Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Article Index


Other socially progressive action was taken as the need arose. A text book commission and a traveling library commission were established. Laws were passed on compulsory education and child labor, and a juvenile court was created. Pensions were provided for indigent mothers. An appropriation of $100,000 was made for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Legislation was enacted to regulate the oil industry, and was later made applicable to meat packing, flour milling, and other manufacturing. A bluesky law, regulating and supervising investment companies, was passed. The public utilities commission was established, weights and measures were standardized. A State highway commission was created and a better roads program was launched. The State printing plant was set up, and the State budget system was started. 

In 1913, under the administration of Governor George H. Hodges and preceded only by six other States Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, and California Kansas extended complete suffrage to women and increased their number in administrative offices from one to twentythree. The next administration, under Governor Arthur Capper, waged war on the unfair practices of the natural gas companies and eventually put an end to a litigation that involved thousands of dollars in fees to political lawyers and constituted one of the worst of judicial scandals in the State. 

Kansas furnished more than its quota for the World War. Altogether, 80,261 Kansans saw service. The Kansas National Guard became part of the 35th Division. Under the Selective Service Act, Kansans were in the 89th, the 35th and the 42nd (Rainbow) Divisions, and were in action at Saint Mihiel and in the Argonne. But the State perhaps made its greatest contribution through its farmlands and its training camps Camp Funston and the School of the Line at Fort Leavenworth. 

A unique political campaign was conducted in Kansas during the War. Henry J. Allen, although personally engaged in Red Cross Service in France, was nominated and elected Governor by the largest majority ever polled in the State. He resigned from the Red Cross and came home to assume the gubernatorial office on January 13, 1919. 

The following autumn Alexander Howat, president of the Kansas district union of the United Mine Workers of America, called a strike of the Kansas coal miners. Reacting to the War, the entire country was then in a state of unrest, and strikes were frequent in many lines of industry. In the preceding three years, 364 strikes had been called in the mines of Kansas, and in the fall of 1919 the coal supply was exhausted. Kansas faced a fuel famine. The Governor obtained a State's receivership for the mines and mined coal with volunteer labor made up of college students, members of the American Legion and others, protected by the Kansas National Guard.