Monday, December 14, 2009

Kansas One Hundred Years Ago

It's common for folks to look back at the year as it ends in December, reflecting on accomplishments and events as we move into a new year.

We took a different twist on this last year and presented a blog issue about Kansas in 1908 with links to graphics and information about the Sunflower state one hundred years ago.

We're giving this another go this year with a historic look at Kansas in 1909. We hope you enjoy the journey back in time in sights and words. Some of the links below go to commercial sites on the Internet. We do not endorse or support these sites but merely offer them to you as part of the resources provided.

Governor's Message, 1909
Walter Roscoe Stubbs was sworn in as the 18th governor of Kansas in 1909. The election of 1908 was the first in Kansas to include a primary election where the public participated in selecting their party's nominee. He spoke glowingly of his state's progress and future in his January 12, 1909, message to the Legislature. Issues of the day were regulation of public utilities, banking laws, road improvements, taxes and schools. Sound familiar?

Downtown Coffeyville, 1909
The governor spoke of the general state of the economy and government in Kansas in encouraging words. His observations seems to come alive int his picture of downtown Coffeyville in 1909. Clean streets and bustling activity show a Kansas town thriving in the early 20th century.

One of the terrible killers battled by those in the medical field at the turn of the last century was tuberculosis which still infects much of the world. A list of deaths on this Kansas GenWeb website for Brown County in 1909 shows 17 deaths attributed to tuberculosis. A short history and picture of the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium at Norton can be found online at

Northwest Kansas Tornadoes, 1909
As always weather played a vital part in Kansas in 1909. Here are amazing photos of a tornado in Norton, Kansas, along with accounts of the disatrous effects that these storms had on northwest Kansas.

Kansas State College (Kansas State University) football, 1909
The wildcats came up on the plus side in wins/losses in 1909

Glidden Tours Race, 1909
The Glidden Tours were promotional events held during the automotive Brass Era by the American Automobile Association (AAA). The AAA, a proponent for safer roads, started the tour to promote public acceptance of auto safety and bring awareness of its goals. The 1909 tour went through Kansas. Pictured here are shots of cars driving near Junction City.

USS Kansas
At land and sea Kansans could be proud of their state. Pictured here are various photos of the USS Battleship Kansas, one of them taken in 1909.

Carnegie Libraries
Carnegie libraries were built throughout Kansas in the early 20th century. Below are three locations where Carnegie libraries opened their doors in 1909:
Morrison Library, Fairmount College (now Wichita State University)

Kansas Association of the Deaf
Holding its first statewide meeting in 1909 the Association continues to work for the needs and issues of the hearing impaired in Kansas.
Photos of meetings starting with 1909
A short history of the Association

Kansas Suffrage Song Book, 1909
Women continued to struggle for the vote. This 1909 songbook contains music that was sung at rallies and demonstrations. Kansas granted statewide women's suffrage in 1912.

Hesston College Centennial, 1909-2009
A two year college of the Mennonite Church USA, Hesston College was founded in 1909
A history of Hesston College appears on the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online website as well.

Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Station at Parsons, Kansas
Railroads continued to be a primary means of transporting goods and people in 1909. This postcard shows an impressive station in Parsons.

1909 Nursing Dept Class graduates, University of Kansas
The Department of Nursing (Now School of Nursing) at the University of Kansas graduated its first class in 1909. You can view a photo of that class on the School's website on the right side of the page linked above.


Carry Nation
In this photo Carry Amelia Nation displays her hatchet, a symbol of her struggle to end the sale of alcoholic beverages. Prohibition continued to be a social issue of prominence during 1909 and far into the 20th century.

Claflin Band, 1900-1909
City and town bands were a very important part of community life long before television, radio and the Internet came along.

Center Hill School, Hamilton County, circa 1909
Governor Stubb's 1909 message to the Legislature mentioned the need for improving schools across the state. Even in 1909 a sizable number of Kansas school children were still being educated in "one room" school houses across the state. These schools often did an excellent job with little money and poorly paid, overworked teachers.

Dwight David Eisenhower, 1909
Abilene High School graduated one of its most well known alumni.

Article contact: Bill Sowers
(Check out recent additions to our collection here)

No comments: