The Kansas State Historical Society has copies of Kansas WW1 Veteran’s official military record, evidence of a person’s military career. In it includes when the veterans enlisted and when they were discharged. Most of them also have evidence of what units the veterans served during his/her enlistment. In my day this document had a government number DD214. It is a vital piece of paper that is required for any benefit due a soldier.
Stephen Kramer was born on February 27, 1894, near Stranger Creek about 3 miles east of Tonganoxie, KS. He was born into a family of tenant farmers, an occupation that Stephen continued throughout his life.
Stephen was 23-years-old when he enlisted in the army in May of 1917 as one of Harry Truman’s Buglers. Stephen’s artillery unit saw considerable action in the war. He served in Battery D of the 129th field artillery unit of the 60th Brigade of the 35th Division, and saw action September 25, 1918 in the Meuse Argonne. On October 10, 1918 he was in the battle of Verdun.
Company K of Yesterday was published in 1969 by Archibald Hart, a member of Company K and the 142 Infantry. This company was part of the 36th Division formed from the Texas and Oklahoma National Guards.
In the front of the book is a hand written note to Mrs. Nina Birkhead, the wife of Cecil Birkhead of Company K of the 142 Infantry;
In 2009 Karen Starko, MD, published a paper where she suggests that aspirin may have played a significant role in the death of people suffering from the 1
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that pharmacologists began to seriously study how aspirin worked. It is a very complicated drug. In 1968 a graduate of Nebraska School of Pharmacy told me that if Aspirin were to come on the market today it probably would not be over-the-counter.
Until recent publications the 1918 flu presented two unusual problems that were never fully understood. The age of those effected and the extreme number people who died from the flu.
The 1918 flu pandemic seemed to affect people in the prime of life. The age bracket that suffered the most was said to be between 20 and 40 years old. Recent publications suggest a an age group from age 25 to 30 years old. Prior to 1918 and after 1918 the population age most effected by the flu was the very young and the very old.
The outbreak of flu in 1918 was the most destructive disease to strike the world. 500 million people got the flu and 50 to 100,000,000 died. In the United States 675,000 people died. The flu easily killed more soldiers than the war.
Neither the Axis nor the Allied forces reported information on the flu. It was and still is very difficult to accurately determine just how the soldiers on both sides were affected. This information was secret, and neither side wanted the other side to know how weakened their military capabilities had become because of the flu. At the end of the war the U. S. Navy reported that 40% were inflicted with the flu virus, and the U.S. Army reported that 36% had the flu. But it seems likely that these figures are not accurate. Many flu victims never went to the hospital where they would have become a statistic. Some of these flu victims of the initial outbreak were probably not very sick.
William J. Stephenson was born October 7, 1895 and grew up at Basehor, Kansas. He graduated from Basehor High School in 1913. In 1917 he graduated from Park College at Parkville, Missouri, and one month later, July 30, 1917, he enlisted in the army at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas to serve in WWI.