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First and Only Paper in Flourishing Territory 1854

First Press in the Kansas Territory 1854

The Press in Kansas; Towns Springing Up 1854

Herald of Freedom Founded in Lawrence 1855

Vol. 1, No. 31. J. Speer & W. W. Ross, editors.: * 1855

Lincoln in Kansas! His first speech! 1859

From the State Capital....Sol Miller is a "brick." 1862

The Press of Kansas. We believe the following to b 1862

We have neglected to notice the Fort Scott Monitor 1863

*The fight between Ewing and Anthony is still wagi 1863

*Additional News from Lawrence! Terrible Scenes!.. 1863

*The Raid on Lawrence! Particulars and Incidents!. 1863

*It will be remembered that John Speer of the Lawr 1864

Vol. 1, No. 1. M. M. Murdock, editor and proprieto 1872

Modern Improved Methods of Printing 1900

Osborne Farmer

Articles in database from Osborne Farmer:    102

The Farmer is on hand this week -- with an apology ...
September 15, 1876, Osborne Farmer (ID 1534)

The Farmer is on hand this week -- with an apology. Some time ago we ordered a quantity of paper, in time to have been on hand for last week. It did not arrive, and has not yet. We waited for it till Saturday, when we printed off a few copies on a few quires we had left on hand. We in the meantime ordered a bundle of paper sent by express, which was received Thursday night. The outside of this paper is matter set up for last week, but is new to most of our subscribers. This is the third time we have experienced difficulty of this kind and each time it has been the fault of the railroad....

 

The Interior is the name of a new paper started at ...
February 2, 1877, Osborne Farmer (ID 1570)

The Interior is the name of a new paper started at Hutchinson, and edited by our friend Major H. Inman, formerly of the Ellsworth Reporter.

 

Newspapers are multiplying up in Phillips County. ...
April 6, 1877, Osborne Farmer (ID 1586)

Newspapers are multiplying up in Phillips County. They have two already in that county that is not able to give one a decent support, and it is reported that another is soon to be started....One newspaper is all that can make an honest living in any of these northwestern counties....The people should discourage newspapers being started to serve any political or factional end, as is the object in 99 cases out of 100 where the second paper is started....

 

We had the pleasure of a visit to the Kansas Agric ...
May 25, 1877, Osborne Farmer (ID 1607)

We had the pleasure of a visit to the Kansas Agricultural College, situated at Manhattan....Our first step...was to hunt up Professor Kedzie....He treated us very kindly, showing us through all the different departments....In the next building visited, the mechanical arts are taught....We entered the printing establishment of Prof. A. A. Stewart. The Industrialist, a very neat little paper, is set up by the pupils and each week radiates in a condensed form the wise thoughts indulged by the professors the current week....

 

We are now prepared to receive wheat on subscripti ...
September 21, 1877, Osborne Farmer (ID 1642)

We are now prepared to receive wheat on subscription to the Farmer.

Ham, our chief dependence for help in the office, is quite ill this week.

 

Three years ago today, the editor of the Farmer to ...
December 28, 1877, Osborne Farmer (ID 1666)

Three years ago today, the editor of the Farmer took up his residence in Osborne City....That was the winter following the grasshopper plague. Nearly everybody was poverty stricken and downhearted. Aid from benevolent sources was being distributed to the people, and they came by hundreds to receive it....Today nearly every person feels prosperous, lighthearted and hopeful. The bins and cribs of the farmers are full to overflowing....

 

The Farmer this week takes occasion to congratulat ...
January 25, 1878, Osborne Farmer (ID 1676)

The Farmer this week takes occasion to congratulate itself upon the event of its arrival at the interesting age of three years, and to return thanks to its friends....The Farmer has been reasonably prosperous thus far. Its circulation reaches the round number of about 500 copies...and is steadily on the increase....

 

...The people of Kirwin are a wide awake, enterpri ...
February 1, 1878, Osborne Farmer (ID 1679)

...The people of Kirwin are a wide awake, enterprising set of men....The two papers, the Progress and Chief, are two good papers, both bad in that they will fight....

 

Married -- At the residence of the bride's father, ...
June 14, 1878, Osborne Farmer (ID 1706)

Married -- At the residence of the bride's father, Rev. J. K. Eckman, on June 11th,...F. H. Barnhart, editor of the Farmer, and Miss Emma F. Eckman....

 

The Norton County Advance, a new paper, appears on ...
July 12, 1878, Osborne Farmer (ID 1721)

The Norton County Advance, a new paper, appears on our table....

 

In eight years' experience wrestling with Kansas s ...
August 16, 1878, Osborne Farmer (ID 1731)

In eight years' experience wrestling with Kansas stories and Kansas prodigies, never until now did we meet with a circumstance that caused more than a momentary quiver. The 3,000-pound hog story was handled with skill and discretion; when whole counties produced an average of 200 bushels of corn to the acre, it was chronicled with neatness and dispatch; when we heard of the man who started a Kansas farm with a spring shoat and a shovel plow, and in three years owned a yacht and spent his summers at Saratoga, we passed it promptly around;...when the grasshoppers ate up Dan O'Keefe's iron fence in one night, we put that down, although there was not a dry eye in the composing room. With all this experience, we await the reports of the coming crops with fear and trembling....A farmer out there caught one of his hens trying to hatch out thirteen grains of wheat which she thought were eggs. This is nothing, however, and we may expect some marvelous stories before long. -- Champion.

 

The efforts to establish a second newspaper in Kir ...
January 1, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1760)

The efforts to establish a second newspaper in Kirwin, after a year and a half of disgusting unpleasantness, have ended in failure, and the Chief is left alone to "grow up with the country." We believe this is as it should be. The Chief was started and published when it required pluck to earn a bare existence, and it is entitled to prosperity now as a reward. Some of the citizens of the place did not approve of the course it pursued, because it could not stand on both sides of the fence and throw mud, and so they must have another newspaper. Both have been in a crippled and starving condition the past year....Some of the citizens of our town are laying the foundation for a similar experience, we believe, but it is not our province to counsel or advise, at least we have not been asked to do so, and all we propose to do is to look out for number one.

 

A man with the printing press of a busted Democrat ...
February 13, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1775)

A man with the printing press of a busted Democratic paper passed through here one day last week going east again. This western country is about as good a field for a Democratic newspaper as the desert of Sahara is for a sheep pasture. -- Ross Township news from New Arcadia.

 

The printing press and apparatus sold at Kirwin, a ...
February 20, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1778)

The printing press and apparatus sold at Kirwin, and purchased by Revs. Wellman and Blake, was shipped to Clifton last week on the Kirwin road on a four-horse wagon. -- Ross Township news.

 

...The first newspaper published in the county was ...
April 3, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1805)

...The first newspaper published in the county was the Osborne Weekly Times, started in Osborne City in January 1873. A short time after it was started, the Osborne City Town Company purchased the paper and F. E. Jerome was editor. About July 1st of the same year, Calvin Reasoner was appointed by the town company as editor, and F. E. Jerome local editor. This arrangement continued till about the 1st of December following, when Jerome again became sole editor.

About April 1st, 1874, William Rader, having paid off some of the indebtedness of the concern, purchased the establishment, Jerome remaining as editor. A few weeks subsequently, John A. Boring became sole proprietor and editor. July 1st, 1874, James H. Bowers purchased a half interest in the concern and became co-editor with Boring. Neither of these parties being newspaper men, and the affair being very badly managed, in November of that year the paper suspended. The Osborne County Farmer was first issued Jan. 8th, 1875, by its present owner and editor (F. H. Barnhart), who purchased the press and material of the deceased Times.... -- Historical sketch by A. Saxey.

 

A trip to Kirwin....We...called on McBride Brother ...
July 3, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1831)

A trip to Kirwin....We...called on McBride Brothers, publishers of the Chief, whom we found evidently prosperous and consequently happy. They are doing a large land business, out of which they make their money and expend it in making the Chief an excellent newspaper and a credit to their town. Billy Jenkins of the Smith County Pioneer was in town....Mr. Tremper of the Stockton News also happened to be there. He is a new light in the newspaper field, having recently purchased an interest in the News....

 

The Millbrook Times is a new venture...in Graham C ...
July 17, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1836)

The Millbrook Times is a new venture...in Graham County. Benj. B. F. Graves is the publisher....

We have made arrangements with Samuel Austin, who has had large experience as a job printer, to take charge of the jobbing department of the Farmer. Mr. Austin has worked for years in one of the best printing establishments in Pittsburgh, Pa....A large lot of new type of the latest styles has been ordered....

 

H. C. Root, agent and correspondent of the Atchiso ...
August 21, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 2114)

H. C. Root, agent and correspondent of the Atchison Champion, gave us a pleasant call last week. Mr. Root is "doing" the towns along the Central Branch in excellent style....

Mr. Weil of Leavenworth, one of the prominent German citizens of the state, has been spending a few days in town. He is writing up the towns along the Central Branch preparatory to issuing a paper printed in German, in the interest of the railroad and the people along its line.

 

Here is a correct picture of our new Liberty job p ...
September 4, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1853)

Here is a correct picture of our new Liberty job press, received last week....

The foundation of the new Farmer building, on the west side of Arch Street north of Penn, is completed. It will be 20x40 feet, one story high.

 

Geo. P. Rowell & Co. report that, since the July e ...
September 11, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1857)

Geo. P. Rowell & Co. report that, since the July edition of the American Newspaper Directory appeared, 22 new newspapers have been established in Kansas.

New paper -- Mr. C. Borin of Lincoln, Neb., formerly publisher of the Red Cloud Chief, has been in the city the past two days making arrangements for starting a newspaper....We believe Mr. Borin to be a fair, square and honorable member of the profession, and as such shall welcome him and look to him as a helper in the building up and sustaining the true interest of Osborne City and county.

 

Geo. W. Anderson, late of the Beloit Gazette, has ...
September 18, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1861)

Geo. W. Anderson, late of the Beloit Gazette, has bought the Lincoln County Register.

The Kirwin Chief comes out enlarged to a seven-column sheet and printed on a new power press.

 

Many of our subscribers complain of hard times.... ...
September 18, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1862)

Many of our subscribers complain of hard times....Our new type bought the first of the year, a new job press received a couple of weeks since, a new printing office in course of erection, have exhausted all our means, and yet we have promised to show our patrons a new power press....It will be necessary to collect pretty close.

 

Carpenters have commence work on the new Farmer bu ...
September 25, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1864)

Carpenters have commence work on the new Farmer building....Roerig & Sons have the contract. It will be 20x40 feet, two stories high, and will be fitted up in the form of a model printing office.

 

They are also to have a new paper at Smith Center. ...
October 2, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1869)

They are also to have a new paper at Smith Center. Dr. Thompson, late of the Indian Territory, has decided to enter the field and has his press on the ground.

Geo. W. Anderson last week retired from the editorial chair of the Beloit Gazette to take charge of the Lincoln County Register....He is succeeded by Brewster Cameron.

Next week, George B. Fickardt will step into the Farmer office as assistant editor and printer.

 

The Truth Teller -- This is the name of the new pa ...
October 9, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1873)

The Truth Teller -- This is the name of the new paper in this city which made its appearance for the first time last Saturday evening. It is a sheet same size as the Farmer, and is published by Mr. C. Borin, late of Red Cloud, Neb....The copy we have before us manifests evidence of some journalistic ability....The title...is a novel one,...but we most good-naturedly remonstrate with our brother craft against steering too close to some dangerous shoals in that direction. Speaking from sad experience, it is our duty to remind him that, had the Farmer kept a little clearer of those troublesome waters in one or two instances, the editor of the Truth Teller had never been so strongly importuned to settle here.

Frank L. Hasbrook, general western agent for the Campbell Power Press Manufacturing Co., visited us last week, and a contract entered into between him and the publisher of the Farmer for the purchase of a No. 2 Campbell press. The Campbell presses...rank foremost among the best printing presses manufactured....The business men of Osborne City, to whom we have been much indebted in the past, must not mistake this enterprise of ours for an evidence of financial independence;...on the contrary, it will demand harder work on their part and renewed energy on ours....

 

The Smith Center Pioneer people have also bought a ...
October 16, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1877)

The Smith Center Pioneer people have also bought a power press and will enlarge their paper to a nine-column sheet on the first of next January. Success to Billy Jenkins.

 

Three new papers come to our table this week -- th ...
October 23, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1881)

Three new papers come to our table this week -- the Kansas Free Press and the Toiler from Smith Center, and the Rag Baby from Kirwin. The two latter are Greenbackers in politics, and are the kind of marks death is said to love. The Free Press is a creditable, well-edited sheet, but for some time will have to content itself with picking the bones left by the Pioneer.

James A. Scarbrough, late of the Smith Centre Pioneer, has taken a position as associate editor of the Free Press of the same place.

 

Samuel S. Austin, formerly connected with this off ...
November 27, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1894)

Samuel S. Austin, formerly connected with this office, left Tuesday morning for Chicago, where he has secured a lucrative position in an extensive job printing establishment.

 

The price of news paper had advanced from 6-1/4 to ...
December 11, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1905)

The price of news paper had advanced from 6-1/4 to 10 cents per pound.

The Jewell County Republican is the name of a bright-looking five-column quarto sheet recently started at Jewell City. Col. W. W. Brown, late of Lincoln County, is its editor....

...Gen. M. L. Benson, who now resides...near Downs, is an old government surveyor and early pioneer of the Western wilds....In 1849, he did the first surveying of Kunesville, where the city of Council Bluffs now stands, and published the first paper ever issued there, called the Frontier Guardian. In 1850, he ran the first lines in laying out Omaha City, and was interested in the first paper ever published there, called the Omaha Arrow....In 1879, he was requested to go to Kansas, at Salina or Kirwin, to assist in locating settlers and surveying their lands. He now thinks of settling down....

Our power press arrived a few days ago and is being set up in the new building....We are obliged to admit an extreme shortness of cash, having been greatly disappointed in making collections so far.

An apology -- George Ficard, our local editor, has been on the sick list....This will account, in a measure, for the shortcomings of this issue....

 

...What with the moving of our office and the sett ...
December 25, 1879, Osborne Farmer (ID 1915)

...What with the moving of our office and the setting up our new cylinder press, we have had about as much of work as we could attend to, and the newspaper has suffered.

Frank Hasbrook, representing the Campbell Press Co., with headquarters in Kansas City, waltzed in upon us Saturday, and expressed his admiration at the successful way in which we had set up the new cylinder press.

 

The City of Osborne, newspapers:: The Osborne Coun ...
January 1, 1880, Osborne Farmer (ID 1919)

The City of Osborne, newspapers:

The Osborne County Farmer will complete its fifth year of publication in just four weeks....Two weeks ago, it moved into a new building erected expressly for it, and last week the paper was printed on a new power press, the cost of which...has been no less than $1,200....It has made improvements in new type, furniture and jobbing facilities to the amount of about $600 -- all within the year 1879.

The Truthteller is...a new paper started about three months ago. It is edited by Mr. C. Borin and is a creditable enterprise. John Short, a fluent writer, has charge of its local pages.

Col. W. W. Brown of the Jewell Republican is throwing as much vigor and ability into the columns of that paper as was manifest in the Bellfonte (Pa.) Republican when he was editor thereof. We were on the Colonel's exchange list in old Pennsylvania.

 

The Smith Centre Pioneer reached us last week in a ...
January 8, 1880, Osborne Farmer (ID 1926)

The Smith Centre Pioneer reached us last week in an enlarged form....It is now a 32-column paper, handsomely printed from new types on a brand new Campbell cylinder press -- same as the Farmer's.

 

E. Harrison Cawker, formerly of Kansas, is now pub ...
January 22, 1880, Osborne Farmer (ID 1930)

E. Harrison Cawker, formerly of Kansas, is now publishing the United States Miller at Milwaukee, Wis. He was one of the founders of Cawker City and that place was named after him.

 

Bull City Post is the title of the new journal tha ...
January 29, 1880, Osborne Farmer (ID 1936)

Bull City Post is the title of the new journal that made its appearance in our neighboring town of Bull's City on Thursday of last week under the management of Horning & Co. It is printed upon the press and types formerly used in the...Farmer....'Ham Rowen, formerly of this office, is foreman and local editor....G. C. Horning is the active publisher.

 

F. H. Barnhart, the editor of the Farmer, started ...
February 12, 1880, Osborne Farmer (ID 1945)

F. H. Barnhart, the editor of the Farmer, started on Friday morning last for his old home in New York state on a visit of pleasure and recreation. For some months past, his health has not been all that could be desired....He proposes to be gone several weeks....

Our neighboring town of Downs expects to have her newspaper in a week or two, a party from Norton County being the projector....

 

...
August 6, 1903, Osborne Farmer (ID 4820)

Ed Howe's splendid Atchison Globe passed the quarter century mark last Sunday. The event was celebrated in Forest Park at the expense of the editor, and a large number of guests were present, among whom were Governor Bailey and wife.

Last Week's Stockton News reached us with J. J. Parker's name at the top of the editorial column.

 

...
April 7, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4862)

The Osborne News has changed hands. For the past week, there has been a great black cloud of secrecy hovering about the News office up on East Street and even at the present time no definite answer as to who the new owners are has been given out. J. E. Eckman announced on Monday that he had sold the plant to a syndicate of Osborne parties and that he had no connection whatever with the new firm, except in the capacity of an employee, and furthermore he was sworn to secrecy as to the new owners. Wednesday forenoon the new firm attempted to hog the county printing, which had formerly been divided between all the county papers, but in this plan they failed. In making this move, however, they were compelled to name several of the new owners. Their bid was signed by W. W. Parsons, president; A. G. Hardman, treasurer; W. W. Miller, secretary; and H. H. Woolley, executive committee of the News Publishing Company, and these gentlemen, with Warren Zimmerman, who has been employed by them, will constitute the board of directors....E. L. Botkin, who has been doing the local work on the News for some time, will be retained until the new writers get their pencils sharpened....As announced by one of the new firm, the paper will expound Republican principles and strike straight from the shoulder....We hope that in a few more days the other editors of the newborn Republican paper will overcome their bashfulness and come out from their hiding places....

 

...
April 14, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4864)

Who owns the Osborne County News? Who is the News Publishing Company? Why have these gentlemen purchased the News? Have they gone into the newspaper business for the money there is in it? Voters of Osborne County, has the Farmer said or done anything in the past year that justifies the establishment of another Republican paper in this city? The News was purchased for political reasons and, no matter what side of the question the Farmer takes in the future, you will see the News take a stand for the opposite. Harmony in the Republican Party in this county will be an impossibility.

 

...
April 21, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4866)

They are beginning to squirm already. When your opponents begin to lie about you or threaten you, it means that the truth hurts. No, we haven't yet found it necessary to call on anyone to write our editorials. The editor, whose name appears at the head of the page, (Charles Hillebrandt) is the only person who writes a line editorially for the Farmer. When it comes to driving the Farmer out of business, the editors of the News have one advantage over us, and that is that we make our living by publishing a paper and they don't. They purchased the News to further their own selfish aims and to advance themselves politically. Publishing the Farmer is our only occupation; it's the way we make our living. We have received unlimited support in the past and think we have hundreds of friends over the county who would still stand by us in a "showdown." Just because we wouldn't go out and tear our shirts for certain men this year, we are going to be run out of business, are we? Just because the Farmer didn't desert good old Bill Reeder (for congress) two years ago, we are going to be run out of business, are we?...

"The Osborne News, formerly a Populist paper, has been purchased by a syndicate of Republicans who have converted it into an exponent of factional Republicanism. It is said the several old established papers in that county have not been tearing a sufficient number of garments in a frantic endeavor to get into the new anti-machine automobile, and the News will be used as an instrument to teach a terrible lesson of disobedience." -- Gaylord Herald.

 

...
April 28, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4868)

It might be well to further state that not a man interested in this paper in a financial way will be up for any public office this fall. -- Osborne County News. That sounds real nice and would be good argument if it were true. In the same column, they announce that John A. Morton will be a candidate for representative. That sounds all right too, as long as it was not positively known that Mr. Morton was a stockholder in the new company. It is too bad that the facts became known, because it spoils this little game. It came about in this manner: The News Publishing Company applied to the state board for a charter, and the incorporators must be named in the application. Our very mysterious friends little dreamed that those naughty newspapermen down at Topeka would publish the names, but they did, and they are as follows: W. W. Parsons, W. W. Miller, A. G. Hardman, S. P. Crampton, E. P. Sample, M. F. Rothwell, H. H. Woolley, J. R. Loomis, W. G. Tindal, Warren Zimmerman, C. E. Jewell, Oscar Madison, John A. Morton and M. F. Hudson....With the support of others whom we have named before, they should be able to control the nomination this fall.

 

...
May 5, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4870)

The Osborne News may think it is on the right track in its fight on the Farmer, but in our opinion it is making all sorts of an ass of itself and we hope it will get the hot end of the deal before it gets through. -- Jewell County Monitor.

 

...
May 12, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4871)

We have often been asked if the young man whose name appears at the head of the Osborne County News has as much money in that plant as he had in the Downs Times about a year ago. It is our opinion that the amounts would just about balance.

 

...
June 2, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4875)

The Natoma Republican, Vol. 1, No. 1, reached this office Tuesday with A. J. Padgett's name at the head of the editorial column as editor. This issue of the Republican contained a large amount of advertising, and it is the wish of the Farmer that it continues to do so, as the success of the paper rests with the businessmen of Natoma.

 

...
June 9, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4877)

The Jewell County Monitor, under the new editors, Coleman & Dillman, has had its name changed to the Jewell County Advertiser.

 

...
June 30, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4881)

As a matter of general interest, we are going to say it again, that the Farmer's printing trust has made arrangements, headed by the managing editor of that paper, to raise the price of county printing to 85 percent of legal rates. That the Farmer doesn't dare deny. -- Osborne County News.

The Farmer does deny it and brands it as an infamous lie. The attempt was never made to raise the price, the deal was never considered nor the commissioners consulted in regard to the matter. This is just one of the many attempts of the News to hoodwink the voters who have not investigated the matter.

 

...
July 21, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4888)

...Gomer Davies of Concordia tells this story on himself: He was in Washington County last winter when E. W. Hoch held a meeting there and, while walking down the street with Mr. Hoch, a man in the crowd asked: "Wonder who that wooden-legged fellow is?" Captain Ross spoke up: "Why, don't you know him? That's Gomer Davies, editor of the Concordia Kansan." "Wonder how he lost his leg?" was the next question. "He lost it hopping around from one political party to another."

 

...
August 4, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4890)

Monday morning we severed all connection with the Farmer. We did so with a feeling of regret, for the people of Osborne County have been good to us and the businessmen of the different towns have patronized us liberally. We leave today to complete arrangements for the purchase of a newspaper in another locality.... -- Charles Hillebrandt.

Very often the simplest thoughts are hardest to put into words. The custom for the new editor to make his "bow" is older than the principle that water always runs down hill. The future policy of the Farmer is easily told:...First of all, this paper will be straight Republican -- the progressive kind of Republicanism that has always met and solved the issues of the day -- and will always be found equal to that emergency....There is now going on in the ranks of the Republican Party of Osborne County a bitter factional fight....So long as these factions do not endanger the safety of the Republican Party, they are no concern of ours. But when the party is menaced it is our concern. We are not going to run blindly into a senseless fight. Neither are we going to run from one. We are not going to attempt to run the politics of Osborne County....And another thing. The paper belongs to us, every stick and timber of it. Its utterances are solely ours, for we owe no man as master. If mistakes are made, the blame shall be ours. If credit accrues, the gains will not be divided....And now a few words personal. It has been almost three years since we stepped down and out of the Farmer office on that bleak day in December. The reasons are ancient history now and the troubles of those days are gone forever. There has been a feeling of unrest and dissatisfaction within us ever since we retired from the field ere the battle had hardly begun or the sun reached the half way mark to the zenith. Moderate success in other fields failed to atone for the loss of that goal. It was but natural then, when opportunity again knocked at our door, that we should return to the place we best knew and where we were best known, to make an honest effort to woo from the prosperity of the county a competence and to erect in the minds of our neighbors a monument that shall not crumble and wash away before the rains of one brief day....

 

...
October 6, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4896)

There has been another change in the Natoma Republican. This time Fred Barnett takes in a partner in the person of Frank E. Pattee, who has before been connected with the paper. Mr. Barnett will continue to write the editorials and Mr. Pattee will look after the local side and the business end. We understand that Mr. Barnett will also teach school near Natoma this winter. His health is not very good and he found it necessary to get out of the office.

There is to be a new paper at Council Grove, where Charley Hillebrandt is running the Republican. It will be known as the Morris County Democrat.

 

...
October 20, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4898)

Kirwin's new paper, the Argus, by Phil Moore, has reached this office. It is a neat appearing paper typographically and the news features are not behind the mechanical department....Mr. Moore will succeed because he will devote his attention to running a newspaper and not to regulating the affairs of the citizens of the community.

 

...
November 17, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4905)

The Prohibitionist, the official state paper of the Prohibition Party of Kansas, published at Emporia, recently devoted a whole page to paying its respect to the editor of the Osborne County Farmer. The editor of the Prohibitionist is Earle R. DeLay, and he is a dinger. This is the first time we have ever tangled up with a Prohibitionist in a newspaper war, and we rather like it. In the first place, Bro. DeLay fights with dignity and soft words. Of course, he refers to us as a "first-class simpleton" and says we had "an attack of hydrophobia," but those are really endearing terms to some we get and we hold no grudge against friend DeLay for using them as argument. Again he says our "nonsensical rot is worse than disgusting" and that we "parrot the old crank." Those are also arguments that we dare not tackle. We shall not attempt to answer Bro. DeLay's article. We couldn't do it in less than 25 or 30 columns and by that time we would be without a subscription list. So we will just admit all the article says. That is the best way to do when you are down and the other fellow has his thumb on your windpipe....The only thing we regret is that Bro. DeLay's circulation is not a little more extended so that the whole state might see to what a dizzy height fame has tossed us. Lack of space prohibits the reproduction of the article in the Farmer. We may tackle it in serial form at a later date....

 

...
December 15, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4911)

Frank Pattee's Waldo Shadows, in its second number, keeps up a healthy appearance....Here's to the success of the Shadows and may they never grow less.

The editor of the Norcatur Register is a philosopher. Here is one of his gems: By a combination of job work and neuralgia, we are well nigh swamped this week. However, we greatly appreciate the job work.

 

...
December 22, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4915)

William Allen White of the Emporia Gazette is going to spend the next three months in Colorado. Mr. White will find that the rarefied atmosphere of Colorado is a great handicap to a fat man in running a foot race.

Brother Turner of the Colby Tribune got into an altercation with the editor of the Oakley Graphic and took a mean underhanded hold in the tussle. He accused the Graphic man of having attended the state university for three weeks.

C. J. Lamb, who years ago ran a paper at Kirwin, was the Socialist candidate for governor of Michigan at the recent election and polled 10,000 votes. Lamb was always a great reformer. He reformed a whole lot of people by getting them into the Topolobampo colony.

 

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December 29, 1904, Osborne Farmer (ID 4918)

Tom McNeal, editor of the Mail and Breeze, has been appointed by Governor Hoch as his private secretary....Tom McNeal is one of the best fellows in Kansas, or anywhere else. In the years gone by, he has got out and hollered for other fellows and, when the pie was passed, Tom was always in the background. McNeal is popular, even tempered, clever, and knows the men of Kansas and will make an ideal secretary. He is still a candidate for state printer and nobody will regret it if he also lands that plum, in which event he will resign his secretaryship.

 

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January 19, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4920)

Thomas A. McNeal, private secretary to Governor Hoch and editor of the Mail and Breeze, was nominated for state printer by the Republican caucus....Tom McNeal is known in almost every farm house in Kansas by reason of his humorous writing in the Mail and Breeze.

 

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March 16, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4926)

Commencing with April 1st, 1905, the subscription list of the Osborne County Farmer will be put on an absolutely cash basis. This means that names will be dropped from the list as fast as the time on them expires. The Farmer list has now reached such proportions that this is necessary....It takes money to buy paper, hire printers, and pay postage and we are not altogether in the business for glory.

 

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March 23, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4928)

On last Friday, Gomer T. Davies launched the Concordia Daily Kansan. This makes two daily papers for Concordia. His first number was a beauty and he will keep it there. We can't help but think it is a mistake. Concordia is not large enough for a daily paper. One cracking good weekly is better than a starving daily paper. Gomer got out a great weekly, and we know that he will do the same thing in the daily line, whether it is a losing venture or not. Gomer is fair and honest; he pays his bills and will always be in the lead at Concordia.

 

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April 20, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4937)

The Prairie View News has been consolidated with the Logan Republican. The editor, Calvin D. Walker, is a very brave man. He prints his own picture at the head of his editorial page. We say "brave" to be friendly, but we mean foolish. Walker is married.

 

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June 15, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4951)

Charles Sessions now writes "Kansas Topics" for the Kansas City Journal. Sessions' fame does not rest on his literary ability altogether. Besides being the handsomest newspaper man in Topeka, he also sings bass in a church choir.

 

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July 27, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4960)

The Farmer office last week received the biggest shipment of paper ever shipped into the county. It wouldn't be very much for a big daily paper, but it amounts to considerable for a dinky country weekly like this affair. There were 10 tons of it and it came direct from the paper mills at Stevens Point, Wis....The paper came in bundles weighing 100 pounds each and it kept the draymen hustling for a few hours to unload the 200 bundles, haul them downtown and stow them above the office.

 

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August 17, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4966)

The Mankato Advocate is one of the Populist papers of Kansas that has not petered out. The reason is that Editor Honey has made it a rule to run a local newspaper first and a political organ afterward. The paper that gives the news is what the people want.

 

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September 14, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4970)

Bert Headley has sold a half interest in his Gaylord Sentinel to H. K. Pratt. Mr. Pratt is going to have a job on his hands to make the Sentinel any better paper. It is one of the brightest and most original papers in this section of Kansas.

 

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October 26, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4974)

Dodd Gaston, the brilliant editor of "Second Thoughts" in the Topeka Capital, is thinking of compiling some of his work of the past few years and getting out a book. Mr. House has written some of the choicest things in Kansas literature and it is only his rare modesty that keeps him in the background. His book will lay in the shade many other publications over which people rave.

 

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December 14, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4980)

At the Grass Roots, a book by J. E. House of Topeka, will be issued in about two weeks. Mr. House is "Dodd Gaston," the famous writer on the Topeka Daily Capital who is responsible for "On Second Thought." Mr. House's book contains the best of his writings of recent years, including humorous, pathetic and plain everyday sketches. They bring the little things of life right to your own door and tug pretty hard at your heartstrings. The book is illustrated by Albert T. Reid. The price is one dollar a copy, and orders will gladly be accepted at the Farmer office.

 

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December 28, 1905, Osborne Farmer (ID 4983)

The Stockton Record is devoting considerable time to fighting Congressman Reeder. Only a few years ago, Editor Chambers drew the salary attached to the post office at Stockton through the grace of Mr. Reeder, and then his paper could not say enough nice things about the congressman....The people of this day and generation are getting wiser in political things, and the howl of a fellow who has been crowded away from the public teat is not half as frightening as it used to be. -- Gaylord Sentinel.

 

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February 1, 1906, Osborne Farmer (ID 4991)

A copy of the first issue of the first paper printed in Alton -- the Bull City Post -- was handed us recently by J. B. Taylor....The Empire is not a continuous successor of the Post, or someone has made an error in the dating and numbering of volumes if, in the changes made from the Post to the Key and from the Key to the Empire, the publication was continuous, for the present volume of the Empire, Vol. 25, closes June 21, 1906. If these publications were continuous successors of each other, the Empire should now be 26 years old. Can anyone throw any light on this matter?...The ads in the paper before us were set single column old style and have a quaint look....There is little of local importance in the paper....The proprietors of the Post proposed to give +?the news of Bull City, the county and state, and in fact the whole world in general.+? That was a big job for Horning & Co., for they didn't stay long at it. -- Alton Empire.

 

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March 8, 1906, Osborne Farmer (ID 4997)

The Old Home Paper -- Every Friday there comes to this office a dinky little country weekly paper. On that day we get probably fifty other papers. We hurriedly paw over the whole bunch until we get the one with the little red label on it. We don't care what kind of headlines the big dailies have. The dailies don't interest us. We are looking for that dinky weekly. And why? It comes from the little town in which we were raised. As we open its pages and scan down the column, the panorama of years spent and gone spreads out before us. We see this name and that one, forgotten in the years that have pushed us into maturity. This one breathes to us the childish games on the old school ground. That one reminds us of the days we spent fishing along the old creek....We see that old Comrade Jim has been gathered to his fathers. Miss Katie is married. We remember when she was born. Miss Old Maid gave a tea to a few friends. Lord, but she must be old now. Oh! For the world to turn back so we could live a child again just for tonight. But it won't. The way we live again is to read the old home paper. Its headlines and its type are just the same as they were 25 years ago. But their very look makes us hate the flash and style of later years....We are at home when we read that dinky weekly paper. It breathes to us an air of safety, of happiness, of home -- something that all the dailies in Christendom can't do. So it makes no difference what the world has in store for us. It must be hooked up with that dinky weekly or we won't accept. Then there is another thing that makes us love that dinky home paper. We sometimes see her name in it. Mother still lives there.

 

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May 3, 1906, Osborne Farmer (ID 5004)

The Appeal to Reason, the treasonable Socialist sheet printed at Girard, Kan., has been shut out of Canada. The postmaster at Girard has been notified by the postmaster general that the Canadian government refuses to transmit the Socialistic publication through the Canadian mails "on account of the scurrilous and seditious character of articles appearing in a copy of that publication which has been brought to the attention of the department." The Appeal to Reason has over 200,000 circulation, of which many thousand were in Canada.

Our friend J. W. Morphy, editor of the Russell Reformer, has been nominated for insurance commissioner on the Democratic ticket. We are sorry the honor is such an empty one. Jim Morphy is thoroughly competent for the place and is a gentleman in every particular, but the decision next November will be against him. Fun is about all a man gets out of being a Democrat in Kansas.

 

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August 2, 1906, Osborne Farmer (ID 5020)

The Newspaper Thief -- Among the +?Kansas Comment' in this paper there recently appeared a few remarks from the Osborne Farmer on the subject of the newspaper thief -- the alleged editor who appropriates the ideas of others and uses them as his own without credit to the author.

The State Journal heartily concurs in the judgment and opinion handed down by the Farmer, but it believes that some of the offenses are due to a misapprehension. There are some editors -- and among them a few who pose as leaders -- who do not hesitate to appropriate anything they find in print, and in order to acquire a reputation for smartness they give no credit to the real author. There are others, however, who do not intentionally steal ideas, but they fail to differentiate between news and editorial matter.

"To reprint news without credit is perfectly legitimate, if the news is a simple statement of facts. Facts are public property when they have once been printed. Not so with ideas and statements of opinions. The person who originates them is entitled to due credit for them.

"There are doubtless editors who do not realize the difference between news and other matter. They clip news, which is legitimate, and seeing editorial matter that pleases them they also clip that, which is scarcely legitimate unless due credit is given.

"The editor who gets a reputation for stealing his stuff is unfortunate for, when he does originate something good, his brother editors believe he has stolen that also. He does himself more harm than anyone else." -- Topeka State Journal.

The man who at the present time is writing the best Kansas paragraphs gets the least credit for it. They are the Kansas notes in the Kansas City Star and are written by Charlie Blakesley, who also writes Starbeams....

 

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September 6, 1906, Osborne Farmer (ID 5022)

The Lucas Journal made its first appearance last week and is a very creditable paper. It is owned and edited by C. L. McAfee, who is a printer of experience. It is Democratic in politics. If Brother McAfee will hustle around and gather the news of Lucas and vicinity and print it he will not lack for support. It is not the political organ that makes it these days. It is the live local newspaper.

 

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September 13, 1906, Osborne Farmer (ID 5025)

We are very sorry to learn that S. H. Dodge, the veteran editor of the Beloit Gazette, has been confined to his home for a month with a serious spell of sickness. Old Man Dodge is the premier kicker of Kansas newspaperdom....But Dodge has a big heart, a sound head, and we have always found his advice timely and good.

 

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October 4, 1906, Osborne Farmer (ID 5028)

A new paper has been established at Belleville, Republic County, to be known as the Republic County Democrat. The editor is Major H. N. Boyd, the democratic nominee for the legislature from Republic County. Politics started it.

 

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January 3, 1907, Osborne Farmer (ID 5041)

The Farmer starts out this week on volume 33....The weekly edition has been issued 1,764 times. In the early days, Frank Barnhart, the founder of the paper, frequently issued special editions and on several occasions issued a daily for two or three days at a time....It has been in its present quarters since July 4, 1890. H. H. Ruede, now employed on the paper, used to walk down from his homestead in Kill Creek Township in 1877-78 and help Barnhart out with the work very frequently. C. S. Landis started in as devil on the paper in 1883 and worked on it continuously until 1901, when he went into the banking business. By industry he worked from the lowest round to owner of the paper. T. E. Skinner, the present foreman, went to work on the paper in 1890 and has been foreman since 1893. The present proprietor (B. P. Walker) came to the paper ten years ago, but from 1901 to 1904 was employed elsewhere....

John Gilmore of the Fredonia Citizen, himself one of the oldest and best of Kansas newspaper men, says: "The press and some people frequently mention or assert that this or that publisher is the oldest editor in Kansas. They are all invariably wrong. Marsh Murdock is the man, not only in years of life combined with active and practically continuous service. He will have been constantly a working editor of papers of his own for 44 years next September, having founded the Osage Chronicle at Burlingame in 1863. When he sold that paper in the early spring of 1872, he started the Wichita Eagle as soon as a type foundry could furnish the material...."

The newspaper war over at Mankato has resulted in a libel suit, brought by H. R. Honey of the Advocate against Editor George of the Monitor. A newspaper war is a great mistake. The people do not care for the personal troubles of editors. They want the news.

 

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January 31, 1907, Osborne Farmer (ID 5045)

All the newspaper boys will sympathize with John Q. Royce in his recent stroke of hard luck where his fine Phillipsburg Dispatch office was completely destroyed by fire. He had a fine office and all that he saved was the books. He will at once install a new plant. The Dispatch and Post editors had fought each other through the columns of their papers, but as soon as the Dispatch office was in flames Editor Boyd invited Mr. Royce to use his office to get out his paper and it was accepted. Mr. Boyd has dignified the pages of journalism.

 

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February 7, 1907, Osborne Farmer (ID 5048)

The Colored Supplement -- Every week we get propositions to club with so-called agricultural, stock or story papers. They are offered us at a ridiculously low price. We turn them all down, for the simple reason that most of them are simply advertising mediums for mail order houses. These mail order houses pay for the printing, or a good share of it, in them and in some instances own the entire plant. We also think publishers make a great mistake in issuing these colored supplements furnished them free of charge. They are filled with advertising matter from mail order houses. The mail order houses pay for getting them out and thus get advertising space in country weeklies for practically nothing, while the home merchant is compelled to pay his printer good hard dollars for space. The mail order house thus gets its matter through the mails on the back of the established country weekly. Cut out the colored supplement, brother.

 

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February 14, 1907, Osborne Farmer (ID 5049)

All newspaper men have recently been informed that there will be a big advance in the cost of all of their supplies in the paper line. Type and all printing materials have nearly doubled in the past few years. Help costs more, rents are higher....What has the printer done? Nothing. The price of his paper remains the same. He charges very little, if any, more for his advertising space....The price of the Farmer is one dollar a year. It is not enough. Many papers in Kansas, far inferior in every way, charge a dollar and a half....We estimate that the advance in the price of help, materials, etc., of the past few years has increased our expenses $600 a year....During its early days, the price of the Farmer was two dollars a year. Through the eighties, it was a dollar and a half. A dollar then was bigger than is ten dollars today....

 

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April 18, 1907, Osborne Farmer (ID 5059)

We read in the daily papers a few weeks ago that the government had broken up the paper trust. We got in a ton the other day and it cost more than any we ever bought and is still going up. If the trust is busted again, we will go broke.

 

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May 2, 1907, Osborne Farmer (ID 5063)

Beginning July 1, 1907, the subscription price of the Osborne County Farmer will be $1.50 a year....All back subscriptions due the office will be collected for at the rate of $1.00 a year up to July 1, 1907....

The Lawrence Gazette is for William Allen White for governor. It says: "Another reason why the Gazette is +?agin' Joe Bristow for governor is that it is already pledged to that other Republican bolter, William Allen White. White threw it into the Republican party hard and strong when he bolted last fall, while Joe sneaked and only scattered rat bisket around. If the Republicans want a real bolter for governor, White is IT."

 

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June 6, 1907, Osborne Farmer (ID 5070)

The Farmer appears this week in complete new attire. Every bit of material is new. The old type has done hard service for eight years and has met the ignoble end of being sold for old metal at 15 cents a pound. The column rules, cross rules, headings, display type, etc., is fresh from the type foundry. We are not attempting any fancy stunts. We are trying to get the reading matter before the people in clear, easily read type, and to make the advertisements neat and tasty without a whole lot of gingerbread. The Farmer is going to be a $1.50 a year paper, and we are doing our best to make it worth it. We are putting in one thousand dollars worth of improvements. A folding machine of the latest pattern has been built for us at Sidney, O., and is now on its way here. It will fold, trim and paste any edition of 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 pages at a rate of 2,400 an hour. A new engine of five horsepower is also on its way here. We also have a new stapler and a number of other improvements only found in a first class office. We don't believe in eternally blowing our bazoo, but realize that he who tooteth not his own horn, the same horn shall never be tooted....

 

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July 18, 1907, Osborne Farmer (ID 5075)

The new man on the Marion Record is doing something that the Hochs never did -- giving the local news of Marion. The Marion Record has always been a fizzle as far as local news was concerned. The editorial page, while limited, was very strong, and in the old days Ed Hoch used to pluck some choice flowers from the conservatory of his soul, but that was all there was to the Record. From a local news standpoint, it just about ranked with the Portis Independent.

 

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September 5, 1907, Osborne Farmer (ID 5083)

Another paper in Atchison has twinkled out -- Walt Mason's Sunday Star. Atchison is a town where another paper could do a big business; that is, such a delusion lurks in the minds of a number of theorists. Nothing to it. The Globe has the business cornered.

 

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December 26, 1907, Osborne Farmer (ID 5101)

The Farmer received a call last Thursday from Colonel Major Frederick L. Jeltz of Topeka, the noted Afro-American editor and statesman. The colonel informed us that Osborne was a fine town. He had taken in over four hundred dollars from our citizens on subscriptions to his paper, the State Ledger. The colonel also stated that he was a poor man, but wouldn't remain that way long, if business kept up. He owns papers at Topeka, Kansas City, Kan., and Los Angeles, Calif., so he stated. He was somewhat offended at a harmless quip in reference to him in last week's Farmer and told us that he was coming back to Osborne and start a newspaper that would cause the natives to open their eyes. If you have never seen the Ledger, you can't appreciate this statement. The colonel had not selected the name of his paper nor the date on which the first issue would appear. You can't fool with the colonel.

 

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January 2, 1908, Osborne Farmer (ID 5104)

The Ellsworth Reporter started on its 37th year last week. Geo. Huycke has been its editor for 36 years and is entitled to be called the Nestor of journalism in the Sixth District. He has undoubtedly been in the harness in the same place longer than any other man in the district. The Reporter is one of the best local papers in the state. George occasionally gets off his trolley on political matters, but his paper always covers its local field thoroughly, and local news is what the people want. The editor who wastes his time saving the country and lets the local news get away from him is the fellow who has to move often.

John Ford, formerly editor of the Alton Empire, is again in harness, having succeeded to the proprietorship of the Plainville Gazette. John traded his farm south of Alton on the deal....John Ford is square in his business transactions and true to his friends....There are few better writers in the country than John....

 

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March 12, 1908, Osborne Farmer (ID 5116)

Victor Murdock, representative from Kansas, was editor of the Wichita Eagle when he was elected to Congress. The Eagle is owned by the Murdock family, and Victor was paid $20 a week for his services, with his interest in the profits, of course. When Murdock got back from Congress last March, his brother came to him and said: +?Vic, I wish you would turn in and write some editorials. We're short-handed.' Murdock went to his old desk and ground out editorials for a week. Then payday came. He went down to the office and said to his brother, +?Tom, what do I get for my week's work? Remember, I'm a high-priced man now, and get $7,500 a year from the government.' +?Well, Vic,' said his brother, +?I've been thinking it over, and I have put you back on the payroll for your old salary of $20 a week. You may be a high-priced statesman, but we've got a good line on your editorial work for the Eagle. -- Saturday Evening Post.

 

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March 26, 1908, Osborne Farmer (ID 5119)

My friend Dodd Gaston, by the Village Deacon:

For years, I have read untrue, many times weird and oft times silly statements about Dodd Gaston. I have said nothing about them, for such things never worry Gaston. But now I am going to tell about Dodd Gaston, my friend.

To begin with, his name is Jay Elmer House, and he was raised in the little town of Erie, Neosho County, Kansas. I have known him for 14 years. We have worked together, tramped together, slept together, feasted together and gone hungry together. In company have our feet grown sore along the rock-ballasted railroads, and again have we elevated our patent leathers on the upholstered chairs of the club room and sipped Blue Ribbon in plenty and laughed at the days when we had but one shirt apiece.

Gaston is most frequently referred to as "the old crank" of the Topeka Capital. He is neither old nor a crank. He will have to run several years yet before he reaches 40. Gaston and I never quarreled. I guess the reason is because he never tried to tell me any funny stories. I am lazy, but Gaston has me beaten a block. He used to lie in bed and smoke. I would tell him he would burn the house down someday. He would get up, turn on the light and argue to me for an hour that you could set nothing afire from the lighted end of a cigar.

Gaston hasn't much hair on his head, but it isn't due to age nor early piety, although when I first became acquainted with him he was singing in a Presbyterian choir just to be near the soprano singer, with whom he was in love. Gaston claims she sang alto, but I know better, for I used to sneak around and go with her some myself.

He is always in love. The ladies who read his stuff and form the idea that he doesn't like them are sadly mistaken. The reason Gaston has not married is because he never could settle down and love one woman at a time long enough to make a decision.

One day he came into the office wearing a new $40 suit of tailor-made clothes. A little later, the boss came in wearing a new $15 hand-me-down. "Gaston," said I, "the old man isn't much of a swell, is he?" "No," replied Gaston, "but that's the reason he is our boss."

I know of but two things that ever worried Gaston to any great extent, outside of the girl question. He could never get a necktie that would tie to suit him, and I never bought a hat that he liked.

Gaston broke into the cut glass set without any trouble. I couldn't. He always had an engagement that required evening dress. In fact, the demands of society were so heavy on him that he had to shave every day, but at that he is the relentless enemy of the safety razor.

He used to come sailing into our room after attending some big bug's reception with a ten-cent cigar in his mouth and a carnation in his lapel. "Gaston," I would say, "I admire your nerve. Here you haven't got the boxcar knots brushed off your back and you are out in a full dress suit mingling with the millionaires."

"Well," he would shoot back, "if you wasn't a dub and would wear a decent hat you could do it too."

Gaston dislikes shams and isms and grandstand plays and lambasts them right and left. He is a great theater critic. But it has to be a pretty good show that gets a favorable mention from him. He is always in a fight with the theater-going public of Topeka over the merits of some "star."

One night Gaston and I dropped in to see a show. The star was one who is well known all over Kansas and has appeared in Osborne a number of times. The company were in awful hard lines. They were hustling hard to get enough money to get out of town and onto the kerosene circuit. They had a lot of good dates in Kansas and a boost from Gaston meant a great deal to them.

As we went back to the office, I said: "Gaston, do you remember when you and I didn't know where our next meal was coming from? Andrews is in the same fix now. Boost him."

Gaston went to the office and gave them the finest kind of a sendoff. The article was reproduced all over the kerosene circuit and the show did a big business and was on its feet again in two weeks. I know his heart is tender. He never intentionally hurt anyone in his life.

Gaston ought to be married, because he can't get along with anybody. He could always agree with my brother, who is the greatest crank in the world. Anybody who can get along with my brother would be in Paradise with any woman who ever walked.

I have not here told much about Dodd Gaston. He is a fine practical printer and the best all-around newspaper writer in Kansas. But I have tried to show that he is just like other young fellows. He is not cranky, he is not a knocker, he is not a woman hater; he likes baseball and football. He is an even-tempered, genial fellow of good common sense on all topics, and to me a little more agreeable than most any other fellow I ever ran across.

Gaston always boosts in the profession and never knocks. He organized the Handholders' Union and I stole it from him and brought it out here and palmed it off as original. But he didn't roar.

I could write a good many columns about Gaston, but he wouldn't care for any of it except the part that "roasted" him. He likes criticism. He says when people begin to knock on you it is a sign they are sitting up and noticing things.

He has long promised to come out and visit me. If he does, you will always find him at least one of two places. He will either be in the millinery store talking to the girls, or down at the Driving Park practicing baseball with the kids.

Dodd Gaston, my friend, is the commonest sort of a fellow, unadorned with frills or egotism, a loyal chum and the finest companion in the world for the plug country editor.

 

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May 7, 1908, Osborne Farmer (ID 5132)

Elegy on a Country Print Shop, from the Atlanta Constitution:

He's taken "thirty" off the hook; it's quitting time for "Slim;" We've closed the shop this afternoon to read the proof on him, And find it pretty middlin' clean, a pi line here and there, But only such a one as apt to slip in anywhere;

His ticket's on the foreman's desk, all figured up, I s'pose; He had some fat takes and some lean, but that's the way it goes; I don't know what's his overtime or what his check will be; I guess he'll strike the average, along with you and me.

He sets a measure middling wide -- he likes to set that way; His work was mostly solid stuff and not much for display; He should have lived three score of years, a friend of yours and mine -- It's tough to think some worthless chap is quadding out his line.

He told me nigh a month ago, as cool as anything, His dupes were cut and pasted up, a middling longish string. He said he never skinned the shop and guessed he'd had his share, Of overtime and double price, and maybe some to spare.

He set a proof that showed up clean and did his work up right; He never shirked by day so he could double-space the night. The makeup's dumped his matter in, his form is closed, you see; His galley's empty on the rack; his slug is twenty-three.

We don't know what the cashier's desk will have to give to Slim; We'll mark a turn rule in the proof and say a prayer for him. For him the dawn is in the east, it's getting light uptown, And "thirty's" taken off the hook, the last form's going down.

 

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June 11, 1908, Osborne Farmer (ID 5137)

The Farmer has just bought another big shipment of print paper and it cost us $75 a ton, exclusive of all freight and drayage. We used to get this paper for $35 a ton....Possibly the paper trust and the lumber trust may have something to do with it.

The Beloit Gazette has been sold by S. H. Dodge and G. H. Dodge to E. W. Swan of Emporia. The retirement of S. H. Dodge will be viewed with regret by the newspaper fraternity of the state, and especially in this section. He has been at the helm of the Gazette for a quarter of a century....Mr. Dodge is a man of decided views on all subjects and was not afraid to express them....

 

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June 18, 1908, Osborne Farmer (ID 5139)

J. W. Morphy, who has been running the Russell Reformer under lease for several years, has purchased the plant and also the plant of the Russell Recorder, the German paper over there which could not make it go....Jim Morphy and the editor of this paper worked on rival newspapers a few years ago at Smith Center for ten or twelve dollars a week. He is a big-hearted fellow with the capacity of a horse for work.

 

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July 30, 1908, Osborne Farmer (ID 5146)

Albert T. Reid, who is seeking the nomination for state printer on the Republican ticket, has never before sought office....He entered the race after an understanding with T. A. McNeal, the present printer, who gave the impression that he did not intend to run for the office again. Mr. Reid, in his fight for the nomination, is not making any fight on McNeal personally but on his candidacy for a third term, against which there is a straight, unbroken precedent....

 

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October 29, 1908, Osborne Farmer (ID 5160)

The Osborne News will this week come out strongly Democratic. For the first time in five years, Osborne will have a newspaper to hammer away at the big Republican majority here....J. L. Travers will, we understand, be in charge and do the heavy editorial writing, assisted by R. H. Towne. E. H. McFadden will be retained as local editor and look after the office....

 

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January 7, 1909, Osborne Farmer (ID 5169)

The First Home of the 'Farmer'

By Howard Ruede

In 1877, when I first became acquainted with F. H. Barnhart, who established the Farmer in 1874, the printing office was located in a 14x24 story and a half brown painted building on the north side of Penn Street standing on the present site of the E. L. Olds grocery. The building had previously been occupied as a drug store by James H. Bowers...,who was succeeded by Charley Storms. The latter moved his stock across the street and sold out to C. W. Baldwin. The law office of Napier & Bear -- H. H. Napier and Col. W. L. Bear -- was domiciled there for a short time, but at the time of which I write the building was owned by Wils Nonamaker..., who was working at his trade as a stone mason and plasterer in company with his brother Billy and J. H. Humphrey.

Barnhart had a very small outfit, which included about 150 pounds of long primer, 50 of brevier and the same of minion, all too badly worn for use except in an office away out in the short-grass country. His assortment of display type for advertisements was also very limited, and as for job type -- well, he didn't have much use for that and had only half a dozen small fonts. An occasional horse bill or a still more infrequent public sale bill put the office into sore straits for both type and blank paper, as there was never more paper on hand than two or three quires at a time. Work in that line was so seldom called for that a very small stock sufficed. One time there was a call for 500 circulars of the smallest size ordinarily used, and as there was not enough white paper on hand Barnhart sent me out to the different stores to get light manila wrapping paper on which to print the dodgers.

At the time the Congregationals made a move toward building their first church here..., they decided to send out a circular letter asking for help, both cash and material, and of course Barnhart had to print the circular. His little font of law italic was to be used for the job, as that was the only type he considered suitable. He had enough type to put up half of the circular, and when he got that far he was a bit puzzled to know how to complete his task, but finally concluded to print the first half, then distribute the type and go through the motions again for the other half. Of course, that made the job a losing proposition financially, but he overcame that difficulty very easily by making a donation of the whole thing for the good of the cause. That was by no means the last donation he made either, before the church was finished.

The Farmer was an eight-page paper, five columns to the page, half patent; that is, four pages were printed in Kansas City and the other four here. The bundle of papers arrived on the tri-weekly mail hack from Russell Tuesday evening, unless the Saline or Paradise was unfordable. There were no bridges across streams. Occasionally the parcel failed to reach Russell at the proper time, and then we didn't get it till Thursday, which made us work after supper so the people along the Russell mail route -- at Bristow and Grand Center -- might have the Farmer on the regular day, Friday, when the hack made its third trip for the week to the railroad.

The edition was 14 quires, about 350 copies, and was printed on an old Washington hand press. When I saw Barnhart pull the lever it looked very easy, and so it was -- after a green hand had mastered the trick of pulling with a straight arm; but the first time I put in a morning pulling that lever my arm became so lame that I could scarcely lift a fork to my mouth when I sat down for dinner. The second week I had the trick, and after that it was a mere bagatelle to run off the paper. The forms were inked by means of a hand roller, but as

Barnhart did practically all the work of the office by himself, when press day came he had to scout round town to find a roller boy, and he took the first one he could find -- sometimes Ben Bliss, sometimes "Barber John," a burly black man, or any other who was willing to sell his time for a quarter.

The list of subscribers was kept in an old blank book, but after several weeks' practice the mailing clerk had little use for the written list, memory being sufficient unless several new subscribers had been added during the preceding week, which was not often the case. The subscription price was $2 a year, and when any subscriber wished to send a copy regularly to a friend in the East he got the second copy for $1. It would surprise you to know how many of these additional copies were mailed every week. People were anxious for their friends to know all about the county, and practically every resident was an immigration agent.

The Farmer had several very regular correspondents. Twin Creek was represented by A. W. Gowan, who afterwards moved to Oregon; the Covert Creek country by L. A. Weeks; Potterville by W. G. Short; Bristow by Jeanie Hale. Sometimes there was a batch of items from Bethany, New Arcadia or Free Will, but these points were not often in evidence, as it was hard then as now to get anybody to write regularly.

For the size of the town and the population of the county, the advertising patronage and the subscription list were uncommonly good. Barnhart was of a cheerful and rather sanguine nature, nothing seemed to fret him, and it was well it was so, for even in those early years of the Farmer delinquent subscribers were not lacking, and in many cases those who were anywhere near regular in paying up were frequently obliged to pay in trade -- wheat, wood and similar articles of barter. Settling day generally came in the fall, after the threshing was done, and more than once I have known Barnhart to send a load of wheat to Russell, the nearest market, to be turned into cash with which to pay the house from which he got his patent inside. The man who freighted the stuff to the railroad was invariably a subscriber, who paid for his paper in work.. Wheat was worth ten cents a bushel less here than in Russell, as that was the cost of hauling. Several times while I worked for Barnhart I took my pay in wheat at Osborne prices, for I had to have flour. After I had collected my pay in this way, I would look up a neighbor who was willing to haul the stuff to Kill Creek, seldom being asked to pay for getting it to my place; then watch for somebody going to Bush's mill at Bull City (now Alton), where it was turned into flour, the miller taking one-sixth for his work. Neighbors helped each other more then than now, for the reason that there were so few who had a team. Of course, when they needed help it was freely given.

One day, in the spring of 1878 I think it was, when I reached the office door I found it locked and the other boy, Ham Rowen (he is A. L. Rowen now...) was waiting to get in. Presently, Barnhart hove in sight and told us we would have a holiday. We didn't care particularly to lay off, but there was no other way, as Barnhart had the key. Ben Bliss was living above the office, and that morning a son and heir had come to him, which was the reason we were not allowed to work. That was the only time, I'll warrant, that the nearest business house was closed all day in honor of Ed Bliss' birthday.

Everybody in town used to come to the office to read the papers from the east, always two and sometimes three days old, but it was the latest news available. More than once, during the time court was in session, did Judge Joel Holt drop in to scan the columns of the Topeka Commonwealth, the official state paper, which contained the syllabi of the supreme court. Frequently, if Barnhart was in a hurry to go home, he'd stuff his favorite paper into his pocket, leaving the free reading room without anything for its patrons. The Commonwealth, the Atchison Champion , and the St. Joe Herald were the favorites with the bulk of the Osborne people.

It required a man with lots of grit, perseverance, stick-to-it-iveness, or whatever else you choose to call it, to run a paper under adverse conditions such as prevailed when the Farmer was launched and for several years afterwards, but Barnhart reaped his reward and before he emigrated to Oregon he had the satisfaction of knowing that his Farmer was not only called, but was, the leading paper of northwest Kansas.

 

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February 4, 1909, Osborne Farmer (ID 5175)

The Sixth District lost two veteran newspaper men last week in the deaths of James Jones of the Lucas Sentinel, and Wm. D. Greason of the Atwood Square Deal. Both had spent a quarter of a century or more in the editorial harness of this district. Mr. Jones was for many years on the Russell Record, and Mr. Greason founded the Atwood Citizen many years ago.

 

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March 25, 1909, Osborne Farmer (ID 5190)

Columbus Borin of the Oberlin Eye has bought the LaHarpe Journal....LaHarpe is in Allen County. Years ago, Mr. Borin was an Osborne citizen, at that time being editor of the Truthteller, a paper which ceased to exist after Mr. Borin left town.

That Code of Ethics -- At the recent annual meeting of the Kansas editors at Topeka, a committee was appointed to develop a plan to instill a code of ethics into the profession. This is very important. It is something that is needed badly. We, ourselves, way out here, situated as we are at the mercy of the Central Branch, have felt the necessity of such a thing. We suppose that when this code of ethics gets to working in good shape that Deacon Chambers of the Stockton Record would perish on the scaffold before he would call us a liar. At the present time, he runs without restraint. Then again, with this code of ethics in vogue, the editorial brethren at Downs would swallow that loud horse laugh they give vent to every time we produce figures to show that Osborne is a better town than Downs. Ethics would so mellow the disposition of the editor of the Hoxie Sentinel that he would refrain from publishing to the world that we have developed a grouch that is a thing of joy and beauty forever. The Smith County Pioneer man could not retain his good standing unless he cut out all reference to the "prospect hole" over here, a thing he insists on doing to ruffle our feelings. All these and many more things would come to pass if the newspaper fraternity of Kansas had a simon pure, eight ply, blown-in-the-bottle code of ethics. The code might have to be wrapped in asbestos and stored in a cyclone cellar, but it would do the business. Let us have it by all means.

 

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June 10, 1909, Osborne Farmer (ID 5205)

Osborne County Newspaper History. A Symposium -- Part One

By Howard H. Ruede

Even before Osborne County was organized and the county seat dispute settled, the people had so-called newspapers, but they were merely advertising sheets booming the rivals for county seat honors. According to the Minute Book of the Pennsylvania Colony -- who naturally stood by their town, Osborne, for the county seat -- at a meeting of the Town Company held Feb. 17, 1872, "On motion of H. D. Markley a committee of three was appointed to collect articles and arrange them for publishing a paper." This paper was one of the county seat boom sheets. At the same meeting of the company it was decided to offer one full share in the company to any editor who would publish a paper within one month in Osborne city. Needless to say, the company never had the pleasure of disposing of that share in the manner proposed. Arlington, as Calvin Reasoner called his "paper city" three miles west of Osborne, was also an aspirant for the honor of being the county seat, and a sheet called the Express was published in its interests. The Osborne paper was called The Times. Both were printed at Concordia, there being neither type nor press in Osborne County until 1873, when the journalistic history of the county began. Since then more than a dozen weeklies, two dailies and one monthly have been established, flourished a while, and then most of them passed out of existence; others had their names changed when the paper changed editors. Whether the rule of survival of the fittest applied in this matter is left to the readers of newspapers to decide. At present there are published in the county seven weeklies -- two at Osborne, two at Downs, and one each at Alton, Portis and Natoma. Politically the county is Republican, so it is not a surprising thing that there should be but one newspaper of any other faith published here -- the Osborne County News, Democratic since it passed from McFadden & Yost in 1908 to J. L. Travers.

Osborne Weekly Times -- The Times, Republican in politics, was started in Osborne city in January 1873, and was owned by the Osborne Town Company. F. E. Jerome & Co. were editors and publishers. About July 1 of same year, Calvin Reasoner became editor and F. E. Jerome local editor. This arrangement continued until about Dec. 1 following, when Jerome again became sole editor. About April 1, 1874, Wm. Rader purchased the establishment, Jerome remaining as editor. A few weeks later, John A. Boring became sole proprietor and editor. July 1, 1874, James H. Barnes purchased a half interest and became co-editor. The paper finally suspended in November 1874. The above is from "Newspapers of Osborne County" by F. H. Barnhart, in Report of Kansas State Agricultural Society for 1877-78....

Osborne County Farmer -- Printed at the county seat, Osborne. The first issue appeared Jan. 8, 1875. F. H. Barnhart was editor and sole owner until 1884, when a half interest was purchased by S. E. Ruede. Barnhart started in business with the press and material of the defunct Osborne Weekly Times, which he purchased. The first five years of the Farmer's life were years of incessant struggle for existence, but Barnhart was plucky and won out. At the Centennial Exposition in 1876 at Philadelphia, the paper -- fresh every week -- was on file in the Kansas-Colorado building reading room along with the Smith County Pioneer, Cawker Record, Beloit Gazette, Russell Record, Rooks County Record, and other early day Kansas papers. Since 1884, when Barnhart sold a half interest in the business, there have been a dozen changes in proprietorship, but the paper has never missed its weekly issue. Of all the men who have ever had an interest in the plant as proprietor or partner, C. W. Landis led, his term lasting 15 years -- from 1886 till December, 1901, when he finally quit the business. It may also be mentioned that Mr. Landis was directly interested in the newspaper business longer than any other man who has had any connection with it since Osborne County was organized.

The various changes in ownership may be briefly stated thus: In 1884 Barnhart sold a half interest to Syd Ruede; the following year he retired from the firm, but in 1886 bought back his half interest, retaining it until 1887, when he disposed of it to C. W. Landis and C. W. Crampton. The firm of Ruede, Crampton & Landis subsisted until 1888, when Ruede retired; two years later, Col. W. S. Tilton bought Crampton's share, and during the following six years the paper was conducted by Tilton & Landis. Then Tilton sold his part of the business to his partner, who was sole editor and proprietor until 1901. In the spring of that year, he leased the plant to B. P. Walker and T. E. Skinner, who ran the business eight months, Mr. Landis selling the plant in December to Chas. Hillebrandt and P. H. McKechnie. In May, 1902, McKechnie dropped out and Hillebrandt ran the business alone till August, 1904, when the present proprietor, B. P. Walker, began his task of making the paper better than it ever was.

Once, in July, 1878, the Farmer came about as near missing an issue as it ever did without actually failing to appear during the week for which it was dated. City subscribers received their papers late Saturday evening and country subscribers on the Monday following. The Saline was on a rampage that week and the Russell hack, which every week brought us the bundle of "ready print," was unable to cross the swollen stream until Saturday. Barnhart was on the verge of despair when Friday night came and no paper had arrived, and almost gave up the idea of getting out the Farmer that week. When on Saturday evening about 5 o'clock the hack drove in with the paper on board, he felt a little better, though he supposed he would have to defer the actual printing till Monday. Ham Rowen and I were working in the office at the time and we volunteered to get out the edition of 600 copies before morning, if the boss was willing. We did it, too, working by the dim light of a single coal oil lamp set on one corner of the ink stone back of the press, and pulling 1,200 impressions on the old Washington hand press was no fool job, either. About 11 o'clock Barnhart came into the office to see how we were getting along and to invite us to his house to lunch. "A little lunch," he called it, but there was enough for a dozen, prepared by Mrs. Barnhart and her assistant, Miss Mary Greig, and you may be sure that when we went back to work it was with sincere regret that we could not "surround+? more of the good things set before us. Ham talked about that lunch for months afterwards.

The Truth Teller -- Columbus Borin, now editor of the LaHarpe (Kan.) Journal, sends the following: "I established The Truth Teller in Osborne in the fall of 1879 and ran it until the late winter of 1881. I believe there is a complete set of the paper in possession of the State Historical Society at Topeka. I know there was some years ago, for I looked over the paper, to my great amusement, in the rooms of the society in 1893. I was 21 in March before starting that paper, but had owned and run two papers -- the Red Cloud Chief and the Riverton Reporter, both in Nebraska -- before going to Osborne. I was only a kid in those days, and the name and the 'filling' show it, but I had a good time there and the paper was not without merit."

Osborne County News -- Established in Osborne in 1883 by C. C. Topliff as a Democratic paper, and continued to carry the banner of that party for years, naturally gravitating to Populism in the '90's. After its transfer to the News Publishing Company in 1904, it flew the Republican flag until Nov. 1, 1908, when it again became Democratic under J. L. Travers. The changes in proprietors are: In 1885 W. D. Gerard became owner and ran the paper six years. S. E. Ruede bought the plant in 1891 and held it until 1894, when a political syndicate became owners and J. E. Eckman publisher. The latter became owner of a half interest in 1901, and Hoy Smith of the other half. In 1903 Eckman bought his partner's share and employed E. L. Botkin, and later Roy Botkin, as local editor. This arrangement continued until the spring of 1904, when the News Publishing Company -- composed of J. A. Morton, S. P. Crampton, W. G. Tindal, W.

W. Miller, W. W. Parsons, Warren Zimmerman, J. R. Loomis, M. F. Rothwell, E. P. Sample and O. M. Madison -- bought the paper, and Warren Zimmerman, W. W. Miller and E. H. McFadden edited it in succession. In 1905 E. H. McFadden and J. A. Foster bought out the company, and in 1908 Bartley Yost succeeded Foster. Yost soon disposed of his interest, not being a newspaper man, and in November of the same year J. L. Travers became publisher and editor, with Mrs. Mary Travers as assistant.

 

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June 17, 1909, Osborne Farmer (ID 5208)

Osborne County Newspaper History. A Symposium -- Part Two.

By Howard H. Ruede

Osborne County Journal -- John G. Eckman of McMinnville, Oregon, who knows more of the history of this paper than any other man living writes: The Journal was established in 1885 by Chas. F. and Ed Knowlton of Chicago, Ill. Their office was in the basement of the Walrond, Mitchell & Heren building on Penn Street, Osborne. In 1887 it was purchased by F. H. Barnhart and removed to the upper story of the new Tindal block. In the fall of that year, one morning about 2 o'clock, fire broke out in the store of Cooper & VanScyoc, adjoining on the west, and both buildings were destroyed, with most of their contents. Many Osbornites will no doubt remember, as I do distinctly, the stand-from-under feeling they had when the big power press on which the paper was printed fell into the basement when the upper floor burned away. Barnhart had bought the press only a short time before at a cost of nearly $2,000 and had not yet had it insured. His office was a total loss. Early in the following year he established an entire new plant in the upper story of the Marshall block at the corner of Penn and Arch streets. Soon after, I became his partner and remained with him till October, 1888, when I quit the paper and moved to Atchison. Barnhart continued the publication until December, 1889, when he sold out to Col. W. S. Tilton of WaKeeney, who got possession on the last day of the year. That very night, the plant and the building were destroyed by fire, all that was saved being the subscription and account books. Col. Tilton did not attempt to resuscitate the Journal, but bought an interest in the Farmer, being unwilling to leave Osborne.

Daily Osborne County Farmer -- Published in Osborne, Sept. 18, 19 and 20, 1878, by F. H. Barnhart. It was a six column folio, printed on an old fashioned hand press. In his salutatory, Barnhart said: "Our daily is by no means an experiment. It has been started with a view to leading a brilliant career for the brief space of three days, then gently crawling up the golden stair. We are confident, at least, that there will be no difficulty about the stair business." Those three days were the dates of the annual fair of the Osborne County Fair Association....Some 200 copies of the paper were printed each day, most of them being sold for a nickel apiece, and Barnhart was no loser on the venture.

Osborne Daily News -- Published in 1881 by G. B. Fickard in the building now occupied by Mrs. J. F. Irey's millinery store....But let "Doc," as the publisher was familiarly called, tell the story: "The Daily News was of equal dimensions with the New York Herald, Philadelphia Ledger and a host of others at their respective inception -- four pages, printed on a Washington hand press. A noteworthy fact in connection with the Daily News is that not a solitary person in the little city (population 580 odd by local census that spring) refused to subscribe for it; and only one business man of all who were approached...declined to advertise in it....The first issue of the paper was printed June 10, 1881, and the last issue on Aug. 13 of the same year. A bound volume of all the issues may be found in the rooms of the Kansas State Historical Society at Topeka." The press and type used on the Daily News had been previously used by Columbus Borin while he published the Truth Teller.

Western Farmer -- A monthly stock journal, 16 pages, four columns to the page, published in Osborne by Charles Hillebrandt, from October, 1902, till May, 1904, twenty numbers completing the series. The paper was then sold to parties outside the state.

Alton Empire -- this sheet was not always known as the Empire. The Bull's City Post, the first newspaper printed in the western part of the county, made its appearance Jan. 24, 1880, edited and owned by G. C. Horning & Co. After 18 months had passed, Geo. E. Dougherty became its owner and A. J. Runyon editor, and the name was changed to the Osborne County Key. Under this title it remained about a year, when F. J. Hulaniski bought the outfit. Let him tell the story: "I went to Bull's City in January, 1883, and bought the Key from a preacher by the name of Runyon, who, with his two sons, was running the paper, and upon purchasing it I changed the name to the Western Empire. I edited the Empire about four years and sold it to a lawyer whose name I do not now recall, in the summer of 1886. When I took the Key there were a few cases of old bourgeois worn down to the first nick. The office was in a room about 20 feet square, with many chinks and crannies through which the snow drifted. The press was an old-fashioned Army, which sat upon a dry goods box, and could be conveniently carried under the arm. There was, I remember, a rubber blanket on the tympan, and when thrown back this reposed a few inches from a large heating stove and was therefore blistered in a thousand places. The old preacher knew about as much relative to the printing trade as he did about the solution of the great problems of immortality; and had shaved off these blisters on the rubber blanket with a razor, so you can imagine the beautiful impression which was obtained upon the old bourgeois. There was a whole page, on an average, of final proof notices, set in "six point," or, as we called it in those days, "nonpareil;" but as to whether it was John Smith or Tom Jones who was proving up on his claim no one would ever be able to testify from the printed notices thereof."

In the fall of 1886, Maynard & Grubb bought the plant, and a year later C. C. Dail became owner but did not long enjoy its possession, disposing of the office to Moore & Goddard. The following year Goddard's interest was bought by Will Moore, son of Goddard's partner, Israel Moore, and the firm name was changed to Moore & Son. Mr. Moore wrote me that it is his belief Dail never had an interest of any kind in the paper, but as the names and dates here mentioned are taken from copies of the paper now in the hands of people at Alton, it may be assumed they are correct. Previous to H. M. Fletcher's time -- 1890 to 1893 -- no files of the paper were preserved in the office. Moore & Son were succeeded in 1890 by H. M. Fletcher, who changed the name from Western Empire to Alton Empire, and in 1893 sold out to Brown & Goddard. Two years gave this firm all the newspaper experience they desired, and they turned the business over to F. W. Arnold. He conducted it two years and was succeeded by John Ford, who was owner and editor longer than any other party ever interested in the Empire, doing all the work alone for some nine years. In 1906 J. J. Parker bought him out, and three years later the present publisher, O. A. Schoonover, took charge....

 

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June 24, 1909, Osborne Farmer (ID 5210)

Osborne County Newspaper History. A Symposium -- Part Three.

By Howard H. Ruede

(Note: Based on the detailed chronology in these Annals of Newspapering in Downs, some of Ruede's information about Downs newspapers is inaccurate. This is not necessarily his fault, because some of the details given to him were wrong. Where these annals show probable errors, the material was left out. In other places, the correct dates are given in parentheses.)

Downs Times -- ...The Times was started in March 1880 (actually February 19, 1880) by Tom Nicklin, and to say the least he must have been a genuine optimist so far as the prospect of continuing in business was concerned, as there was a small population on the townsite, though the town had the backing of the Central Branch management, under whose supervision the location had been made. It took a man with great faith in the country to start a paper in 1880, after a winter which was one of the driest in the history of the county -- no snow or rain sufficient to even lay the dust having fallen between October 1879 and May of the following year. It was really worse than the famous summer of 1890, when the hot winds destroyed the crops, because in 1880 the people had absolutely nothing to fall back on. The country was too new. Since Nicklin's time the paper has changed hands about as frequently as any other sheet in the county. Nicklin's successors were Dougherty & David in 1881, Ralph Norwood in 1887, E. D. Craft & Son in 1888, H. M. Fletcher in 1891, W. S. Tilton in 1896....The plant fell into the possession of J. H. Smith in 1898, Weld & Smith (this was Walt Smith, son of J. H.) in 1903, and the present proprietor, J. J. Parker, took charge in 1909.

Regarding the early history of the Times, Quincy R. Craft, who is now in the government forestry service in Ogden, Utah, but in the latter 1880's helped "make the paper," contributes the following...:

"The Times was founded in January (actually February) 1880 by Tom G. Nicklin, who afterwards published a paper at Whatcom, Wash., and then moved to Nevada, where he is publishing two papers....Geo. E. Dougherty bought the paper about 1881 -- I believe the firm was Dougherty & David at the start -- and published it, part of the time as a semi-weekly....He had company in the Saturday Evening

Lamp by Count F. J. Hulaniski, now of Colorado, and the Downs Chief, by W. H. Whitmore. His successor, Ralph W. Norwood, published the paper from November 1887 to March 1888, when E. D. Craft bought the plant, disposing of it in 1891 to H. M. Fletcher, who consolidated the Times and the Chief. My father guided the Times through the years of drouth and of adversity for a paper whose politics were Republican. L. L. Perrine, now a lawyer in Chicago, assisted as political editorial writer; the latter was foreman in the office at the same time and was a valued assistant. Fletcher put in a power press and water motor and did more to build Downs by giving the town a representative newspaper than he has been given credit for. During the Craft regime, M. H. Hoyt moved the Webster Eagle to Stockton and, I believe, to Woodston, then to Downs, where he turned it over to Ben T. Baker, who published the Downs Globe....W. S. Tilton, who succeeded Fletcher in 1896, lent a dignity to the profession and helped establish the impression that a newspaper is a business, not a charitable institution. E. P. Knotts, who succeeded him, had barely dropped into the editorial chair when he sold to J. H. Smith. The subsequent transfers to R. T. Weld and Weld & Smith and J. J. Parker are matters of recent history."

Downs Daily Times -- Printed during the three days of the annual celebration in July 1890 by E. D. Craft & Son. The Times establishment had not then reached the dignity of owning a power press, and as the paper had a daily circulation of a thousand copies the "forms" for one side were brought to Osborne and printed on the Farmer's power press. Two pages of the paper contained exactly the same matter on all three days. The other two pages, containing the local happenings of the day for which the paper was dated, were pulled off on the hand press at home. In the Osborne Farmer of July 24, 1890, it was stated that "Tom Skinner and Lee Cowger are in Downs this week helping the Times get out its daily edition." T+?was a rather risky thing to haul the "forms+? from Downs to Osborne on a wagon and take them back, but it was done without accident.

Downs News -- First issued in January 1903. F. W. Gardner, a minister of the Congregational Church, was the founder. He kept it about seven months (actually until November 1903), publishing a six column folio with patent inside. He had no press except an old Jones Gordon 10x15 jobber, on which he printed the paper, "making up" his forms a half page at a time -- no printer would undertake such a thing -- and turning. Gardner sold out to W. B. Gaumer of Phillipsburg, who installed a Campbell press, the same that is now in use, and bought a complete new outfit of type and other material. Some time in 1904 (April) he sold the plant to C. W. Norton....Norton traded in a relinquishment on a piece of land he had homesteaded in Oklahoma as part payment on the plant. He ran the paper about a year (actually until March 1905), and then Gaumer discovered that his title to the Oklahoma land was worthless, owing to the fact that Norton had never fulfilled the requirements of the law in regard to it and had finally abandoned it. Gaumer took the paper back and the same week sold it to W. H. Ransom of Phillipsburg and C. E. Mann of Gering, Neb., who took charge April 1, 1905. (Their first issue was dated April 6, 1905.) They found the paper badly run down, with a circulation of less than 500, and at once began to build up the circulation....

 

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July 1, 1909, Osborne Farmer (ID 5212)

Osborne County Newspaper History. A Symposium -- Part Four.

By Howard H. Ruede

Downs Globe -- (incomplete)

Downs Chief -- No disputing dates in this instance, as Walt Whitmore, now of Purcell, Okla., the founder writes: "I established the Chief in the town of Downs Dec. 1, 1885. Sold the plant in December 1891 to H. M. Fletcher, who consolidated it with the Downs Times."

Saturday Evening Lamp -- Published at Downs in the early 1880's by F. J. Hulaniski. Regarding it, "the count," as Hulaniski was called, writes: "It had a brief experience of about one year (only a few weeks are in file) and then its feeble flame flickered out for want of oil."

Downs World -- John I. Scott, C. H. Wolters and Allen DeLay issued a paper bearing this name for a few months in the latter 1880's. (The files of the World show that it wasn't established until late 1892 and lasted until January 10, 1895.) A member of the firm to whom I applied for dates, etc., said: "That is a part of my life I would prefer to have forgotten."...

Natoma Courier -- Established in November 1901 by F. W. Burlin and H. W. Foltz. In September of the following year Furlin withdrew and the paper was continued by Foltz....After a short time the plant came under the control of F. E. Pattee, who changed the name to Natoma Republican, which was retained by two of his successors, A. J. Padgett and Nye & Burnett. Then Jacob Blagrave became owner of the type and press, and the sheet was known as the Natoma News until its suspension in 1907. The paper was revived in 1908 by Fred Hillman under the name of Natoma Journal. Hillman ran it a few months and then emigrated to Oklahoma, taking the printing outfit with him.

Portis Patriot -- this paper was started in 1881 by H. I. Bryant, and he edited only two issues. It then became the property of the citizens of Portis, who published it until December, when I. S. Drummond became editor and proprietor. In September 1882, M. H. Hoyt became a member of the firm of Drummond & Hoyt, and under this management the Patriot continued until April 1883, when Drummond dropped out. Hoyt stayed by it until the fore part of 1887, at which time M. G. Woodruff took charge. He was succeeded by Franz Drummond, who edited the paper until it became the property of the State Bank of Portis, when E. R. Powell was employed to do the editorial work. Powell changed the name to the Whisperer, under which name it went until August 1890, when its voice was stilled forever. (It was sold to the Downs Times and became a part of that paper.)

Portis Globe -- In June 1890, M. H. Hoyt, who had been publishing a paper at Downs known as the Globe, decided he preferred another place to the railroad junction and moved his plant to Portis. His paper continued to bear the same name, and he was not very successful in making it go better than at Downs, for in August of the same year the Globe passed off the stage.

Portis Independent -- In 1904 Wm. Woolman moved his plant from Glen Elder to Portis and established the Independent. He ran it until March 1909 and turned it over to his son, Henry Woolman, the present owner and editor.

Natoma Independent -- In February 1909, R. H. Gamber, who had been publishing a paper at Waldo, Russell County, moved his plant to Natoma and started the Independent....

The Farmers Aid -- Published at Covert in 1890 from May to October and was then discontinued because, as a correspondent of the Osborne Farmer said, the Alliance men did not give it sufficient support....The Osborne Farmer of May 29, 1890...: "The long expected Covert paper put in an appearance last week. It is called the Farmers Aid and will be published strictly in the interests of the Farmers Alliance. Beeman Bros. are publishers, while C. L. Greene, the village blacksmith, grinds out the literary productions."...

(The Downs Headlight was not mentioned in these articles.)

 

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December 16, 1909, Osborne Farmer (ID 5238)

The Worries of an Editor, by one of the most worried:

Every man thinks he has more trouble than the fellow in some other business. He wanders about with groans on his lips and envies the other fellow whose paths stretch away through Elysian fields of happiness....

An editor has more troubles and worry than any other man under the sun. He can issue a thousand papers and every one of them have something nice to say about a certain fellow and get no thanks for it. But in a thoughtless moment he will say something that goes against the grain and the irate subscriber will come in with blood in his eye, stop his paper and threaten to put the editor out of business.

If he is "for" a certain man, they say he has been subsidized, and if he is against another one they insist that he is "sore." He is a grafter, and object of charity, a rabbit or a fool. The only person in all the wide world he can count on his side is the Lord.

In will walk a man who has taken the paper for five years without paying a cent. He asks how much he owes and when told he roars like a Bengal tiger. "I had no idea it was that much. Why in the devil didn't you send me a statement? I don't want my bills to run that way. I don't think I owe it, but I will pay it. You stop that paper and I will get even with you in some way."

Then the editor turns around to wait on the subscriber to whom he had sent a statement of his subscription account. "Well, I got your statement. You must think I am no good. Afraid you wouldn't get your money, was you? Well, I will pay it and don't you ever send me your dirty paper again. I won't allow any of my family to read it. I'll live to see the day I can get even with you."

We bow our head on the desk and hot tears fall on the copy of our last editorial, which is entitled, "The World Is Growing Better."

Then there is the person who comes in with a two-column obituary of a departed relative. This person never took the paper and never paid the editor a cent in his life. The departed one took the paper for ten years and never paid a cent and then it was returned to the office marked "refused."

"And here is a poem written by my wife about Jason. You can print that too. Please send me about a dozen extra copies of the paper. You know I don't take your paper. I take more papers now than I can read." Then he produces a card of thanks longer than one of Bryan's free silver speeches. "Print that too. It is our duty to pay our respects to the departed. I hitched up and went through the cold to poor Jason's funeral. All you have to do is to print these nice articles and send a dozen papers. I know Jason would appreciate it were he alive." So that is why editors are never fooled by a touching obituary.

"There is nothing in your blankety-blank paper," said a smart fellow in a crowd one day. But the worm turned. "No, possibly not for you," replied the editor, "but there is for me." It was a silly and irrelevant remark, but it lifted several hundredweight from a crushed and struggling soul.

It is such a round of joy. In comes the man who knows a fine "joke" on a neighbor. The editor prints the joke and the next week, if he escapes having his block knocked off, he at least loses a subscriber.

Then there is the fellow who wants to reform the world. He thinks it the proper thing to give somebody a "shot" every week. His neighbor forgot to turn off his hydrant in the summer time and refuses to shovel snow in the winter. He wants a friend corrected on his table manners or some lady told that the fellow she is going to marry is a dub.

The editor who starts out to please everybody is of few days and full of grief. He comes down the main street to his office in the morning, but when the evening shades fall he is mighty glad to sneak up some lonely alley to his humble roost. Reviled and spat upon, he slinks away like a galley slave scourged to his dungeon.

I sat in my chair and closed my eyes and prayed for that land Over Yonder where the surges cease to roll. An unaccountable calmness came over my nerves and the world appeared to grow brighter and people actually smiled upon me.

In walked a man to pay his subscription. "My dear editor," he exclaimed on being told how much it was. "You are certainly mistaken. I know I owe you twice that much. Take it anyway. Your paper is worth three times what you charge for it. It is the best paper I know of in the world. My family couldn't get along without it. The children cry for it and we always believe EVERY word we see in it. You are so fair and honest and so charitable. That job of work you did for me was perfect. Here, smoke a ten cent cigar on it. Any time I can do you a favor, let me know. I will send you in a big turkey for your Christmas dinner. The community couldn't get along without you. Goodbye, my honest friend."

There was a crash and a gruff voice shouted. "Hell again." I awoke. The foreman had dropped a page of type of the Conference Minutes on the floor, and the work had to all be done over again.

 

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February 0, 1910, Osborne Farmer (ID 5247)

A dissertation on a meeting of the annual state editorial association of Kansas will not be very interesting reading to the 900,000 readers of the Farmer in Osborne County, but it was very interesting to me.

It was the first editorial meeting I had ever attended, although I have been in the newspaper business in Kansas, in one capacity or other, all my life....My friend, Dodd Gaston, says my early education was obtained by mixing with head brakemen and switchmen....But Gaston showed up at Wichita with a swell tailor-made suit of clothes, a gorgeous stick pin and cane, while I was content with a suit secured at Osborne for running an advertisement for a couple of weeks.

The big attraction at the meeting was Medill McCormick of the Chicago Tribune. His speech was a sad and dreary waste. In the first place, Medill had the most wonderful bunch of red whiskers ever born in captivity....McCormick has been a wonderful electric current in the world of journalism in America. He is a great man....But I am simply a zealous soldier in that great band of free-born American soldiers who will not stand for red whiskers.

Wichita is a marvel. I was raised within 36 miles of this peerless princess of the plains. I have seen it in its boom days....I saw it when the boom collapsed....But it has arisen from the ashes and stands today the most metropolitan little city in all the broad expanse from the Atlantic to the Pacific....

The editorial meeting in itself was large and the enthusiasm great. It is impossible for me to make mention of the many splendid papers I heard and read and the thousand and one things of interest to a newspaper man.

Following are a few of the officers and delegates elected: H. C. Stitcher, Belleville, president; W. Y. Morgan, Hutchinson, vice-president; J. E. Junkin, Sterling, corresponding secretary; W. F. Blackburn, Anthony, secretary; J. Bryon Cain, treasurer; national delegates, two from each of the eight congressional districts: First, H. C. Stevens, Ewing Herbert; Second, W. D. Greason, J. W. Sowers; Third, E. P. Guere, Herbert Cavaness; Fourth, George E. Morgan, W. C. Austin; Fifth, C. M. Harger, Gomer Davies; Sixth, B. P. Walker, W. C. Palmer; Seventh, to be selected by executive members; Eighth, J. Bryon Cain and J. C. Dick.

There were all sorts of contests for newspapers, such as best printed, the best looking, etc. I didn't enter the Farmer in any of them, although I may be pardoned for saying that, had I done so, the Farmer would not have been disgraced in the least....

Following were the awards: For the neatest letterhead, to the Anthony Republican; for the neatest appearing paper, Junction City Union; for the best display advertising columns, Junction City Union; for best single display advertisement, Larned Chronoscope; for neatest ready print paper, Sterling Journal; for best illustrated edition, Southern Kansas Tribune; for the best general makeup, Junction City Union. The prize for the best illustrated edition went to Editor Peterson of the Cimarron Jacksonian.

One of the famous places of interest to the real newspaper men who watch the trend of things in Kansas was the Beacon office, where lives and breathes the great artist, Wertz.

Chas. Blakesley of the Kansas City Star...stated positively that there was no such person as Wertz and that Henry J. Allen drew the pictures himself. Mr. Allen proved an alibi by producing Wertz, a tall, broad-shouldered and blonde blacksmith. Mr. Wertz is the most famous man in Kansas....

Every time I stay away for a week and pick up the Farmer in some foreign port, I am tempted to make my stay permanent. It looks better, reads better, and undoubtedly is better than when I am there. But every time I get away and rub up against the upholstered side of the world, the more I long for the good old healthy home of Osborne.... -- B.P.W.

 

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April 28, 1910, Osborne Farmer (ID 5257)

Henry Allen, in explaining artist Wertz's absence from the Wichita Beacon, writes: "Three years ago, Mr. Wertz came to the Beacon with unspoiled confidence in his genius. He was a dry goods clerk when the Beacon discovered his indescribable artistic ability; at that time, he was what might be called an unspoiled artist. Mr. Wertz went to work with great vigor and no work before ever was done like the work that Mr. Wertz did for the Beacon. It had the quality of being different from any artistic effort we had ever seen. It attracted the attention of a great number of the newspaper critics of the state, who were jealous of the Beacon's possession of an artist like Mr. Wertz, and they began to gibe him with a lot of ribald jibes and to make merry with his art. This finally got in on Mr. Wertz's nerves, and from being a virgin artist, unspoiled by any of the conventions of the art schools and free from trouble of every kind, he began to worry and to fear that he was not as good an artist as he ought to be. This worry so preyed upon his artistic temperament that his art became flabby, lifeless and more like the art of the period. The Beacon decided, therefore, to send Mr. Wertz away for rest and a course of treatment in an art school. So Mr. Wertz is now in a Kansas City school of art and will be back in a few weeks. Unless the art school spoils him, he will take his old place in the Beacon art foundry. If the teaching unfits him for real work at his forge, we will have him start an art school like Albert T. Reid has."

 

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June 30, 1910, Osborne Farmer (ID 5271)

Webb McNall is dead -- Webb McNall, who died at his home in Gaylord last Friday, was well known to many Osborne people. Webb was a great character. Possessed of practically no education, he was able to hold his own in debate with the strongest men of the state. He went to Smith County in 1871 and the advance in the price of land made him wealthy. He was a companionable and genial fellow and thousands of people over this part of Kansas will regret to hear that he is no more.

"Old Fluke" always played an important part in every campaign in which McNall was interested in recent years. Old Fluke was a horse owned by McNall. It seemed that McNall was a deputy sheriff in Smith County in the early days and one time he put in an expense account for the service of subpoenas that looked out of proportion to the time in which the service could be performed. In order to do the work, it appeared that he had to ride Old Fluke about a thousand miles a day.

And so, McNall with his trusty steed became about as famous as Sheridan's dash to Winchester. So thrilling was his ride that it drove Frank Jarrell to write the following "poem" on the affair:

Listen my children, I'll tell you all, of the wonderful ride of Webb McNall; of his old horse Fluke, with his lightning speed, a horse of wonderful power and breed.

'Twas in Smith County in days of old, that Webb and Fluke made the ride so bold. A case was called in the court out there, and people to facts were needed to swear.

(It matters not now what case was tried, that lost importance compared wit the ride, of Webb and Fluke o'er the prairie bare, in their natural haste as they cleft the air.)

Subpoenas were issued, an awful lot; how many there were I've now forgot; "How," said the judged, as he stroked his chin, "can these writes be served in time to begin?"

Then up spoke Webb in a positive tone: "I'll serve these writes and I'll serve 'em alone; for my trusty Fluke, so true and game, will carry me swift o'er valley and plain."

He took the writs and mounted his steed and started forth with incredible speed. O'er gulch and hill and valley and slough they started forth and old Fluke flew.

They traveled the country round about and woke the farmers with neigh and shout. They scattered subpoenas over the plain; Fluke went so fast that Webb never drew rein.

They finished their job, and did it brown, and fresh as ever struck back to town. Then Webb called out for paper and quill, and squaring himself made out a great bill.

His bill strung out so heavy and long, the court officials thought something was wrong. "Webb," said the judge, as he shed a tear, "now ain't you puttin' it rather dear?"

"Why, no," said Webb, in an injured tone, "you want to remember 'tain't me alone, for there's my Fluke, the speedy old nag. Old Fluke comes in for a share of the swag."

Well, they paid the bill -- an awful sum; 'twas more than 20 horses could well have run, and over the country far and wide, they talked and marveled about the great ride.

How did they do it? God knows, on high. Some say Old Fluke was able to fly, and if he really did fly that night, they all admit 'twas a grand old flight.

And in Smith County, to this day yet, when there comes a day that is dreary and wet, the loafers delight to tell all of the wonderful ride of Webb McNall.

 

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July 28, 1910, Osborne Farmer (ID 5277)

A former citizen of Smith Center is the original "Uncle Ike" in the novel "Shepherd of the Hills." He is Levi Morrill, half brother to the later Governor E. N. Morrill. Levi was publisher of the first newspaper in Smith Center, having purchased the plant of the Pioneer from the parties then owning it at Cedarville and moving it to Smith Center in the summer of 1873. He ran the paper two or three months. Mr. Morrill now is postmaster at Notch, Mo., and is a real character in that part of the Ozarks.

 

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June 0, 1911, Osborne Farmer (ID 5327)

Another editor has gone wrong. Bob Good of the Cawker Ledger will make addresses at a number of chautauquas this summer. Bob is secretary of the Lincoln Park Chautauqua. He admits that he will deliver one address, at Beloit, but when a person makes one he never quits. Bob might as well finish the job at once. Go down and have his picture taken with his face resting in his hand.