One hundred years ago in Kansas, October, 1918:

October 2, 1918

  • Three hundred cases of influenza had been reported over the state. Hays was hardest hit with 200 cases and several deaths.

October 8, 1918

  • Atchison theaters, churches and schools were closed because of the influenza epidemic.  Lawrence closed schools and theaters and order university students not to leave town.  At Winfield schools and public gatherings were cancelled.  K.S.A.C. had 78 cases of flu in the Student Army Training Corps.  A total of 1,255 cases were reported for the week ending October 5.

October 12, 1918

  • Governor Capper issued a state-wide closing order, effective for one week, in an effort to halt the flu epidemic.  Over 7,000 cases had been reported.  Camp Funston had 500 cases.

October 16, 1918

  • The State Board of Health appealed to Washington for physicians to help fight the flu epidemic.

October 17, 1918

  • The First National Bank of Newton was robbed of $10,000 in cash and an unknown amount of Liberty bonds.

October 18, 1918

  • The order banning public gatherings was extended another week.  Two thousand new cases of the flu had been reported.

October 19, 1918

  • An estimated 7,000,000 bushels of wheat, valued at $14,000,000, had been saved in Kansas by cutting g back swaths and raking shock rows.

October 22, 1918

  • Twenty thousand influenza cases, “only half the story,” had been reported to the State Board of Health.

October 25, 1918

  • The homes of two wealthy English-born Clay county citizens were streaked with yellow paint reportedly because they had not bought enough Liberty bonds.

October 29, 1918

  • Harry Muir, a K.S.A.C. graduate, was in charge of a 1,500-acre farm in France which he cultivated for the army with 150 men and 15 tractors.

October 30, 1918

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, Abilene, was promoted to lieutenant colonel.  He was in command of 25,000 men at Camp Colt, Gettysburg, Pa.

Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.