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Dec 30

Relief for Western Kansas Farmers in the 1890s

Posted on December 30, 2020 at 3:20 PM by Bill Sowers

The 1890s were hard years for agriculture in Western Kansas. Two publications issued by the Kansas Railroad Commissioners called for aid to be sent to farmers to assist them in obtaining seed grain for planting crops as well as coal. From the 1893 report, published in 1894:

"It is a well-known fact that, owing to a failure of crops in western Kansas, a number of the farmers in many counties of that section are without seed grain and have no means with which to purchase the same. In view of this fact, it is deemed advisable to call upon the people who are more fortunate for donations, to be used in relieving this distress. Governor Lewelling has requested the Board of Railroad Commissioners to take charge of the collection and distribution of such contributions as may be prompted by the generosity of the good people of our state"--"Circular No. 2" (Page 5)

You can read both reports online at the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library:

Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners relating to seed grain for western Kansas.

Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners on the distribution of coal and seed grain to the needy settlers of Western Kansas in 1895