PAST DEPARTMENT PRESIDENTS: 1940-1949
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1939-1940
Mrs. Nettie Morss
Howard, Kansas

National Vice President 1945-1946

Nettie Morss of Howard, Kansas was elected Department President at the 19th annual convention held in Chanute, Kansas on June 19-21, 1939.  She recalled that each woman who has served in the role has added her energy, ideas and touch of love to make her Department a little stronger and better.  Mrs. Morss served as National Vice President in 1945-1946 as was Director of Girls State in 1947 and 1948.  Mrs. Morss died at the age of 100 on October 14, 1993 in Sumner, Kansas.

1940-1941
Mrs. Helena Stonebraker
Leavenworth, Kansas

Helena Stonebraker served as Department President in 1940-1941 and was instrumental in starting the American Legion Auxiliary holiday gift shops for veterans in the hospital environment.  In addition to serving her unit, district and department on a variety of committees, she served asNational Poppy Chairman and played a vital role in publicizing the poppy program across the national landscape.  Mrs. Stonebraker was a life member of Byron H. Mehl, Unit #23 in Leavenworth and remained active throughout her lifetime.  Mrs. Stonebraker passed away on May 12, 1999 in Leavenworth, Kansas.

1941-1942
Dr. Leanore W. Pugh
Hays, Kansas

Download the .pdfDr. Leanore W. Pugh was a member of Norton Unit #63 and served as unit president before transferring her membership to Hays Unit #173.  Elected as Department President at the 21st annual convention held in Hutchinson on June 5-7, 1941, Dr. Pugh attended National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as she began her year or service.  The 3rd Sunflower Girls State was held at the University of Kansas in Lawrence and 247 girls attended.  The fee to attend was $12.50 per Girls State Citizen and Mary Peterson served as Director.  Special emphasis was placed on veteran's needs, children, veteran's hospitals, poppies and community service.  A need of playing cards was discovered at the hospitals so the American Legion Auxiliary encouraged donations of cards for entertainment and leisure.  The Auxiliary sponsored "Rug Rooms" were in full operation so the women encouraged rug orders to help keep the veterans busy and active.  Dr. Pugh presided over the 22nd annual department convention held June 1-3, 1941 at the Jayhawk Hotel in Topeka.  She was the special honored guest at the Past President's Parley luncheon where the cost of lunch was $.75 per meal. Dr. Leanore Pugh passed away while serving as NEC on November 19, 1942.  Her obituary as printed in the Hays Paper can be downloaded by clicking the obituary (left). She is buried in Girard, Kansas.

1942-1943
Mrs. Camille Waugh
Wellington, Kansas

Camille Waugh joined the American Legion Auxiliary at Edmond, Oklahoma where she served as unit president for two years.  Upon moving to Kansas, she transferred her membership to Tom Swinn Unit #90.  At the time of Mrs. Waugh's service, per capita tax to national was $.10 per member that was used for rehabilitation.  Additionally 10% of revenue from poppy donations was forwarded to national for child welfare and rehabilitation.  The 1942-1943 year showed 262 units in the Department of Kansas with a total membership of 11,995.  350,000 poppies were ordered by those units to distribute during poppy days.  Camille Waugh passed away in January 1981 in Sumner, Kansas.

1943-1944
Mrs. Jennie Hoyt
Lyons, Kansas

"Service With A Smile" was the motto used by Department President Jennie Hoyt upon taking office following the 1943 Department of Kansas Convention.  Mrs. Hoyt recalls one of the most difficult tasks she embraced was to organize an All States W.A.C. Recruiting Campaign among the seven districts in Kansas.  The effort was a success and many women joined in support of the war effort.  During her year as president, Kansas was honored with the presence of National Vice President Dorothy Pearl and National President Eleanor Smith.  Returning from a District Convention and 30 miles from home, a flash flood made it impossible for Mr. Hoyt to meet his wife.  Legionnaires helped out and arranged a 5am train the following morning where President Hoyt made it home on the caboose of the freight train.  A life member of Unit #129 of Lyons, Mrs. Hoyt remained active in auxiliary activities and as a dedicated volunteer at Girls State.  Jennie Hoyt passed away in 1968.

1944-1945
Mrs. Ruby Vossloh
Abilene, Kansas

It was a busy time for the Department of Kansas as the war raged on overseas with no end in sight.  Leading the American Legion Auxiliary in the Sunflower State was the elegant and cheerful Ruby Vossloh of Abilene.  Many activities necessitated additional work due to the conflict that raged abroad.  Mrs. Vossloh shared that serving as Department President was one of the highlights of her life and cites the pleasant association with many fine people and lovely friendships formed as a reminder of the special times shared during the year.  Mrs. Vossloh passed away on June 23, 1979.

1945-1946
Mrs. Frances Hancock
St. Francis, Kansas

Frances Hancock was a woman with many interests and was involved in activities that helped improve her town and community.   As a member of Harry Stephenson, Unit #137, it was an honor for the small town of St. Francis when she was elected Department President.  A graduate of Kansas State Agricultural College with a degree in home economics, Frances married Albert C. Hancock a US Army veteran who served in World War I. The Hancocks were parents to five children and their home was a gathering place for young people.  Mrs. Hancock continued to live in her home until her health began to fail.  She spent the last few years of her life in the Good Samaritan Village at St. Francis and died on September 5, 1979.

1946-1947
Mrs. Ruth Mayswinkle
Quindaro, Kansas
 
1947-1948
Mrs. Aubra Breene
Arkansas City, Kansas

A devoted and loyal member of Shelton-Beaty Unit #18 of Arkansas City for 46 years having become a member in 1932.  Her husband was a World War I veteran having served overseas during the conflict.  She was a Past Unit President, Past Third District President and became Department President in 1947-1948.  Aubra was instrumental in organizing the Cowley-Sumner Salon #321 of the 8 and 40 in 1940-1941.  She served as the first Le Chapeau, served on many committees and was Le Demi Chapeau of the Central Division.  Mrs. Breene's first love where her church and she regularly attended the First Methodist Church of Arkansas City.  Her friends were many and her auxiliary friends lovingly referred to her as "Mrs. American Legion Auxiliary."  She was presented a life membership by her unit in 1961.  Aubra Breene passed away March 19, 1978.

1948-1949
Mrs. Mary Koger
Topeka, Kansas

National Vice President 1953-1954

National President 1962-1963

Mrs. Mary Koeger served the Department of Kansas as Department President for the 1948-1949 administrative year.  During her year of service, travel by car was difficult, therefore most travel in the Department was by bus or train.  On visiting the Units and Districts, President Koger asked that she not be given floral corsages, but rather donate the money that would have been spent to her project which was the American Cancer Society.  Following the convention a donation in the amount of $250.00 was given on behalf of the Auxiliary to this worthwhile cause.  Kansas was honored with National President Laura Goode of Oregon at Department Convention which was held in Topeka at the Kansan Hotel.  In 1964, following her year as National President, Mrs. Koger was honored by being named "Kansan of the Year" by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas.  An attorney by trade, Mary worked tirelessly on behalf of veterans in Kansas.  She died May 14, 1991 and is buried in Topeka.

 

 

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