TWO decades before the organization of Kansas territory the history of printing within the borders of what is now the state of Kansas had already begun. In February, 1834, the Baptist missionary-printer, Jotham Meeker, set up at the Shawnee Baptist mission a Smith press on which was printed on March 8 of the same year a Shawnee hymn, first item in Kansas imprints. 
Nine years later a second press was brought to the territory for the use of missionaries at the Iowa, Sac and Fox mission in present Doniphan county. This mission was established by the Presbyterian church in 1835.  Samuel M. Irvin and William Hamilton came to the station as missionaries in 1837, and in 1842  requested the missionary board to supply a press for printing school books and religious works in the Iowa language. The board acceded to the request and a press was received at the mission in April, 1843.
The first printing by Irvin and Hamilton was An Elementary Book of the Ioway Language.  This book, as well as Original Hymns in the Ioway Language,  bears the date 1843, and it has been quite reasonably assumed that both works appeared in that year.  But a recent examination of the diary of Samuel M. Irvin  establishes the fact that the Elementary Book was not completed until February, 1844; and that the Original Hymns was still in press at that time. That the latter work and a "Prayer book" appeared before September 30, 1844, may be concluded from the report of that
date by the missionaries to Maj. W. P. Richardson, Indian subagent, Great Nemaha, Mo., in which they state:
We have printed ---
The diary also established the fact that the "Question book" listed above was still in press in January, 1845;  and that the first printing on the "Testament in Iowa" was done on February 14, 1845.  The diary furnishes no clue as to when either of these works was completed.
Because of the importance of this early press in the history of printing in Kansas, and the rarity of the works printed on it," extracts from Irvin's diary relating to printing are here reproduced in order that the information may be added to the meager knowledge about the press.
[It is unfortunate that the extant diary contains few entries for 1843, the year in which the press was sent to the mission. First mention of printing in the available records occurs in 1844. 
13 Spent most of the day in the offise distributing
1. See Douglas C. McMurtrie, "Pioneer Printing
of Kansas," The Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. I, p. 4 et seq.; Kirke
Mechem, "The Mystery of the Meeker Press," ibid., v. IV, pp. 61-73.