165 – A Look Back

We began this series of stories after the Civil War in 1865. We’re ending the series at the end of World War I in 1920. What a dramatic change in people’s lifestyles over these 55 years.

Let’s review…

Reconstruction after Civil War – 1865
Armistice – World War I – 1918
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164 – Ralph Jarvis and Chleo Webb

Ralph and Chleo – 1919

Ralph was back in Larned, and out of the army. It was the summer of 1919. He quickly found work as a lineman for The Pawnee Power and Water Company.

Chleo had just finished high school. She was living at home with her mother, and they were working at the Ideal Steam Laundry.

Ralph and Chleo rekindled their relationship and talked of marriage.

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163 – Coming Home

With orders for home, the 137th Regiment boarded trains at Sampigny on March 7. They arrived in the Le Mans area three days later. The companies were dispersed to surrounding towns and villages, Company M to Monfort-les-Gesnois. Far from the desolate battlefields, the men enjoyed a couple weeks of “the best accommodations since [their] arrival in France,” whether in billets or private homes.

Easter Aboard the Manchuria
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162 – Over There

Larned Chronoscope – May 9, 1918

On May 9, 1918, soldiers of the 137th Infantry disembarked their ships and set foot on French soil at Le Havre.

The 137th served a few weeks with the British in Northern France and then by three days of forced marches and three days train travel moved to the eastern end of the Western Front, near Gerardmer, from where it went into the line with French troops on German soil near Switzerland on June 18, 1918.

A History of the 137th Infantry, An All-Kansas Regiment
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160 – Ralph Jarvis Was Electrifying

What was going on in Larned in the spring and summer of 1916? We’ll pick up on three story lines to find out.

  1. Larned’s new electric plant was coming on line.
  2. Ralph Jarvis, 22, was in Larned, working as a lineman converting houses to the new electric system.
  3. Chleo Webb was coming of age at 16, living in the Rock House with her mother Anna.
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