Jump to Navigation

Kansas Historical Quarterly - Kansas in the 1930s

Clifford R. Hope, Sr.

Spring 1970 (Vol. 36, No. 1), pages 1 to 12

The course of Kansas History has not always run smoothly. The turmoil which beset the area in territorial days and during the Civil War gave the state the name of "bleeding Kansas." Since that time there have been Indian wars and grasshopper invasions, to say nothing of bitter political struggles, particularly in the 1890's. Drought and hard times have appeared periodically and other weather disasters, such as floods and tornadoes, have come and gone.

But none of these calamity periods can compare from the standpoint of financial loss, long lasting distress, suffering, and discouragement with the decade of the 1930's.

One reason for selecting this period as the subject of this paper is the feeling that it is a segment of our state's history which has been somewhat neglected. Of course, many are still living who went through those dark days but a great majority of those living in Kansas today know little or nothing about the period.

When I chose this subject, however, I did not realize how much I had bitten off. It could well be a good subject for a book, but never again will I try to condense so much material into a 30-minute speech.

The great depression which began in the fall of 1929 affected Kansas just as it did every other part of the country, but on top of it there was superimposed almost a decade of drought and duststorms. In other words, Kansas and neighboring Great Plains states got a double dose of misery and calamity.

During the decade in question agriculture was relatively a more important industry in Kansas than it is today. The decrease in agricultural income which came as a result of drought and low prices was a serious blow to the entire economy.

The decade of the 1920's had been a rough one for farmers, although most of the rest of the economy was booming. It will be remembered as a time when all farm organizations were imploring congress to pass relief legislation in order to save farmers from bankruptcy.

The desperate situation of Kansas farmers in the 1930's can be judged by the fact that the total farm value of Kansas agricultural production in that decade was only 63 percent of what it was during the very lean 1920's.[1]

Farmers in the 1930's suffered from both short crops and low prices. While the 1931 wheat crop of 251 million bushels was the largest grown up to that time, the average farm price was only 33 cents per bushel, and less than that in western Kansas. Toward the middle of the decade prices were higher but yields were low. Very much the same thing happened in the case of corn. Toward the end of the decade yields were somewhat better but both crops, but prices were down again. [2]

Farmers in Eastern Kansas had plenty of trouble but they got off easy compared with those in the west. The dust storms which raged in the Great Plains from 1933 to the later years in the decade are perhaps among the best remembered happenings of that time. They received plenty of publicity and certainly will never be forgotten by those who lived through them.

Dust storms as such were nothing new in the Great Plains. They were noted and commented on by the early explorers and travelers on the Santa Fe trail. Dr. James C. Malin of the University of Kansas made a study of dust storms in Kansas about 25 years ago. He divided this study into three periods, 1850-1860 confined to eastern Kansas, 1861-1880 dealing with central Kansas, and 1880-1900 covering western Kansas. Dr. Malin's reports on all three areas are included in v. 14 of the Kansas Historical Quarterly, published in 1946. His general conclusions were that there have usually been dust storms in all parts of the state during drought periods, although none as severe as those which occurred in the 1930's. [3]

I have mentioned the huge Kansas wheat crop of 1931. Almost three-fifths of it was grown west of the 98th meridian, frequently accepted as the dividing line between eastern and western Kansas. There may be many who wonder how such a productive area could become a potential, if not an actual wasteland within a period of two or three years. [4]

This calls for some explanation. Although wheat production in Kansas had been gradually moving west during the 1920's, the big move took place during the three or four years prior to 1931. For example, in my own county of Finney wheat acreage increased from 69,000 acres in 1927 to 222,000 in 1931 and production increased from 276,000 bushels to 4,905,230. In Hamilton county wheat acreage was 3,545 in 1927. By 1931 it had increased to 103,787 acres, yielding 1,868,166 bushels. In Gove county 51,685 acres yielding 103,370 bushels in 1927 had grown to 182,369 acres with a yield of 3,647,300 in 1931. In general this expansion resulted from a combination of mechanized farming and a period of higher than normal rainfall. [5]

This great 1931 crop made a lot of happy and optimistic people, They thought that Western Kansas had really come into its own. Some attributed it to climatic changes--others gave new machinery and methods the credit. A sort of madness pervaded the atmosphere and I fell for it just like everyone else. I bragged about that crop to everyone who would listen, in Washington and elsewhere. But viewed in the light of what has happened since, this big crop was more of a disaster than anything else. For one thing it substantially increased the supply of wheat when we already had a surplus and a declining export market, and drove the price far below the cost of production. But even worse, it was a disaster because it encouraged farmers and others to believe that the reckless and haphazard type of farming which brought about this expansion could continue without a day of reckoning.

The drought and dust blowing of 1933 did not alarm Plains people particularly. They were used to dry years and hopefully waited for the rains, which they were sure would come next year. But this time they didn't come. In 1934 the winds started early and the loose unprotected topsoil began to move in a wide area. Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and other states in the Great Plains were all involved.

The storm which originated in the Southwest on May 10, 1934, is commonly spoken of as the worst. However, there are a number of other claimants to that title. This particular storm reached Washington and other East coast points on May 12. It showered dust on the Capitol and the White House. Some was said to have settled on the President's desk. When I left the Capitol that evening I found my car covered with a film of familiar-looking Kansas soil. [6]

The year 1935 is generally considered the worst, as far as dust blowing was concerned. In 1936 the drought area expanded to include most of the states between the Appalachians and the Rockies. However, blowing in Kansas was less severe than it had been. During the next four years the blowing area gradually receded. However, a new recession developed in 1937 and this brought about a severe decline in farm prices for the remainder of the decade. Both wheat and corn averaged around 50 to 60 cents per bushel during the period 1938-1940.

One thing which is not always understood with reference to this period is that soil blowing could have been stopped much earlier than it was, if there had been better organization and more cooperation. Soil scientists and conservationists knew what needed to be done but this required a united effort on the part of the land owners and operators. This was hard to obtain. [7] Much land was operated by nonresident owners commonly known as suitcase farmers who were usually on the land only during the planting and harvesting seasons. The rest of the time they were busy farming back east. Other land owned by nonresidents was farmed by local tenants, some of whom lacked the interest and experience to do a good job. Others did not have the implements and financial ability to do so. There were also resident owners who did not have the capital or inclination to do a good job. [8]

The principal work needed to prevent blowing was to roughen the topsoil with a lister or similar implement or to get a cover crop on the land if moisture permitted. But this must be done by everyone if it is to be successful. If I do it and my neighbor does not, his land will blow over mine and start mine blowing again. There were provisions for government loans to purchase tools and fuel for these operations or in some cases direct government payments were available. But some decided to wait and see until next year and did not take advantage of these programs. Also in the early years there were frequently differences of opinion between federal, state, and local officials as to how these programs should be handled. This prevented prompt action or sometimes any action.

The essential thing was concerted action at all levels and this was a long time developing. There were many who felt that working the land should be made compulsory for every landowner. There were others who opposed having the government tell any farmer what to do with his land. The Kansas legislature passed a compulsory bill in 1935. [9] It provided that where landowners did not take care of their land, the county would do it and charge it up to taxes. The Kansas supreme court declared this law unconstitutional. But the 1937 legislature repassed it with amendments meeting the court's objections and thus the greatest hurdle toward an effective program was taken. Surrounding states passed similar legislation so that a regional program was possible and the dust began to settle.

How did people live in the dust-bowl area during the worst years when the wind blew for days at a time? Looking back on it now, one wonders. But my recollection, which has been verified by checking the newspapers of that time, is that they lived very much as they always had, but with considerable adjustment to the changed conditions.

Sometimes meetings had to be postponed when the storms were at their worst. It might be necessary to close the schools for a day or two after a long, hard storm to clean out the dust and debris, but that was accepted as just one of the things to be endured. [10] School and Church activities went on about as usual. The women's clubs held their regula rmeetings. The chambers of commerce and service clubs continued to function.

Frequently the storms were so bad that travelers had to pull off the roads and wait them out. There were stories of people who got lost in their own farm yards and there were a few instances where school children as well as adults lost their lives. [11]

My family and I were in Washington during the winter and spring months during these years so we missed most of the big storms, although I saw some during short trips home.

We always closed our house in Garden City when we left for Washington in the fall. It was as tight as it could be made with weather stripping and similar devices, but when we came back in the summer, the attic, and to some extent the rooms on the lower floor, were covered with fine dust a quarter to a half inch or more in thickness. One year (I think it was 1935) 16 truckloards of dirt were hauled off our lawn and yard.

Kansans have a way of exaggerating their problems and then laughing about them. As might have been expected, dust-bowl jokes were a dime a dozen. There was the one about the dust being so thick that a prairie dog was seen burrowing 10 feet in the air. Another concerned a man who was hit by a raindrop and they had to throw a bucket of sand in his face to revive him. It was said that crows were flying backward to keep the dust out of their eyes. Strangers who thought the wind was blowing pretty hard were told "this ain't nothing -- see that log chain hanging out there? When it stands straight out you can figure the wind is really blowing."

To me one of the most remarkable aspects of the dust-bowl years was the reluctance of people to leave. Of course, some left, particularly in the later years. The state as a whole lost population during the decade. In general the out emigration from the strictly agricultural counties in the west half of the state was no greater than the average for the agricultural counties in the eastern half. One would expect it to be greater.

Why it was not is perhaps explained in the poem by Edna Becker, entitled "Dust-Bowl Farmer." [12] It reads as follows:

A two weeks' stubble was on his chin,
His overalls were worn and old
His hands were hands of toil.
He had seen the scourging dust
Destroy his greening wheat, and now
His fields stretch to the sky,
A barren waste.
But in his veins the blood of sturdy pioneers ran cool,
And he, seasoned by the endless wind,
The blazing sun, the drought, the lonely plains,
Looked at the ground and said,
"I aim to try again."

The concluding paragraphs of an article by Ada Buell Norris, published in the 1941 issue of the Kansas Magazine, contain a touching expression of why many people stayed through this trying period. The article was entitled, "Black Blizzard." After describing the horror and menace of such storms, and expressing her anxiety over the safety of her faimly, she asked and answered the question which must have been in the minds of many western Kansans in those days:

"Why do we stay? In part because we hope for the coming of moisture, which would change conditions so that we again would have bountiful harvests. And in great part, because it is home. We have reared our family here and have many precious memories of the past.

We have our memories. We have faith in the future, we are here to stay." [13]

The decade of the 1930's is the only one in which Kansas suffered a population loss. The figures for 1930 were 1,851,024, for 1940 they were 1,778,248, or a loss of 72,776. During this period 17 counties gained population and 88 lost.

The distribution of these gains and losses is rather interesting. Most of the rural counties lost. But that was true of many metropolitan areas also. At that time there were five counties with a population of over 50,000. Of these, Crawford lost 6,000, Montgomery 5,000, and Sedgwick 2,000. Shawnee increased by about 14,000. Wyandotte gained around 4,000. Only five counties east of U.S. 81 gained. Two have just been mentioned, the others were Douglas, Riley, and Johnson. Presumably Douglas and Riley gained because of their universities. Johnson because it was already becoming a bedroom area for Kansas City, Mo.

Of the 62 counties on or west of Highway 81, 12 gained and 50 lost. Ten of the 12, Barton, Ellis, Ellsworth, Harvey, Kingman, McPherson, Reno, Rice, Russell and Stafford, were the scenes of oil activity which undoubtedly accounted for most of the gains. As far as I know Saline county had no significant oil activity at that time and its increase must be credited to other causes. Scott is a strictly rural county and the only one in that category to gain. However, it barely made it as the increase was only 16. A surprise to me was the heavy loss in the two Missouri river counties of Leavenworth (11,000) and Atchison (3,300).

Most of the losses occurred in the last half of the period. The state enumeration of 1935 showed a population 1,845,194, a drop of less than 6,000 from the federal census of 1930. For 1936 the figure was only 4,445 less. However, the decline increased during the next four years and even for a short time thereafter. [14]

During the early years of the decade there was a substantial back-to-the-farm movement. The number of farms in Kansas in 1930 as shown by the federal farm census for that year was 166,042. This had increased by the time the 1935 census was taken to 174,589. Then the trend reversed itself and the 1940 census showed a drop to 156,327.

I have checked these figures by counties and the trend seems to be substantially the same all over the state. The increase during the period 1930-1935 was probably mostly in the way of subsistence farming, by people who had lost their jobs in the cities. This was borne out by the fact that the number of milk cows increased from 811,000 in 1931 to 967,000 in 1934, the largest number in the state's history. By 1940 the number had declined to 727,000. [15] Evidently people who couldn't make a go of it in town went first to the farms rather than out of the state. Later the movement took a turn toward emigration to other states, principally on the West coast.

Although Kansas industry and agriculture languished during the 1930's, this was not true of politics. There has never been a decade in the state's history when it had as many stars in the national political firmament as it did in this period.

During the first two years, the Vice-President of the United States was Charles Curtis, a Kansas, who reached the position after more than 30 years in public life. The Republican candidate for President in 1936 was Kansas' Gov. Alf Landon. The chairman of the Republican national committee in that year was anotherKansas, John D. M. Hamilton. Harry H. Woodring was secretary of war in President Roosevelt's cabinet. Guy Helvering occupied the position of commissioner of internal revenue for several years, during the Roosevelt administration. Arthur Capper was one of the most influential men in the United States senate.

Henry J. Allen, newspaper publisher and former governor, was a member of the United States senate during the first two years of the decade. Walter Huxman, after two years as governor (1937-1939) served as a member of the circuit court of appeals for many years. Clyde M. Reed, defeated for renomination as governor in 1930, was nominated and elected to the senatein 1938 where he served until his death in November, 1949. Frank Carlson began his long career as representative, governor, and senator by being elected to the national house of representatives in 1934.

In national and state contests during this period the Democrats fared better than they usually do in Kansas. Roosevelt carried the state in 1932 and 1936. Two Democratic governors were elected, Woodring in 1930 and Huxman in 1936. A Democrat, George McGill, served in the U. S. senate from 1930 to 1938. Several Democratic members were elected to the United States House of Representatives during this decade, although a majority of the house delegation remained Republican. [16]

I do not have time to go into political campaigns as such, with one exception. That is the general election race for governor in 1930. It turned out to be the most astonishing, dramatic, and colorful race in Kansas history.

The Republican candidate that year was Frank Haucke, a popular young farmer, a member of the legislature and former state comander of the American Legion. Also, as many of you know, a former president of the Kansas Historical Society.

The Democrats nominated Harry H. Woodring, a young banker from Neodesha, and also a former state commander of the American Legion.

What started out as a normal Republican-Democratic campaign as rudely interrupted on September 23 ny John R. Brinkley, a quack doctor, who announced that he would be a candidate for governor as an Independent. This was only 42 days before the election.

Brinkley was a crook and a scroundrel of the first order. He was admitted to practice medicine in Kansas on the strength of his admission in Arkansas. His admission there was on the basis of a certificate from a notorious diploma mill in Kansas City. [17] Evidently such matters were handled pretty loosely in those days. He eventually opened a small hospital in Milford, Kan., and advertised operations for impotence, lost manhood, and prostate trouble. These operations consisted in the main of transplanting goat glands into the patient. The charge was $750 in advance. For the more fastidious there was a $5,000 operation where the patient was supposed to get human glands.

In 1923, when radio stations were few and far between, he established one at Milford. The programs consisted of music and other entertainment, liberally interspersed with health lectures on the male change of life and the joys of rejuvenation. Time was also allotted for religious talks, mostly by the good doctor himself. Later it was discovered that these talks were really readings from the collected and published sermons of the noted devine, Henry Ward Beecher.

But he did not limit his practice to men. He conducted a medical question box. On this program he read letters from listeners, mostly women, on their ailments and complaints. He gave them prescriptions over the air and by mail. These prescriptions were coded and could only be filled by druggists who had the code and who had agreed to send Brinkley one dollar for each prescription filled.

It looked like he was sitting on top of the world but by 1930 things began to happen, thick and fast. The Kansas Board of Medical Registration and Examination revoked his license to practice. [18] Why they hadn't done it years before I do not know. The Federal Radio Commission refused to renew his broadcasting license, after a hearing on June 20-22, 1930. His attorneys appealed to the courts, which delayed the suspension until the appeal could be heard. Although he finally lost his license this maneuver enabled him to keep broadcasting during his campaign for governor.

At first his candidacy was taken as a joke by both Republicans and Democrats. He seemed to have one insuperable obstacle. He had filed too late to get his name on the ballot and those who wished to vote for him would have to write it in.

However, he had advantages which might not have been apparent at first. As an office seeker he was an amateur, but when it came to selling himself to the public he was a gifted professional. He had a large staff with wide experience in the fields of publicity and public relations.

His platform called for free school books, free auto tags, lower taxes, better times for the working people, lakes in every county, increased rainfall, an open door to the governor's office and a house cleaning in the statehouse. All of this didn't sound too bad in a depression year when people were out of jobs and farm prices were falling. And what a show he put on. When he wasn't traveling in his chauffeured 16-cylinder Cadillac, he was using his big blue plane, the Romancer. After being on the radio for several hours a day, the plane and the car enabled him, along with Mrs. Brinkley and Johnny Boy, to attend large meetings over the state in the afternoons and evenings.

Sunday was also a big day. The doctor piously made it clear that he would not discuss politics on that day. However, the Sunday programs, religious in nature, may have been the most effective of all. They gave him an opportunity to compare his problems and alleged persecutions with those of the Savior, which he never hesitated to do. [19]

"I too have walked up the path that Jesus walked to Calvary," he said. "I have spent much time in Palestine and Jerusalem. I stood on the Savior's tomb. I know how Jesus felt." He concluded one big Sunday meeting by saying, "The people in power in his time wanted to do away with Jesus before the common people woke up. Are you awake here?"

While his opponents were pounding the pavements in the small towns or making speeches to small audiences, he was reaching thousands and tens of thousands.

Looking back it seems quite likely that if Brinkley's name had been on the ballot he might have been elected. The final vote was Woodring 217,171, Haucke 216,920 (just 251 less), and Brinkley 183,278. How many tried to vote for Brinkley and had their ballots thrown out, will never be known. The attorney general had ruled that to have his vote counted for Brinkley a voter must have written in the name as John R. Brinkley. Election boards were told to throw out all ballots reading J. R. Brinkley, John R. Brinkly, or any other variation of the name or spelling thereof.

Any way you look at it, however, Brinkley made a remarkable race. He carried 28 counties, including Sedgwick. The vote there was Brinkley 24,316, Haucke 12,682, Woodring 6,879. Most of the counties he carried were in the Wichita area or north and west thereof. He did very little in eastern Kansas or in the far west and northwest. In general, the counties he carried were those within the range of his radio station. [20] It had been reported that he received 10,000 write-in votes in Oklahoma, and well he might. This, however, I have not tried to Verify.

Frank Haucke, who was never enthusiastic about being governor, probably didn't mind losing. He had goos grounds for challenging the results in Leavenworth county, but did not do so. [21] Harry Woodring was no doubt happy about winning. He knew little about politics or government, but was smart enough to select Guy Helvering, a talented and experienced politician, as his principal advisor. He fared well in the Roosevelt administration as assistant secretary and later as secretary of war.

Brinkley tried again in 1932. He ran as an Independent but this time his name was on the ballot. Although he had moved most of his operations to Del Rio, Tex., on the Mexican border, and broadcast from Mexico, he demonstrated that he still had a following. He received 244,607 votes to 278,581 for Alf Landon, and 272,944 for Harry Woodring.

He took another fling in 1934, running in the Republican primary against Alf Landon. But this time he received only 58,983 votes to Landon's 233,956.

I have perhaps taken more time than I should on Brinkley. I've done it partly because he was an interesting character, but more particularly to show how a thoroughly bad man came close to being elected to high office, even in Kansas, where we like to think that we have an intelligent, honest, and discerning electorate.

As for the dust-bowl problems of the 1930's, there is little chance that they will return. But in Kansas and in the nation we are, today facing even greater conservation challenges. Air and water pollution are deadly. Nationwide and statewide, they are increasing. Lake Erie is now a dead lake. The Hudson river is a great open sewer right in the heart of one of the nation's most populous areas. Smog is a problem in every great city, although some are doing something about it, mostly on an inadequate scale. Unless national solutions are found, we will, sooner or later, be confronted with all these problems in Kansas. And they will be far greater than those which we faced in the 1930's. It is not a time to sit idly by.


Clifford Ragsdale Hope, Sr. , Garden City, a native of Iowa, has lived in Kansas since 1906. For 30 years he was a representative of Kansas in the congress. Since his retirement in 1957 he has practiced law, written for newspapers, and continued to be a respected spokesman for the state of his choice.

This article is a slightly revised version of Hope's presidential address delivered before the annual meeting of the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka on October 21, 1969.

1. Biennial Reports, Kansas State Board of Agriculture, 1920-1939.
2. Ibid., 1930-1939.
3. See articles beginning on pp. 129, 265, 391, v. 14, Kansas Historical Quarterly.
4. Biennial Report, Kansas State Board of Agriculture, 1931-1932. These figures are broken down by counties. They were revised later based on studies made in 1933-1934. This changes totals slightly. For final figures on 1931 crop, see Centennial Report, 1960-1961, Kansas State Board of Agriculture, p. 517.
5. Biennial Reports, Kansas State Board of Agriculture, 1927-1928 and 1931-1932.
6. For more detailed reports on this storm and others in 1933, 1934, 1935, and 1936, see Heaven's Tableland (New York, 1947) by Vance Johnson, who spent the entire dust bowl period as a member of the staff of the Amarillo Daily News. This book is an excellent and accurate eye-witness account of weather, crop, and living conditions in the southern Plains area during the 1930-1939 decade.
7. Former Secretary of Agriculture Wm. M. Jardine has been quoted as saying, "The Dust Bowl problem is not one of learning how to farm the semi-arid high plains country. We already know how. Plenty of information is available. Getting the farmers to use it is the big problem."
8. See article entitled "Dust Blowing" in Harper's Magazine, New York, July, 1935, by Avis D. Carlson. Mrs. Carlson at that time a residentof western Kansas discussed the economic, weather, and agricultural conditions which preceded and accompanied the dust bowl period.
9. Although declared unconstitutional, the passage of this act and its enforcement while pending in the courts, plus the certainty that the next legislature would deal further with the question, resulted in a coordination of opinion and effort which was highly effective in securing cooperation on the part of landowners, tenants, and state and government agencies. It marked a turning point both in thought and action.
10. The Garden City Daily Telegram, March 16, 1935, described a storm on the previous day as the worst in history. It held traffic to a standstill for more than eight hours. It covered five states but was at its worst in western Kansas, western Oklahoma, the Texan Panhandle, and eastern Colorado. Many people were forced to abandon their cars.
Regional basketball tournaments at Garden City and Hays were halted. This was because the dust was so bad that visability from one end of the court to the other was impossible, even with the lights on. The tournament committee decided that playing under these conditions would endanger the health team members.
However, a lamb feeding program was held at Garden City. The officials from the agricultural college offered to call it off but decided to hold it because a number had come from long distances. Dean Call and C. W. McCampbell were present from the college.
Merchants reported more dust in stores and on merchandise than ever before.
The Telegram for April 11, 1935, reported a three-day storm on the 8th, 9th, and 10th.
Passenger trains were held at Dodge City and Syracuse. At Scott City an engine was derailed by dust. No school was held on the day following the storm because it was necessary to clean out the building.
A headline stated "Farm Credit Officials Find Collateral Up in the Air." The meeting was postponed.
Another story stated that police court jokers held a soil erosion control demonstration by listing the layers of dust on the desk of Police Judge F. N. Shelton.
A state crop report stated that the condition of wheat in Finney county was 10 percent. In Kearny and Hamilton counties it was zero percent.
The Telegram for April 26, 1935, stated that the Red Cross planned to carry out health work in 80 counties in five southwestern states, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. This related to dust pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases.
The May 14, 1935, issue stuck a note of hope in an editorial following the first general rain in months. It was headed, "On the Way Back." It read in part as follows: "This one rain is, of course, no cureall, but it will permit farm activity which was heretofore impossible, and that activity will multiply with each successive rain."
11. See "Black Blizzard," by Ada Buell Norris, p. 103, 1941 issue of Kansas Magazine, Manhattan.
12. Edna Becker, Dust and Stardust (Topeka, 1955), p. 25.
13. Concluding paragraphs of Norris, "Black Blizzard."
14. See Centennial Report, Kansas State Board of Agriculture, 1960-1961, p. 376, and population tables beginning on p. 378, for verification of figures in this and preceeding paragraphs.
15. Ibid., p. 516.
16. Biennial Reports of secretary of state, 1929-1930 to 1937-1938.
17. See "Doctor by Fraud," by A. B. MacDonald, in Kansas City Star, April 20, 1930.
18. This action took place on September 17, 1930, after several efforts by Brinkley to halt it by appeals to the Kansas supreme court. See Kansas City Star of that date for text of ouster order. The board found that Brinkley was guilty of gross immorality and unprofessional conduct. 19. See pp. 163 and 164, The Roguish World of Doctor Brinkley (New York, 1960), by Gerald Carson.
20. See Report of secretary of state for 1929-1930, pp. 102, 103.
21. Veterans living at the Federal Old Soldiers Home at Leavenworth were permitted to vote in this election. Woodring carried the precinct over Haucke by a plurality of 381. Woodring's margin over Haucke for the state was 251. If the vote of the precinct had been thrown out it would have given Haucke the election by a plurality of 130. Although there had been no court decisions on the matter prior to this time, lawyers generally were of the opinion that voters living in this federally owned land were ineligibile to vote in state elections. In 1938 the Kansas supreme court held that voters living on this land had been ineligible to vote in state elections since the land was acquired by the Federal government in 1927. Why the election was not contested by the Republicans has never received much public discussion, but the general opinion seemed to be that to do so would open up many questions, including the legality or illegality of the thousands of Brinkley votes which had been thrown out for technical reasons, such as misspelling the candidate's name. It is surprising that Brinkley did not bring a contest on these grounds but he evidently thought it better to bide his time and run again in two years, which he did.