Shawnee Mission from August 18, 1946, to August 31, 1947, and that they are hereby approved.
JOHN S. DAWSON, Chairman.
On motion by John S. Dawson, seconded by Frank A. Hobble, the report was accepted.
The report of the nominating committee for officers of the Society was read by John S. Dawson:
October 17, 1947.To the Board of Directors,
Kansas State Historical Society:
Your committee on nominations submits the following report for officers of the Kansas State Historical Society:
For a one-year term: R. T. Aitchison, Wichita, president; R. F. Brock, Goodland, first vice-president; Frank Haucke, Council Grove, second vicepresident.
JOHN S. DAWSON, Chairman.
The report was referred to the afternoon meeting of the board. There being no further business the meeting adjourned.ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY
The annual meeting of the Kansas State
Historical Society convened at 2:00 p. m.
In the absence of President McLean, his address was read by Comdr. Standish Hall.
The address follows:
THE Kansas chapter on Selective Service was written at a time of grave national emergency. It was begun when the world was aflame with hatred, and when total war was raging in many quarters of the earth. It was carried through during years when our own nation was under the dark shadow of global conflict; and it was finished in formality at a time when the entire world was engulfed in the problems of post-war adjustment, with predictions of a third world war being made even as the Selective Service mechanism of the nation was being dismantled. Through the entire chapter runs the vivid thread of another story, the account of the fortitude, courage, patriotism and loyalty displayed by the people of Kansas as they answered the call to arms. The fathers, mothers, sons and daughters of the Sunflower state did their parts with the strength of character, the inspired leadership and the devotion to duty that has characterized the people of this state since the earliest days of its inception.
As state director of Selective Service for Kansas, it was my privilege to serve in that office under three governors: Gov. Payne Ratner, Gov. Andrew Schoeppel and Gov. Frank Carlson. Governor
Carlson's administration was charged under the Selective Service act until March 31, of this year, when the law officially expired. Due to the fine spirit of cooperation always in evidence on the part of Kansas people, under the direction of the state administrations, Selective Service in Kansas functioned smoothly, with a minimum of confusion, and the state punctually fulfilled its quotas of men at the time they were needed to swell this nation's armed forces for their victorious conquest over the evil forces which menaced us at that time.
Selective Service, in its broad sense, took in the whole of Kansas people. Its operation was conducted by folks at home, serving on local boards, and as medical examiners in every county of the state. These operations, of course, were supervised by the state office, which, in turn, was subject to regulation and orders by the National Selective Service headquarters.
SO broad and sweeping in their scope were the powers of Selective Service that the life of virtually every citizen of Kansas was affected one way or another. The Selective Service act became law, September 16, 1940, and the first registration was held on October 16, 1940. Although other registrations followed in due course of time, the first registration of Kansas manpower was one which never will be forgotten by the people of our state. For it was then, after years of peace-time living in this nation, that the war clouds which then covered Europe seemed indeed to have been borne by the winds of hate to our shores. There was not a village or hamlet in the state that did not feel the impact of that first registration. Men and boys flocked to the town halls, the fire stations, the village stores-all the places where the proper officials were on hand to record their names, their ages, and other data of identification for use by Uncle Sam.
This information was not long in the files until the fateful day of December 7, 1941, arrived. With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent declarations of war, the United States went into action. Selective Service, although only a little over one year old, went into high gear and complete functioning in every state in the union. In rapid-fire order the general conscription of manpower from 18 to 65 years was ordered.
The first problem faced by Selective Service in Kansas was to convince the people of the state that total war, as it was being practiced by the Axis aggressors, made total mobilization of manpower
and resources vitally necessary. There could be no half-way mark; no compromise in our war effort.
Kansas people soon saw clearly that volunteer methods, while achieving much in patriotism and in the calibre of men who offered their services, could not even begin to meet the tremendous demands of the war crisis, or maintain the equity and fair treatment required when every citizen is mobilized into the war effort. With this quick understanding of the problem by the people of Kansas, by the mothers, the fathers, the sons and daughters alike, volunteering soon was eliminated and Selective Service operations were given their high efficiency by the wholehearted and understanding cooperation of the "folks at home."
There were other factors, too, which contributed to the smooth functioning of Selective Service in Kansas. Policies established by the governor (at that time the chief executive was Payne Ratner), careful planning by the Adjutant General's department, and the great amount of clerical and administrative work which was done by all those involved, all had their part in developing an efficient system. In order to fully understand the Kansas situation, a "look behind the scenes" might not be amiss. Kansas had kept abreast of national developments since 1926, when the joint Army-Navy committee began its planning for Selective Service. Kansas, in its own military set-up, kept the national plan modified to home conditions, ready for instant action whenever an emergency might arise.
From 1936, however, Kansas devoted more and more official attention to national Selective Service developments. In 1939, Kansas submitted its own version of a Selective Service program to national officials, which was approved without a change. The national plan submitted to congress, which was enacted in 1940, had surprisingly few differences from what Kansas submitted.
It followed then, that when preparations for national defense became an issue of first importance in 1940, Kansas was ready. Anticipating the passage of a National Selective Service act by congress, Governor Ratner and officials of the Adjutant General's office were in virtually constant consultation and conference, in order to be doubly sure there would be no hitch in the Kansas plans. It was Governor Ratner's decision that after the appointment of a state director of Selective Service, no other appointments would be made directly from the chief executive's office. Instead, through the director's office, calls would be made upon local officials and pro-
fessional groups to name the best citizens available to administer the system. Such a plan, the governor knew, would insure against any possible accusations of favoritism, or politics. It would give the folks at home the choice of Selective Service officials, instead of relying upon their selection by other sources. This proved to be a wise move, as officials chosen in their own communities were, of course, far more familiar with local conditions than persons who might have been selected from outside.
When Gov. Andrew Schoeppel took office in January, 1943, he followed the same policies in his determination to keep Selective Service free from any kind of outside interference. He gave great encouragement to the existing organization to continue its operation on a fair, impartial and patriotic basis. The wisdom of his course was amply demonstrated. Kansas was eminently successful in keeping her Selective Service operations from the evils of centralized control, and maintained the system to the end through the support and control of the people themselves.
The Selective Service act called for volunteer services on the part of the people to administer the program. With the exception of necessary technical and clerical work, the huge task was completed entirely on a non-pay basis through the patriotic efforts of those who unselfishly sacrificed their own personal interests in favor of the interests of their state and nation. Politics, wealth, religion and other discordant factors were not permitted to enter the Kansas picture of Selective Service operations. Through the six registrations necessary before the end of the war, these influences were not felt in any section or segment of the Kansas organization. Instead, loyalty and unselfish service were predominant.
The second registration was conducted July 1, 1941, to secure the services of all those who had attained majority since the first registration the previous October.
Kansas, along with the other states, held four more registrations, as follows: Third registration, February 16, 1942, for 20-year-olds and those 36 to 45. Fourth registration, April 27, 1942, for those 45 to 64. Fifth registration, June 30, 1942, for those 18 to 20.
Sixth registration, December 11-31, 1942, for those who had attained their 18th birthday since the previous registration, and pro-
viding that all those who became 18 thereafter should register on their 18th birthday.
Little or no difficulty was experienced in Kansas during any of the registrations. The entire job was handled most satisfactorily and the attitude of the boys themselves was most exemplary.
As for the important task of classification and deferment, this was left to the determination of local boards on the basis of evidence submitted by the registrant, through his questionnaire and other means. The decisions of the local board could be appealed to an appeal board, which reviewed the evidence, with the authority to affirm or reverse the local board. The appeal board's decision was final, except in certain cases, when an appeal could be made to the President. Like other states of the nation, Kansas did not have an easy time of it in producing the quotas demanded by the military when the war reached its more advanced stages.
During the latter calls made upon the state, Kansas more than once "scraped the bottom of the manpower barrel." War industries, which made a heavy drain upon the state's manpower, seriously depleted the rolls of eligible men during the period of great industrial expansion, but the calls were met in spite of this handicap. Manpower for war industries and factories, especially airplane factories, was at least fairly adequate at all times.
An interesting paradox developed in the state in connection with the labor situation. Selective Service, which frequently had been blamed for the lack of farm workers, actually became the medium by which farm labor was kept on a firm basis. Measures were taken in the state to make farm work and agricultural work under certain standards and requirements the basis for occupational deferment. As long as a man remained in that status he was deferred, but if he left the farm, he was subject to immediate re-classification. Thus, Selective Service proved itself a stabilizer for farm labor.
The liberal and generous policy of Kansas Selective Service to maintain and continue adequate farming operations also is shown by a comparison of Kansas farm deferments with those of neighboring states. Such a comparison would show a far greater percentage than in those states about us.
Industrial deferment also became increasingly difficult in the critical years of the war, with Kansas making an all-out production record in airplanes, powder and ordnance plants, air field construction,
milling, oil production, mining operations and other allied industrial activities, all vitally necessary to the war effort.
To help bring about a solution to this perplexing situation, Selective Service developed critical occupation lists to aid local boards in their determinations of whom to defer and whom not to defer. Thus, the local boards of the state were provided with a measuring stick. A list of occupations considered unessential in the war effort also was sent out, listing jobs which were termed non-deferable. Another definite help in this situation was the establishment of replacement schedules, designed to provide for a systematic withdrawal of men from industry for military service, and their replacement by new workers with time enough to train them.
In recounting these phases of Selective Service in Kansas, it would be a serious omission not to say a few words about the splendid attitude of Kansas fathers during those dark days when the reservoir of man power was running dry, and a new source of supply had to be tapped.
That new source then was the thousands of fathers over the state, most of whom previously had been classified III-A, deferred on grounds of dependency. When Selective Service voiced the facts of the manpower situation, and the necessity of seeking the help of those who had families, a great hue and cry arose in congress, and among some politicians, that the need was not serious enough to warrant calling them.
However, the vast majority of Kansas fathers already had made their own analysis of the situation, and their almost universal expression was, "I'm ready to go any time my country needs me." Another very common statement was, "I've got more to fight for than a single man."
The years of World War II were not easy for Kansas, but they were years which proved again the staunch character of our people, and their quick and sustained devotion to duty.
The staff of Selective Service in Kansas, from the director on down the list, knows that it was the efficient, resourceful cooperation of their fellow citizens which enabled the program to be administered so well in our state. Now that Selective Service officially has ceased its operations, and the records involved in that tremendous task have been filed away for safekeeping, and for future reference if need be, the conscious satisfaction of a job well done may be voiced in favor of all Kansas citizens, who, under the wise guidance of loyal, practical adminis-
trations, moved to the front when duty and emergency demanded, and who discharged their obligations as citizens of a great and free nation in a manner which may well prove inspirational to future generations.
Following the reading of the president's address, Charles M. Harger of Abilene, president of the Eisenhower Memorial Foundation, talked on the foundation. His talk follows:
Fifty years ago-a little more than that-the Eisenhower family moved to Abilene. They lived in a modest two-story building in what was then a remote part of the city and is not now inside the close business and residence section. It was on the wrong side of the tracks. But they had a little ground there and they raised six sons [the seventh died in infancy]-fine, cheerful, wide awake, full of life, full of honors in the school-and one of them was Dwight Eisenhower.
Dwight I knew better than I did the others. He was a member of the same high school graduating class as my daughter, he was over at the house dozens of times, he was just a nice boy. He was clean. He was decent. He worked hard. He helped earn all the money he could to aid the family, as all the others did. When he went to West Point it was without any pull or any political advantage, just the friendship of the businessmen of Abilene who liked him. The other boys went to college and worked their way through. By the way, that was a remarkable family. Its boys all worked their way through college; all occupied prominent places in business and professional life, and one of them, as you know, is president of the Kansas State College.
Dwight went to West Point, and we kept track of him. He came home frequently and we knew him for years and years and years. We kept watching his upward progress and one day we learned that he was a member of the War Staff in Washington. Then the President of the United States and the King and Premier of Great Britain made him head of the Allied forces in Europe, the greatest army that was ever gathered, fighting against the most brutal, the most dastardly group of gangsters that ever lived on earth. And he won the war. His army won the war. He got the honor for it. They acknowledged it. His diplomacy, his ability to gather together the groups from the different countries, molded them into a unified force and we all know what wonderful victories he won.
Then he came home. He stopped in London. One hundred thousand persons crowded the street in front of the Guildhall. He stood on the balcony with King George on one side, Winston Churchill on the other-Princess Elizabeth in the background somewhere, I suppose-and made an address. It was a marvelous address-beautiful diction, beautiful language, beautiful sentiment. It was a speech that won the heart of every person who heard it or read it. One of the big London papers printed that speech eight columns wide. In comparatively large type it covered the whole front page, and in the center of the page was put a box. In that box was printed the Gettysburg address. It said in the legend at the top of the page, the headlines, that the address of General Eisenhower was just as beautiful and just as glorious in its sentiment as anything that Abraham Lincoln ever wrote. That shows how much they thought of him. He came to New York, and
thousands and hundreds of thousands cheered him down Broadway. He came to Washington. He came to Kansas City and it was the same thing over again. He came to Abilene and forty thousand people poured into that little town of six thousand population. I never saw acres of people before until they gathered around the speaking stand out in the park. It was a glorious reception, his home reception. Then we decided that something ought to be done about it. Here was a man who was unquestionably the greatest general that America ever knew. He had commanded the greatest army, had had the most remarkable support from every country and from all the generals. And he was a Kansas man, Kansas ought to do something about it. He was an Abilene man, Abilene ought to do something about it. We organized what is technically and officially known as "The National Foundation to Honor General Eisenhower and the United States Armed Forces." He wouldn't have it any other way. He wouldn't have it called the "Eisenhower Foundation," although in general parlance it has come to be called the Eisenhower foundation.
We set out to raise a million dollars. The foundation has been organized for about two years. It has trustees and vice presidents from Abilene, Topeka, Kansas City, Chicago and New York but most of them are from Abilene in order to hold meetings. We have tried to raise enough money so that we can build a shrine-a memorial. There ought to be a better name for it, but that's what it means-a. structure that would house the trophies that he has promised us, for he has rooms full of them. He says there are so many of them he doesn't know what to do with them when he takes them up to Columbia University, and he has promised to deposit them with the foundation when we get the building ready to receive them. We have raised about $50,000. Dickinson county voluntarily, no solicitation, raised about $22,000 of that. The rest has come from donations from people of the Middle West. The Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Legion and their auxiliaries have assisted, and we are constantly raising more money. A week ago today they had a collection in many of the schools of Kansas, in which several hundred dollars were raised, and next month there is to be a tag day. All of that, of course, is only incidental. Some day we have to get in touch with wealthy people, or wealthy foundations in the East, and get larger sums-fifty or sixty thousand dollars of money at a time. They are generous, as this is a most worthy cause. That's what we are trying to do. We have not struck the right persons yet, but I think we will, and if anyone here would like to give a thousand dollars, we would be pleased to send it to the foundation.
General Eisenhower is coming to Abilene. He will bring with him in his plane a token portion of these trophies he has received. I don't know how many, it may only be a satchel full, and it may be a ton of them, I don't know how much a plane will carry, but he will bring them and turn them over to us as an indication of what he will do later when we are prepared to receive them. Some of these trophies are really valuable. Premier Stalin gave him the most valuable trophy or badge, banner, or something or other, making him a member of a Russian order. Jewelers have estimated, so it is reported, that the diamonds, sapphires and rubies adorning it are worth twenty-two thousand dollars. The Russians seem to have plenty of money for decorations and
things of that sort. The Danish government this week gave him a jeweled sword, set with jewels and diamonds. He has oceans of things, filling two or three rooms, all to be deposited with the foundation.
In the meanwhile there was the property of the Eisenhower family, consisting of a house, their home in which they had lived, and adjoining it a block of ground of rather large size, with no buildings on it. Last June, Milton acted for the five surviving sons,-one brother passed away in 1942-and they deeded that property to the foundation. We had a celebration at Abilene. Governor Carlson made a speech and Milton presented that deed to me as president of the foundation, and since then we have done a great deal to repair the house-it needed a new roof and paint-without destroying in anyway the symbolism of the house as the home of the Eisenhowers. All the old things are there just as they were when Mrs. Eisenhower passed away-the dining room, the living room, the little parlor, the old piano, the books, the kitchen. The bedrooms have the same beds. The beds have the same bedding they had on them, and I noticed that on one of the bed posts was hanging the white cap that Mrs. Eisenhower used to wear. There are many souvenirs of the boys, that is, of their boyhood life when they were in Abilene. All is there, just as naturally as we could make it, for the entertainment of the public. Then we threw open the house and had a couple of girls to act as guides. It was the latter part of June by the time it was finished. More than 12,000 persons have gone through in the last 120 days. That is nearly 100 a day. They have come from every state in the union, from eleven foreign countries-tourists that go through-and they all come there to see the home that was the boyhood home of General Eisenhower.
That shows how wide a following, how wide is the admiration for him. I believe if we ever get that foundation completed, if we ever get that structure built, it will bring thousands and thousands of people to Kansas just to see that memorial to General Eisenhower. He has been very modest about it. He does not want us to pressure anybody to give, and we are to do it as voluntarily as we possibly can. But we want to put it through. We want to complete it in the next two or three years, and along with it to do something for the rising youth. His ambition in life-his idea that he always talks about to me-is the youth of the nation, how it needs to be taught the things on which our forefathers built this nation; that we are not teaching them enough American citizenship. We hope, if we have enough money in the foundation after building a suitable structure, to use some of it to foster that education in some of the colleges and help to uplift this younger generation, which he feels is not living up entirely to its possibilities. That is his idea and it is the idea of the foundation-but first we have to have the building and the funds with which to work.
That's the story. We have appreciated the work of the Legion and the V. F. W. and their auxiliaries in raising money and helping the cause all over Kansas. Many of the counties from out west, where they are loaded down with money-wheat money-have been very liberal in their contributions. Many of the cities have been liberal, and we are hoping that we can succeed in raising enough funds to complete that job.
Now, all of this, of course, has been very interesting to the press. Five books have been written-lives of General Eisenhower. All of those authors have come to Abilene and have spent two or three weeks digging out mate-
rial-stories and incidents of his boyhood. A number of these incidents never happened, but they make good reading-matter. And there were magazine people-all sorts of magazine people-from The Saturday Evening Post, Collie's and publications like that. All those magazine people came out and we entertained them. We were glad to meet them, for they are such interesting people. Then the newspapers, the Chicago newspapers, the St. Louis newspapers, New York, San Francisco, and of course, all the local papers like Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City. They have come out and written feature stories for their Sunday issues. They all built up the reputation, notoriety and fame of General Eisenhower. And so, reading all those articles and hearing those newspaper and magazine people talk, Abilene has evolved a dream. It may not come to realization, but it may, and that dream is that in addition to being the boyhood home of a great general, it may also be the boyhood home of a President of the United States. At the close of Mr. Harger's talk, the secretary, Kirke Mechem, read four letters which had been written by General Eisenhower to Sen. J. L. Bristow in 1910 and 1911 relating to an appointment to Annapolis or to West Point. The letters are in in the Bristow papers in the manuscript collections of the Society.
Following the reading of the Eisenhower letters, the report of the committee on nominations was called for:
October 17, 1947.
To The Kansas State Historical Society
Upon motion by John S. Dawson, seconded by Charles M. Correll, the report of the committee was accepted unanimously and the members of the board were declared elected for the term ending in October, 1950.
Reports of county and local societies were called for and were given as follows: Mr. Walter E. McKeen for the Riley County Historical Society; Mrs. K. S. Browne for the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society; Mrs. Mabel Landon Plumer for the Kennebec Association, Russell county, and Mrs. E. M. Owen for the Douglas County Historical Society. Mrs. Owen presented Vol. II of "Cemetery Histories and Tombstone Inscriptions, 1854-1940; Twenty-One Rural Cemeteries, Douglas County, Kansas," compiled under the direction of the late William L. Hastie. There being no further business, the annual meeting of the Society adjourned.
Kirke Mechem, secretary, presided at the afternoon meeting of the board of directors. He asked for a rereading of the report of the nominating committee. The report was read by John S. Dawson, chairman, who moved that it be accepted. Motion was seconded by Charles M. Correll and the following were unanimously elected: For a one-year term: R. T. Aitchison, Wichita, president; R. F. Brock, Goodland, first vice-president; Frank Haucke, Council Grove, second vice-president.
Comdr. Standish Hall moved that Gen. Milton R. McLean be apprised of the Society's best wishes and hope for his early recovery. John S. Dawson offered an amendment, suggesting a telegram in place of a written message. R. T. Aitchison seconded and the resolution was adopted and the secretary instructed to send a telegram.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.