In recognition of the anniversary of World War I, the Kansas Museum of History created a special exhibit about a Topekan who experienced both world wars. Captured: The Extraordinary Adventures of Colonel Hughes has been extended through May 2018.

Hughes’ story is both common and exceptional.  He was born in Topeka in 1888. The timing of his birth, the influence of his military father, and the impact of world politics shaped his life. He began his service as a member of the Kansas National Guard and was sent to the Texas border with the American Expeditionary Forces in 1916.  As a member of the U.S. Army he served from 1917 to 1948 and fought in both world wars. He left many detailed records of his time in service.  He photographed battlefields and towns in Europe, recorded his daily survival as a Japanese Prisoner of War (POW), and saved many belongings from the wars that were later donated to this museum.  In essence, he captured his life.

A full-length article about his life is now available on Kansapedia. The article compliments the exhibit and can be used as a gallery guide. Visit the special exhibit, Captured:  The Extraordinary Adventures of Colonel Hughes, at the Kansas Museum of History.

Mary W. Madden is director of the Kansas Museum of History and co-curated the exhibit “Captured.” She is also chair of the Kansas WWI Centennial Commemoration Committee.