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The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library
Kansas government publications, resources and information available from the State Library of Kansas

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Feb 12

"I Fought the Law, and the Law Won" Kansas Criminals in the Early 20th Century

Posted on February 12, 2016 at 5:00 PM by Jason Ackermann

This week KGI turns to some of the more “arresting” state documents in our collection, by bringing you the Criminal X-Ray from the Kansas State Penitentiary and Escaped Men and Parole Violators from the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory.  These publications circulated images and conviction information of criminals in the state and are a gold-mine of information for those interested in local history – not only for the personal records of the individuals recorded here, but also because the publication provides insight into the penal system at the time.

What is considered a crime, how severely that crime is punished, and the words used to define the crime all provide researchers an in-depth look at the cultural and social history of the time period.  Issues of class and race are embedded in the text alongside the images and actions of real, ordinary individuals from our past. 


Kansas State Industrial Reformatory – Escaped Men and Parole Violators - 1912 and 1914


Kansas State Penitentiary – Criminal X-Ray – 1915


Please note, these are large files and may take time to load.