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Located at the crossroads of America, Kansas had long experience of interstate migrants. For many decades armies of workers had entered the state to pursue the harvest of a number of crops, or to pick up whatever work was available on their way west in pursuit of a more rewarding life. The U.S. population was highly mobile and migration played an essential role in a vigorously expanding economy. Ailing transients, especially tubercular cases, had as their destination the pure, dry air of the Southwest. To these we can add indeterminate numbers of seasonal workers, ex-veterans, homeless boys, peddlers, beggars, and rootless individuals, some of who had recently been discharged from prisons or from other institutions.
People on the move usually traveled by horse-drawn prairie schooner, by rail, or made their way by hitchhiking. In the 1920s low-priced used autos enabled many families to travel with relative ease over considerable distances'! Migrants, however, were often unprepared for the rigors of their journey, and they inevitably presented a local welfare problem when their resources were totally exhausted and they were forced to seek public relief.