PITTSBURG — Starting Monday, July 1, Miners Hall Museum in Franklin has a new exhibit open to the public — "The War to End All Wars.”
The World War I-themed exhibit is hosted by Joe Maghe, who was born and raised in Franklin and is a 1974 graduate of Pittsburg State University (then known as Kansas State College of Pittsburg). It is the 2019 Third Quarterly Exhibit for the museum and will continue through September 28.
Maghe said the choice of World War I as the topic of the museum’s quarterly exhibit was prompted by the centennial anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles.
“We would have done it last year for the anniversary of Armistice Day,” Maghe said. “But we decided to wait for the 100-year anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles.”
Aside from Maghe, several other presenters will host special programs during the time the exhibit is at the museum.
On July 14 at 2 p.m., Kavan Stull will present his program “Harry S. Truman - WW1 Memories,” portraying President Harry Truman in his World War I uniform, discussing his military service following his retirement from public life. Stull has previously given his presentation twice at George Washington Carver National Monument in Missouri in April, and in June at the Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum. The content of the presentation also has a local connection, as Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri.
On August 25, also at 2 p.m., Barry Linduff will give a presentation on Uniforms and Equipment of the Imperial German Army, 1914 to 1918. “His presentation will be a detailed examination and explanation of artifacts from WW1 that were used by the German military,” a museum press release notes.
Two special programs are planned for September. On September 8, again at 2 p.m., Shannon Kelly will present “World War I: The Western Front, Then and Now.” Kelly will discuss life in the trenches, as well as his recent trip to France and Flanders and battlefield artifacts he found there. Kelly’s grandfather from Seneca, Kansas fought for the US in the infantry during the war.
September 22, at 2 p.m., Jeff Patrick will present “Mighty Men of War: The Soldiers of Carthage in World War I.” The presentation will focus on Captain Ward Schrantz and his men from Jasper County, Missouri, and their wartime experiences, beginning with their training and continuing through one of the bloodiest battles of the war, at France’s Argonne Forest.
“If you have artifacts, photos, or stories relating to this exhibit and would like to donate or loan them for this exhibit or future display at the museum, please contact the museum to share this wonderful history,” the museum’s release notes.
To reach the museum or to set up tours for large groups, call 620-347-4220. Miners Hall Museum is located at 701 S. Broadway St., Franklin, and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Museum admission and programs are free, although donations are accepted and appreciated.