KanColl: The Kansas  
Historical Quarterlies

First Newspapers in Kansas Counties
Part 4 of 4: 1879-1886

by G. Raymond Gaeddert

November, 1941 (Vol. 10, No. 4), pages 380 to 411.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.

The Pearlette Call, April 15, 1879.

     FRANK S. Sullivan asserted, and evidence supports him, that the Pearlette Call was the first newspaper published in Meade county. [1] The first number was edited by A. Bennett, and published by Bennett and H. Lowry. After this issue it was A. Bennett, editor and sole proprietor. The paper was independent in politics.

     The history of the name of the settlement, which also is linked with the paper, has a slightly sentimental touch. The colony that settled in Meade county in 1879 came from Muskingum county, Ohio. Shortly after they arrived one of their number, Pearl Atkinson, died, "the fairest and brightest of our jewels." J. T. Copeland suggested the name Pearlette for the settlement, and perhaps since Pearl was the first to be called away from the colony the paper was christened the Pearlette Call. [2]

     Under the title "Exchanges" the editor made his bow to the Kansas press. He wrote:

     Brethren of the Kansas Press, greeting! We come to you cutting rather a sorry figure, we know. To be candid, we admit that you could say nothing too mean of our sheet; we could say amen to anything you might say.
     But gentlemen, remember that the Call is printed in a county which had scarcely a settler six months ago: that we are over 30 miles from a town, and but two houses on the way: that all of our material came 1,400 miles, and for two months was kicked around, hither and yon: that every word of our sheet was set up at the case without being written; that our office is not over 4 x 6: and-But why go on? we did the best we could; and perhaps some of you would have done no better.

     In another place he wrote:

When we left Zanesville we thought we could get out the first issue of the Call in two weeks after our arrival in Meade County; but we found out different after our arrival here. We found it took more time to build our house than we had any idea of; for before we left Ohio we knew of mite meetings building four sod houses in one evening, but some-how they can't be built so fast out here; because here we build by work, and there we built by wind.


     And after We got in our little house we found ourselves so cramped that things went very slow. Just think of a family of five living in a house 11 x 14! Then, in addition, put in a printing office, stamp factory, stencil shop etc., and you will wonder how we work at all-as we often do.

     The Call also reflected the life and mirth of the colony. In the first number the editor tells about the scarcity of coal and wood, which induced the resourceful settlers to resort to the use of buffalo chips for fuel. The editor in an interesting manner describes how the women became adapted to them:

     It was comical to see how gingerly our wives handled these chips at first. They commenced by picking them up between two sticks, or with a poker. Soon they used a rag, and then a corner of their apron. Finally, growing hardened, a wash after handling them was sufficient. And now? Now it is out of the bread, into the chips and back again-and not even a dust of the hands!

     The Call started as a two-column, twelve-page folio, to be published semimonthly. The second number, however, did not appear until May 15. The next seven issues appeared semimonthly, then there was a gap between September 1, 1879, and January 10, 1880, following this the Call appeared weekly until it apparently was discontinued May 8, 1880.3 The Society has the first twenty numbers of this paper.

The Ness County Pioneer, Clarinda, May 3-10, 1879.

     As the name suggests, the Pioneer was undoubtedly the first newspaper published in Ness county. F. Shelden was the editor and publisher. The Wa-Keeney Weekly World of 1879, published Ness county news items which told of the establishment of this paper. On March 29, 1879, the traveling correspondent of the World, wrote of Clarinda:

     We also met Mr. Shelden. He expects to start a paper at this point sometime in the near future, if he receives enough subscribers to venture out on the sea of journalism.

     On April 12 the same paper carried the following statement: "The printing office is under way. They are laying the basement walls. The building is to be 14 x 36 feet." On May 3 a statement in the same paper read: "We expect to have a newspaper here this week." The following week, May 10, the World stated: "The printing outfit has arrived, and our editor, with his new head, is busy spreading the ink." While the above statement issued from the press of the WaKeeney Weekly World, The Ness County Pioneer flung its banner



to the breeze. The front page carried the date of May 3 but the inside had May 10. The first issue really served as numbers 1 and 2, for the next issue, dated May 17, was listed number 3.

     In the Topeka Daily Capital of June 30, 1935, under title: "Things Historical Are Preserved in Ness County," appeared the following item

     Among the hundreds of things preserved of a historical nature is the complete bound volumes of the first newspaper, the Clarinda Walnut Valley Times, first published in 1879, down to the latest issues of the Ness County News, still in the hands of the family of the late J. K. Barnd, pioneer publisher. . . .

     Andreas stated that the Clarinda Walnut Valley Times, published by N. C. Merrill, appeared October 1, 1879, and was removed to Ness City in January, 1880, [4] where it became the Ness City Times. This statement agrees with contemporaneous newspaper reports. On October 6, 1879, The Ness County Pioneer announced the first number of the Times:

     The Walnut Valley Times, Vol. I, No. 1 is out. Mr. Merrill the editor says he was forced into his position.-Just so!! He wants to know "why he can't run a paper, even if he owns a townsite." We expect he can.

     In the same issue the editor of the Pioneer wrote: "We move this week to Sidney. . . ."

     The Pioneer was Republican in politics. Under the title, "To Our Reader," Shelden wrote: "We hope to make the Pioneer worthy of a place in the sod house, stone mansion, camp, or tent of every settler, a welcome visitor to all." Clarinda, at the time of the first issue, boasted a fine general store, a plow factory, operating to full capacity and the Clarinda Hotel. A drug store, printing office and a general store were still under construction. "The Clarinda plow," it was said, "is. taking the lead with all who have used it." [5]

     The Society has a good file of The Ness County Pioneer, including Vol. I, No. 1.

The Western Star, Hill City, May 15, 1879.

     IThe Western Star no doubt was the first newspaper published in this county. The first number may have appeared May 15, 1879. The Society has Vol. 1, No. 2, dated May 22. It listed Thomas Beaumont and T. J. Garnett as editors and publishers. The Hill City Times, August 22, 1940, gave the date of the first issue of the


     Star as May 15, 1879, but said the paper was published by Beaumont, Garnett and McGill. Andreas gave the date as May 15 and listed Beaumont and McGill as editors." However, the Norton County Advance, of Norton, May 22, 1879, announced the first issue as follows:

     The Western Star, Graham county's new paper, Vol. 1, No. 1, and published at Hill City by [Thomas] Beaumont and [T. J.] Garnett, has reached our desk. It is a five-column folio, and contains a considerable amount of local news. Its advertising patronage is light, but we think that it will increase and that the paper will, therefore, live.

     The Western Star of May 22, 1879, reflected the spirit and happenings of the county. In the "Local" column appeared the following:

The Star twinkles for all Graham county.
A Buffalo was seen north west of town Monday last. There are large numbers of antelope in this county yet.
There is not a saloon in Graham county, which speaks well does it not? ... Graham county has a great number of bachelors, and you can hear them sing
Bachelor's hall, I think it is best,
Be drunk or be sober you can lie down and rest; No wife to control you, no children to squawl, O, happy is the man that keeps bachelor's hall.
It is believed that there are 2,500 people in Graham county.
The emigration of the colored people from the Southern states still continues, and will continue just as long as their rights are tampered with. We welcome them to our state and our county, and firmly believe that the emigrants will be a source of untold wealth to our state.

     The Society has an incomplete file of the Star including issues of May 22 and December 25, 1879, to June 10, 1880.

Lakin Eagle, May 20, 1879.

     The Society has eighteen issues of the Eagle, including Vol. 1, No. 1. S. W. Taylor and R. H. Mitchell were the editors and proprietors. In the salutatory they wrote:

     Our purpose in starting a newspaper at Lakin, is to furnish southwestern Kansas with a medium with which to advertise its vast undeveloped resources, and to direct the homeseeking immigrant to the most available points to engage in stock raising or agriculture.

     Under the caption, "Does It Blow in Kansas?" the editors produced a lengthy jest from which the following is quoted:

     As a truth and no fabrication, Kansas is not a windy country. We have


   O; here during twelve months of the year an imperceptible circulation of air from the south, west, north and east, (varied to suit one's taste and inconvenience) that in other states as in Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska, might be called high wind, but here it is considered nothing but a gentle Zephyr. In some states they have high winds but NEVER in Kansas.
     A two gallon funnel turned flaring end windward and gimblet end downward will collect enough of Kansas zephyrs in seven hours to drill a hole in solid sand rock one hundred and eight feet deep. We never dig wells in Kansas. Condensed air does the work most successfully.
     It is terrible windy just across the line in Colorado but it never or we might say seldom ever blows in Kansas.
     The men here are all pigeon-toed and bow-legged. This is caused from an unceasing effort to stick the toes into the earth and trying to keep a strong foothold on terra firma. The gentlemen carry a pound of shot in each breaches leg to keep them (the gentlemen) right side up.

     Mrs. Carrie E. Davies produced an article entitled, "Lakin in 1878," in which she wrote:

     Of course, every wide awake town must have a paper, so a Mr. Deal and a Mr. Taylor came as editors and started our first paper and named it the Lakin Eagle. I do not think that it was much more than twenty inches long, but we enjoyed it just the same . . [7]

     Mrs. Davies was mistaken in one of the editors. The Eagle was a four-column folio, independent in politics. It changed hands several times during its short period of existence. The last issue the Society has is dated October 10, 1879.

Oberlin Herald, June 12-19, 1879.

     The Historical Society has Vol. 1, No. 1, of the Herald. It bears two dates. On the front page is June 12, 1879, and on the third page June 19. J. C. Humphrey and James N. Counter were the editors and publishers. In the salutatory they said their aim was to furnish the citizens with a live, local paper, conducted in their interests. Politically they would adhere "strictly to the true principles of Republicanism," but reserved the right to "expose any rottenness or shystering should such ever be discovered within its ranks." They were willing to "support the educational, agricultural, religious and temperance interests of the county."

     In the first issue the editors explained that they had first shipped their printing material to another point in the county but when they heard of the rapid growth of Oberlin they concluded it was "no use


to `kick against the pricks' " and located at Oberlin. Describing the growth of this town they wrote:

     On a visit to this place in September last the town comprised two general stores (one frame and one sod), one log hotel, one log black-smith shop, one sod residence and one frame in course of erection. But to-day, after a lapse of only eight months, we can hardly realize that the change is real.

     The editors then quoted the Atchison Daily Champion of April 22, 1879, as follows:

     Oberlin, the young city of the Kansas frontier, is a Wonder. A few months ago-what was it? It was a beautiful strip of rich prairie, skirting the north bank of the Sappa, near the geographical centre of Decatur county-a county that was principally known from being the scene of one of the most bloody and devilish outrages recorded in the annals of frontier life. But three or four log and sod tenements then marked its present site, without churches, societies, mercantile pursuits, manufacturing industries, or many of the influences of civilization; but with a few intelligent and determined settlers, who came to cultivate the soil, found homes, build churches and school houses, and convert the country into a land of progress, promise and prosperity. In less than one year this has all been done. Churches, schools, stores, hotels, shops and dwellings line the streets. The buildings are of good size (many of them large and imposing) substantially constructed and handsomely finished. Enterprise, liberality and industry, stimulated by the rapid settlement of the country, have wrought, as it were, in a few days, the wonderful transformation of a prairie settlement into a town full of vigor, life and business, with a future of unusual promise and commercial prospects before it.

     John A. Rodehaver, in 1873, pre-empted the section on which the town site of Oberlin was later located.

     The file of the first year of the Herald is incomplete and some copies are badly mutilated; other than that the Society has a good collection. The Oberlin Herald is still published. E. R. Woodward is the present editor and E. W. Coldren and Woodward are the publishers.

Attwood Pioneer, October 23, 1879.

     The first paper in this county, according to Andreas and other sources, was the Attwood Pioneer. [8] A. S. Thorne was the editor and Edwin and A. L. Thorne the publishers. "In politics, morals, temperance and religion," the paper stated, "we expect to stand where the best interests of the people and the Bible stand." In the salutatory the editor gave an interesting account of his life before he came to Atwood. It reads:

     To all readers of the Pioneer we extend a cordial "How d'ye do"? Four


months ago we directed the Review, then being published in Millerstown, Butler county, Penn'a, to be closed, with a view to the removal of the office, presses and type to the new and flourishing state of Kansas. We had seen Kansas before, lived among her Indians, seen the Scarcity of her timber and water, and experienced her drouth. We were among Kansas' first settlers, having landed at Atchison in November, 1857, and lived in Brown county until the fall of 1860; but, although absent so long, we had always had an abiding faith in Kansas. And since we came to the state again, we have not been disappointed. From Brown county which in 1857 was occupied by Indians and a few scattering settlers, we traveled westward (the course we had heard Empire takes its way) on and on and on, past railroads, highly cultivated farms, luxuriant orchards, acres on acres of cultivated forest trees, populous towns and cities, till, bewildered with distance, we had almost spanned the entire state. Our search for a home on public and unoccupied land brought us to Rawlins county, in the northern tier of counties, as the best unorganized county in the state, and Attwood, at the forks of the Beaver, as the most desirable and promising location in the county.
So here we are, family, presses, type and all. We have located our land, built our sod house, set up our presses, distributed our type, dusted our fonts, cleaned off our galleys, adjusted our forms, set our sticks and our "devils" have gone to work with combed hair and sleeves rolled up. . . .

     Contemporary newspapers had words of praise for the Pioneer. On October 31, 1879, the Kansas Smith County Pioneer, Smith Centre, carried the following statement:

     The first number of the Attwood Pioneer is on our table, published at Attwood, Rawlins County, away out on the very outskirts of civilization in Northwestern Kansas, by Messrs. Thorne & Sons. It is truly the Pioneer paper of Kansas, and we take pleasure in bearing testimony to the fact that it does honor to the name. The Pioneer is a neat, newsy, well printed, all at home, six column paper, and is chuck full of western items, spicy locals and well written, solid Republican editorials. The Pioneer has the PIONEER'S best wishes for its continued success and prosperity.

     The editor spelled Atwood with two "t's" until May 12, 1880, when he changed to the present spelling of the word. The Society has a good file of the Pioneer, including Vol. I, No. 1.

Grainfield Republican, January 28, 1880.

     The Republican appears to have been the first newspaper published in Gove county.

     The Society has Vol. 1, No. 1, of this paper. A. J. R. Smith was the editor and publisher. In the salutatory he wrote:

     The Republican will always be found as the earnest advocate of all those things that tend to develop the highest and best interests of the people, and the uncompromising foe of whatever tends to degradation and dishonor. No poor man struggling to gain an honest livelihood but will find a personal


friend in the Republican and no man in any station in life striving for the moral, social and financial improvement of the country but will find an ally to the full extent of its powers.

     In his own way Smith described the founding of Grainfield by J. B. Beal of Abilene:

     Last July after making his will, having his photograph taken and kissing his wife goodbye, he landed in the wilderness. The first thing he did was to kill an antelope and the next thing was to eat it. (Mr. B. by the way is a terrible eater.) Then he dug a hole in the ground and persuaded Mr. Dryer to help him pile rock around it and sticks on top of that, and the first thing they knew they had the finest Hotel between Salina and Denver at a cost of $10,000. So he tore up his will, burnt his photographs and sent for his wife and gave her back her kisses. And that is how Grainfield started.

     The real estate agents, Beal and Dryer, built the Occidental Hotel in the summer and fall of 1879. It had twenty-five rooms for guests, besides parlors and waiting rooms. Throughout its history the Republican carried a half-sheet front-page advertisement featuring the advantages of the hotel and advertising "for sale upwards of one million acres of the choicest lands belonging to the K. P. R. R. in Gove, Sheridan, Wallace and Thomas counties."

     One of the necessities of Grainfield, wrote the editor, was the erection of a flouring mill: "At present all our flour is brought from Salina or farther east. We have in the immediate vicinity of Grainfield not less than three thousand acres of wheat and a mill here would receive the patronage of the people for forty miles north, east and south."

     The type with which the Republican was printed was made at the Kansas City Type Foundry. The Society has a good file of this paper up to December 10, 1880, when it ceased coming. It was published occasionally until April, 1881, when it discontinued. [9]

Lane County Gazette, California, January 29, 1880.

     W. H. Lee was the editor and proprietor of the Gazette. It started as a small two-column, six-by-nine-inch, four-page paper, but soon changed to a large, six-column folio. Although in the first issue the editor did not commit himself politically, he showed Republican leanings in later issues.

     The original number carried but two advertisements, one by J. H. Pelham, "dealer in Groceries, Provisions and all the necessaries kept in a first class store," and that of the Gazette. The office was built by Frank Tingley.


     The paper showed frontier characteristics. It spoke of a new school house that was being built "a box house . . . 14 x 20 in size. When completed it will be used for Sabbath school, church services and all public meetings. This is a commendable enterprise and it is to be hoped that the people all over Lane county will follow the example as soon as possible." On the front page the editor told of the murder of John Bowers in Wichita county. The man accused of the act had been apprehended and taken into custody by the people of California, who had delivered him into the hands of the law in Trego county. The accused, however, had been allowed to depart in peace because "the governor, attorney general and other prominent officials" had decided "there was no law, either government, state or county, in this part of Kansas to punish murderers." The editor regretted the offense, but much more the fact that such criminals were permitted "to run at large without hindrance." While not in favor of mob rule, he asked whether it would not be well for the citizens to "adopt some plan of bringing criminals to sure and speedy justice?"

     Lee published the last issue of the Gazette on March 23, 1882. He wrote:

     The Gazette has been published regularly for a little over two years. Although the receipts have not at any time been more than sufficient to pay expenses (not counting labor), it has been kept up on the hope that there was a better time coming. As that time does not seem nearer now than when we first begun we have decided to suspend publication. This issue will therefore be the last.

     The Society has a good file of the Gazette.

Sheridan County Tribune, Kenneth, June, 1880.

     Secondary authorities agree that the Tribune was the first newspaper published in Sheridan county. They also agree, and in this they seem to be mistaken, that the first number appeared in 1879, rather than 1880. Andreas wrote: "The Sheridan County Tribune, at Kenneth, was established the 1st of July, 1879, George N. Palmer, editor and proprietor." [10] Mrs. C. E. Toothaker of Hoxie wrote: "The first newspaper printed in the county was established there [Kenneth] in 1879. It was called the Sheridan County Tribune." 11 Contemporaneous newspaper accounts challenge the statements on the date. On June 3, 1880, the Buffalo Park Express carried the


statement: "Our attention has been called to the first number of the Sheridan Co. Tribune a six column folio paper just started at Kenneth." On June 5, 1880, the Wa-Keeney Weekly World, under Sheridan county, announced: "This county has a newspaper, the Tribune published at Kenneth." Five days later The Norton County Advance, of Norton, published the following item:

     The Sheridan County Tribune, published at Kenneth, by Geo. N. Palmer, is the latest received addition to the frontier press. It is a pretty, newsy, all home print, six column paper and apparently is deserving success.

     The first issue of the Tribune in the Society's file is dated July 14, 1881, listed as Vol. II, No. 6. If regularly issued it would place the first number on June 9, 1880. The Society has a file of this paper from July 14, 1881, to August 3, 1882.

The Cheyenne News, Wano, October 2, 1880, and May, 1881.

     This no doubt was the first newspaper published in Cheyenne county. It was first printed as a part of the Republican Citizen, Atwood. The first number appeared in this paper October 8, 1880. It was headed: "THE CHEYENNE NEWS. Vol. I.-No. 1. Wano, Kansas, October 2, 1880. By A. M. Brenaman." It was a two-column sheet, made up of local news and one advertisement, for "the only store in Cheyenne county, kept by A. M. Brenaman & Co." The editor of the Citizen said of it:

   O; We give place in our paper this week to The Cheyenne News, which will be found interesting and newsy. We hope that the News may grow until it can be bodily removed to Cheyenne to grow up with that splendid county.

     Five issues of the News appeared in the Citizen, dated as follows:
     Vol. I, No. 1, dated October 2, 1880, appeared in Citizen, October 8, 1880.
     Vol. I, No. 2, dated November 4, 1880, appeared in Citizen, November 5, 1880.
     Vol. I, No. 3, dated November 11, 1880, appeared in Citizen, November 19, 1880.
     Vol. I, No. 4, dated November 25, 1880, appeared in Citizen, November 26, 1880.
     Vol. I, No. 5, dated January 14, 1881, appeared in Citizen, January 14, 1881.

     In the fifth number appeared the following statement:

     The Cheyenne News will not only be edited but published in Wano by May next. A printing press and printer are already engaged.

     On May 6, 188I, the Citizen quoted from the Cheyenne County News, and on May 21 the Wa-Keeney Weekly World stated: "This county [Cheyenne] now has a newspaper, the Cheyenne News,


which is issued every two weeks." On July 10, 1885, the Cheyenne County Rustler, Wano, carried the following statement:

     The first paper published in Cheyenne (but published in Atwood) was the Wano News, by A. M. Brenaman, who edited five issues. The next was one issue of the Echo. We now have the Bird City News and the Rustler.

     On March 19, 1915, the Topeka Daily Capital carried an article on Cheyenne county in which it stated: "The first newspaper published in the county was the Wano News. It was printed at Atwood and passed away in its infancy."

     The Society has only the five numbers published in the Atwood Republican Citizen.

The Western Star, Coldwater, August 23, 1884.

     According to available information the Star was the first newspaper in Comanche county. John G. Cash was the editor and John and William Cash the proprietors. The paper has been listed as independent in politics, but its sympathies were Democratic. In the Comanche Chieftain of Nescutunga, it had a close rival. The first issue of the Star appeared the last week or two in August, 1884. The first number of the Chieftain came out the second or third week in September. The earliest number of the Star in the Society's file is dated September 20, 1884, listed as Vol. I, No. 5. If published regularly the first issue should have appeared August 23, 1884.

     The paper elicited favorable newspaper comment. On August 29, 1884, the Barber County Index of Medicine Lodge, announced: "The Western Star is the name of a newspaper now published at Coldwater, Comanche county. It is a creditable sheet; full of local news and will no doubt look after the interests of that county."

     The Hazelton Express, September 4, described it as ". . . a six column folio, very neatly gotten up and ably edited by Cash Bros." The same day Lea's Columbus Advocate stated:

     At last the "long-felt Want" has been supplied at Coldwater, Comanche county, Kas., in the way of a new paper, The Western Star, with Cash Bros. at the helm. It is a neat 5-column folio, and well filled with news and advertising. Politically it is independent. Long may she live and shine to illuminate the entire country, so as to enable home-seekers in the far west to find their way through the dark and desolate country.

     The Pleasanton Herald on September 5 said: "The paper gives Coldwater a boom, and is chuck full of reading matter." The Advocate probably was mistaken in the size of the Star for other papers spoke of six columns.


     In the issue of September 20, 1884, the Star had an interesting statement on Coldwater and its water supply:

     Coldwater still booms, and has over fifty houses finished, all painted or the work contracted. One hundred and seven more houses are under way. The city now enjoys a public well and pump, the water being raised by windmill. This is the best well in southern Kansas, and supplies water for over 500 people and over 1,000 head of cattle every day. The water is pure and good, and suitable to wash with.

     The Western Star is still published. Mrs. H. V., Ward H., and Merle T. Butcher are the present editors and publishers. The Society has a good file of this paper commencing with the issue of September 20, 1884.

Clark County Clipper, Clark City, September 25, 1884.

     This paper started with Vol. I, No. 2. The editors explained the irregularity in these words:

     On account of the delay of our paper we could not get out an issue last week, although we had everything else ready. We leave one side just as it was, Which will account for any mistakes in regard to time, etc. We will change the date of our first issue, subscriptions, advertising and all, to sept. 25.

     The Clipper was Republican in politics, Robert C. Marquis and James E. Church were the editors and proprietors. Under the caption "Our Bow," they wrote:

     Believing that, in a new county, especially, harmony is of more importance than the success of any political party, we shall, in local affairs, always aim to support the best man; but in state and National politics, we are Republicans. The columns of the Clipper, however, will be open for the discussion of current topics, by any person, regardless of political proclivities.

     In the first number the editors wrote that they were "greatly indebted to Mr. Bennett of the Garden City Irrigator for Valuable service rendered," but failed to explain what it included.

     The name and place of publication changed with time. In the issue of October 2, 1884, appeared the statement: "Yesterday the name of our postoffice ceased to be Klaine, and quietly assumed the future name-Clark. . . . Hereafter the name of this postoffice will be Clark." By November 6, 1884 (Vol. I, No. 8), the paper had moved to Ashland. In explanation of this change the editors wrote:

     It will be observed that the place of publication of the Clipper has been changed from Clark City to Ashland. All in this vicinity are conversant with the circumstances connected with this move, but the facts are as yet, unknown to the outsiders. A few settlers feeling the need of a town in this county,


organized themselves into a town company and founded Clark City. The town was prosperous enough until a rival sprang up which had capital to back it. This rival was laid out at the crossing of the two great trails of southern Kansas, and nearer the center of population of the county. With these facts before us, we have cast our lot with the town of Ashland, believing it will make the leading town of this county. In this move we are not alone. When all the buildings are here that are now under contract to move, more than half of Clark City will be in Ashland.

     Ashland has since then remained the place of publication.

     The Clipper was favorably received. On October 7, 1884, the Harper Graphic stated:

     The Clark County Clipper is the latest. The "head" looks as if it was just coming up out of the prairie grass. Marquis & Church are the pilots and their first issue is a good one. They say the new town of Clark is booming, and we trust it will continue to prosper. Everyone here knows Robert and all his friends wish him success.

     The paper changed hands several times. Starting as the Clark County Clipper it changed, March 2, 1911, to the Ashland Clipper. On December 27, 1917, it announced consolidation with the Ashland Record, but the new paper continued as the Ashland Clipper. On June 30, 1927, the Englewood Times was consolidated with the Clipper and both publications were issued as The Clark County Clipper. The paper is still published under this name. Walter C. Ray and Son are the present editors and publishers.

     The Society has a good file of the Clipper, including Vol. I, No. 2.

Greensburg Rustler, January 15, 1885.

     The Rustler, according to available information, was the first newspaper published in this county. It was Democratic in politics. The Kinsley Graphic of Edwards county, just north of Kiowa county, announced the first number January 23, 1885:

     We have received Vol. I, No. 1, of the Greensburg Rustler, edited by J. N., Crawford. The paper is very neat typographically, brimful of "ads" and except that it swears a little in the poetical effusions, does credit to the bustling little town it represents.

     On January 23, 1936, an article in the Greensburg News discussed some of the county's early newspapers and reported: "The Rustler is a Democratic paper edited by S. B. Sproule and claims to be the oldest paper in the county and established January 15, 1885."

     The first issue in the Society's file is dated April 15, 1886, listed as Vol. II. No. 14. If regularly issued it would place the first number on January 15, 1885.


     On May 11, 1885, the Kansas City (Mo.) Journal published an article on Kiowa county, written by De Vera. It gave the following description of the Rustler, four months after its inception (already it had changed hands)

     The Greensburg Rustler is a hebdomadal six column folio, with a considerable amount of excellently selected news matter on the outside, and a vast amount of brain work on the inside. It is published by Messrs. Bolton & Canfield, and is a very creditable publication. Mr. Bolton, being the county superintendent of public instruction, and also a member of one of the best law firms in the county, is consequently unable to give the Rustler the benefit of his eruditic mind to any great extent; consequently Canfield is left to look after about all the work, mental and physical.

     Two other papers, the Wellsford Register and the Democrat and Watchman, Dowell, were started in Kiowa county during this year. The Society has Vol. I, No. 3, of the Register, dated June 13, 1885, and Vol. I, No. 1, of the Democrat and Watchman, dated November 28, 1885.

Thomas County Cat, Colby, March 12, 1885, first paper published in the county.
The Enterprise, Colby, March 19, 1885, first paper printed in the county.

     The Thomas County Cat, of Colby, was the first paper published in Thomas county, but the first paper printed there was The Enterprise, of Colby. E. P. Worcester and D. M. Dunn were the editors and proprietors of the Cat; Brown and Son published The Enterprise. One account of Thomas county, published in 1887, says:

     The first newspaper office was brought to the county by Brown & Son, in February, 1885. The office was located in J. R. Colby's house near the center of the county. They printed one issue of a paper called the Enterprise, on March 19. The second edition was never printed. Prospects looked too gloomy and the senior Brown being old and a little childish, gave as his reason for leaving the county that he was "afraid of the coyotes." The Enterprise was the first paper printed in the county, although the first number of the Thomas County Cat bears date of March 12, 1885 [12]

On March 8, 1885, E. P. Worcester and family left Minneapolis for Thomas county. He had been foreman of the Minneapolis Messenger for more than a year. Prior to that he was publisher of two newspapers. D. M. and C. M. Dunn published the Messenger. The


first issue of the Cat, therefore, was printed in this office.13 When Worcester arrived in Thomas county he set up shop in H. W. Miller's sod house, near "Old Colby." His office consisted of

     . . . a Washington hand press, fifty pounds of brevier, forty pounds of small pica and several fonts of type that could not be used to advantage in any other office except on the extreme frontier. . . . At that time there was no store near the center of the county, and the town of Colby "was a rumor and the improvements a stake." [14]

     Miller's sod house also served as a hotel and at night all available space was used for beds. Worcester therefore had to set up type during the day, and to prevent the wandering night prowler from pieing the type, he had to lock it in form every evening. The room was only 12 x 14 feet. Whenever the Cat was put to press, the only rack Worcester possessed had to be moved outside.

     The first month the Cat subscription books at the Colby post office showed only fourteen subscribers, but by 1887, the list had increased to 1,300. [15] Jessie Kennedy wrote of the year 1885: "Those were hard times. Native fuel was used almost entirely, with a few railroad ties that floated up the Solomon thrown in for seasoning." [16] On March 19, 1885, the editor of the Cat wrote: "We take almost everything on subscription, but one thing we cannot take-native fuel."

     In the salutation the Cat said merely, "Here's yer Cat." The editor wrote:

     The Cat will purr for Thomas county, and what we deem the best interests of all her people. The Cat will be located at the new town site on the Dog. The Cat has velvet paws, but will not allow the fur to be stroked the wrong way. To all concerned it would be well to remember that a Cat has nine lives, and farther that a Cat is greatly attached to a place where located.

     The paper elicited interesting comments. The Mankato Review stated:

     The Cat is yet rather small, six column folio, but if it catches plenty of rabbits may grow to large size. . . . In politics it is Republican, and we think it plainly indicates that the party intends to maintain its supremacy in the state when it sends out young Thomas Cat missionaries to Republicanize the coyotes. . . . [17]

     The Logan Freeman said:

     We imagine they are having a cat and dog time out in Thomas county, and the newspaper name is well chosen. But we should like to know on what part


of the dog the cat is located. A Thomas cat usually selects the part of a dog farthest from the bark to make a location, and we should judge from the solidity of the reading matter that this cat has not been lacking in judgment. We suppose if the fountain head is a cat, the issue must be kittens, and we hope it may increase until the fur flies all over that part of Kansas. [18]

     The Society has a good file of the Cat from March 12, 1885, to February 5, 1891.

The Western Times, Scott Center, May 27, 1885.

     The Western Times, a weekly publication, undoubtedly was the first newspaper published in Scott county. Mrs. M. E. De Geer & S. W. Case were the editors and proprietors, Charles L. Waite was the publisher. The Times was a continuation of The Crusader, a monthly temperance publication, established in Chicago in 1874, and published by Mrs. De Geer and her daughter? In January, 1885, Mrs. De Geer came to Kansas and temporarily established The Western Times at Garden City, "Devoted to Western Immigration, Temperance and Justice." Under title, "Wedded," in the issue of January 30, 1885, listed as Vol. XI, No. 2, the Times stated:

     In the month of January, 1885, The Crusader and The Western Times joined hands and became one, henceforth to go forward together in the blending and extending of knowledge and principles calculated to educate and make the dependent masses happy, by becoming independent; for without self-reliant independence there can be no happiness.
The Crusader, after years of reformatory and educational work, on the part of its editors, was devoted to temperance, literature, justice and the best interests of humanity, and took its stand, not in the ranks alone of the grand crusade of 1874 against intemperance, but as a leader among the advance guards of God's own army. We were at that time denounced as fanatic, trying to do too much, and were besought by many overcautious friends of the cause, not to mix politics (advocate prohibition) and temperance and let woman suffrage alone altogether. But knowing we were right that temperance, justice and equality were cardinal virtues, and that the God of battles was with us in that right, we moved steadily onward, and at the expiration of ten years, rejoice in the advancing millions that are now in the same onward march.

     Mrs. De Geer, however, had interest in the Scott county ranch lands and soon directed her attention to the county northward. On May 13, 1885, the Times carried the notice: "Office of Western Times will be moved this week to De Geer ranch. We look for our post-office outfit every day." The following week, although still


dated Garden City, the Times already boosted Scott county. A "postal" in this issue remarked in a teasing manner: "Let us know when you have lots for sale in De Geer." The next number, May 27, 1885, was dated Scott Center.20 This issue explained that Scott Center was "so called because of it being located in the exact geographical center of Scott county." The article went on to describe the town as "two months old and consists of one store building 30 x 40, one good sized hotel, one printing office and three dwellings. The town is situated on the highest point in the county yet excellent water is obtained at a depth of 45 feet." At the end of the article it said that The Western Times was printed by "Mrs. De Geer at the Center and is devoted to booming the county and publishing land office notices." Scott Center soon became Scott City. The change first appeared in the date line September 16, 1885. The Western Times continued to be published at Scott City till September 16, 1886, when it was moved to Sharon Springs, Wallace county. The first issue published there was dated October 16, 1886. Mrs. De Geer severed her connection as editor and proprietor of the paper in October, 1885, when Kate B. Russell, daughter of Mrs. De Geer, and S. W. Case assumed control. The change appeared first in the masthead October 28, 1885. Mrs. De Geer remained for some time as corresponding editor. The Western Times is still published at Sharon Springs. Harry F. Lutz is the present editor and publisher. The Society has an incomplete file of this paper, commencing with the issue of January 30, 1885.

The Syracuse Journal, June 12 (?), 1885.

     The Syracuse Journal was the first newspaper published in Hamilton county. The Kearny County Advocate, Lakin, made this statement when it announced the first number of the Journal, June 13, 1885:

     Vol. I, No. 1, of the Syracuse Journal, published by Lester & Armour, has been received. It is a very nice and news[y] sheet and is a credit to its publishers. It is the first paper ever published in Hamilton county, and the names hoisted at its head guarantees success. May their labours be crowned with their highest ambitions.

     In the earliest issue of the Society's file, dated July 17, 1885, listed


     as Vol. I, No. 6, the editors advertised that "The Syracuse Journal is the only newspaper published in Hamilton county." If the paper was issued regularly, the first number should have appeared June 12, 1885. One of the founders of the paper was H. N. Lester, who was also one of the original members of the Syracuse colony. [21] Associated with him as publisher of the Journal was one Armour.

     The Society has scattered issues of this paper for 1885, but a more complete file from 1886 on. The Syracuse Journal is the only paper in the county, begun in the early days, that has had a continuous history. At present Albert M. James is editor and publisher.

Grant County Register, Ulysses, July 21, 1885.

     Ulysses was less than a month old when the first number of the Register flung itsbanner to the breeze. A. Bennett was the editor and proprietor and Charles D. Majors the manager. It was an eightpage, five-column folio, independent in politics. The first number was printed at Lakin, because, to quote the publishers, "our press has not arrived." Under "Our Bow," Majors wrote:

     Ulysses wanted a paper, We wanted a location, and finding Grant with greater natural advantages than any unorganized county in the state, and sure to become one of the foremost, we have cast our lot here. We may be a few days or weeks, or even months ahead of the times-in advance of the settlement--but we are willing to wait. . . . Six weeks ago hardly a claim was taken in Grant county. Now there are over 500 actual settlers and they still come in swarms, and all who come locate. If the rush continues there will not be a vacant piece of land in the county.

     The establishment of Ulysses, according to George Earp, one of the pioneer settlers of the county, was delayed by a Texas cattleman. He wrote: "We didn't start it [Ulysses] as soon as we expected, for a Texas cattleman was branding 18 or 20 thousand steers on the Very spot we had picked out for the business center and we could not start our town till the Texas man moved away. [22] Under the caption, "Ulysses," the Register in the first issued stated:

     Everything is newness and bustle, but dispatch, haste, push is the motto. Where a month ago-where on the 7th of June six thousand head of cattle were rounded up on a gentle western slope near a beautiful lake, and not a habitation of any kind Within 7 miles, and only one within 15 miles, there is now a bustling, prosperous young city, and all the country round is dotted with the "settlements" of locators.
Surely no such town ever before sprang up. The Arabian Nights have noth-


-ing like it. No such thing ever before happened in wonderful Kansas where towns spring up in a day, for here one month 16 townships with but one house-a cattle ranch-has a population of 500 souls the next month. . . ,

     At this time ten new stores were under contract, said the paper, and the cry all over Kansas was "Ulysses or bust."

     As to Grant county, the editor wrote, it had not yet been "habilitated." "You search on the present map for it in vain. But you will soon see it again. It was wiped out three years ago, but the next legislature will surely restore it." There was seldom a pessimist in those frontier counties, if we can trust the newspapers.

     The Society has a good file of the Register from July 21, 1885, to February 22, 1890, when it was merged with the Ulysses Tribune, published by George W. Perry.

The Prairie Owl, Fargo Springs, August 27, 1885.

     County authorities are agreed that The Prairie Owl, of Fargo Springs, was the first newspaper published in Seward county. The Seward County Courant, Springfield, November 11, 1887, carried the statement:

     The Prairie Owl, the first paper in the county, was recently moved from Fargo Springs to this county. The Owl has labored for the advancement of Seward county from its earliest settlement, and during the more prosperous days at Fargo Springs, it done noble work for the town, but when Springfield conquered in the fight, it quietly folded its wings and is now hooting for this city with as much earnestness as in the days agone.

     What the author meant to say, no doubt, was that The Prairie Owl had recently moved "from Fargo Springs to this town."

     The Liberal News, May 2, 1935, stated:

     C. L. Calvert was editor of the first paper printed in Seward county. It was The Prairie Owl, the first issue of which appeared at Fargo Springs, October 8, 1885. After a stormy career of about three years, the paper was moved to Springfield where it ceased publication in 1888.

     The earliest issue of this paper in the Society's file is dated October 8, 1885, listed as Vol. I, No. 7. C. L. Calvert and Hays were the editors and A. B. Carr & Co. the publishers. The News leaves the impression that the first issue of The Prairie Owl published at Fargo Springs was dated October 8, 1885. If the paper was established at Fargo Springs, and there is no reason to question the assumption, and if it was issued regularly, the first number should have appeared August 27, 1885. In the first anniversary edition, August 26, 1886, the editor of the Owl wrote: "With our last issue


ended the first year of the existence of The Prairie Owl." He did not say whether or not all numbers had been published at Fargo Springs.

     Fargo Springs, which at one time was a thriving city, is today extinct. Not even the name is left on the map. Springfield, its erstwhile rival, likewise is no longer. In early days, however, the rivalry between these towns was so marked that no business man "in one town dared even to solicit business from the other town and so closely were the lines drawn that members of the church would have been ostracized had they dared attend communion service in the rival town. So thoroughly were they organized that all the voters in the county friendly to Springfield would assemble in that town and camp out on the night before an important election and next morning march in a body, heavily armed, to Fargo Springs, which was for a long time the voting place for both towns. . . ." [23] The following amusing incident was related in the Dodge City Daily Globe, December 26, 1922:

     The story is told of the night when word came to Fargo Springs that a bunch of men from Springfield were coming to clean up the town. The Fargo men, among whom were A. K. Stoufer and L. A. Etzlod, lay at the foot of the rise near the town all night guarding it from attack. Little did they dream at the time that the report had gone to Springfield to the effect that the Fargo citizens were planning a night attack there. And while the Fargo men lay at the foot of the raise on one side guarding from the Springfield men, on the other side of the raise all night long lay Springfield men on guard against Fargo. And neither suspected the presence of the other.

     The Society has a good file of The Prairie Owl from October 8, 1885, to June 5, 1888, listed as Vol. III, No. 29. The first issue of the paper published at Springfield was dated October 6, 1887.

Oakley Opinion, October 12, 1885.

     The Opinion, according to the records, was the first newspaper published in what is now Logan county. Originally the county was named after Gov. John P. St. John, but in 1887 the state legislature, by vote of 64 to 54, changed the name to Logan county, in honor of Gen. John A. Logan, the "Black Eagle of Illinois." In the first number the editor, Edward Kleist, wrote that the Opinion was the "only paper published in St. John county," but expressed doubt that the new Venture would bring him financial security:

     With the merits, responsibilities, duties and privileges of a newspaper in


view, the proprietor, editor, business manager, compositor, printer, etc., all personified in one being, has taken it upon himself to launch this sheet upon the troubled and rather treacherous waters of newspaper enterprise.

     Kleist was willing to take the chance, however, and promised his constituency that the paper would be published "in the interest of the public," that it would be "the slave of no man," but "the servant of all."

     His fears were well founded. Less than four years later he was forced to suspend business. Under the caption, "Demise," July 20, 1889, he wrote:

     With this number the Oakley Opinion, after almost four years of hard labor, is laid to rest. It is unnecessary for us to enlarge upon the combination of causes that induce us to take this important step, for they have but one general trend, that of making the Opinion a financial failure. The suspension of the Opinion is not due, however, to our lack of faith in the town or country; on the contrary, we believe that both are on the threshold of prosperity and development.

     Edward Kleist's fate is the story of many other pioneer Kansas newspaper men. Years later while describing his early Ventures, he wrote

     When a young man I drove across the country from McCook, Nebraska, to Grainfield, Kansas. I took the train there for Oakley (I believe the station was named Cleveland at that time). I arrived early in September, 1884 [1885?], and the next day met Judge Freeman and Mr. Hogue from Kansas City, of the Union Pacific Townsite Company, on Oakley's proposed townsite. There was only a depot, section house and water tank there then.
That evening I started for Kansas City, Mo., purchased a small printing outfit and hurried back to have my print shop built. . . . [24]

     The name of the townsite formerly was Cleveland, with Gilmore as post office, but owing to the fact that Kansas had another Cleveland, in Kingman county, the town fathers decided to call it Oakley. The name was suggested by David D. Hoag, who laid out the town. In a letter to the editor of the Oakley Graphic, dated September 11, 1931, Hoag explained that he named the townsite in honor of his mother Eliza Oakley (Gardner) Hoag. The railroad company had called it Cleveland, but he had been able to secure the change in the name. [25]

     The Society has a good file of the Opinion, including Vol. I, No. 1.


The New Tecumseh, Gandy, November 9, 1885.

     It is generally conceded that The New Tecumseh, of Gandy, was the first newspaper published in Sherman county. The editors in the first number referred to it as the pioneer paper in the county. W. E. Bissell and Gird published the paper until the third number, when Saxon and Bissell assumed control. The paper was named after "Old Tecumseh," nickname of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in whose honor the county was named. The publishers thought the name New Tecumseh appropriate and suggestive of the progress and rapid development the county had undergone. The idea of the name was suggested by D. M. Dunn, editor of the Thomas County Cat, of Colby. [26]

     The paper was moved three times. First published at Gandy, it was transferred to Leonard in March, 1886. By August 20, 1886, the post office of Leonard changed to Itasca. In November, 1886, the paper was moved to Eustis and remained there until January, 1889, when it was moved to Goodland, where it suspended June 13, 1889. The paper changed to the Sherman County Democrat with the issue of April 7, 1887.

     The Society has a good file, including Vol. 1, No. 1.

Wichita Standard, Leoti City, November 19, 1885.

     The Wichita Standard was established before Leoti had a post office. C. S. Triplett was the editor and publisher. The Standard's rival paper was the Coronado Star which first appeared December 31, 1885. [27]

     The two towns were only three miles apart, and the bitter rivalry which culminated in a bloody county-seat fight in 1886-1887, had a mild beginning in the first issue. The editor of the Standard wrote:

     We had intended to say nothing disparaging of the new town project intended as a rival to Leoti, nor of the parties having the matter in hand, being liberal enough in our views to understand that they had a perfect right to build a new town if they wished to do so. . . . What we have to say is against the underhanded way in which the management is attempting to forward their prospects at the sacrifice of those of their neighbors, instead of on their own merits.


     Before the contest ended the newspaper editors of the rival towns had exchanged harsh words and seven prominent Leoti citizens had paid with their lives for the victory in the county-seat fight. [28]

     The paper is still published at Leoti, although the name has been changed from Wichita Standard to Leoti Standard. Bryant Holmes is the present editor and publisher.

     The Society has a good file of this paper, including Vol. I, No. 1.

The Ivanhoe Times, December 12, 1885.

The available records indicate that the Ivanhoe Times was the first newspaper published in what is now Haskell, then part of Finney county. George H. Apperson was the editor. The paper was Republican in politics. It was a four-page, seven-column folio. The Society's History of Kansas Newspapers (1916), p. 206, and the Sublette Monitor, June 12, 1930, mistakenly gave C. T. Hickman as founder of the Times. His name does not appear in the masthead until May 22, 1886.

     The Times may have been the organ of the Ivanhoe Town Company, formed in June, 1885, which carried a two-column, full length advertisement in the paper. The Sublette Monitor mentioned above very aptly said: "Newspapers are the most fervent advocates of their territories. Sometimes their enthusiasms exceed sound reasoning, but they keep tearing at the clouds and beckoning to the silver lining." This was especially characteristic of the frontier papers and the editor of the Times was no exception. In the salutation he wrote, among other things:

     The Times believes in Kansas, and has implicit faith in the "New West." It believes there is no State in the Union that has such vast and unlimited resources, so fine natural advantages, so energetic, intelligent and enterprising people, and such great possibilities for the future. It believes furthermore, that southwestern Kansas in particular, is a country of which the half has not been told, and that the historian of the future will have to record of this section a progress and development unparalleled in the history of the world.

     The Society has a good file of this paper from December 12, 1885, to November 18, 1892, when it was absorbed by the Santa Fe Monitor.


Wallace County Register, Wallace, January 2, 1886.

     The Wallace County Register, of Wallace, no doubt was the first newspaper in Wallace county. The editor, S. L. Wilson, made the claim under the title, "Our Greeting," when he wrote:

     In presenting you with this, the first number of the Register, the first paper published in Wallace county, we are highly gratified with the seemingly auspicious circumstances which have brought us into this relation. While there has been no "long felt want" of a newspaper at this place nevertheless there are many in this community who have resided here for years, who will doubtless appreciate the establishment of this branch of business in their midst, and give it their hearty support. . . . In politics we are Republican, but our intention is to publish a newspaper in the interest of Wallace county and for the advancement of her local affairs.

     In describing the territory to new settlers, he spoke of it as "a new and broader field, where the antelope has not yet ceased to graze and the track of the buffalo is scarcely washed out, in which there is opportunity for almost unlimited growth and development." The Union Pacific railroad crossed the center of the county from east to west, years before the county was reorganized.

     Two business firms that have attracted national attention were advertising their merchandise in the first number of the Register. Peter Robidoux, a swarthy French Canadian, won fame through his general store and the manner in which he closed it. He also operated a saloon in which for twelve years the doors were never locked. Moreover, he was a land baron owning 32,000 acres by the end of the World War. [29] In the memorable blizzard of 1886 when stock in the territory of the upper Smoky Hill river drifted more than fifty miles with the storm and perished along the fence of the Santa Fe railroad, it was said by men who were sent to skin the dead bodies that "one might walk from Garden City to the Colorado state line on the bodies of dead animals bearing the Robidoux brand, whose loss was estimated at more than 4,000 head." [30]

     The fame of Thomas Madigan is due largely to the fact that he was Robidoux's competitor. The second number of the Register had the following description of their stores:

     There are two very large general stores in town, the one owned by Thomas Madigan and the other by Peter Robidoux. We use the word "general" in describing these places, in a very broad sense, as the reader will see by glancing over the advertisements of these establishments. These two gentlemen have


been in business in Wallace for a number of years and there is scarcely anything called for that they do not keep and furnish. Their stocks are necessarily very large, worth many thousand dollars each, and are both kept in excellent condition. The business of each occupies three large rooms probably 24 by 60 or 80 feet, and well filled. Here you find goods that would never be called for or seen in an eastern store. "Ranch supplies" are a specialty with them. A "cow-boy's" hat was a curiosity to us. It is what would be known as a white hat, broad brim, crown medium height and made of very thick material, impervious to the rain, and ornamented with a band of leather that frequently costs nearly as much as the hat, and the whole worth sometimes ten or twelve dollars. "Mexican" spurs and saddles and saddle trimmings, bridles, girths, pistol and knife holsters, and a thousand other paraphernalia not seen in the east. All these are carried in stock in these stores.

     Peter Robidoux's advertisement in the first number of the Register read:

     PETER ROBIDOUX PIONEER STORE OF WALLACE, KANSAS. Dealer in General Merchandise, Dry Goods, Notions, Ready Made Clothing and Gents Furnishing Goods, Hats, Caps and Gloves. "The Celebrated" Selz Schwab & Co's Boots, Shoes and Rubber Goods. Full line of Groceries and Provisions of all kinds. Flour, Feed & Baled Hay. Stockmen & Ranchmans Supplies. Hardware, Tinware, Barb Wire & Nails. Crockery, Glassware & Lamps, Oils, Paints and Brushes. Harness, Saddles, Blankets & Horse Covers, Farming Implements and Wagons. Terms after January 1, '86, Strictly cash. Will not be undersold and guarantees Satisfaction. Give me a Call. Peter Robidoux.

     His rival's advertisement read:

     THOS. MADIGAN, WALLACE, KANSAS, Has in store the largest, best and most varied stock of General Merchandise in Western Kansas, and sells goods as low as they can be bought anywhere west of the Missouri River. Try Him For Dry Goods, Prints, Muslins, Flannels, Linens, Yarns, Crash and Notions. For Hats, Caps, Boots and Shoes. For Groceries of all Kinds, especially Coffees, Teas, Sugars, Spices, Syrups and Vinegar. Canned Goods and Fish, Green and Dried Fruits, Soaps and confections. Headquarters for Cigars and Tobaccos. A full Stock of Hardware, Stoves, and Tinware, also of Queensware and Woodenware, Flour, Corn Meal and Feed. Ranch supplies of every description at very low prices wholesale and retail. Buy of Thomas Madigan and Save Money l Store South of the Railroad.

     The Society has a good file of the Register, including Vol. I, No. 1.

The Frisco Pioneer, January 6, 1886.

     Two newspapers in Morton county competed for priority. The Frisco Pioneer, by Euphrates Boucher, appeared January 6, and the Richfield Leader, by D. L. Kretsinger, January 9, 1886. The Pioneer was Republican and the Leader Democratic in politics. Both papers


referred to their county as Kansas. Under the title, "Kansas County," the Leader stated:

     We take it, that there is not a school boy in the land but what can tell you where Kansas county is, or at least where it ought to be, but owing to "an act" of a fool legislature last winter Kansas county was merged into, and made a part of Seward county. These very fellows are the chaps that we of Western Kansas are after this winter at the special session, and we propose to demand our rights, and restore the old lines as they were prior to '81. . . .

     In the issue of February 24, 1886, the Pioneer had changed the headline from Kansas to Morton county. The Leader made the change March 6.

     In the introductory statement the editor of the Pioneer wrote:

     With this issue begins the initial number of the Pioneer. Just what success it will meet time will only tell. One thing is sure, it is a permanent institution to begin with. It will be devoted to the building up of Frisco, particularly, and Kansas county generally, while the interest of the southwest, as well as the state will be looked after. Politically it will be Republican.

     Under "Greeting" the editor of the Leader wrote:

     Friends and fellow citizens of Richfield, Kansas county, the advent of the Leader is no blessing in disguise. Your active work, intelligence and enterprise demand the establishment and publication of a newspaper in your well chosen county center. Well do you know that newspapers are the beacon lights of a higher and better civilization through which rights are enforced, and wrongs redressed, and the moral and social world made better. Acting then upon your demands, not our whims. The Richfield Leader weighs anchor and sets sail in your midst, not with fear or trembling, but upon the broad flat form of justice, liberty, and equal rights, "with malice toward none but with charity for all," the Leader shall be essentially a newspaper, striving more to convey information to its readers, than to mould opinions or shape their convictions.
Politically the Leader will be democratic straight from the shoulder and no foolishness.

     The Society has good files of both papers.

The Hugo Herald, February 13, 1886.

     The Hugo Herald was established in Seward county, but before the third number appeared, March 3, 1886, the legislature had changed part of Seward to Stevens county. Likewise Hugo was changed to Hugoton. The first seven issues were published in Hugo, but beginning with the eighth number, April 7, 1886, the name of the town had changed to Hugoton. The paper however retained the name Hugo Herald or Hugo Weekly Herald throughout its his-


-tory. Hugo was located at or near the geographical center of Stevens county and was the principal town. It was located in June, 1885, surveyed and platted in August, and by February, 1886, boasted a population of "about one hundred, . . . about twenty houses for business purposes and about the same number of residences, with a prospect that before the falling of snow . . . the population will reach one thousand." [31]

     In the first number the editor, G. W. McClintick, late of McPherson, wrote: "We to-day greet the people of Hugo and Seward county with the first number of the first paper ever published in this part of Kansas." This statement, while not absolute proof, nevertheless indicates that the Hugo Herald was the first paper published in what is now Stevens county. In the same issue the editor boasted: "She [Hugo] has no rival competing for the same favors she asks and there is no prospect of any town being started in the near future that will be a rival." The only other towns listed on the map of Stevens in the Agricultural Report of 1885-1886 were Pearl City, Valparaiso and Dermot. [32] However, in western Kansas, towns developed over night. The Woodsdale Times, published by George W. Reed & Co., the only other paper known to have been established in Stevens county in 1886, appeared October 15.

     In politics the Herald claimed to be Democratic, in religion neutral, and in enterprise, "energetic and aggressive." In the first issue the editor wrote:

     We have met with many discouragements in getting out this the first copy of the paper. We left home 7 weeks ago and expected to have issued a paper at least two weeks sooner than we have. The unexpected snow storms and blizzards not only delayed our operations, but delayed and inconvenienced everything else. Railroad travel was almost entirely suspended for over four weeks and the hand press that we shipped from Great Bend on Dec. 30th did not reach here for over six weeks. The delay has been a great inconvenience [to] us and has deranged nearly all of our plans. We hope in the future to be able to issue the paper regularly and on time.

     The editor no doubt had reference to the memorable blizzard of 1886.

     The Society has a good file of this paper from February 13, 1886; which includes Vol. I, No. 1, to September 5, 1889, when it suspended publication.


Veteran Sentinel, March 19, 1886.

     Veteran was one of several western Kansas towns, including Coronado, established by "Winfield gentlemen." [33] The Veteran Sentinel, according to the records, was the first newspaper published in what is now Stanton, then part of Hamilton county. The earliest issue in the Society's file is dated April 16, 1886, listed as Vol. I, No. 5. If regularly issued the first number should have appeared March 19. Will C. Higgins was the editor and proprietor of this five-column, eight-page paper.

     In May the name of Veteran changed to Johnson City, and the name of the paper to the Johnson City Sentinel. [34] Stanton county, however, remained unorganized during the history of this paper. In 1887 Johnson City was made the county seat of Stanton county.

     The Society has a good file of the Sentinel from April 16 to December 10, 1886.

Hector Echo, April 1, 1886.

     The Echo no doubt was the first newspaper published in this county. In the initial number the editor asked the settlers of the county to subscribe "for the only paper in Greeley county." The Society has the first eighteen numbers of this paper, probably all that were published under this name. C. C. Thompson, a Republican Prohibitionist, was the editor, and Thompson Brothers the publishers. In the first number the Echo stated that it had "a bonafide circulation of 400." Under the caption, "Shake," the Thompson brothers said they were publishing the Echo to make money, the larger the patronage the better paper they could produce. They promised to "fight a good fight for truth and morality; we will mind our own business and run the Echo. If you can meet us on these terms, here is the ==> of-Yours Truly, Thompson Brothers."

     Greeley was the last county in the state to be organized. It came in July 9, 1888. Twenty-three counties had been organized during Gov. John A. Martin's administration, making a total of 106 organized counties in Kansas. Garfield county was an "illegitimate child," organized in 1887. In 1892 the state instituted quo warranto proceedings against it to test the validity of the organization. The supreme court decided that it was illegally organized, having less


     than 432 square miles of territory.35 It was therefore annexed to Finney county by the legislature of 1893.

     There were at least three other papers started in this county in 1886. The Greeley County Gazette, Greeley Center, published its first number April 15, 1886. The Greeley Tribune, of Tribune, also appeared in April, 1886. The Society's file of this paper starts with the second number, dated April 24, 1886. The Greeley County News, Greeley Center, no doubt appeared in October, 1886. The Society's earliest issue of this paper is dated November 4, 1886, listed Vol. I, No. 3. The Society has good files of these papers.

     Below is a list of first newspapers published in Kansas counties, as determined in this survey. If additional information comes to light changes may be necessary. Counties are listed in the order in which the newspapers appeared. The title of each paper is shown, together with the page where it is discussed in this volume. The map shows the year of publication of the first newspaper in each county, with a number indicating its chronological order among the counties of the state.


1. Leavenworth Co.-Kansas Weekly Herald, Leavenworth, September 15, 1854 [pp.4-6].
2. Douglas Co.-Kansas Pioneer, Lawrence, October 18, 1854 [pp. 6-9].
3. Atchison Co.- Squatter Sovereign, Atchison, February 3, 1855 [pp. 9, 101.
4. Shawnee Co.-Kansas Freeman, Topeka, July 4, 1855 [pp. 10-12].
5. Doniphan Co.-Kansas Constitutionalist, Doniphan, May, 1856 [pp. 12, 13].
6. Bourbon Co. Southern Kansas, Fort Scott, July, 1856 [pp. 13, 14].
7. Wyandotte Co.-The Wyandott City Register, May 2, 1857 [pp. 14, 15].
8. Lyon Co.-The Kanzas News, Emporia, June 6, 1857 [pp. 15-17].
9. Franklin Co.- Kansas Leader, Centropolis, June, 1857 [pp. 17, 18].
10. Coffey Co.-Ottumwa Journal, August 29, 1857 [p. 18].
11. Miami Co.-Southern Kansas Herald, OSawatomie, November, 1857 [pp. 19, 20].
12. Marshall Co.- Palmetto Kansan, Marysville, December 9 (?), 1857 [pp. 20, 21].
13. Jefferson Co.-Grasshopperasshopper Falls, June 5, 1858 [pp. 21, 221.
14. Geary Co.-Junction City Sentinelgust, 1858 [pp. 22, 23].
15. Jackson Co.-The Cricket, Holton, 1858 or 1859 [p. 24].
16. Johnson Co.-Johnson County Standard, Olathe, March, 1859 [pp. 24, 251.


17. Linn Co.- Linn County Herald, Mound City, April 1 (?), 1859 [p. 26]. Montana Co. (now Denver county, Colorado)-Cherry Creek Pioneer, K. T., April 23, 1859, or Rocky Mountain News, Cherry Creek, K. T., April 23, 1859 [pp. 26, 27].
18. Riley Co.- Kansas Express, Manhattan, May 21, 1859 [pp. 27, 28].
19. Chase Co.-Kansas Press, Cottonwood Falls, May 30, 1859 [p. 29].
20. Morris Co.-The Kansas Press, Council Grove, September 26, 1859 [pp. 29, 30].
21. Brown Co.- Brown County Union, Hiawatha, May, 1861 [p. 30].
22. Wabaunsee Co.-The Wabaunsee Patriot, September 7, 1861 [pp. 30, 31].
23. Osage Co.-Osage County Chronicle, Burlingame, September 26, 1863 [pp.31,32].
24. Nemaha Co.-Nemaha Courier, Seneca, November 14, 1863 [p. 32].
25. Allen Co.-Humboldt Herald, November 25 (?), 1864 [pp. 32, 33].
26. Anderson Co.- Garnett Plaindealer, March, 1865 [p. 124].
27. Saline Co.-The Salina Herald, February, 1867 [pp. 124, 125].
28. Pottawatomie Co.-Pottawatomie Gazette, Louisville, July 17, 1867 [p.126].
29. Cherokee Co.-Baxter Springs Herald, October, 1867 [pp. 126, 127].
30. Ellis Co.-Hays City Railway Advance, November 9, 1867 [pp. 127, 128].
31. Ellsworth Co.-Ellsworth Advocate, March, 1868 [p. 128].
32. Neosho Co.-Neosho Valley Eagle, Jacksonville, May 2,1868 [pp. 128,129].
33. Labette Co.-The Oswego Register, May or June, 1868 [pp. 129, 130].
34. Greenwood Co.-The Eureka Herald, July 10, 1868 [p. 131].
35. Woodson Co.-Frontier Democrat, Neosho Falls, October, 1868 [pp. 131,132].
36. Washington Co.-The Western Observer, Washington, March 25, 1869 [pp. 132, 133].
37. Crawford Co.-Crawford County Times, Girard, April 16, 1869 (?) [pp. 133-136].
38. Montgomery Co.-Independence Pioneer, September 11 (?), 1869 [pp. 136,137].
39. Wilson Co.-The Wilson County Courier, Fredonia, January 20, 1870 [pp. 137,138].
40. Dickinson Co.-The Western News, Detroit, January 20 or 21, 1870 [p 138].
41. Butler Co.-Walnut Valley Times, El Dorado, March, 1870 [p.139].
42. Cloud Co.-Republican Valley Empire, Clyde, May 31, 1870 [pp. 139,140].
43. Sedgwick Co.-The Wichita Vidette, August 13, 1870 [pp. 140-142].
44. Cowley Co.-Cowley County Censor, Winfield, August 13, 1870 [pp. 142,143].
45. Ottawa Co.-The Solomon Valley Pioneer, Lindsey, September, 1870 [p. 143].
46. Marion Co.-The Western News, Marion, September, 1870 [p.144].
47. Republic Co.-The Bell[e]ville Telescope, September 30, 1870 [pp. 145,146].
48. Elk Co.-Elk Falls Examiner, before February 17, 1871 [pp. 146,147].
49. Mitchell Co.-Mitchell County Mirror, Beloit, April, 1871 [p.147].


50. Sumner Co.-Oxford Times, June 22, 1874 [p.148].
51. Clay Co.-Clay County Independent, Clay Center, August 31 (?),1871 [pp. 448,149].
52. Russell Co.-The Kansas Pioneer, Bunker Hill, November, 1871 [pp. 299, 300].
53. Harvey Co.-The Sedgwick Gazette, January 19, 1872 [pp. 300-302).
54. Osborne Co.-Osborne County Express, Arlington, February or March, 1872, or Osborne City Times, February or March, 1872 [pp. 302-304].
55. Jewell Co.-The Jewell City Weekly Clarion, March or April, 1872 [p.304].
56. Reno Co.-The Hutchinson News, July 4, 1872 [pp. 304, 305].
57. Barton Co.-Arkansas Valley, or Arkansas Valley Echo, Great Bend, July (?), 1872 [pp. 305, 306].
58. McPherson Co.-McPherson Messenger, December 19, 1872 [pp. 306, 307].
59. Smith Co.-The Smith County Pioneer, Cedarville, December, 1872 [pp. 307, 308].
60. Lincoln Co.-The Lincoln County News, Lincoln Center, March 5, 1873 [p.309).
61. Rice Co.-The Rice County Herald, Atlanta, May, 1873 [pp. 309, 310].
62. Pawnee Co.-The Larned Press, June 40, 1873 [p.310].
63. Chautauqua Co.-Howard County Messenger, Boston, July or August, 1873 [pp. 314, 312].
64. Phillips Co.-The Kirwin Chief, August 2 (?), 1873 [pp. 312, 313].
65. Edwards Co.-Kinsley Reporter, September, 1873 [p.313].
66. Ford Co.-Dodge City Messenger, February 26, 1874 [p.314].
67. Rush Go.-The Walnut Valley Standard, Rush Center, December 24, 1874 [pp. 314, 315].
68. Rooks Co.- The Stockton News, January 6, 1876 [pp. 315, 316].
69. Norton Co.-The Norton County Bee, Norton, January 1, 1877 [p.316].
70. Stafford Co.-The Stafford Citizen, November 30, 1877 [pp. 316, 317].
71. Barber Co. Barbour County Mail, Medicine Lodge, May 21, 1878 [pp. 347, 318].
72. Kingman Co.-Kingman Mercury, June 14, 1878 [pp. 318, 319].
73. Gray Co.-The Cimarron Pioneer, July 2, 1878 [p. 349].
74. Pratt Co.-Pratt County Press, Iuka, August 15, 1878 [p. 320].
75. Harper Co.-Anthony Journal, August 22, 1878 [pp. 320, 321].
76. Hodgeman Co.-Hodgeman Agitator, Hodgeman Center, March 1, 1879 [pp. 321, 322].
77. Trego Co.-Wa-Keeney Weekly World, March 8, 1879 [p. 322].
78. Finney Co.-The Garden City Paper, April 3, 1879 [pp. 322, 323].
79. Meade Co.-The Pearlette Call, April 15, 1879 [pp. 380, 381].
80. Ness Co.-The Ness County Pioneer, Clarinda, May 3-10, 1879 [pp. 381, 382].
81. Graham Co.-The Western Star, Hill City, May 15, 1879 [pp. 382, 383].
82. Kearny Co.-Lakin Eagle, May 20, 1879 [pp. 383, 384].
83. Decatur Co.-Oberlin Herald, June 12-19, 1879 [pp. 384, 385].
84. Rawlins Co.-Attwood Pioneer, October 23, 1879 [pp. 385, 386].
85. Gove Co. Grainfield Republican, January 28, 1880 [pp. 386, 387].


86. Lane Co.-Lane County Gazette, California, January 29, 1880 [pp. 387, 388].
87. Sheridan Co.-Sheridan County Tribune, Kenneth, June, 1880 [pp. 388,389].
88. Cheyenne Co.-The Cheyenne News, Wano, October 2, 1880, and May, 1881 [pp. 389, 390].
89. Comanche Co.-The Western Star, Coldwater, August 23, 1884 [pp. 390, 391].
90. Clark Co.-Clark County Clipper, Clark City, September 25, 1884 [pp. 391, 392].
91. Kiowa Co.-Greensburg Rustler, January 15, 1885 [pp. 392, 393].
92. Thomas Co.-Thomas County Cat, Colby, March 12, 1885 [pp. 393-395].
93. Scott Co.-The Western Times, Scott Center, May 27, 1885 [pp. 395,396].
94. Hamilton Co.-The S**yracuse Journal, June 12 (?), 1885 [pp. 396, 397].
95. Grant Co.-Grant County Register, Ulysses, July 21, 1885 [pp. 397, 398].
96. Seward Co.-The Prairie Owl, Fargo Springs, August 27, 1885 [pp. 398, 399].
97. Logan Co.-Oakley Opinion, October 12, 1885 [pp. 399, 400].
98. Sherman Co.-The New Tecumseh, Gandy, November 9, 1885 [p.401).
99. Wichita Co.-Wichita Standard, Leoti City, November 19, 1885 [pp.401, 402].
100. Haskell Co.- The Ivanhoe Times, December 12, 1885 [p. 402].
101. Wallace Co.-Wallace County Register, Wallace, January 2, 1886 [pp. 403, 404].
102. Morton Co.-The Frisco Pioneer, January 6, 1886 [pp. 404, 405].
103. Stevens Co.-The Hugo Herald, February 13, 1886 [pp. 405, 406].
104. Stanton Co.-Veteran Sentinel, March 19, 1886 [p. 407].
105. Greeley Co.-Hector Echo, April 1, 1886 [pp. 407, 408].


1. Sullivan, Frank s., A History of Meade County (Crane & Company, Topeka, 1916), p. 68.
2. The Pearlette Call, April 15, 1879.
3. Ford County Globe, Dodge City, July 13, 1880.
4. Andreas, A. T., History of the State of Kansas (Chicago, 1883), p. 1524.
5. The Ness County Pioneer, May 3-10, 1879.
6. Andreas, op. cit., p. 1061.
7. The article was published in a book on Kearny county entitled, Prairie
, 1931, p. 96 ff.
8. Andreas, op. cit., p. 1607. 25-1043
9. Buffalo Park Express, January 22 and April 9, 1881.
10. Andreas, op. cit., p. 1520.
11. Manuscript on Sheridan county by Mrs. C. E. Toothaker, p. 5.-Library, Kansas state Historical society.
12. A Brief Sketch of Thomas County, Kansas, and the City of Colby, the Past, Present and Future of the Prettiest County in Kansas (Thomas County Cat, Job Rooms, 1887), p. 49.
13. Minneapolis Messenger, March 12, 1885. The paper stated that the past week the Messenger, the Thomas County Cat, and the Solomon Valley Mirror had all been printed in the office of the Minneapolis Messenger.
14. A Brief Sketch of Thomas County . . . , pp, 49, 50.
15. Ibid., pp. 50, 51.
16. Colby Free Press-Tribune, October 4, 1939.
17. Thomas County Cat, Colby, April 9, 1885.
18. Ibid.
19. American Newspaper Directory . . . (Geo. P. Rowell & Co., New York, 1877), p. 50.
20. Oliver S. Lawson, in "History of Scott County, Kansas" (August, 1936), p. 70 (MS. in library of Kansas State Historical society), mistakenly dated the first issue of The Western Times, published at Scott City, as March, 1886. The Scott City News Chronicle, June 24, 1937, was more accurate in listing it as "the spring of 1885." History of Kansas Newspapers . . . 1854 to 1916 (Topeka, 1916), p. 311, was also in error.
21. Syracuse Journal, March 29, 1940.
22. "Grant County Clippings," p. 11.-Library.. Kansas State Historical society.
23. Kansas City (Mo.) Journal, October 18, 1911.
24. Oakley Graphic, September 2, 1932
25. Ibid., September 18, 1931.
26. The New Tecumseh, Gandy, November 9, 1885.
27. Topeka State Journal, May 19, 1923. The first issue of the Star in the Society's file is dated August 12, 1886, listed as Vol. I, No. 33.
28. Wichita Standard, March 10, 1887.
29. Thompson, w. F., "Peter Robidoux: A Real Kansas Pioneer," The Kansas Historical Collections, v. XVII, pp. 289, 220; Colby Free Press-Tribune, July 22, 1930.
30. Thompson, W. F., loc. cit., p. 289.
31. The Hugo Herald, February 13, 1886.
32. Fifth Biennial Report of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture 1885-86 (Topeka, 1887), p. 546. McClintick spelled his name without the "k" in the McPherson Messenger, December 13, 1873.
33. Veteran Sentinel, April 16, 1886.
34. Ibid., May 14, 1886; Johnson City Sentinel, May 28, 1886.
35. "The State of Kansas v. The Board of Commissioners of Garfield County et al.," 54 Kan. 372-374; Gill, Helen G., "The Establishment of Counties in Kansas," Kansas Historical Collections, v. VIII, p. 469.

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