Reviewing officers at Motor Corps encampment, Fairmont, c.1918. (L to R) W.A. Curtis, Edward Karow, unidentified, unidentified, Motor Corps commander, Colonel Winfield Stephens. Photograph from Minnesota Historical Society Sound and Visual Collection II.4.
Minnesota Motor Corps officers and color guard at Camp Lakeview, Lake City, Minnesota, September, 1918. Motor Corps commander, Colonel Stephens, is kneeling left of the colors in the light colored tunic. Photograph from Minnesota Historical Society Sound and Visual Collection II.4.
The Minnesota Motor Corps was the first militarized organization of its kind in the United States. Comprised of volunteers and their vehicles, the corps existed for the duration of World War I. It provided disaster relief, transported troops, and aided police. The Motor Corps’ services proved crucial, but many viewed it as a state-sponsored police force that infringed on the rights of citizens.