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Kansas State Guard


For instance, a delegation of Kansas City men called upon the Governor on August 5, 1917, with a view of securing state or government issue of arms and ammunition for the Home Guard organizations of Wyandotte county, and of obtaining for the organization official state recognition. The attorney general having ruled that under the statutes, if the organization was to function as an armed force, it was necesssary that specific permission to bear arms be granted by the Governor. The conference held with the party from Kansas City led to the promulgation of the executive order of August 6, 1917, authorizing the organization of the Wyandotte Home Guards, with Harry A. Mendenhall, mayor of Kansas City, Kan., as commander. A similar executive order was issued from the Governor's office to cover the organization of each Home Guard unit in the state. By-laws, drawn by the Defense Council and approved by the Governor, were adopted as a model, after which by-laws of all Home Guard units should be patterned. A copy of the executive order authorizing the organization of the Wyandotte Home Guards, together with copy of standard by-laws adopted by the Defense Council, appear below.


To All to Whom These Presents Shall Come, Greeting:

KNOW YE, That inasmuch as a state of war exists between the United States of America and the German nation, whereby conditions are rendered unusual, in that the troops of the Kansas National Guard have been called and mustered into the service of the general government, thus for the time being depriving the state of the benefit of its active militia, and at the same time for the better protection and security of persons and property within the state, making necessary and advisable the organization and maintenance of constabulary forces or Home Guards in the several communities of the state.

And it appearing that a local organization of Home Guards has been formed in Wyandotte county, in the state of Kansas, in manner and form as outlined in the report of the Home Guard Committee of the Council of Defense of the state of Kansas, approved by me on June 6, 1917, which organization is designated "Wyandotte Home Guards," and in substantial compliance with the recommendations of said committee has adopted by-laws which were approved by me and filed in the office of the Adjutant General of the state of Kansas on the sixth day of August, 1917:

Now therefore, by virtue of the authority vested by law, I, Arthur Capper, Governor of the state of Kansas, reposing special confidence in the patriotism, loyalty and abilities of Harry A. Mendenhall, the duly elected and acting mayor of Kansas City, Kan., on behalf and in the name of the state, do designate him commander of Wyandotte Home Guards during the term of his incumbency of such office as mayor.

And it is ordered, That said Harry A. Mendenhall as commanding officer of Wyandotte Home Guards assume full control over and responsibility for said organization, and that he execute to the state of Kansas a bond as provided by law for the safe-keeping and proper return of all property which may be delivered into his charge as such commanding officer.

And it is likewise ordered, That said organization, Wyandotte Home Guards, be and it is hereby granted permission to exist as an independent military organization for the purposes set forth in its by-laws, but subject to the command of the Governor of the state, and to bear arms, but shall not without further permission exceed one regiment of infantry as defined in the acts of congress and the regulations of the United States Army.

It is likewise ordered, That the by-laws of Wyandotte Home Guards, as filed in the office of the Adjutant General of the state of Kansas, on August 6, 1917, be and they are hereby approved.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused to be affixed the great seal of state,

Done at the city of Topeka, Kan., this 6th day of August, A.D. 1917.


By the Governor: ARTHUR CAPPER,
 J. T. BOTKIN, Secretary of State.

The by-laws referred to in the foregoing executive order, as having been approved by the Governor, and after which the by-laws of all "Home Guard" units were patterned, were as follows:


Home Guards may be organized in Kansas under the following rules and regulations:

Application for the organization of Home Guards in any county or city in the state of Kansas shall be made by the sheriff of the county or by the mayor of any city of the first or second class.


The name of any organization of Home Guards shall be The ________ Home Guards. (Designate name of city or county.)

ARTICLE III. - Object.

The object of the formation of Home Guards shall be to promote, develop and foster loyalty and patriotism for flag and country; to furnish elementary military training and knowledge to its members for the purpose of enabling them to enter service in the defense of the country when called upon to do so, and to aid and assist in the federal military service locally in such matters as securing and promoting enlistments and the like, and to raise and distribute funds for the purpose; to form, constitute and act as a constabulary force in and for the county and city in which organized, for home protection, under military discipline and drill; to aid in conserving the peace; to perform service for the municipality, state and nation in the protection of property and persons; in the protection of property of the United States and the protection of supplies in course of manufacture for the United States, and the protection of transportation lines where necessary, including rights of war of railroads, bridges and the like.

ARTICLE IV. - Membership.

Every loyal male citizen over the age of eighteen years, and being a resident of the county, applying, shall be eligible to membership on making application, signing the roll and furnishing satisfactory evidence of loyalty and good character.

ARTICLE V. - Officers.

The officers of such organizations shall consist of a commander, a surgeon, a recorder and a treasurer. The commander of the organization shall be some member thereof designated by the Governor, and shall hold his office during the pleasure of the Governor. The surgeon, recorder and treasurer shall be elected for the term of one year by the members of the organization.

ARTICLE VI.- Military Instruction.

For the purpose of acquiring military training and performing military duties the officers heretofore designated in article V shall appoint military officers to organize and drill the Home Guards as required by United States Army Drill Regulations for like organizations. The officer of the organization named in article V, together with the military officers appointed by them, shall constitute an executive committee, which shall have charge and full management of all affairs of the local organization. The commander shall be chairman of this committee. When it is deemed necessary for the local defense of persons or property this organization shall be subject to the call of the Governor or the local peace officers.


A duplicate membership roster of the organization shall be filed with the Adjutant General of the state of Kansas.


All units shall be organized in accordance with United States Army Regulations, and all drill instruction shall be in accordance with the United States Infantry Drill Regulations.


Regular meetings of the organizations of Horne Guards shall be held at least four times each month, on such dates and at such hours and places as may be designated by the executive committee. Special meetings may be called at any time.


Suitable by-laws for the organization and conduct of Home Guards, in substantial compliance with the above regulations, shall be prepared and adopted and submitted with the application for the approval of the Governor.


Attention is called to the state and federal laws prohibiting unauthorized organizations to bear arms, and emphasizing the necessity for obtaining the authority of the Governor before armed organizations can be allowed.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused to be affixed the great seal of the state.

Done at the city of Topeka. Kan., this 6th day of August, A. D. 1917.
 By the Governor.

Secretary of State.