WWI military ID tag belonging to former Kansas governor found in France

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The military ID tag of a former Kansas governor is back home after being discovered in an unlikely place.

Frank Hagaman served in the 117th Kansas Ammunition Train, 42nd “Rainbow” infantry Division during World War I. He was shipped from KCK to France, where he lost his ID tag working in the fields near Glonville, Lorraine in 1918.

Then 100 years later, in April 2018, the Johnson County Museum in Overland Park was contacted by a writer in Texas named Ron Franscell, who said his friend in France had unearthed the ID tag.

Photos courtesy Johnson County Museum

Jean Claude Fonderflick, the man who found the first wanted to give it to a relative of Hagaman’s, but the museum discovered he had no children and both he and his wife, Elizabeth, were only children. It was then that they decided to donate the tag to the museum.

During his time serving in WWI, Hageman was wounded by an artillery explosion and awarded a Purple Heart. Afterward, he earned a law degree and spent many years in Fairway as an attorney before being elected to the Kansas legislature in 1939.

He was elected lieutenant governor of the state in 1948, and served as governor for 41 days after Frank Carlson was elected to the United States Senate.

Hageman’s ID tag and other items are on display in a temporary exhibit entitled “The Turbulent Twenties” at the Johnson County Museum now through May 11. You can learn more about Frank Hagaman and the exhibit here.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.