National Archives at Kansas City

Guide to Archival Holdings at the National Archives at Kansas City

Record Group 4
Records of the U.S. Food Administration

Administrative History
The U.S. Food Administration was created by an Executive order of August 10, 1917, to assure the supply, distribution, and conservation of foods during World War I; facilitate the movement of foods and prevent monopolies and hoarding; and maintain Governmental control over foods chiefly by means of voluntary agreements and a licensing system. Federal food administrators were appointed for each State to implement the Administration's programs. After November 11, 1918, the Administration was gradually dismantled and its rules and regulations revoked. An Executive order of August 21, 1920, terminated all branches of the Food Administration still in existence, and the majority of its records were placed in the custody of the U.S. Grain Corporation.

Records Description
Dates: 1917-19
Volume: 97 cubic feet

Records of the food administrators, executive secretaries, and Education Divisions for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. For the most part the records concern complaints against individuals, local merchants, and restaurants for violations of rationing and other regulations, and document public attitudes toward U.S. participation in World War I and Governmental control. They consist primarily of letters. Nontextual records include photographs.

Finding Aids
Handbook of Federal World War Agencies and Their Records, 1917-1921 (1943).

Almon B. Wright, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the United States Food Administration, 1917-1920, Pt.1: The Headquarters Organization, PI 3 (1943).

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Record Group 5
Records of the U.S. Grain Corporation

Administrative History
The Grain Corporation, an agency of the U.S. Food Administration, was created on August 14, 1917. On July 1, 1919, the Corporation was reorganized as the U.S. Grain Corporation, which continued the functions and organizational structure of its predecessor. The central office of both agencies was located in New York City, with zone offices throughout the country, and by 1919, in Europe. The main functions of the Corporations were to regulate the grain trade by purchasing, storing, and selling grain and grain products and, in cooperation with the War Trade Board, to control grain imports and exports. They played a significant role in the administration of American food relief for Europe after the First World War. At various times between 1918 and 1922, the Corporation served as the fiscal and/or purchasing agent for the Commission for Relief in Belgium, the American Relief Administration, and the Purchasing Commission for Russian Relief. The U.S. Grain Corporation had been in the process of liquidation for several years when it was abolished by an Executive order of December 31, 1927.

The Corporation assigned a vice president to each of the 14 grain zones, which were located in important grain terminal and seaboard markets, including Kansas City and Omaha.

Records Description
Dates: 1917-20
Volume: 1 cubic foot

Records of the vice president in charge of the Kansas City zone office. The records relate to establishing a committee for enforcement of regulations, corporation policy, license and refund hearings, and specific cases. They consist of locally issued circulars and weekly bulletins, and minutes.

Records of the vice president in charge the Omaha zone office. The records relate to the relationship of the office with local farmers' cooperatives. They consist of correspondence.

Finding Aids
List of series titles.

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Record Group 9
Records of the National Recovery Administration

Administrative History
The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was created by an Executive order of June 16, 1933, to rehabilitate industry and trade in the United States, expand employment, and improve labor conditions. The NRA drafted codes of fair competition to govern industries and trades.

The Administration created district recovery and local compliance boards. In January 1934, a system of State compliance offices reporting directly to the Compliance Division in Washington, DC, superseded the district offices. Many of the State offices set up branches with a resident field adjuster in charge.

A regional office system was established on December 28, 1934, by authority of Field Letter #190. One of the nine regions was Region VII, with its headquarters in Omaha, and jurisdiction over Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

The 1935 Supreme Court decision in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. U.S. declared many provisions of the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional. After this decision NRA activities were confined to promoting industrial cooperation and preparing a series of economic studies. On January 1, 1936, the NRA was terminated, with most of its divisions transferred to the Department of Commerce for liquidation by April 1, 1936. The field offices were terminated on January 31, 1936.

Records Description
Dates: 1933-36
Volume: 32 cubic feet

Records of Region VII. The records relate to most aspects of the functioning of the regional office. They consist of correspondence, subject files, case files, legal records, and personnel records, as well as some indexes to cases.

Finding Aids
Unpublished descriptive inventory.

Entries 555 through 557, 559 through 562, and 566 through 569 in Homer Calkin, Meyer Fishbein, and Leo Pascal, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National Recovery Administration, PI 44 (1952).

Calkin and Fishbein, comps., Special List of Documents in the Records of the National Recovery Administration, SL 12 (1954).

Entries 42 and 44 through 47 in NARS A-1 series title inventory, Miscellaneous Records of the Legal, Compliance and Other Divisions of the National Recovery Administration.

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Record Group 15
Records of the Veterans Administration

Administrative History
The present Veterans Administration (VA) is the result of policies and programs that date back to the American Revolution. In 1789, the First Congress enacted legislation to continue paying pensions provided in acts of the Continental Congress. An act of August 9, 1921, created the Veterans' Bureau, which (together with the Bureau of Pensions and the National Home for Volunteer Soldiers) became part of the Veterans Administration (VA), established by an Executive order of July 21, 1930. The VA became the Department of Veterans Affairs effective March 15, 1989.

In the field, the VA and its predecessors have operated a network of facilities intended to aid veterans, including hospitals and rehabilitation centers, as well as national homes for veterans. One of the predecessors of the VA, the Federal Board for Vocational Education, divided the country into 14 districts in 1918. These districts were combined with relevant Public Health Service offices in 1921 to form the district offices of the Veterans' Bureau. These were succeeded by 54 regional offices of the Bureau in 1924 and 1925. District 9 had its headquarters in St. Louis. It was responsible for facilities in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. There were regional offices in Omaha, St. Louis, and Wichita, and a National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers at Leavenworth, Kansas.

Records Description
Dates: 1885-1933
Volume: 13 cubic feet

Records of District 9. The records relate to the veterans rehabilitation functions of the district office. They consist of subject files.

Records of the Omaha, St. Louis, and Wichita regional offices. The records relate to the veterans rehabilitation functions of the regional offices. They consist of subject files.

Records of the Western Branch of the National Home. The records relate to residents of the Branch and to the use of railroad tracks on the grounds. They consist of case files and correspondence.

Finding Aids
Entries 16, 17, and 47 in Preliminary Checklist of the General Administrative Files of the Rehabilitation Division, PC 15 (1944).

Entries 76 through 78 in Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and the National Homes Service of the Veterans Administration, NM 29 (1964).

Related Microfilm Publications
M804, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files; T316, Old War Index to Pension Files, 1815-1926; T317, Index to Mexican War Pension Files, 1887- 1926; T318, Index to Indian War Pension Files, 1892-1926.

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Record Group 16
Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture

Administrative History
The Department of Agriculture was established by an act of May 15, 1862, and became an executive department under a Secretary in 1889. Its functional responsibilities have increased throughout its existence and now include agricultural adjustment, conservation, education, marketing, production, regulation, research, rural development, and surplus disposal.

Records Description
Dates: 1928-78
Volume: 13 cubic feet

Records of the regional office of the associate solicitor at Lincoln, Nebraska, which document investigations conducted on behalf of Department of Agriculture bureaus and agencies; establishment and dissolution of various agencies within the department as emergency measures to combat the faltering agricultural economy of the 1930's and 1940's (including the Commodity Credit Corporation, Resettlement Administration, Farm Credit Administration, and Rural Rehabilitation Administration); and creation of consumer and marketing cooperatives. There are affidavits, investigation reports, copies of warranty deeds and leases, correspondence, exhibits, and forms for marketing quotas.

Records of the Kansas City regional office of the general counsel. The records consist of significant court cases concerning bankruptcy, contract appeals, foreclosures, fraud, libel, and theft that resulted in decisions favorable to the agency. The records were created to provide the regional office easy access to information from precedent setting cases. They consist of case files, which include correspondence, court documents, reports, and trial notes.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

Helen Finneran Ulibarri, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, PI 191 (1979).

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Record Group 17
Records of the Bureau of Animal Industry

Administrative History
The Bureau of Animal Industry was established in May 1884 to prevent the exportation of diseased cattle and to eradicate contagious diseases among domestic animals. It replaced the Veterinary Division created by the Commissioner of Agriculture in 1883. The Bureau conducted scientific investigations and administered statutes and regulations to protect the public from infected or diseased meat products, eradicate animal diseases, and improve the livestock of the country. In 1953, the Bureau was abolished and its functions were divided among the Branches of Animal Disease and Parasite Research, Animal and Poultry Husbandry Research, Animal Disease Eradication, Animal Inspection, and Quarantine and Meat Inspection of the Agricultural Research Service.

Records Description
Dates: 1914-53
Volume: 1 cubic foot

Records of virus serum control stations in Kansas and Missouri. The records document primarily the work of local station inspectors in Kansas City, Kansas, and West Plains, Missouri, relating to the establishment and inspection of biological products outlined in the Virus-Serum Act of 1913. They are primarily correspondence.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

Harold T. Pinkett, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Animal Industry, PI 106 (1958).

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Record Group 18
Records of the Army Air Forces

Administrative History
The Army Air Forces (AAF) originated August 1, 1907, as the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. After various reorganizations and name changes, the Army Air Forces was established on March 9, 1942, under the Secretary of War and the War Department General Staff. It served as the primary land-based air arm of the American armed forces until it was detached from the Army and became the United States Air Force in 1947.

Until the onset of the Second World War, most field installations of the Army Air Forces and its predecessors, such as airfields, schools, and administrative agencies, were within the borders of the United States and its Territories. Among these pre-World War II field installations were Offut Field and a Balloon School at Fort Crook, Nebraska; a Balloon School at Fort Omaha, Nebraska; the Signal Corps Detachment, David Rankin School of Mechanical Arts, St. Louis, Missouri; and the Aviation Examining Board, Kansas City, Missouri.

Records Description
Dates: 1918-39
Volume: 25 cubic feet

Records of Offut Field, Nebraska. The records relate to routine operation of the base. They consist of operations orders. Of the Army Air Force records in this region, only these (dated 1936-1939) postdate the World War I period. Records of the Balloon School, Fort Crook, Nebraska. The records relate to most aspects of the school's operation and its relationship with the Army hierarchy. They consist of general correspondence files.

Records of the Balloon School, Fort Omaha, Nebraska. The records relate to most aspects of the school operation and its relationship with the Army hierarchy. They consist of correspondence, orders, memorandums, reports, returns, and rosters. Records of the David Rankin School, St. Louis, Missouri. The records relate to most aspects of the operation of the school and its relationship with the Army hierarchy. They consist of correspondence, student records, and telegrams. Records of the Aviation Examining Board, Kansas City, Missouri. The records relate to most aspects of the operation of the board. They consist of correspondence.

Finding Aids
Unpublished descriptive inventory.

Entries 520, 617 through 623, 682 through 684, and 749 in Maizie H. Johnson, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Textual Records of the Army Air Forces, NM 53 (1965).

Sarah D. Powell and Maizie H. Johnson, comps., Supplement to Preliminary Inventory NM 53, Textual Records of the Army Air Force, NM 90 (1967).

Related Microfilm Publications
M990
, Gorrell's History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917-1919.

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Record Group 21
Records of the District Courts of the United States

Administrative History
U.S. district and circuit courts were created by the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789. The jurisdiction and powers of these Federal courts have varied with subsequent legislation, but district courts generally have had original jurisdiction in admiralty and bankruptcy cases, suits for penalties or seizures under Federal laws, noncapital criminal proceedings, and suits exceeding $100 in value in which the United States was the plaintiff. The circuit courts heard appeals from the district courts and had original jurisdiction over actions involving aliens or citizens of different States and law and equity suits where the matter in dispute exceeded $500. In 1891, the appellate jurisdiction of the circuit courts was transferred to the newly created circuit courts of appeals (see RG 276). The Judiciary Act of 1911 abolished the circuit courts and provided for the transfer of their records and remaining jurisdiction to the district courts.

Most States initially had one district and one circuit court with additional districts created as the business of the courts increased. Many of the districts were divided into divisions with the court holding session in various cities within the district. In 1812, circuit courts were authorized to appoint U.S. Commissioners to assist in taking of bail and affidavits. Commissioners' functions were expanded by subsequent legislation and court rules, and their powers have included authority to issue arrest warrants, examine persons charged with offenses against Federal laws, initiate actions in admiralty matters, and institute proceedings for violation of civil rights legislation.

Territorial district courts generally were established by the organic act that created the territory. They had jurisdiction over Federal civil, criminal, and bankruptcy actions as well as jurisdiction (similar to that of State courts) over probate, incorporation, marriages, and naturalizations, and civil and criminal litigation. Records created by a territorial court acting in its capacity as a Federal court often became the property of the Federal district court upon statehood.

In 1992 responsibility for naturalization records was transferred from the U.S. District Courts to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (RG 85).

Records Description
Dates: 1822-1991
Volume: 24,116 cubic feet

Records of the following district and circuit courts:

  • Indian Territory, 1883-1895. The Federal court at Wichita, Kansas, had jurisdiction over criminal offenses committed in that portion of Indian Territory occupied by the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Indian tribes (commonly referred to as the Cherokee Outlet). Many of its records relate to famous frontier personalities including the notorious Dalton outlaw gang, James Masterson, William "Bat" Masterson, William Tilghman, and others.
  • Iowa, District, 1845-1882. Among the records are cases of violations of the fugitive slave law (including Ruel Daggs v. Elisha Frazier), contested homesteads, railroad promotions, and numerous civil and criminal actions.
  • Iowa, Northern District, 1850-1968. The records include bankruptcy cases filed under the act of 1867; admiralty cases arising from maritime contracts, torts, injuries, and offenses occurring on the Missouri River, 1880-1897; and labor movement cases involving Eugene V. Debs, ca. 1910.
  • Iowa, Southern District, 1842-1969. The records include bankruptcy cases filed under the act of 1867 and the Frazier-Lemke Bankruptcy Act of 1934 providing farmers with retention rights to portions of their real and personal property, and admiralty cases arising from maritime contracts, torts, injuries, and offenses occurring on the Mississippi River, 1868-1898.
  • Kansas Territorial Courts, 1855-1861. The records include cases relating to the "unsettled conditions" in Kansas preceding the Civil War; and civil cases involving the family of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
  • Kansas, District, 1861-1984 (naturalization records through 1991.) The records include cases involving famous personalities and events including antiwar activities of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) during World War I; "Birdman of Alcatraz" Robert Stroud; politician and medical quack John R. Brinkley; the Populist Party; and the landmark school desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ca. 1951.
  • Minnesota, District, 1858-1959. The records include cases of fraudulent census enumerations in 1890; criminal prosecution of Trotskyites during the World War II era; contested Chippewa Indian land ownership, ca. 1900-1930; the Federal Government's stewardship of White Earth Chippewa timber resources, ca. 1900-1930; and the bankruptcy of A. C. Townley, early 20th century Non-Partisan League leader.
  • Missouri, District, 1822-1857. The records include numerous cases relating to counterfeiting and contested land claims as well as admiralty, civil, and criminal matters.
  • Missouri, Eastern District, 1857-1991 (naturalization records through 1991.) The records include cases relating to Chinese exclusion; confiscation of property belonging to Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War era; liquidation of national banks, 1888-1894; violations of internal revenue laws; as well as admiralty, bankruptcy, civil, and criminal cases. Dred Scott v. Sanford and Dearborn Independent (publication owned by Henry Ford) v. City Officials of St. Louis, Missouri, are among the historically significant cases.
  • Missouri, Western District, 1842-1985 (naturalization records through 1991.) . The records include cases involving the bankruptcy of Walt Disney (Laugh-O-Gram Films); Disney's efforts to protect copyright and patents of his cartoon characters; the Greenlease and Allen kidnappings of the 1950's; the "Kansas City Massacre", 1933; Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast; outlaw Frank James; Robert B. DePugh, organizer of the 1960's radical political group "The Minutemen"; Vietnam Veterans Against the War; and the "Bald Knobbers," a radical, vigilante anti-homestead group in southern Missouri.
  • Nebraska Territorial Courts, 1855-1866.
  • Nebraska, District, 1866-1978. Included are the personal papers of district Judge William Munger; the landmark late 19th century civil rights case Standing Bear ex rel. v. George Crook; and records of prosecutions under the Volstead Act; "War Risk" insurance claims filed by World War I veterans; contested Indian land claims; disputes between farmers and rangers over the fencing of open range; "Coxeyites" train seizures following the Panic of 1893; and the "Great Train Robbery" in 1909. Noted personalities appearing in the case files include talk show host Johnny Carson and actor Nick Nolte.
  • Dakota Territorial Courts, 1861-1889. The territorial courts had jurisdiction over all of present day North Dakota and South Dakota. The records document the prosecution of Jack McCall for the murder of "Wild Bill" Hickock in Deadwood, Dakota Territory; unsettled conditions in Indian Territory, 1887; prosecution of timber trespass and incursion on Government and Indian lands; and admiralty proceedings involving steamboats operating on the upper Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers.
  • North Dakota, District, 1890-1962. The records include cases filed under the Frazier-Lemke Bankruptcy Act of 1934 granting farmers certain rights to real and personal property; civil actions related to the Nonpartisan League and A. C. Townley's early 20th century attempts to secure State ownership of agricultural marketing facilities; investigations of the alleged political antics of Governor William Langer in the 1930's; and the criminal prosecution of Katherine "Red Kate" Richards O'Hare for sedition during World War I.
  • South Dakota, District, 1887-1963. The records contain cases relating to ownership of Indian land and Indian rights; and the use of peyote by members of the Native American Church.
The records document the actions of Federal district and circuit courts, which have jurisdiction over naturalization, bankruptcy, civil (law, equity, and admiralty), and criminal cases. Among general topics covered are biography, civil rights, commerce and corporate history, demographics, genealogy, immigration and ethnic groups, the impact of Federal regulatory programs, judicial administration, labor relations and union activity, maritime history, and State and local political activity. Among specific topics covered are collection of debts, enforcement of contracts, claims for damages; counterfeiting, and smuggling or violations of customs regulations; European immigration and the exclusion and deportation of Chinese; evasion of import duties; the illegal sale or manufacturing of alcoholic beverages; infringement of patent or copyright; interstate transfer of stolen property; mutiny or murder on the high seas; prize condemnations; theft, assault, or murder on Federal property; violations of Federal election laws and civil rights legislation, international agreements (such as the Migratory Bird Act); Selective Service regulations; and slave importation laws. References to specific cases are noted above under the name of the court.

Records are primarily case files - papers in a specific case filed by attorneys or issued by the court, such as affidavits, complaints, depositions, indictments, judgments or final decrees, motions, petitions, subpoenas, and writs. Bankruptcy case files also contain petitions of creditors and schedules of assets and liabilities. Case files are arranged numerically by the docket number assigned when the case was filed. Documentary exhibits submitted as part of court proceedings usually were returned to the parties involved, but they are sometimes included in the case file. (Transcripts are seldom part of the file.)

There are also docket books - a summary of proceedings in each case, including a brief abstract of motions and orders, a record of the fees collected, and a statement of the disposition of the case; "minute books" or "journals" - a daily chronological record of court proceedings, often including information about financial accounts and the collection of fees, lists of jury members, names of attorneys admitted to practice, and the text of orders appointing court officials; naturalization papers - declarations of intention, petitions for naturalization, depositions, and certificates of naturalization; order or judgment books - the text of each order or judgment and a record of the amount of any monetary judgment; record of proceedings (only for U.S. commissioners) - a printed form that gives the name of the defendant, and summaries of the nature of the charge, the actions taken, and the disposition of the case. Nontextual records include maps and photographs. See RG 118 and RG 276 for related records.

Finding Aids
Draft inventories for each court. Minute, docket, and order books often have indexes to the names of the parties involved in the proceedings. There is no cumulative index by subject, case name, or other access point. Records for a case can usually be located by case number and name of the court. The number sometimes can be determined from indexes in minute, docket, or order books but these are not available for all courts. Additional information may be available from the clerk of the court involved.

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Record Group 22
Records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Administrative History
The Fish and Wildlife Service was formed on June 30, 1940, by merging the Bureau of Fisheries, established in 1903, with the Bureau of Biological Survey, established in 1885. The service is responsible for administering Federal laws for the control and conservation of fish, game, birds, and other wildlife and administering national wildlife refuges.

Records Description
Dates: 1935-68
Volume: 53 cubic feet

Records of the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota. The records document the master plan for the future development of the biological, physical, and economic characteristics of the refuge; refuge administration, economic use planning, utilization of natural resources, and the transfer of the refuge to the National Park Service. They consist of correspondence and the refuge master plan for 1947.

Records of the Minneapolis regional office of the Fish and Wildlife Service, 1935-1942. The records relate to flood control, soil conservation, drainage of topographical water from agricultural lands, and other cooperative programs of the Works Progress Administration. They include Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) documentation of camp projects describing conservation activities undertaken in refuges in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Included are reports and correspondence. Nontextual records include photographs.

Records of the Milwaukee regional office of the Bureau of Biological Survey, 1938-1939. The records relate to the development of the Necedah Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin, and consist of correspondence and reports.

Records of the Twin Cities regional office, Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, 1931-1963. In cooperation with the Corps of Engineers, the office conducted investigations and surveys of river basins, watersheds, wetlands, and other waterfowl habitat under provisions of the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. The records consist of annual reports. Nontextual records include photographs.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 24
Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel

Administrative History
The Bureau of Naval Personnel originated as the Bureau of Navigation, established by an act of July 5, 1862. It is responsible for training and educating officers and enlisted men. The Coast Signal Service was organized within the Bureau in 1897. It cooperated with the Life Saving Service, the Lighthouse Service, and the Weather Bureau in maintaining a lookout for the approach of enemy vessels and in checking the movements of American vessels. The Service was discontinued at the close of the Spanish-American War. Among the field establishments administered by the Bureau have been Naval Reserve (formerly Naval Militia) units, including one in St. Louis.

Records Description
Dates: 1923-25
Volume: less than 1 cubic foot

Records of the Naval Reserve unit in St. Louis. The records relate to the history of the unit, including the acquisition and use of the USS Huntress, and naval reserve training activities in Missouri. They consist of a bound volume of reports. Nontextual records include photographs.

Finding Aids
Entry 424 in Virgil E. Baugh, Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, PI 123 (1960).

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Record Group 25
Records of the National Labor Relations Board

Administrative History
The present National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was created by the National Labor Relations Act (the Wagner Act) of July 5, 1935. It was preceded by two earlier boards: the National Labor Board (NLB), established August 5, 1933, and a first NLRB, established on June 19, 1934. As the functions of the NLB and the first NLRB were closely tied to the mission of the National Recovery Administration (NRA), when the NRA was declared unconstitutional on May 27, 1935, the first NLRB virtually ceased to function.

The Wagner Act created the second (present) NLRB, which was to determine the unit of employees appropriate for collective bargaining, conduct elections for employee representatives, and force employers to end specified unfair labor practices in industries other than the railroads and, after 1936, the airlines. The functions of the NLRB have subsequently been modified by the War Labor Disputes Act of June 25, 1943, the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (the Taft-Hartley Act), and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (the Landrum-Griffin Act).

All three boards utilized a system of regional boards to deal with labor controversies in the field. The NLB established offices in Kansas City and St. Louis. The first NLRB made the Kansas City office a branch of the St. Louis office, which served as headquarters for Region XII. Under the second NLRB the Kansas City office became the headquarters for the NLRB's Region XVII.

Records Description
Dates: 1933-40
Volume: 5 cubic feet

Records of Region XII, the Kansas City branch office of Region XII, and Region XVII. The records relate to most aspects of office administration and regional operations. They consist of  subject correspondence files and case files.

Finding Aids
Unpublished descriptive inventory.

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Record Group 26
Records of the U.S. Coast Guard

Administrative History
The U.S. Coast Guard was established in the Department of the Treasury by an act of January 28, 1915, which consolidated that department's Revenue Cutter and Lifesaving Services. The Coast Guard took over the administration of lighthouses in 1939, and in 1942 assumed functions of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (see RG 41) relating to navigation and inspection laws and to merchant marines. On April 1, 1967, the Coast Guard became a part of the Department of Transportation and assumed responsibility for functions transferred to it from the Bureau of Customs (see RG 36) pertaining to the admeasurement and documentation of U.S. vessels.

The Second Coast Guard district was established at St. Louis, Missouri, in 1939. It exercises jurisdiction over the portion of the western United States through which the "Western Rivers" flow, including Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, western Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Records Description
Dates: 1921-78
Volume: 36 cubic feet

Records of Coast Guard cutters and some air stations, light stations, supply depots, and support vessels operating in the Second District, 1969-1978. The records document daily activities and vessel inspections of ships of U.S. registry and include weather observations and watch officers' remarks. The records are logbooks.

Records of the Second Coast Guard District Headquarters, 1959-76. The records include instructions, manuals, and staff directives. Nontextual records include photographs.

Records of the Second District Command, 1921-1978. The records document enrollment and ownership of commercial vessels. They provide detailed descriptions and specifications of commercial vessels, as well as information on their ownership and construction. They consist of vessel documentation case files containing admeasurement forms and certificates, and correspondence. See RG 41 for related records.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 27
Records of the Weather Bureau

Administrative History
The Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress of October 1, 1890, in the Department of Agriculture. It took over the Weather Service that had been established in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the War Department in 1870. The Bureau was transferred to the Department of Commerce in 1940. In 1965, the Bureau was consolidated with the Coast and Geodetic Survey to form the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA). When ESSA was abolished in 1970, the Weather Bureau, now renamed the National Weather Service, was incorporated into the newly formed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Records Description
Dates: 1867-1979
Volume: 226 cubic feet

Records of the central regional office (the former District Forecast Center), the National Severe Storms Project Office, and weather stations. The records document climatological observations in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The records consist of program and project files including correspondence, hearings, weather service reports, and weather station files. Nontextual records include weather maps and photographs. See RG 270 for related records.

Finding Aids
Unpublished descriptive inventory.

Lewis Darter, Jr., comp., List of Climatological Records in the National Archives, SL 1 (1942).

Harold T. Pinkett, Helen T. Finneran, and Katherine H. Davidson, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Climatological and Hydrological Records of the Weather Bureau, PI 38 (1952).

Helen T. Finneran, comp., Preliminary Inventory of Operational and Miscellaneous Meteorological Records of the Weather Bureau, NC 3, May 1965.

Related Microfilm Publications
T907, Climatological Records of the Weather Bureau, 1819-1892

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Record Group 28
Records of the Post Office Department

Administrative History
The Office of the Postmaster General was created by an act of September 22, 1789, which continued regulations that originated with the appointment on July 26, 1775, of Benjamin Franklin as Postmaster General by the Continental Congress. Legislation providing for a Post Department was passed in 1792, and subsequent legislation expanded its duties. The Postmaster General became a member of the Cabinet in 1829. Assistant postmasters general authorized by acts of 1792, 1810, 1836, and 1891 were assigned administrative supervision over specific functions of the Department.

Records Description
Dates: 1902-08
Volume: 2 cubic feet

Records of the inspector-in-charge, Kansas City. The records relate chiefly to the establishment and closing of post offices; the appointment and removal of postmasters; administration and operation of local post offices; investigations of thefts and other irregularities, fraudulent practices, and complaints concerning postal service facilities; and cooperation with U.S. attorneys in the prosecution of postal cases in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and the Indian Territory. They contain significant information on Oklahoma settlements, an inspection report on a post office run by the sister of "Wild Bill" Hickock, and commentary on the Territory in general. The records are correspondence.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

Arthur Hecht et al., comps., rev. by Forrest R. Holdcamper, Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Post Office Department, PI 168 (1967).

Hecht and William J. Heynen, comps., Record and Policies of the Post Office Department Relating to Place-Names, RIP 72 (1975).

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Record Group 30
Records of the Bureau of Public Roads

Administrative History
The Bureau of Public Roads had its origins in an act of March 3, 1893, which authorized the creation of an Office of Road Inquiry in the Department of Agriculture. After a number of changes in title, the Office became the Bureau of Public Roads in 1918 and retained that designation until 1939 when it became the Public Roads Administration as part of the Federal Works Agency. On July 1, 1949, it was transferred to the General Services Administration and renamed the Bureau of Public Roads, which was then transferred to the Department of Commerce by Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1949. An act of October 15, 1966, transferred the Bureau to the Department of Transportation where its functions were assigned to the Federal Highway Administration (see RG 406).

Under the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, the Bureau has supervised Federal-State cooperative programs for road construction, reconstruction, and improvement. It also administers the highway beautification program and is responsible for developing and administering highway safety programs, constructing defense highways and roads in national parks and forests, expanding the interstate highway system, and providing assistance to foreign governments.

Records Description
Dates: 1918-67 (Records of most offices do not cover the entire date span.)
Volume: 308 cubic feet

Records of Federal aid projects, including Bureau of Indian Affairs projects, from district offices in: Ames, Iowa; Topeka, Kansas; St. Paul, Minnesota; Jefferson City, Missouri; Lincoln, Nebraska; Bismarck, North Dakota; Pierre, South Dakota. The records relate to project funding. They are primarily case files that include copies of project agreements, final agreements, plans and specifications, narrative progress reports, vouchers, and other documents. Nontextual records include right-of-way maps and photographs of construction activities.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

Truman R. Strobridge, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Public Roads, PI 134 (1962).

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Record Group 36
Records of the U.S. Customs Service

Administrative History
The Customs Service, created by an act of July 31, 1789, became part of the Department of the Treasury when that Department was established in September 1789. The Service has been responsible for the enforcement of numerous laws and regulations pertaining to the import and export of merchandise, collection of tonnage taxes, control of the entrance and clearance of vessels and aircraft, regulation of vessels involved in the coastwise and fishing trades, and the protection of passengers. A Bureau of Customs was established on March 3, 1927, to supervise these activities, and in 1942 it assumed the responsibilities of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (see RG 41) relating to the registering, enrolling, licensing, and admeasurement of merchant vessels.

This responsibility was assigned to the Coast Guard in 1967 (see RG 26). The act that established the Customs Service in 1789 also provided for the creation of collection districts in various coastal, river, Great Lakes, and inland ports. A collector of customs in each district was responsible for the enforcement of all rules and regulations, including the protection of American seamen and passengers and the forwarding of basic data on immigration, imports, and exports. Upon occasion, the collector acted as the depository for Federal funds and collected taxes for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. A naval officer in each district, coordinate in rank with the collector, was required to keep separate accounts and copies of all manifests and entries and to countersign certain of the collector's accounts. A surveyor, under the collector's supervision, kept a daily record of all vessel arrivals and clearances and was assisted by inspectors, weighers, and gaugers in the collection and payment of bounty allowances and fees and the admeasurement of foreign vessels for tonnage duties.

Records Description
Dates: 1905-66 (Records of most ports do not cover the entire date span.)
Volume: 6 cubic feet

Records of collectors of customs and other customs officials for the following ports within the district of Duluth and Superior, and the district of Dakota:

  • Ashland, Wisconsin;
  • Baudette, Minnesota;
  • Duluth, Minnesota;
  • International Falls, Minnesota;
  • Isle Royale, Michigan;
  • Oak Island, Minnesota;
  • Pembina, North Dakota;
  • Pine Creek, Minnesota;
  • Rainer, Minnesota;
  • Roseau, Minnesota;
  • Two Harbors, Minnesota;
  • Sarles, North Dakota;
  • Silver Bay, Minnesota;
  • Superior, Wisconsin;
  • Warroad, Minnesota.
Records relate to the entrance and clearance of vessels, collection of duties and fees, and vessel documentation. The records are primarily forms, but they include administrative correspondence, and occasionally passenger, crew, and cargo manifests.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

Related Microfilm Publications
M174, Letters Received by the Secretary of the Treasury From Collectors of Customs ("G", "H", "I" Series), 1833-1869;
M175, Letters Sent by the Secretary of the Treasury to Collectors of Customs at All Ports, 1789-1847, and at Small Ports, 1847-1878 ("G" Series);
M178, Correspondence of the Secretary of the Treasury With Collectors of Customs, 1789- 1833;
M334, Supplemental Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Atlantic and Gulf Coast Ports (Excluding New York), 1820-1874;
M575, Copies of Lists of Passengers Arriving at Miscellaneous Ports on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and at Ports on the Great Lakes, 1820-1873;
M1357, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, Texas, 1896- 1906;
M1358, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, Texas, 1906-1951;
M1359, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston, Texas, 1896-1951;
T527, Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving At New Orleans, Louisiana, 1853-1899;
T905, Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1903-1945.

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Record Group 39
Records of the Bureau of Accounts (Treasury)

Administrative History
The Bureau of Accounts was created in the Department of the Treasury under Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1940. The Bureau succeeded the Office of the Commissioner of Accounts and Deposits, established in January 1920 to coordinate the work of the divisions engaged in accounting transactions and the deposit of public funds throughout the country. Foremost among these was the Division of Bookkeeping and Warrants, which was formally established by the Dockery Act of 1894 and had evolved in the Treasury Secretary's Office from the Division of Warrants (1868) and the Division of Warrants, Estimates, and Appropriations (1875).

Under the Dockery Act, the Division of Bookkeeping and Warrants took over functions and records relating to the receipt and expenditure of public funds from the Division of Receipts and Expenditures of the register's office. In 1920, the Division of Bookkeeping and Warrants was placed under the supervision of the Commissioner of Accounts and Deposits. In 1921, certain duties of the Division of Public Moneys, established in the Secretary's Office in 1877, were transferred to the Division of Bookkeeping and Warrants. These duties related to covering revenues, repayments into the Treasury, issue of duplicate checks and warrants, certification of outstanding liabilities for payment, and special accounts of the Secretary of the Treasury, including funds deposited with the Alien Property Custodian.

The Bureau of Accounts, headed by the Commissioner of Accounts, maintained for the Federal Government a unified system of central accounts, prepared and published central financial reports, furnished technical guidance and assistance to Treasury bureaus, collaborated with the U.S. General Accounting Office and the Bureau of the Budget in accounting and other fiscal procedures, and disbursed monies of the executive branch (with the principal exceptions of the Post Office and the military service).

Other functions of the bureau included payment of claims under international agreements, collection of principal and interest on debts of foreign governments to the United States, investment of certain trust funds, administration of loans made by the Treasury Department to government corporations and other federal agencies, administration of the federal depository system, supervision of surety companies authorized as sureties on federal bonds, and liquidation of the Postal Savings System. Some of the records of the bureau's predecessor, dating in some instances to the pre-Federal period, and of the predecessors of some of its divisions are included in this record group.

Records Description
Dates: 1959-65
Volume: 1 cubic foot

Records of the regional disbursing center, Kansas City. The records relate to salary and benefits payments, check processing, repetitive or periodic disbursements, and claims for lost, stolen, or destroyed checks. They consist chiefly of correspondence.

Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 41
Records of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation

Administrative History
Navigation laws were passed by the First Congress in 1789 and were enforced by customs officers under the supervision of the Treasury Department. In 1884, a Bureau of Navigation under the control of the Commissioner of Navigation was established within the Treasury Department to administer the navigation laws. In 1903, it was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor along with the Steamboat Inspection Service, which had been established in the Treasury Department in 1852 to formulate rules and regulations for steamboat inspections.

The two bureaus were merged in 1932 to form the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection, which was renamed the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (BMIN) in 1936. In 1942, its functions relating to merchant vessel documentation were transferred to the Bureau of Customs (see RG 36) while those pertaining to merchant vessel inspection, safety of life at sea, and merchant vessel personnel were transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard (see RG 26). The Bureau was abolished in 1946.

Records Description
Dates: 1835-1959 (Records of most ports do not cover the entire date span.)
Volume: 121 cubic feet

Records of supervising and local inspectors (Steamboat Inspection Service),and vessel documentation files (Bureau of Navigation) for the following ports along the Mississippi, Missouri, Red (Minnesota) and Yellowstone Rivers:

  • Cairo, Illinois;
  • Dubuque, Iowa;
  • Duluth, Minnesota;
  • Galena, Illinois ;
  • Kansas City, Missouri;
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota;
  • Pembina, North Dakota;
  • St. Louis, Missouri;
  • St. Paul, Minnesota.
The records usually document, for American merchant and fishing vessels, the name; date and place of construction; home port; dimensions; and measurements. There are bills of sale, certificates of registry, enrollments or licenses, master carpenter certificates, mortgages and maritime liens, oaths that owners and masters took to obtain a vessel license, and records of admeasurement and inspection of vessels. Nontextual records include photographs. See RG 26 for related records.
 
Finding Aids
Draft inventory.

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Record Group 47
Records of the Social Security Administration

Administrative History
The Social Security Administration, a major component of the Department of Health and Human Services, grew out of the recommendations of the Committee on Economic Security named by President Franklin Roosevelt on June 29, 1934. Among the recommendations issued by the committee in its report of January 15, 1935, was one for a Federal old-age insurance program.

The report included a draft of a bill implementing its recommendations; the Social Security Act of August 14, 1935, while modified by many technical amendments, was a direct descendant of the committee's report. The Act provided for a system of old-age annuities (the only exclusively Federal program authorized by the Act), along with grants-in-aid to State governments for unemployment compensation, aid to families with dependent children, and other social welfare programs. These functions were to be administered by an independent agency, the Social Security Board (SSB), which was created by the Act. The SSB operated the system of old-age pensions, as well as the grants-in-aid to States.

On July 1, 1939, the SSB was brought under the newly created Federal Security Agency. During the Second World War the SSB was given control of State employment offices. On July 16, 1946, the SSB was transformed into the Social Security Administration (SSA), under a Commissioner of Social Security; at that time the Children's Bureau became a unit of the new SSA. Between 1946 and 1953, the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions was added to the responsibilities of the SSA, while several employment-related agencies were first moved from the Department of Labor to the SSA, then returned to the Department of Labor.

On April 11, 1953, the parent agency of the SSA, the Federal Security Agency, became the new Department of Health, Education and Welfare. A major reorganization of the department on January 28, 1963, left the SSA with responsibility only for the Federal old-age, survivors, and disability insurance programs and Federal credit unions. In 1965, a medical program for the aged was added to the SSA's responsibilities; in 1966 new components were added to administer hospital and supplementary medical insurance programs. On March 10, 1970, the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions was removed from the SSA to become a separate Administration; on January 1, 1974, the Bureau of Supplemental Security Income for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled was established within the SSA.

The Department of Health, Education and Welfare was split into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on May 4, 1980; the SSA became an element of HHS.

Regional offices, established by the original Social Security Board, were continued by the Social Security Administration. By 1979 there were 10 regional offices. Region VII, in Kansas City, Missouri, was responsible for directing all aspects of the cash benefit programs of SSA, as well as directing the work of those offices responsible for such program operations as retirement, survivors, and disability insurance, and supplemental security income. Region VII includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. The region's Program Service Center operations includes the four States named above, as well as Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Records Description
Dates: 1951-79
Volume: 6 cubic feet

Records of Region VII. The records relate to Social Security coverage for employees of State and local governments in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. They consist of insurance program State agreements.

Finding Aids
Unpublished descriptive inventory.

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Record Group 49
Records of the Bureau of Land Management

Administrative History
The General Land Office (GLO) was established within the Treasury Department by an act of April 25, 1812, to administer all public land transactions except surveying and map work (which came under the supervision of the GLO in 1836). In 1849, the GLO was transferred to the Department of the Interior where it was merged with the Grazing Service in 1946 to form the Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau classifies, manages, and disposes of public lands and their resources and administers Federally-owned mineral resources on non-Federal land and on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Records Description
Dates: 1838-1931 (Records of most offices do not cover the entire date span. )
Volume: 248 cubic feet

Records of registers and receivers of district land offices in Iowa, 1838-1909; Kansas, 1857-1925; and Nebraska, 1859-1931:

  • Alliance, Nebraska;
  • Augusta, Kansas;
  • Broken Bow, Nebraska;
  • Burlington, Iowa;
  • Cawker City, Kansas;
  • Chandron, Nebraska;
  • Chariton, Iowa;
  • Colby, Kansas;
  • Concordia, Kansas;
  • Decorah, Iowa;
  • Des Moines, Iowa;
  • Dodge City, Kansas;
  • Dubuque, Iowa;
  • Fort Dodge, Iowa;
  • Fort Scott, Kansas;
  • Garden City, Kansas;
  • Hays City, Kansas;
  • Humboldt, Kansas;
  • Independence, Kansas;
  • Iowa City, Iowa;
  • Junction City, Kansas;
  • Kanesville, Iowa;
  • Kirwin, Kansas;
  • Larned, Kansas;
  • Lincoln, Nebraska;
  • Neodesha, Kansas;
  • North Platte, Nebraska;
  • Oberlin, Kansas;
  • O'Neill, Nebraska;
  • Salina, Kansas;
  • Sioux City, Iowa;
  • Sydney, Nebraska;
  • Topeka, Kansas;
  • Valentine, Nebraska;
  • Wakeeney, Kansas;
  • Wichita, Kansas.
The records relate primarily to the collection of fees, official accounts, the status of entry claims (military bounty, private, timber culture, pre-emption and homesteads), and contested homesteads (Dodge City and Topeka). Some records also relate to surveys, undertaken in 1841, of portions of the Blackhawk Purchase, Keokuk Reserve, and Sac and Fox Cession in Iowa, registers of absentee Wyandotte Indian selections in Kansas, instructions governing purchase of Osage ceded lands in Kansas, and records of some townsites in Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. Included are abstracts of land entries, control dockets, correspondence, homestead claim papers, land entry case files and papers, land survey data sheets, registers, and tract books.

Finding Aids
Preliminary inventory.

Harry P. Yoshpe and Philip P. Brower, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Land-Entry Papers of the General Land Office, PI 22 (1949).

Related Microfilm Publications
M25, Miscellaneous Letters Sent by the General Land Office, 1796-1889; M27, Letters Sent by the General Land Office to Surveyor General, 1796-1901.

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