It was November 8, 1917. The U.S. had entered World War I and the nation was now at war. Eggs cost 48 cents a dozen, butter 49 cents per pound, milk 45 cents per gallon, and a 4 pound bag of sugar cost a whopping 37 cents. A 4-room cottage in Johnson County could be rented for $7 per month.
But before you pine for “the good old days,” consider this; most rural homes in Johnson County lacked running water and sanitation, there was no such thing as canned goods at the local grocery, most clothing was hand-made, and Kansas farmers relied on kerosene lamps for light, and wood or coal for cooking and heat.
It was under these challenging times that Harry S. Wilson came to Johnson County to become its first county extension agent.