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James Asbury Power, Jr.'s World War II photograph album James Asbury Power, Jr.'s World War II photograph album

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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Agriculture - Government farm programs - Education - Kansas State University Research and Extension

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Harry Umberger to Governor Alf Landon

Harry Umberger to Governor Alf Landon
Creator: Umberger, Harry
Date: July 18, 1934
This letter from Harry Umberger, the Director of Extension at Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University), accompanied a map designating the drought relief counties as of July 1934. The map indicates the primary and secondary drought relief counties suffering the most through the Great Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The map includes a key to explain the highlighted portions.


Harry Umberger to Willard Mayberry

Harry Umberger to Willard Mayberry
Creator: Umberger, Harry
Date: December 23, 1933
This letter from Harry Umberger, the Director of Extension at Kansas State College (now Kansas State University), was addressed to Willard Mayberry, secretary to Gov. Alf Landon. The letter discusses the reduction of railroad transportation rates for livestock feed, because the depression, combined with the droughts of the 1930s, had made it difficult for farmers to feed their livestock. Umberger recommended that the rates be reduced for at least thirty days (preferably sixty days) in order to keep stock alive during the winter. The letter is accompanied by a state map labeling the counties who needed these rates, with the red shaded section indicating which counties were in the greatest need.


Shelterbelt project in Reno County

Shelterbelt project in Reno County
Creator: Stoeckeler, Joseph
Date: 1944
This photograph, taken by Joseph Stoeckeler in 1944, is of a shelterbelt in northwest Reno County, Kansas, constructed in 1937. Shelterbelts, planted in the late 1930s, consisted of various heights of trees and shrubs that served as windbreaks to protect newly-planted crops (such as wheat) by helping to prevent the soil in which they were planted from blowing away in the wind.


Southwest is not lost

Southwest is not lost
Creator: Kansas City Times
Date: February 25, 1937
In this brief article, Harry Umberger, chairman of the Kansas wind erosion committee, contradicts reports circulating in New York City that the Southwest will never be able to produce wheat again. He goes on to describe the reasons for blowing soil and the steps that must be taken to make farming the Dust Bowl a profitable -- yet environmentally stable -- enterprise.


To battle dust

To battle dust
Creator: Topeka Journal
Date: March 16, 1936
This article from the Topeka Journal discusses farmers' efforts to reverse the effects of blowing soil in western Kansas. Farmers in the Dust Bowl would receive a federal allotment to fund the listing of between 1 and 2 million acres of land. The allotment was expected to be 20 to 40 cents per acre of land that was listed.


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