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Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Kansas, Administrative Records

Manuscript Collection no. 126

Microfilm MS 1047 - MS 1052

 

Introduction

This section provides basic data about the collection and a brief overview of its contents.

Abstract

State branch of a national organization of Union veterans of the Civil War. Preceded in Kansas by the Veteran (Union) Brotherhood. Established in Kansas in 1866. Permanently reorganized in 1880. The organization purported to preserve fraternal bonds among surviving Union veterans, perpetuate the history of the dead, and assist veterans in need and their families. Responsibility over the records and artifacts of the organization was transferred to the Kansas State Historical Society in 1957.

Correspondence, subject files, committee records, court records, and fiscal records pertaining to the organization’s activities. The records include letter books; general correspondence; P H. Coney’s veteran correspondence; courts martial; meeting minutes of the Board of Managers, Memorial Building Committee, and reunion associations; reunion registers, transfer cards, and department and post accounts.

Dates

1878-1945 (bulk 1882-1914)

Quantity

6 ft. (9 boxes)
6 microfilm rolls

Creator

Grand Army of the Republic. Dept. of Kansas.

Title

Administrative records

Identification

Ms. collection no. 126
Shelf location 20-12-03-03 thru 20-12-05-04
Microfilm MS 1047-MS 1052

Consult the Contents List section below for microfilm roll numbers and location & folder numbers of individual series.

Notes

This finding aid describes materials held by the Kansas State Historical Society. Materials may be used in the Research Room in the society’s Center for Historical Research during regular research hours. That part of the collection on microfilm may also be borrowed through interlibrary loan for your use at a participating public, academic, or research library. Information on interlibrary loan is available from the Kansas State Historical Society and on its web site, http://www.kshs.org. Support for telephone, mail and online research and reference is limited.

In a continuing effort to improve the completeness and accuracy of finding aids, revisions are made as more or new information becomes available. Consequently, this finding aid may differ slightly from what appears on the microfilm or on the Kansas State Historical Society’s web site.

Repository

Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka)

 

History

This section contains a brief sketch of the organization that created the records.

An organizational history of the Kansas Department of the Grand Army of the Republic is available on-line.

 

Scope And Contents

This section contains a description and analysis of the contents of the collection.

The seven individual series of this subgroup comprise the administrative records of the Kansas Department of the Grand Army of the Republic and reflect the organizational structure and functions of the organization through its routine operations.

Correspondence. The correspondence series is divided into letterpress books, general correspondence, and related correspondence and consists primarily of the official correspondence of the elected officials of the state department. The elected state officers routinely corresponded with each other, officers and members of individual posts, officers of the national department and other state departments, and officers and members of auxiliary organizations and other veteran associations. The state officers frequently corresponded with both state and federal politicians on relevant laws and legislation and the operations of state and federal agencies. Additional subjects frequently addressed include soldiers’ reunions, state and national encampments (business meetings), the operations of old soldiers’ homes, patriotic activities and displays, payment of dues and proper recording and filing of post records, and pension benefits.

With as many as five hundred local posts throughout the state, postal communication was the primary mode of official correspondence with the state department. Posts sent quarterly and annual returns, post dues, certificates of election, resolutions, recommendations for court martial or discharges and other records to state headquarters. The state adjutant general collected and filed the records and made constant appeals to posts for delinquent returns. While the majority of these records were filed separate from the correspondence, the content of much of the correspondence reflects this mundane activity.

The letter books are arranged in rough chronological order by year, month and day. There is a gap in holdings between 1885 and 1900. Some entries may occur in random order. General and related correspondence are arranged in chronological order by year, month, and day. Undated letters in folders are filed at the back of the folder. Undated loose correspondence is filed in an “undated” folder following the regular chronological sequence.

The department commander and the state adjutant general are the primary correspondents and for the most part the extent and organization of the records reflects the annual changes in department administration, either in letter books or loose correspondence (for more on arrangement see the Organization of the Collection section below).

Two exceptions to this system are noteworthy. The correspondence of J. C. Walkinshaw [letter books] continues until 1885 while his term as department commander ended in 1882. Similarly, the correspondence of Patrick Henry Coney spans his entire involvement with the GAR including, but irrespective of, his various official positions (he served as department commander 1905-1906). Coney’s veteran correspondence spans 1879 to 1929 and mostly includes materials relating to his membership and participation in GAR activities at the post or state encampment (including state commander), as well as his bid for the national commander-in-chief. In addition to these GAR activities, however, the collection includes a considerable number of correspondence related generally to the Civil War, veterans’ rights and activities, and his involvement with other veterans’ organizations not directly related to GAR activities (essentially any correspondence related to Civil War veterans). As a pension attorney in private practice, publisher of several veteran papers and member of several veteran and fraternal orders, Coney’s routine activities concerning Civil War veterans often transcended the boundaries of individual organizations or business ventures, and his correspondence reflects this diversity.

In addition to this collection of veteran correspondence, Coney appears to have kept at least two additional correspondence files: his business correspondence and his personal correspondence (non-soldier related). The whereabouts of his business correspondence is unknown, though portions of his pension files do appear in his veteran correspondence as reused paper. His personal correspondence is held by the Kansas State Historical Society as Manuscript Collection No. 316 and includes some material related to Union veterans, such as the meeting minutes for the “Veterans Rights’ Union.”

Coney occasionally corresponded with prominent businessmen and politicians including Eugene Ware, Charles Curtis, and Arthur Capper. The most unique of Coney’s correspondents represented in this collection is Mary Elizabeth Lease. The Lease-Coney relationship seems surprising given the great antagonism between the GAR and the Populist Party in the 1890s, but Lease’s father was a Union veteran and she was not above praising the organization. Coney’s letters to Lease are not extant, but at least six letters from Lease are included in this collection. Lease wrote to Coney three times in 1907 all relating to Coney’s bid for commander-in-chief of the national GAR, her efforts to assist his campaign, and her condolences to him on his defeat. These letters date August 16, September 15, and October 23, 1907. Lease again wrote to Coney in 1914 requesting a letter of reference from Coney to the mayor of New York City to help her secure an appointment in that administration. Two additional letters regard their plans to meet in Detroit and New York respectively. These letters are dated January 19, July 28, and August 12, 1914.

Also included in this collection are Coney’s correspondence with Commissioner of Pensions H. Clay Evans between 1890 and 1899. These materials are primarily business correspondence regarding Coney’s status before the Bureau of Pensions. Coney’s flagrant criticism of the various administrations and the appointed pension commissioner frequently led to corrective action by the bureau including (threats) of disbarment proceedings against him.

Additional P. H. Coney materials are included in this collection as subject files.

Special Orders. The special orders series includes orders other than general orders. The state department commander issued the orders and the state assistant adjutant general entered them into record books chronologically by date. The only extant special orders record book dates February 1883-February 1894 spanning the second administration of Thomas J. Anderson. The whereabouts of other special orders is unknown though some may appear in department correspondence.

Subject files. Many of the GAR subject files included here may have been records from P. H. Coney’s local post (Topeka Post 71) or from his service as a state officer. In addition, loose records of similar types (certificates of election, transfer cards, etc.) not easily included in other series were collected and filed here. Other records include miscellaneous speeches and resolutions, charter proceedings, soldiers’ home investigations, and miscellaneous reports. The subject files are arranged alphabetically by folder title, then chronologically by date.

Committee and Board Records. The committee and board records comprise the meeting minutes, correspondence and reports of various boards and committees appointed by the GAR to administer specific activities or programs. The committees and boards represented in this collection include the Board of Managers, the Committee of 43, the Council of Administration, the Memorial Building Committee, and the Kansas State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion Association. See the GAR organizational history for more information on boards and committees.

Courts Martial. Extant courts martial records span 1889-1926 and proceed in chronological order by year. Courts-martial could be ordered by current commanders serving at any level of the organization, local, state or national. The revised U.S Army Regulations governed the proceedings of the court. No disciplinary action occurred until after an officer superior to the one ordering the proceeding reviewed the case. Comrades ordered to stand trial could request to be tried by a general court rather than the post court.

Fiscal Records. The financial records of the Kansas Department include the following record types: abstracts of quartermaster general’s returns give a fiscal summary by post and proceed chronologically by year; cash books are chronological accounts of supplies, general funds and sundry accounts; miscellaneous fiscal records of the assistant adjutant general and assistant quartermaster general include date, activity, and debits and credits; ledgers record the accounts of each post by date with sundry accounts following and proceed in post number order; the register of supplies received and sold gives dates, description, and amount.

Reunion Registers. The reunion registers show name, state, regiment, branch, and residence. Some registers show rank, company, and corps. Some registers arranged by state where enrolled. Extant reunion registers date 1879-1939 with many gaps. Three of the registers were acquired with the first GAR accession in 1958, were filmed with the financial records, and presumably destroyed after filming. The fourth register was apparently acquired at a later date and has not been filmed. Titled “Register of Attendees of the Old Soldiers’ Reunion at Island Park, Winfield, Cowley County, Kansas,” it covers the years 1909-1939 and includes partial registers of World War I veterans’ reunions and the Sons of Union Veterans. (See “Soldiers’ History” collection for additional reunion registers.)

The collection documents the administrative functions of the association through the activities of the department encampment in its pursuit of the association’s stated goals. The correspondence of the various officers, minutes and records of various committees, and speeches, orders, and resolutions, all reflect the main activities, programs and goals of the organization from state officers to members of local posts.

 

Contents List

Organization of the Papers

This collection comprises one subgroup of administrative records organized into seven series reflecting the structure and functions of the state encampment (department). The seven series include: 1. Correspondence, 1879- (three subseries) 2. Special orders 3. Subject files, 18-- 4. Committee and Board records, 18-- 5. Court Martial, 18-- 6. Fiscal records, 18-- (five subseries) 7. Reunion registers

MC 126.1 Administrative Records Subgroup
MC 126.1 (1) Correspondence
MC 126.1 (1.1) Letterpress books
MC 126.1 (1.2) General correspondence
MC 126.1 (1.3) Individual/group correspondence

MC 126.1 (2) Special orders
MC 126.1 (3) Subject files
MC 126.1 (4) Committee and Board records
MC 126.1 (5) Courts martial
MC 126.1 (6) Fiscal records
MC 126.1 (6.1) Abstracts of Quartermaster General’s Returns
MC 126.1 (6.2) Cash books
MC 126.1 (6.3) Miscellaneous fiscal records
MC 126.1 (6.4) Ledgers
MC 126.1 (6.5) Miscellaneous department accounts

MC 126.1 (7) Reunion registers

Prior to processing, the administrative records of the state department not on microfilm comprised five cubic foot boxes and four five-inch document boxes of records in various formats and arrangements. Identification of series boundaries divided the records into the seven individual series noted above. The correspondence series existed as loose and foldered correspondence, mostly unidentified, and ten letter books. These were further divided into three subseries after a review of the materials established three clear subsets of records: 1. bound sent 2. loose sent and received 3. individual/group correspondence. The largest subset of this material is the individual/group correspondence including the Patrick Henry Coney correspondence which alone comprises thee cubic feet of materials. The original order of the subseries was restored, as much as is possible, through folder and document level arrangement (see the Scope and Contents notes for more information).

Many volumes of GAR ledgers and record books were originally cataloged individually and added to the Society’s library collection. During the 1980s and 1990s, many of these volumes were removed from the library and reconstituted as a manuscript collection. One volume, the Special Orders record book [MC 126.1 (2)] remains in the library collection but has been integrated into this finding aid. An individual catalog record for that item is available in the Kansas State Historical Society’s Kansas library card catalog. The microfilm copies of the fiscal and reunion records series [Microfilm: MS 1047-MS 1052] have also been integrated into this finding aid.

Container List

Archival records are typically organized by series, a group of records that has a common element or function and a distinct organizational structure of its own, for example Correspondence Files, arranged chronologically, or Registers of Military Enlistments, arranged by regiment. Groups of series from the same office or other organizational element may form a subgroup, a portion of a larger record group, such as the sub - group "1979 – 87 (John Carlin)."

 

Subseries

Roll

Box

Folder/ Item

Description

Dates

Location

MC 126.1 (1)

. . .

Correspondence

. .

MC 126.1 (1.1)

. . .

Letterpress books (Sent)

. .
. .

1

1

(Walkinshaw, J. C.)

1882, Jan 28--April 10, 1882

20-12-03-03

. .

1

2

(Walkinshaw, J. C.)

1882, April 12-July 7, 1882

.
. .

1

3

(Walkinshaw, J. C.)

1882, June 29-Jan 25, 1883

.
. .

1

4

(Walkinshaw, J. C.)

1882, July 7--Aug. 29, 1882

.
. .

1

5

(Walkinshaw, J. C.)

1882, Sept 2-Jan 1, 1883

.
. .

1

6

(Walkinshaw, J. C.)

1883, Jan 1--Mar 17, 1885

.
. .

1

7

(General)

1900, July 9-- Dec 21, 1901

.
. .

1

8

(General)

1901, Nov. 6--Mar 2, 1906

.
. .

1

9

(General)

1902, July 12--June 3, 1907

.
. .

1

10

(General)

1907, Apr 12--Oct 21, 1910

.
             
. . . . . .

.

MC 126.1 (1.2)

. . .

General Correspondence (Sent and Received)

. .
. .

2

1

(J. N. Harrison, Ass’t Adj’t Gen’)

1896, February

20-12-03-04

. .

2

2

(Frank A. Lyon, Ass’t Adj’t Gen’)

1900, July - December, 1901

.
. .

2

3

(W. W. Dennison, Ass’t Adj’t Gen’)

1903, October

.
. .

2

4

(J. W. Miller, Ass’t Adj’t Gen’) See P. H. Coney correspondence for department correspondence for 1905-1906

1906, February-June, 1906

.
. .

2

5

(H. C. Dryden, Ass’t Adj’t Gen’)

1909, May-July, 1909

.
. .

2

6

(J. M Miller, Ass’t Adj’t Gen’)

1910, October-June, 1912

.
. .

2

7-13

(W. W. Dennison, Ass’t Adj’t Gen’)

1912, January-May, 1914

.
. .

2

14

(C. H. King, Ass’t Adj’t Gen’)

1922, June-December, 1922

.
. .

2

15-25

(J. W. Priddy, Ass’t Adj’t Gen’)

1925, March-May, 1930

.
             
  . . .   .  

MC 126.1 (1.3)

. . . Individual/Group Correspondence . .
. .

3

1-33

Patrick H. Coney correspondence

1879, June-December, 1905

20-12-04-01

. .

4

1-32

Patrick H. Coney correspondence

1906, January-December, 1909

20-12-04-02

. .

5

1-38

Patrick H. Coney correspondence

1910, January-August, 1929; undated

20-12-04-03

. . .

39

Patrick H. Coney, correspondence with Commissioner of Pensions, H. Clay Evans

1890-1899

.
. .

5

40

First Congressional District Reunion Association

1910, April-August, 1910

.
. .

5

41-43

J. N. Harrison endorsements

1913, October-April, 1914

.
             
. . . . . .

.

MC 126.1 (2)

. . . Special orders record book

1883, October - February 1884

K/369.3/K13

. . . . .

.

MC 126.1 (3)

. . .

Subject Files

. .
. .

6

1

Annual post reports by county

1890-1899 (incomplete)

20-12-05-01

. .

6

2

Annulment of charter proceedings, John W. Geary Post No. 15

. .
. .

6

3

Biography of Brig. General J. C. Rice

ca. 1884

.
. .

6

4

Bonds on J. W. Priddy and C. H. King

. .
   

6

4A

Buildings at Ellsworth

1888-1889

 
. .

6

5

Certificates: Transfer Cards, Honorable Discharges, etc. (For additional transfer cards see “Post 501” in series of bound volumes)

1887-1909

.
. .

6

6

Certificates of Election

1912-1913

.
. .

6

7

Delegates to National Election

. .
. .

6

8

General Order (published)

1892

.
. .

6

9

Memorial Address (newspaper clipping)

ca. 1912

.
. .

6

10

Reports

1901; 1916

.
. .

6

11

Resolutions and endorsements, P. H. Coney for dept. and nat’l commander

1904-1905

.
. .

6

12

Resolutions and endorsements: various

. .
   

6

12A

Reunion: 1889 (Ellsworth)

1889 July 19-27

 
. .

6

13

Roosevelt, Pres. Theodore: a letter from posts no. 25 and 244

1906

.
. .

6

14

Speeches: various

. .
. .

6

15

State Soldiers’ Home investigation

1896

.
. .

6

16

State Soldiers’ Home investigation

1906

.
. .

6

17

State Soldiers’ Home investigation

1906

.
. .

6

18

Subscription lists to defray encampment costs

1906-1907

.
             
  . . .   .  

MC 126.1 (4)

. . . Committee and Board records . .
. .

7

1-10

Board of managers, Soldiers’ Home

1915-1919

20-12-05-02

. .

7

11

Committee of 43, minutes of meetings

1890

.
. .

7

12

Council of Administration, minute book

1883 Jan--Feb 1888

.
. .

7

13

Council of Administration, minute book

1889 March-Jan 1896

.
. .

7

14

Council of Administration, minute book

1896 April-April 1899

.
. .

7

15

Council of Administration, minute book

1901 June-Feb 1902

.
. .

7

16

Council of Administration, proceedings

1902-1903

.
. .

7

17

Memorial Building Committee (includes charter to Gen. U.S. Grant monument association) (one folder)

. .
. .

7

18-21

Kansas State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion Association

1911

.
. . . .

“Official Record of Meetings of the State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion and Corner Stone Laying of Memorial and Historical Building Association, and its Executive Committees” (1 vol.)

1911

*K/369.3/K13m

. . . .

“Record of [the] Invitation Committee, Kansas State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion Association”

1911

*K/369.3/K13m

             
. . . . . .

.

MC 126.1 (5)

. . . Courts Martial . .
. .

8

1

Courts Martial, J. M. Baugher

1889

20-12-05-03

. .

8

2

Courts Martial, S. W. Kelley

1890

.
. .

8

3

Court Martial, Joel E. Caely, Jr.

1897

.
. . .

4

Courts Martial, Joel E. Caely, Jr.

1897

.
. .

8

5

Courts Martial, Joel E. Caley, Jr.

1897

.
. .

8

6

Courts Martial, Ed. G. Moore

1906

.
. .

8

7

Courts Martial, G. G. Gage

1907

.
. .

8

8

Courts Martial, P. H. Coney

1916

.
. .

8

9

Courts Martial, L. D. Dobbs

1918

.
. .

8

10

Courts Martial, A. Graff

1926

.
             
. . . . . .

.

MC 126.1 (6)

. . . Fiscal Records . .

MC 126.1 (6.1)

. . .

Abstracts of Quartermaster General’s Returns

. .
.

1

.

1

.

1896-1909

MS-1047

.

1

.

2

.

1909-1920

MS-1047

.

1

.

3

.

1921-1936

MS-1047

             

MC 126.1 (6.2)

. . .

Cash books

. .
.

2

.

1

.

1905-1906

MS-1048

.

2

.

2

.

1906-1909

MS-1048

.

4

.

3

.

1898-1904

MS-1050

.

5

.

1

.

1905-1915

MS-1051

.

5

.

2

.

1916-1921

MS-1051

.

5

.

3

.

1922-1930

MS-1051

.

5

.

4

Supplies received register

. .
             

MC 126.1 (6.5)

. . .

Miscellaneous department accounts

. .
. .

9

1

Account book

1895-1899

20-12-05-04

. .

9

2

Expense journal (includes GAR library shelf list and program funds)

1901

.
. .

9

3

Tent accounts (includes local reunions register, charter and minutes of the Kansas Soldiers Monument Association, 1895, and list of military bands)

1901-1905

.
. .

9

4

Tent accounts

1902-1911

.
. .

9

5

Tent accounts

1911-1920

.
             
. . . . . .

.

MC 126.1 (7)

. . . Reunion registers . .
.

6

.

1

Veteran’s Reunion (4 vols.)

1879

MS-1052

.

6

.

2

Reunion register (1 vol.)

1906-1914

MS-1052

.

6

.

3

Reunion register (1 vol.)

1916-1917

MS-1052

. .

9

6

Reunion register (1 vol.)

1909-1939

20-12-04-02

 

AnchorRelated Records or Collections

This section includes collections on similar subjects that may be of interest to researchers, items cataloged separately, and items removed from the collection.

Related Materials

Manuscripts Collections  

Grand Army of the Republic, Kansas Department, Charters, ca. 1880-1943, Series 10. See Charters for a list of records in this collection.

MS. Collection 126
Grand Army of the Republic, Kansas Department, Post Records (Unbound) ca. 1880-1943, Series 8. See Post Records (Unbound) for a list of records in this collection. MS. Collection 126
Grand Army of the Republic, Kansas Department, Post Records (Bound) ca. 1880-1943, Series 9. See Post Records (Bound) for a list of records in this collection. MS. Collection 126
Joseph Little Bristow Papers. Box 53 GAR journals (4 vol.), Wadsworth Post no. 7 in Council Grove, Kansas. Includes minutes of monthly meetings as well as a ledger book and a cash book. Boxes 55-70 include correspondence regarding pensions of civil war veterans, 1910-1916. See collection inventory for more details. MS. Collection 6
Patrick Henry [P. H.] Coney Papers. Personal correspondence mostly unrelated to veteran activities or issues. Includes meeting minutes for the “Veterans Rights’ Union” [dates unknown]. MS. Collection 316
Military Order of the Loyal Legion (MOLL) of the U.S. Kansas Commandery. 1886-1915. 2ft. Correspondence, records, returns and reports, and ledgers of the organization. See also “Register Nos. 1-583, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U. S., Kansas Commandery” [MS in KSHS Library, *K/369.2/M59r]. MOLL History Collection
Soldier’s Reunions History Collection. 1881-1913. 5 items. Ledgers and papers of various soldiers reunions. See also “Official Record of Meetings of the State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion and Corner Stone Laying of Memorial and Historical Building Association, and its Executive Committees” [MS in KSHS Library, *K/369.3/K13m]. Also “Record of [the] Invitation Committee, Kansas State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion Association, 1911” [MS in KSHS Library, *K/369.3/K13m]. Soldier’s History Collection
James Barnes Whitaker Records. 1855-1899. 2ft. Attorney representing civil war veterans in obtaining disability pensions. MS. Collection 540
John C. Nicholson Papers. 1884-1916. Nicholson was state agent responsible for collection of Kansas civil war claims against the federal government. These papers deal with that attempt and use of the money collected to build the Memorial Building, Topeka, Kan. Microfilm: MS 300.01
Mary Ann Bickerdyke Papers. 1862-1908. One box of letters and certificates mostly related to her eightieth birthday. MS. Collection 276
Abbott, James Burnett (1818-1897). Papers. 1815-1896. Memorandums [sic] of Soldiers' Statements, 1880-90, containing copies of letters and memoranda concerning soldiers' pensions; and copies of letters dealing primarily with pension matters, 1890-92. Microfilm: MS 1258-1260
See the Manuscripts Catalog available in the Research Room or the ATLAS online catalog for additional GAR related materials including the materials of GAR auxiliary organizations.  
   
Library Collections  
Proceedings of the Annual Encampments, Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Kansas SP/369.3/K13
State Rosters of Members (GAR). 1894 and 1917. SP/369.3/K13
GAR miscellaneous publications K/369.3/K13
GAR Clippings K/369.3/K13
Soldiers’ Reunions miscellaneous publications and clippings K/973.74
Various GAR related MSS volumes in oversize *K/369
“Official Record of Meetings of the State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion and Corner Stone Laying of Memorial and Historical Building Association, and its Executive Committees, 1911” *K/369.3/K13m
“Record of [the] Invitation Committee, Kansas State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion Association, 1911” *K/369.3/K13m
A bibliography of GAR related volumes in the library collection Online
An index to death notices published in the annual proceedings of the GAR Online
An index of local posts established by the Kansas Department Online
See the Kansas Catalog available in the Research Room or the ATLAS online catalog for additional GAR related materials including the materials of the GAR auxiliary organizations.  
   
Newspapers and Periodicals  
Kansas Knight and Soldier T 2387
Weekly Knight and Soldier T 2387
Western Veteran T 2387-T 2392
Grand Army Journal T 2570
Grand Army Reveille T 2570
Grand Army Forum W 3467
   
State Archives Collections  
Kansas Adjutant General, Enrollment of Civil War Veterans or their Widows and Orphans. 1883. Each frame lists: no, names, descent, rank, co, regiment, state, arm of service, cause of disability, present address, place of death, date of death, died, conditions of widow, children. Wyandotte county records are not available. Names are sorted alphabetically. Fifteen large ledger volumes filmed. AR 107-113
Kansas State Soldiers Home (Fort Dodge)/Mother Bickerdyke Home
History
AR 4475
Kansas State Soldiers Home (Fort Dodge). Cemetery and death book index, book and records, 1890-1988 AR 4476
Kansas State Soldiers Home (Fort Dodge). Architectural drawings and maps, 1920-1969; land records AR 4477
Kansas State Soldiers Home (Fort Dodge). Record of admissions, 1890-1969 AR 4478, AR 4479, AR 4480
Kansas State Soldiers Home (Fort Dodge). Annual and monthly reports, 1894-1913. For more information see finding aid to the Adjutant General’s records, Series Two: Civilian Records, Sub series: Soldiers Home, available at the reference desk. 72-03-10-01
Kansas State Board of Review. Includes correspondence regarding the GARs denunciation of the film Birth Of A Nation. See the Records of the Kansas Board of Review research guide for more information. 35-06-05-12
Kansas Veterans’ Affairs, Kansas Commission of the Kansas State Soldiers Home. Many records of the Kansas Commission of the Kansas State Soldiers Home are held by the KSHS in the State Archives including annual reports, death records, discharge records, patient files, minutes, applications, and subject files. Some records as early as 1889 are extant. Certain information included in the records may be restricted from access according to state or other applicable laws. See reference staff for assistance. See reference staff
U. S. Pension Office-Topeka. 1865-1911. 1ft. Correspondence files and cancelled checks. Largely correspondence between pension agents and pension lawyers. 35-09-07-02

Separated Material

P. H. Coney. Letters from notable correspondents were removed to a secure location and photocopies of the originals put in their place. All of the notable removals were taken from P. H. Coney’s veteran correspondence. Notable correspondents include Arthur Capper (two letters), Eugene Ware (fourteen letters), Charles Curtis (three letters), and Mary Elizabeth Lease (six letters). A total of twenty-five letters were removed, dating from July 1902 to July 1926. All of the letters are dated and were originally filed in their regular chronological arrangement.

P. H. Coney. One folder of Coney’s correspondence with the Kansas State Historical Society was removed from his veteran correspondence and added to Box 4, Ms. collection 316, his personal papers.

J. W. Priddy. Select private correspondence,1896-1898, J. W. Priddy, transferred to Miscellaneous Pri,"Priddy, J. W." Seven letters concern the sale of and payment for a typewriter.

Miscellaneous records from various posts were removed and transferred to the Post Records unbound or bound series and filed by post, including Post #3, Pleasanton, Linn County (minutes); Post #5, Washington (minute book); Post #71, Topeka (Relief Corps quarterly reports and muster roll); Post #78, Iona (charter application); Post 282, Edwardsville (minute and descriptive book [CD]). A ritual book from Post #269, Garfield was transferred to the library.

Various records of GAR women’s auxiliaries originally included in a GAR History collection have been transferred to the Woman's Relief Corps History Collection, including: 1. Women’s Auxiliary, Fremont Circle no. 76, List of members, 1896-1916; 2. Women’s Auxiliary; Lincoln Post no. 1, Minute book, 1883-1884 (including roll of officers); 3. Woman's Auxiliary Post #94, Topeka, nine receipt and order books (stubs include names of members paying dues) dating 1882-1908; 4. Jewell Post Aid Society, by-laws and minutes (undated).

Other Finding Aids

Copies of this finding aid are available in the Research Room of the Center for Historical Research and on its web site, http://www.kshs.org.

 

Bibliography

Grand Army of the Republic. Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Grand Army of the Republic and Rules of Order of the National Encampment [1883] together with the By-laws of Pallock Post, No. 42 (Department of Kansas, 1885). Kansas State Historical Society library call number K/369.3/K13.

Grand Army of the Republic. Department of Kansas. Proceedings of the Annual Encampments of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Kansas, 1882- . Kansas State Historical Society library call number SP/369.3/K13.

Hawley, Lawrence A. (Anderson). “Holdings of the GAR in the KSHS [1959].” KSHS library call number K/369.3/K13/Mss. No. 1.

Kansas State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion Association. Official Record of Meetings of the State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion and Corner Stone Laying of Memorial and Historical Building Association, and its Executive Committees. Ms. in Kansas State Historical Society library, call number *K/369.3/K13m.

Kansas State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion Association. Record of [the] Invitation Committee, Kansas State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Reunion Association, 1911. Ms. in Kansas State Historical Society library, call number *K/369.3/K13m.

Sinisi, Kyle S. “Veterans as Political Activists: The Kansas Grand Army of the Republic, 1880-1893.” Kansas History, v14, n2, 1991: 89-99.

 

AnchorIndex Terms

The terms listed below may include names, places, subjects, occupations, titles, and other words describing this collection. These terms are used in the ATLAS catalog used by the Kansas State Historical Society and affiliated libraries in Topeka, http://lib.wuacc.edu/search, as well as libraries and archives subscribing to OCLC, an international library/archives database. Searches on these words should produce a description of this collection as well as other books and collections that may be of interest. Names are subjects unless otherwise noted. Topical terms are Library of Congress subject headings unless indicated otherwise.

Individual Names

Coney, P. H. (Patrick Henry), 1848-1932.

Corporate Names

Grand Army of the Republic.; Dept. of Kansas.

Geographic Names

Kansas -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
Kansas -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Societies, etc.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Societies, etc.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Veterans -- Registers.

Subjects

Fraternal societies - Kansas.
Friendly societies -- Kansas.
Grand Army of the Republic.; Dept. of Kansas -- History.
Grand Army of the Republic.; Dept. of Kansas -- Records and correspondence.
Grand Army of the Republic.; Dept. of Kansas -- Societies, etc.
Military pensions -- United States -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
Patriotic Societies - Kansas.
Soldiers - Kansas - Registers.
Societies (fraternal).
Veterans - Kansas - Registers.

Document Types

Corporate minutes -- Kansas.
Correspondence - Kansas. Minutes - Kansas.
Registers - Kansas.
Organizations - Membership lists - Kansas

 

AnchorAdditional Information for Researchers

This section provides more detailed information about this collection that may be helpful to those wishing to use it, including its history, restrictions, copyright information, other formats, and a suggested citation form.

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The user is cautioned that the publication of the contents of this microfilm may be construed as constituting a violation of literary property rights. These rights derive from the principle of common law, affirmed in the copyright law of 1976 as amended, that the writer of an unpublished letter or other manuscript has the sole right to publish the contents thereof unless he or she affirmatively parts with that right; the right descends to his or her legal heirs regardless of the ownership of the physical manuscript itself. It is the responsibility of a user or his or her publisher to secure the permission of the owner of literary property rights in unpublished writing.

Custodial History

Prior to 1890 the administrative records of the Kansas Department of the Grand Army of the Republic followed the new commander and/or assistant adjutant general to their local post or personal residence. An election of new department officers occurred annually at the department encampment, usually held each May. This early, decentralized, records management system worked against the preservation of the records and has resulted in many gaps in record holdings for this period.

In 1890 the department established its first central headquarters in an office at the State Capitol in Topeka, Kansas, creating a semi-permanent repository for the organization’s records; some elected officers still preferred to conduct business from their local post or residence. The additional space gained by the GARs move into the Memorial Building in Topeka in 1912 bolstered its interest in records preservation and prompted a renewed effort to collect GAR department and post records in a central repository.

By the 1940s, the rapid decline in GAR membership undermined the remaining members’ ability to manage their own affairs and they increasingly relied on the members of the auxiliary organizations to create and care for their records. During the 1940s through 1957, the records resided in the GAR library at the Memorial Building. The records were arranged and cataloged, and auxiliary members assisted the public with requests for access.

Alternate Form Available

Some materials may be available in both paper and microfilm formats. See collection inventories for availability of alternate formats.

Preferred Citation

Note: [ document and/or series description, date], Grand Army of the Republic, Dept. of Kansas, Administrative Records, 1878-1945 (bulk 1882-1914), Kansas State Historical Society Ms. Collection 126 [box number]; microfilm MS [roll number].

Bibliography: Grand Army of the Republic, Dept. of Kansas. Administrative Records, 1878 - 1945 (bulk 1882 - 1914), Kansas State Historical Society Ms. Collection 126 [box number]; microfilm MS [roll number].

Source of Acquisition

In 1957 the Kansas State Legislature assigned custody of all records held by the state department of the Grand Army of the Republic at the Memorial Building in Topeka, Kansas, to the Kansas State Historical Society (L. 1957 ch444, p948-949). The KSHS secretary’s report for the annual meeting ending 20 October 1959 notes:

“Records of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Kansas, were moved into the archives division from the old office space of the GAR during the past year. Fiscal and reunion records, 1879-1936, have been microfilmed while letters and papers of the organization, totaling 18 manuscript volumes and 14 document boxes, have been arranged and shelved” (See KHQ, v XXVI, 1960 [Kansas Historical Collections, v XLII], p. 78).

Since the 1950s, the Society has received a number of additional GAR records by donation. The identification of considerable gaps in the Grand Army records has prompted the Society to solicit additional donations.

Processing Information

Collection processed by:

  • Lorene Anderson Hawley, librarian, 1959-1960s
  • Suellyn Lathrop, archivist, 1992-1997
  • Suzanne Guinn, Lela Barnes intern and volunteer, 2001
  • Benjamin Stone, archivist, 2005
  • Michael A. Church, archivist, 2006-2007