World War I in Lawrence: A visit from a special war baby

A Lawrence couple enjoyed a visit this month from a special war baby.

“John Kilpatrick Justus, who is visiting his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. U. L. Taylor, in Lawrence, will be having a ‘birthday’ Sunday. On that day he will be just two months old. Despite his tender age, John Kilpatrick Justus has seen service with the United States military forces on land and sea and may rightly be called ‘soldier and sailor too.’ He was born on the United States transport Kilpatrick – that is where he got his middle name – enroute from Panama to New York.

“Soldiering runs in the family. His father, John Justus, has just been commissioned a second lieutenant in the regular army and is now stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis. Before receiving his commission John Justus was a first sergeant in the regular army, in which he has seen twenty-four years’ service.

“John Kilpatrick Justus was born at sea during a recent transfer of regular troops to the United States from Panama. He had a handsome birthday present, the officers and men of the transport making up a purse of $70 for him. When the regiment landed in New York and went ‘somewhere,’ the youngster came with his mother, who is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. U. L. Taylor, to Lawrence. They probably will remain here until it is no longer necessary to use ‘somewhere’ in describing the location of United States troops.”

In other news, the Lawrence Red Cross society expanded this month to include the three auxiliary groups in Baldwin, Eudora, and Lecompton. All knitting, surgical dressings and garments completed by these auxiliaries were to be brought to Lawrence for shipment to the national society. Classes in Lawrence continued to meet at the local headquarters in the basement of the Watkins Bank building.