William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


[TOC] [part 13] [part 11] [Cutler's History]


The Kansas Freeman was founded July 4, 1855, by E. C. K. Garvey, editor and proprietor. It was published as a Free-state weekly until October 23; a daily edition being issued during the sessions of the Constitutional Convention. The paper suspended during the spring of 1856.

The Kansas Tribune was founded by John Speer, and published at Lawrence from January 5, 1855, until the following November, Messrs. John Speer and S. N. Wood, being associate editors during that period. After suspending publication for a few weeks Mr. Speer removed the paper to Topeka, and forming a partnership with W. W. Ross, issued the first number at that place December 10, 1855. During the session of the State Legislature the following spring (March, 1856) a daily edition was issued, full proceedings being reported. Mr. Speer's connection with the Kansas Tribune terminated in December, 1856; and Messrs. W. W. and E. G. Ross became editors and proprietors. In September, 1858, Ross Bros. retired from the paper, its publication being continued by Shepherd & Cummings, and later by Cummings alone. In 1863-4 it was sold to Andrew Stark. Mr. Stark issued a daily edition during the legislative session of 1864, and retained proprietorship until the following spring. May 5, 1865, Garvey and Holliday purchased it and resold to John P. Greer, October 27, 1866. The paper was then issued as a daily for a short time, Mr. Greer's properietorship closing February 23, 1867. The Daily Tribune was reissued December 6, 1867, by Messrs. Greer & Williams, and continued during the legislative session of 1868, soon after which it was finally discontinued.

The Kansas State Record (weekly) was established by E. G. and W. W. Ross, October 1, 1859. The changes in proprietorship were as follows: Spring of 1861, W. W. Ross sold to E. G. Ross; August 19, 1862, E. G. Ross to S. D. McDonald and F. G. Adams; February 1, 1863, F. G. Adams to F. P. Baker; February 6, 1868, McDonald to F. P. Baker.

The Kansas State Record (daily) was established by F. P. Baker June 3, 1868. April 20, 1869, Mr. Baker sold half interest to Henry King. (For the succeeding month only a half sheet could be issued owing to the destruction of the office by fire, April 3, 1869.) From 1870 to 1871 the Record was published by a joint stock company--Henry King, president; F. P. Baker, secretary and business manager. On February 15, 1871, Henry King retired from the concern, and G. D. Baker became president. On December 7, 1871, the Daily Record was consolidated with the Commonwealth. The Weekly Record was continued by G. D. Baker and S. D. McDonald (who purchased the material of the Commonwealth Printing Company), until May 25, 1875, when it also was absorbed in the Commonwealth.

The Kansas Farmer, devoted to agriculture and kindred topics, was established May 1, 1863, as the organ of State Agricultural Society, and published monthly at Topeka, under the immediate charge of F. G. Adams, secretary of the society. The paper was transferred to J. S. Brown, January 1, 1865, who removed it to Lawrence, and continued it till August 1, 1867. It was then purchased by George T. Anthony, and published by him at Leavenworth, with George A. Crawford as associate editor and traveling agent till May 15, 1872, when it was issued as a semi-monthly. In January, 1873, the Farmer was sold to M. S. Grant, who employed as editor Dr. A. G. Chase, who had been assistant editor under Anthony. Grant continued the publication to November 15, 1873, when the establishment was purchased by J. K. Hudson, who removed it to Topeka, January 1, 1874, and first issued the paper as a weekly on the 7th of the same month. The publication was continued by Hudson to May 1, 1878, when a half interest was sold to E. E. Ewing. At the end of one year it was re-purchased by Mr. Hudson, and was subsequently sold to DeMotte & Kicks in 1882. It existed under the name of "Kansas Farmer Company"; H. C. DeMotte, president; R. R. Brown, treasurer and business manager; H. A. Heath, general business agent; William A. Peffer, editor.

The Kansas Educational Journal, Rev. Peter McVicar, editor, was established January 1, 1864, and had an existence of ten years--nine in book form, one as a quarto. It had numerous contributors among the students of the State.

The Topeka Leader was founded December 9, 1865, by J. F. Cummings and Ward Burlingame, proprietors. Mr. Burlingame edited the paper a few weeks, when he withdrew, and Mr. Cummings took sole charge until March 4, 1869, when it was absorbed into the Commonwealth. In September, 1876, Cummings and Johnson revived the Leader, but after a brief existence it was again merged in the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth was established May 1, 1869, as a daily and weekly Republican paper, by S. S. Prouty and J. B. Davis, Ward Burlingame, being chief editor. July 1, 1869, Prouty sold his interest to A. W. Edwards and George W. Crane, but re-purchased Edwards' interest in the latter part of the same month, when the firm became Prouty, Davis & Crane. Subsequently F. L. Crane and S. D. McDonald bought the interest of Davis & Crane, and the firm became S. S. Prouty & Co. December 7, 1871, the Commonwealth and the Daily State Record were consolidated under the name of the Commonwealth, which was published by a stock company, S. S. Prouty, general manager; Henry King, managing editor. W. H. Rossington became one of the editors of the Commonwealth in November, 1872, and April 1, 1872, managing editor. Henry King became publisher and managing editor, August 17, 1873, S. S. Prouty severing his connection with the establishment at that time. October 20th of the same year, the Commonwealth building with all its material was destroyed by fire. The paper was issued in the form of a half sheet from the Topeka Blade office for a month. When George W. Veale became the proprietor, new material was procured, and the paper issued in its old form. Mr. Veale remained proprietor until January 1, 1875, when the paper was sold to F. P. Baker, who assumed control March 7, 1875, with N. L. Prentis as local and news editor. June 1, 1876, Mr. Baker associated his three sons with him as partners, the publishing company being F. P. Baker & Sons. May 1, 1881, the Commonwealth company was organized under the general statutes of the State, and since that time the paper has been conducted essentially under the same management as heretofore. The capital stock of the company is $75,000, divided into 7,500 shares of $10 each. The paid up capital $42,000. The officers are (1882) as follows: Floyd P. Baker, president; Nestor R. Baker, secretary and treasurer; F. P. Baker, editor-in-chief; T. B. Murdock, managing editor; C. C. Baker, city editor. The paper has been, and is now, the leading State organ of the Republican party, its province as such being vigorously contested by the Capital.

The Topeka Capital was established, as an evening daily paper, by J. K. Hudson and E. E. Ewing, who had, up to that time, been jointly interested in the publication of the Kansas Farmer, and in the American Young Folks, started by Mr. Hudson in 1875. With an excellent job office and the prestige of success in former journalistic ventures, the firm issued the first number April 21, 1879. It was quite modest in its proportions and pretensions, being a five-column folio, independently Republican in politics, and professing to publish the latest news. It was popular from the beginning. At the end of one month it was increased in size to six columns; three months after to seven columns, and before the end of its first year to eight columns. It was enlarged to its present proportions--eight pages, six columns--January 1, 1881.

November 1, 1881, it was made a morning paper, published every day in the year. It has, from that day, increased constantly in patronage and popularity, and now takes rank as one of the leading newspapers in the great West, being recognized throughout the Union, outside the State, by more frequent quotations from its columns, than any other Kansas journal. It remained under the proprietorship of Messrs. Hudson & Ewing until January 31, 1880, at which time the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Ewing becoming the proprietor of the Kansas Farmer, and Mr. Hudson remaining as the proprietor of The Capital.

August 9, 1881, the Topeka Daily Capital Publishing Company was incorporated under the provisions of the general statutes of the State, and, September 1, bought of Mr. Hudson the Capital with his publishing house, printing office, and the general good will of his whole establishment. The company comprised some of the leading citizens and capitalists of the State, and stands in credit equal to any like corporation in the country. The cash capital of the company is $30,000. Its purpose as recorded was: "to publish the Topeka Daily and Weekly Capital, and to carry on a general publishing and printing business." Its officers are E. B. Purcell, Manhattan, Kas., president; W. A. Johnston, secretary; Jno. R. Mulvane, Topeka, treasurer; J. K. Hudson, business manager; Henry King, editor-in-chief.

Mr. J. K. Hudson was the editor of the paper until November 1, 1881, the date at which it became a morning daily. At that time Mr. Henry King became editor-in-chief, and now (1882) holds that position.

The Capital, under the present business and editorial management, already having attained the foremost journalistic rank in the State, gives well grounded hopes to its numerous friends of becoming the leading metropolitan journal of the central region, lying midway between the great oceans. In politics the paper has been always unequivocally Republican, and, on the the question of the prohibition of the sale of spirituous liquors, since it became a local issue, an outspoken advocate of prohibition, and the law as established by constitutional amendment in Kansas. The present company, in addition to the publishing of the daily and weekly editions of the Capital, print The Kansas Farmer, The American Young Folks, The Educational, The Faithful Witness, The Churchman, and other papers and magazines. It has in connection with its publishing office, one of the best appointed and largest job-printing and book-binding establishments in the West. The Capital is now the official State paper.

The continued success of the paper, under the present able business and editorial management, seems assured.

The National Workman, a weekly seven-column paper, established May 25, 1882, and devoted to the interests and labor reform and the anti-monopoly party. Mr. H. T. Wakefield, editor and proprietor, all home print, one dollar per year. This paper is the chief organ of the Knights of Labor of Kansas and western Missouri.

The North Topeka Mail was issued October 20, 1882. F. H. Collier and W. E. Coutant, publishers; C. G. Coutant and F. H. Collier, editors.

The North Topeka Times, Republican, established by C. Maynard, March 16, 1871, was sold to J. V. Admire, May 30, 1872, and re-sold to V. P. Wilson, January 1, 1874. The Times was published as a weekly by Mr. Wilson until the spring of 1875, when (it having been removed to the south of the river), it was issued as an evening daily, until May 25, 1876, the publishing company being Wilson & Sons. It was then purchased by N. R. Baker, and published by him for six weeks, with S. S. Prouty as editor, when it was merged in the Commonwealth.

North Topeka Times (2d). Frank A. Root purchased the material of the Kansas Magazine, and June 8, 1876, commenced the publication of the Times, a weekly Republican paper. September 22, 1877, he sold a half interest to George S. Irwin, the publishers being Root & Irwin. Frank A. Root severed his connection with the Times in December, 1879, leaving Mr. Irwin as the manager. In November, 1881, Mr. Irwin was succeeded by F. H. Roberts, J. S. Temple and J. A. Carruth, Mr. Carruth staying in but a short time. February 15, 1882, C. G. Coutant bought out Messrs. Roberts & Temple's interest; by contract Mr. Temple remained three weeks; Mr. Roberts, until July 1, 1882. Mr. Roberts has succeeded his father, J. W. Roberts, on the Oskaloosa Independent (Jefferson County) and the paper was under the complete control of C. G. Coutant, who enlarged the weekly from a forty to a fifty-column paper, from eight to ten pages. Under Mr. Irwin's management there was an evening daily issued from the office for the last year of his connection with the paper. October 7, 1882, F. S. Shembaugh & A. B. Whiting took possession of all the material, books, good will, etc., of the Times. They put several hundred dollars' worth of new material in the office, and material from the Walnut City Blade, of Rush County. Before the departure of Mr. Coutant from the office, the Times had been managed by the "North Topeka Printing Company," and the Evening Republic was run for nine weeks. January 1, 1883, it was owned by A. B. Whiting and his son, H. S. Whiting, who is editor and publisher.

The Topeka Blade was founded August 1, 1873, as a daily evening independent paper, by J. Clarke Swayze. It was discontinued from January 31, 1874, until January 7, 1875, when its publication was resumed by Swayze, and continued until his death, March 27, 1877. The paper was run under the supervision of Mrs. Swayze until February 28, 1878, when it was bought by Capt. George W. Reed, of Chicago, and published as a Republican paper, its name being changed in September, 1879.

The Kansas State Journal was established under its present name in September, 1879, it being the successor of the Topeka Blade, purchased by George W. Reed, who has remained the sole proprietor, publisher and business manager from then to the present time, November 10, 1882. His success has been such as to prove his ability, both as a business manager and a journalist of the highest grade of excellence.

The paper was run as a Republican paper until about December, 1880, when it became an organ of the Greenback and Labor Reform Party, and has continued the leading advocate of the advance doctrines of financial reform since that time. Its first nominal editor, after the new departure, was D. P. Mitchell. Failing health brought to his aid as associate editor, Col. Samuel N. Wood, who, on his death, which occurred September, 1881, became sole editor, and has so remained since that time. The paper has now the largest weekly circulation of any paper in the State, and is on a firm, financial basis, having, in addition to the patronage of the paper, published daily and weekly, one of the largest and most finely appointed printing establishments in the State.

The Evening Herald.--This is a five-column folio daily, published every evening. Its publishers and proprietors are Wesley C. Gregory, C. F. Dutcher and George W. Brizier. These gentlemen possess journalistic and newspaper experience. It claims to be independent, in politics, neutral in religion, and aggressive in its devotion to principle.

The Kansas Valley Times.--This paper commenced its existence at St. Mary's, Pottawatomie County, in 1874, its proprietor being O. LeRoy Sedgwick. In 1879, the paper was removed to Rossville, Shawnee County, and June 15, 1882, it was removed to Topeka, Mr. Sedgwick having disposed of it to the Kansas Valley Publishing Company. Its office is 70 Kansas avenue; its editor, F. W. Kroenke, who intends to make it the Central Real Estate Banner of Kansas. Mr. Kroenke is a native of Germany. He landed at Charleston, S. C. in 1846, and was there mainly devoted to journalism until 1854, when he returned to Europe, and was absent a year. He speaks fluently the German, French and English languages.

The American Young Folks was established by J. K. Hudson, in 1875. It was a sixteen-page illustrated monthly, issued quarterly during 1875, and subsequently as a monthly. He sold it in October, 1881, to Messrs. Longshore & Smith, by whom it is now (1882) published.

The Deutsche Zeitung and Kansas Telegraph.--H. VonLangen, editor and proprietor. This paper was established at Marion Center, May 5, 1880, and was there continued until December 1880, when it was removed to Atchison, and changed to a small daily, and so remained until July 27, 1881, when it was moved to Topeka, and commenced as a semi-weekly, July 27, 1881, and on June 1, 1882, it was made an eight-page weekly. It is printed in German, and it has a circulation among the German farmers of the State, and of the laboring German population of the city. Nearly 100 copies are sent to different places in Germany. Mr. VonLangen is an indefatigable worker in those things that he deems vital to the best interests of his class of people in these United States.

The Colored Patriot--This paper was started at Fort Scott in September, 1877, as The Colored Citizen, by William L. Eagleson & Bro. They moved it to Topeka, July 15, 1878 and there the management was under Rev. Thomas W. Henderson and William L. Eagleson until May 15, 1880. It was known as the Herald of Kansas for three weeks, and on June 24, 1879, it was run as the Topeka Tribune, by E. H. White. It underwent some changes in the autumn of 1879, and about the 1st of September, 1881, it was under the management to which it had passed, brought to a close. April 20, 1882, E. H. White revived it under the name of the Colored Patriot, and it is at present leased to Gregory, Dutcher & Brazee, the present proprietors of The Evening Herald, an afternoon daily, published at 186 Kansas avenue.

The Kansas Methodist.--This paper commenced its existence as a monthly, in January 1879; the office was 202 Kansas avenue; its publishers and editors were Rev. James E. Gilbert and Rev. John D. Knox. Mr. Gilbert was then Pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Topeka, and Mr. Knox was a banker and retired minister, performing only occasional ministerial service. It was an eight-page paper. In January, 1880, Silas Slussen became publisher, its editors remaining the same. In December of this year, Rev. Mr. Gilbert having removed to Milwaukee, Wis.; entering upon the field of labor which Rev. O. J. Cowles had occupied, his labors as editor terminated. January 6, 1881, the paper appeared as a weekly. Rev. O. J. Cowles, D. D., the successor of Mr. Gilbert as pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, here, was associated with Mr. Knox as editor; Walter Oakley was associated with Mr. Slussen as publisher. In January, 1882, the paper was increased four inches in length. Its price is $1.25 per year. it is now published at 182 Kansas avenue.

Defunct Papers.--The list of papers that have been born only to die, in this ambitious city of the West, is a long one, and includes many which, in their short day, made no mean pretensions to excellence:

The Topeka Tribune, a campaign paper, was started by the Topeka Greenback Publishing Company as a tri-weekly, October 15, 1881.

The Tanner and Cobbler was published by M. R. Moore, and J. L. King, during the fall of 1872, as a campaign paper in the interest of Grant and Wilson.

The Topeka Bulletin, a daily evening paper, was published for one week by L. M. Crawford. F. G. Adams, editor.

The Living Age was published five weeks in the campaign of 1880; it advocated the support of James B. Weaver for President. Edited by J. C. Hebbard.

The Independent, J. F. Cummings publisher, was issued for a few months in the fall of 1870.

The Kansas Staats Zeitung was established September 15, 1871, by George Tauber, and published by him for about one year. The material was then purchased by A. Thoman and others, who continued the publication of the paper during the campaign of 1872, in the interest of Horace Greeley. The material was then employed in printing a Swedish paper called the Kansas Monitor, which survived about a year.

The Star of Empire was published by the National Land Company, with Dr. W. E. Webb, as editor, during the years 1869 and 1870. It was a monthly, and was printed at the Record office, a very large edition being issued.

The Advertiser, a monthly real estate paper, was published by Mills & Smith, commencing about 1868. It was afterwards published by J. P. Ennis & Co.

The Kansas Magazine was published by an incorporated company consisting of the following members: S. S. Prouty, Henry King, D. W. Wilder, C. W. Babcock, T. A. Osborn, John A. Martin, D. M. Valentine, M. W. Reynolds, and W. H. Smallwood. The company was incorporated November 8, 1871. The first number of the Magazine was issued January, 1872, Henry King being the first editor. James W. Steele succeeded Mr. King as editor. At the expiration of one year the Magazine was discontinued, October, 1873.

The Wood Chopper, a campaign paper, was published by F. P. Baker, in 1872, in the interest of Greeley.

The Commercial Advertiser was published in 1877 by E. F. Campbell.

The Capital City News was issued September 30, 1872, by an association of printers, the company being L. H. Hascall, James W. Fox, W. H. Johnson, and W. P. Newhart. It was a campaign paper, in support of Horace Greeley. J. G. Waters was editor. It ran two months, the last issue being November 9, 1872.

[TOC] [part 13] [part 11] [Cutler's History]