Catching up on what happened one hundred years ago in Kansas, February –  March, 1918.

February 4, 1918.

-Registration of German aliens began.  Names and addresses were to be published.  Chiefs of police and postmasters were in charge.  Failure to register meant internment during the war.

February 7, 1918.

-The State Fuel Administrator lifted the state-wide restriction on the use of coal, imposed a week previously.

February 15, 1918.

-Women students at K.U. collected tinfoil, toothpaste tubes, cold cream jars and other scrap materials as part of the war effort.

-Winfield made hoarding or failure to observe meatless or wheatless days a misdemeanor; penalty, $50.

-War Savings societies were organized in Kansas schools.

February 22, 1918.

-Ness City held a county-wide Red Cross fair.  Poultry, livestock, fruit, vegetables, wearing apparel, works off art, farm implements , farm and garden seeds, gold coins, and other articles of value were sold at big premiums for a total of $3,000.

February 23, 1918.

-Miss Johanna Pirscher, a native German, resigned at Ottawa University after being accused of making unpatriotic statements.  She had been a language teacher there for 11 years.

February 25, 1918.

-Mrs. George Philip of Hays had knitted 37 sweaters for the Navy since the declaration of war.

-All bakers were required to use 20 percent substitutes for wheat in bread and rolls.

February 26, 1918.

-The War Department warned Topeka that unless steps were taken to “eradicate the vice evil,” it would order soldiers at Camp Funston to stay away.  Dr. S.J. Crumbine said Topeka had become a “dumping ground for women of the underworld.”

February 28, 1918.

-Governor Capper asked the federal government for cars to move the broomcorn crop, which had been classified as “unessential.”

-At Topeka military police from Camp Funston picked up 14 women who arrived on a train from Kansas City and sent them home.

March 1, 1918.

-Sixty-three towns had contributed 18, 763 books and $6,845.56 to the soldiers’ book fund.

March 2, 1918.

-Mayor Jay House denied that immoral houses existed in Topeka.  He said that the police were arresting immoral women when they came to town, but that the Topeka jail and the detention home at Lansing were crowded, limiting the number of arrests.  He threatened to bar soldiers from Topeka.

March 5, 1918.

-Dr. Frederick Krueger, professor of modern languages at Midland College, Atchison, was arrested following a federal investigation.  He was charged with spreading pro-German propaganda and ordered interned for the duration.

-The State Public Housekeeping Board ruled that restaurants and hotels should not permit minors to work over eight hours a day, six days a week.  Women employees were not to work over 54 hours a week.

March 6, 1918.

-Capt. Donald C. Thompson, Topeka, was the author of Donald Thompson in Russia, published by Century, New York.  Thompson was a war photographer for Leslie’s, the New York World, and London and Paris newspapers.  (See the previous entry: )

March 7, 1918.

-A war conference at Colby, one of a series in the state, stressed the need for increased production.  Eighty thousand school boys were needed for farm work.

March 9, 1918.

-Winds up to 60 miles an hour leveled 12 smokestacks at Camp Funston, did $25,000 damage to the United Telephone Co. lines at Salina, ripped the roof off Fraser Hall at K.U. and caused heavy loss elsewhere.

-The bakery at Camp Funston turned out 36,888 pounds of bread in 24 hours with day and night shifts of 26 men each.



Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.