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A. A. Hamilton to Arthur Capper

A. A. Hamilton to Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: March 5, 1915
In this letter, A. A. Hamilton of Pittsburg, Crawford County, argues that Kansas does not need a child labor law. According to Hamilton, there should be limitations on the number of hours that children can work, but he does not see why able-bodied youth should be prevented from getting an after-school job. Attached to the letter is a clipping from the St. Louis Globe Democrat regarding child labor legislation. In 1915 the Industrial Welfare Act declared that minors could not be employed in any industry or occupation that may be detrimental to their welfare.


Agreement with the Lapland Exhibit Company

Agreement with the Lapland Exhibit Company
Creator: Bull, Niels
Date: May 17, 1893
This is an exclusive contract between Niels Bull, his wife Margarita Bull, their six year old son Morten Bull of Singsaas, Herred, Norway, and the Lapland Exhibit Company of Chicago, Illinois, by P. H. Coney, President and Superintendent, and Emil Arner, Vice-President and Manager. The Bull family agrees to work, exhibit, and perform in native costume at the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago, Illinois or elsewhere in the United States of American for the Lapland Exhibit Company. Their family pay rate was 12 kroners per day. The contract was canceled October 31, 1893. Patrick H. Coney, a Topeka native, was the Exposition's manager. Emil Arner may have been from Salina, Kansas. See also Kansas Memory item 227115.


Can't fix women's wages

Can't fix women's wages
Date: July 11, 1925
The Kansas Court of Industrial relations is not empowered to determine minimum wage for women and minors in industry reads an article in the Kansas City Star. The constitutional right of the Industrial Court to fix wages continued for several years following the creation of the Court by a special session of the Kansas Legislature in 1921. Challenged by the Topeka Packing Company and the Topeka Laundry Company in the United States Supreme Court, the court was declared unconstitutional in 1925.


Child labor

Child labor
Creator: The Club Member
Date: December 1907
This article, published in a women's club magazine, discusses the importance of the child labor laws in Kansas. These laws improved child welfare and worked alongside school truancy laws. The article also discusses the duties of industrial inspectors and the areas of the system that need improvement. Toward the end of the article, the unnamed author also cites statistics to place Kansas within a national context; Kansas was one of nine states that prohibited employment of children under the age of 14 in factories, stores, offices, hotels, laundries, theaters, bowling alleys, and bakeries.


Child labor and woman suffrage

Child labor and woman suffrage
Creator: The Club Member
Date: January 1907
This brief article in The Club Member describes the problem of child labor, arguing that in states where women had the right to vote "child labor and illiteracy have ceased to be problems." This information is taken from an article called "Treason of the Senate" by David Graham Phillips.


Emma Grimm to Arthur Capper

Emma Grimm to Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: November 27, 1917
Emma Grimm of Sabetha, Nemaha County, wrote this letter to Governor Arthur Capper regarding the child labor law that prohibits the employment of children under the age of 14 in any mercantile establishment. Grimm believes that if children do not learn the value of work at a young age, "then they get stubern and want there own way and that does not work good." Her son Theodore had recently been let go from his job as a grocery delivery boy, which apparently upset him greatly. Theodore was mentioned by name in a letter by another Sabetha citizen, Ralph Tennal, dated December 2, 1917, and in Commissioner P.J. McBride's letter, dated December 8, 1917.


First biennial report of the Industrial Welfare Commission of the State of Kansas

First biennial report of the Industrial Welfare Commission of the State of Kansas
Creator: Kansas. Industrial Welfare Commission
Date: July 1, 1915-June 30, 1917
The Kansas Industrial Welfare Commission was created by the laws of 1915 "to establish such standards of wages, hours, and conditions of labor for women, learners, apprentices and minors employed within the state as shall be held reasonable and not detrimental to health and welfare."


Governor Henry Allen to Samuel McCune Lindsay

Governor Henry Allen to Samuel McCune Lindsay
Creator: Allen, Henry Justin, 1868-1950
Date: April 17, 1920
In this letter, Kansas governor Henry Allen states he does not know what the Republic National Committee will do toward constructing a program for labor regulation. William Allen White, chair of the program subcommittee, submitted to the National Republican Committee a "circular letter" identifying topics of concern to be addressed in developing the Republican National Committee legislative platform of 1920.


Owen Lovejoy to Governor Arthur Capper

Owen Lovejoy to Governor Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: April 14, 1915
This letter, written by the general secretary of the National Child Labor Committee, refers to the Eleventh Annual Conference on child labor, to be held in San Francisco. Lovejoy enclosed a list of affiliated members in Kansas who may be interested in participating. He also suggested that teachers, social workers, and others who may want to be involved should be informed about this conference. Also attached to the letter is an unsigned reply to Lovejoy's inquiry, presumably written by Governor Capper or his assistant, which lists the names of the Kansans who will be attending this conference.


P. J. McBride to Arthur Capper

P. J. McBride to Arthur Capper
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: December 12, 1917
This letter by P. J. McBride, Commissioner of Labor and Industry, informed the governor of Kansas about the enforcement of child labor laws in Sabetha, Nemaha County. Edith Enderton, an agent of the Department of Labor and Industry, had visited Sabetha in order to enforce compliance with the child labor law, and she found "a considerable number of children employed in violation" of this law. McBride specifically mentions a 10-year old boy, Teddy Grimm, who delivered groceries and sometimes worked 14 or 15 hours lifting heavy boxes and sacks of flour. While McBride acknowledges that Enderton may "have possibly been a little over-zealous in the application of the law where children are employed by their own parents"?which was not the case with Teddy Grimm?McBride agrees that young children should not be required to work outside the home.


P. J. McBride to Emma Grimm

P. J. McBride to Emma Grimm
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1929-1931 : Reed)
Date: December 12, 1917
In this letter P. J. McBride, the commissioner of labor and industry, responds to Emma Grimm's letter to Governor Arthur Capper dated November 27, 1917. Grimm had expressed her displeasure with the enforcement of the child labor law in her hometown of Sabetha, which had forced her 10-year old son Theodore to leave his job as a grocery delivery boy. McBride informed her that, because the Legislature passed this law, the governor could not make any exceptions. McBride also emphasized that "play and recreation" were an important element in children's development and that after schoolwork and household chores had been completed, children should have unstructured time to play. McBride refers to the 1917 amendment to the Industrial Welfare Act of 1915; this amendment prohibited work at night or for more than 8 hours daily or 48 hours weekly and required that school superintendents issue work permits to eligible students prior to the students' employment. Also, children could not be employed until they had completed elementary school.


P. J. McBride to Ralph Tennal

P. J. McBride to Ralph Tennal
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: December 8, 1917
This letter was written in response to Ralph Tennal's earlier letter (dated December 2) to Gov. Arthur Capper, which had been referred to P. J. McBride, the Commissioner of Labor and Industry. In it, McBride responds to Tennal's concerns that the child labor law prevented children from learning the value of hard work. McBride politely states that the state legislature enacted this law, and thus complaints should be directed to the legislators. While he concurs with Tennal's assertion that children who are bored can get into mischief, McBride argues that "the solution to this problem is the proper control and direction of play and recreation of our children by parents and public welfare officials rather than by putting them at work in our industries." Consequently, child labor laws not only prevented abuses, but they also allowed children the free time deemed necessary for their development, as well as ensuring that these girls and boys receive a solid education. In closing, McBride encourages Tennal to rethink his position and help ensure compliance with these laws. Tennal had also written a letter about this issue on November 22, 1917.


P. J. McBride to Roy Hennigh

P. J. McBride to Roy Hennigh
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1915-1919: Capper)
Date: December 12, 1917
This letter was written in response to Roy Hennigh's earlier letter (dated November 21) to Gov. Arthur Capper, which had been referred to P. J. McBride, the Commissioner of Labor and Industry. In it, McBride responds to Hennigh's complaint that a welfare inspector prevented Hennigh from employing his two daughters in his grocery store. McBride referred him to the child labor law that "prohibited the employment of any child under 14 years of age in mercantile establishments." No one could make any exception to this law because, according to McBride, some of the worst cases of abuse had occurred at the hands of parents. This law did not affect children's work within the home, but it did mandate that children under 14 could not be assigned regular duties for a specific period of time in a place of business. McBride emphasized that "it is not the purpose of this department to split hairs," but that his inspectors were bound to ensure that the law was applied fairly and equally to all.


Part I: Child Labor in Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics

Part I: Child Labor in Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics
Creator: Kansas. Dept. of Labor and Industry
Date: January 1, 1891
Part I of this government report addresses the problem of child labor in Kansas, which appeared to be increasing. Most of the report focuses on existing child labor laws in Kansas, statistics about child employment (broken down by county, child's age, ethnic background, etc?), and the industries that employed children. The report also addresses school attendance and truancy laws (which would effectively curb the unlawful employment of children) and includes the results of interviews with school superintendents and questionnaires filed out by those known to employ children in their businesses. School superintendents were overwhelmingly in favor of compulsory education, and most employers believed that it was important for children to understand the value of hard work (although some did speak about the benefits of school).


Ralph Tennal to Arthur Capper

Ralph Tennal to Arthur Capper
Creator: Tennal, Ralph
Date: December 2, 1917
Ralph Tennal, editor of the Sabetha Herald, wrote this letter to the governor in an attempt to convince Capper that child labor laws did more trouble than good. Tennal believes that these laws prevented children from being industrious and led to crime, because "everybody knows what Satan does to idle hands." Instead of having children run loose, they should find suitable employment on weekends and evenings that would give them "wholesome activities." According to Tennal, these child labor laws were doing more harm than good.


Ralph Tennal to Arthur Capper

Ralph Tennal to Arthur Capper
Creator: Tennal, Ralph
Date: November 22, 1917
Ralph Tennal, editor of the Sabetha Herald, wrote this letter to the governor complaining about a recent visit from an inspector who had ordered local merchants to comply with child labor laws. Tennal refers specifically to children who helped run their parents stores on weekends and after school. Tennal believes that "the orders strike me as being out of line with horse sense and out of line with the spirit of the government." He firmly believed that hard work would be of great value to these children. In 1917 the Industrial Welfare Act of 1915 was amended to include these restrictions on child labor: children could not work at night or for more than 8 hours daily or 48 hours weekly, school superintendents were responsible for issuing work permits, and children could not work until they had completed elementary school.


Roy Hennigh to Arthur Capper

Roy Hennigh to Arthur Capper
Creator: Hennigh, Roy
Date: November 21, 1917
Roy Hennigh, owner of a grocery store in Sabetha, Nemaha County, wrote this letter to the governor concerning a recent visit to his store by a female deputy factory inspector. According to Hennigh, this inspector informed him that his two teenage daughters could not work in his store on the weekends according to the child labor laws. Hennigh argues that he does not officially employ his children, or any other children, because "they help me just as anybody's children should." He believes it is "very poor judgement to enact a law which forbids parents to use the help of their own children." He also takes issue with the fact that a female inspector evaluated his business. P. J. McBride, Commissioner of Labor and Industry, replied to this letter on December 12, 1917.


Second biennial report of the Industrial Welfare Commission of the State of Kansas

Second biennial report of the Industrial Welfare Commission of the State of Kansas
Creator: Kansas. Industrial Welfare Commission
Date: June 30, 1917-April 15, 1919
The Kansas Industrial Welfare Commission was created "to establish such standards of wages, hours, and conditions of labor for women, learners, apprentices and minors employed within the state as shall be held reasonable and not detrimental to health and welfare."


Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics

Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics
Creator: Kansas. Dept. of Labor and Industry
Date: January 1, 1891
This report, which covers the year 1890, includes an introductory letter to Governor Lyman Humphrey written by Frank Betton, Commissioner of Labor and Industry, regarding the state's compliance with sanitary requirements and other provisions for the welfare of employers and employees. The main text of the report is divided into two parts: Part I deals with child labor statistics and Part II is an investigation of labor organizations and their relationship to the greater community. The appendices include information about the proceedings of the State Federation Convention and the Federation Constitution. It includes an index and a table of contents.


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