In the mid-1950s the Kansas State Historical Society published The Annals of Kansas, 1886-1925. It appeared in two volumes, with the first published in 1954, the second two years later in 1956.
The Annals are an almost daily account of life in the State of Kansas. Most entries are only a sentence or two and deal with organizations meeting somewhere within the state, special events, crimes, and more. For the World War I years, they provide snippets of life on the home front.
We will be trying to run some of these snippets throughout the centennial observation.
First up is a rather lengthy entry for February 19, 1917. On that day Major General Frederick Funston passed away, leaving us with one of those “what ifs” of history. Had Funston lived, would we be talking about Funston instead of Pershing as commander of the American troops?
Previous post: https://www.kansasww1.org/kansans-of-the-great-war-era-general-frederick-funston/
From The Annals, February 19, 1917: “Maj. Gen. Frederick Funston died at San Antonio, Tex. He was born November 9, 1865, at New Carlisle, Ohio, and came to Allen county with his parents in 1867. He lived in Iola for many years and attended the University of Kansas. He became a botanist and worked as a special agent for the Department of Agriculture in 1891, He took part in the Death Valley expedition of 1891, was later sent to Alaska where he paddled a canoe 1,500 miles down the Yukon river, and wrote a paper entitled, “Botany of Yakutat Bay, Alaska.” Funston fought for 18 months with Cuban insurgents, 1896-1897, and rose from captain to lieutenant colonel. When the Spanish-American War broke out he was made colonel of the Twentieth Kansas Regiment, which distinguished itself in the Philippine insurrection. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for action at the battle of Calumpit on April 27, 1899. In 1901 Funston planned and carried out the capture of Aguinaldo, Philippine guerilla leader. This won him the rank of brigadier general in the regular army. He was stationed at San Francisco during the earthquake of 1906 and was given much credit for handling the emergency. General Funston was in command of the U.S. force that was sent to hold the city of Vera Cruz during the United States intervention in Mexico. Shortly before his death he was sent to Texas in charge of soldiers on the border.”
From February 24, 1917: “The Legislature and state officers held memorial services for General Funston.”