Soldier Welfare Division
Function: The division assisted veterans and their dependents in securing compensation, pensions, and medical treatment from federal government agencies; and it provided relief to destitute veterans and their families.
The 1923 legislature provided for the establishment of a state soldiers' welfare fund and the appointment of a soldiers' welfare agent under the direction of the Control Board (Laws 1923 c436). The Soldier Welfare Division began actual work in 1925 after a portion of the money in the soldiers and sailors tuition fund was transferred to the soldiers' welfare fund (Laws 1925 c396). The division assisted veterans and their dependents in securing compensation, pensions, and medical treatment from federal government agencies; and it provided relief to destitute veterans and their families. Powers of the division were soon extended to include guardianship in certain cases (Laws 1925 c88).
In 1929 the division was authorized to spend money for veterans' rest camps and to assist families of non-compensated, hospitalized veterans (Laws 1929 c327).
Powers were further expanded in 1935 to include educational aid to orphans of veterans (Laws 1935 c350). In April of that year the Board of Control organized the War Veterans Direct Relief Agency as a unit apart from the Soldier Welfare Division. The unit was transferred to the Executive Council and extended relief only to veterans who were permanently disabled to a moderately severe degree.
In 1937 the Soldier Welfare Division regained control of the relief agency. All of the powers and functions of the division were transferred to the adjutant general's office in 1939 when the Board of Control was abolished (Laws 1939 c431). All state-financed veterans' agencies, including the Soldier Welfare Division, were consolidated to form the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1943 (Laws 1943 c420).
Soldier welfare director: Stafford King, 1925-1930; William T. Kroll, 1931-1937; David Lundeen, 1937; Howard Y. Williams, 1937-1939; none listed, 1940-1943.
Record last updated:
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