Department of Kansas, G.A.R. to the 36th National Encampment, Washington DC, Oct. 1902. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, 1997.
Grand Army of the Republic Inside Back Cover




It was the Central Attraction for a full Week.

Under the above caption the National Tribune, of Washington, D.C., gave Kansas over a column writeup, from which we quote in part as follows:

"Kansas got a great advertisement through the magnificent turn-out of her veterans and the display of her products. The latter was certainly the center of attraction in the Nation's Capital for about seven days, Sunday not excepted.

"The Oxford Hotel was preempted by Kansas people, and nobody undertook to contest the filing. Two big parlors held the wonderful exhibit of fruit, which was in charge of William H. Barns, State Secretary of Agriculture, assisted by S.J. Churchill and C.H. Hoyt. These gentlemen showed the big, juicy beauties that made your mouth water to look at them, and told the interested people who crowded about them that 'Kansas has the largest and finest apple orchards in the world.' They didn't believe it, but it is true, and that is what jars the Empire State.

"High above the heads of pedestrians around the Oxford, ropes were stretched from telephone pole to pole, and upon these were festooned corm. The Kansans called it corn, but it looked like stove wood at that height, and it was well that it swung high, for many a millionaire eyed it longingly, thinking of the coal famine and the glorious blaze those gigantic 'nubbins' would make. When that corn was finally taken down, people stood in line for blocks, just to secure in turn a few grains of the cereal.

"Propped up against the trees in front of the hotel were some 'step-ladder' stalks of corn with huge ears spiking the stalks near the tip. A $5 bill was offered the man who could hang his hat on the lowest ear of corn, and the greenback yet reposes in the depths of Commander Loomis' pocket.

"Lined up outside were pumpkins which would make good washtubs or drinking troughs if hollowed out, and watermelons like hogsheads. there were onions that would burst the band of a No. 7 hat, and so one might go on with the wonder world which the Department Commander of Kansas planted in the midst of the National Capital, for the half has not been told.

"These magnificent products will be the talk of the country for the next year. And then there was Kansas in the parade. The Kansans could not be mistaken. The Sunflower State, proud of its sunshiny emblem, chose to march down Pennsylvania Avenue on that historic day under umbrellas painted to represent the flower of the sun god. They were unique and instructive. For half a mile they filed[sic] the Avenue from curb to curb.

"Col. Eugene Ware, Commissioner of Pensions, was there, wearing the big bloomer presented to him by the Whippoorwills.

"All along the line of march Kansas got cheers and genial recognition, while from the President it got a special notice, and the Commander-in-Chief gave the Department of Kansas an extra salute as it proudly filed past the reviewing stand.

"Great is Kansas, and great are her people. Department Commander Loomis has achieved fame for his State and for himself in bringing to Washington the superb collection of fruits and grains, which will be an object lesson that can never be forgotten. It ought to make him governor of Kansas."