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

Weekly Commonwealth

Articles in database from Weekly Commonwealth:    49

Vol. 1, No. 3. Published daily, tri-weekly and wee ...
May 20, 1869, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 891)

Vol. 1, No. 3. Published daily, tri-weekly and weekly by S. S. Prouty and J. S. Davis. Second story of Johnson Block, north of Topeka House.

"Prouty & Davis have sent us the first number of the weekly of their paper, the Commonwealth, and we have no hesitation in saying that it is a credit to the state. It contains 36 long columns of reading matter, and is printed in the most approved style. We believe brother Prouty is acknowledged to be one of the best practical printers in the West...not to say that he does the manual labor himself, but he knows how it should be done...." -- Wyandotte Gazette.

The Record appeared yesterday in its new dress and under the auspices of the new firm, Baker, King & Edwards. It is a handsome paper, neatly printed....The new partners are gentlemen of extended newspaper experience.

We have received the April number of the Kansas Educational Journal, published at the office of the Emporia News, and of which Professors H. B. Norton and L. B. Kellogg are the editors.

The Chase County Banner has been revived by a company of citizens. Judge W. R. Brown is to have charge of the editorial department.


The Leavenworth Commercial replies to a recent art ...
September 2, 1869, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 903)

The Leavenworth Commercial replies to a recent article of ours on the subject of news monopolies, in which it accuses us of dealing too much in generalities, fails to notice a single one of the specific objections which we urged. We stated, in effect, that any arrangement which compels a person desirous of establishing a new paper to pay a bonus or bribe to a rival journal, or an association, before he can obtain the telegraphic news, is simply an outrage. When the Commercial condescends to answer that proposition, we will give attention to its reasoning....We speak of principles now, not of men. For the gentlemen comprising the Association of which we speak, we have the highest regard and especially so for our contemporary with whom this business, so far as it affects our own case, has been amicably and satisfactorily adjusted....

"The Topeka Commonwealth has been admitted to the Missouri Valley Press Association by paying a bonus of $1,500 to the State Record, which looks to an outsider just like so much blackmail. It has a timely article on this class of monopolies, which commends itself to all newspaper publishers not in the ring." -- Burlington Patriot.


The Manhattan Standard pays the following complime ...
December 2, 1869, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 913)

The Manhattan Standard pays the following compliment to our energetic traveling correspondent: "W. R. Spooner, agent to the Topeka Commonwealth, called on us yesterday. Mr. S. is traversing this section of this country in the interests of that stirring daily and weekly paper. He went from here up the Big Blue, and on his return intends to canvass in this city....Our readers who want news of the capital will do well to subscribe for it."


Emporia News. Jacob Stotler has sold a half intere ...
December 16, 1869, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 914)

Emporia News. Jacob Stotler has sold a half interest in the News to W. W. Williams, late of Marshalltown, Iowa, but who has resided in Emporia for several months. This arrangement will take effect on the 1st of January next. The editor thus speaks of his future associate: "Mr. Williams is a graduate of Hillsdale College, Michigan, and for two years before coming here had charge of a seminary at Marshalltown, Iowa. He brings...a good education, sound Republican principles, industry, energy, and a determination not only to improve the paper but to work with all his might for the best interests of the community and country...." The News is the best exclusively weekly paper in the state....The business...is growing so rapidly that another head is found to be necessary....


The Wilson County Courier...is started at Fredonia ...
February 3, 1870, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 922)

The Wilson County Courier...is started at Fredonia, the county seat of Wilson County....We hope Jennings will have success in his new location....

Mr. Boughton, the traveling correspondent of the Lawrence Tribune, writes as follows to that paper about the newspapers of the capital: "Until Mr. Prouty was elected state printer, the newspapers of Topeka did not compare at all favorably with papers published in other portions of the state; but now Topeka boasts of two able papers, publishing daily and weekly editions, which are not surpassed in size and ability by any in Kansas. Both offices are fitted up with facilities for doing job work and book binding....Mr. Prouty, the able editor of the Commonwealth, showed us through that establishment and surprised us with an insight of the immense business which has been built up there in a few months. Three power presses are kept at work day and night, and another large newspaper press will soon be added. Through the able efforts of its traveling correspondent, Mr. Spooner, the Commonwealth has attained during its brief existence a weekly state circulation second only to the Kansas Tribune, whose weekly edition is larger than any paper in the state by at least one thousand."


State Printer, Re-election of Mr. Prouty. Yesterda ...
January 19, 1871, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 986)

State Printer, Re-election of Mr. Prouty. Yesterday...the legislature met in joint convention for the purpose of electing a state printer who should fill the office for two years from the first of July next...

First ballot: Prouty 41, Miller 31, Baker 27, Prescott 13, Clark 9, Patterson 1.

Second ballot: Prouty 45, Miller 31, Baker 28, Prescott 11, Clark 7.

Third ballot: Prouty 67, Miller 25, Baker 24, Prescott 4, Clark 2.

...We desire thus publicly to thank all of our friends who, notwithstanding the vigorous opposition to Mr. Prouty's re-election, labored earnestly to secure his success....For the future we can only promise to do the state work promptly, honestly, and in such a manner as to merit the approbation of the people....


The valedictory of Col. Murdock, the late editor, ...
February 8, 1872, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1100)

The valedictory of Col. Murdock, the late editor, and the salutatory of Mr. Chalfant, the new editor, appear in the last number of the Burlingame Chronicle. The office is to be supplied with a power press.


W. H. Jones has moved the Woodson County Advocate ...
March 7, 1872, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1114)

W. H. Jones has moved the Woodson County Advocate from Neosho Falls to Kalida in that county.


A new paper, to be called the Western Herald, is a ...
March 14, 1872, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1116)

A new paper, to be called the Western Herald, is about to be started at Doniphan by Drs. W. W. & J. J. Crook.


A new democratic weekly is to be started at Chetop ...
March 28, 1872, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1122)

A new democratic weekly is to be started at Chetopa the latter part of this month by Fred. D. Harkrider.

The Spring Hill Enterprise will re-appear this week, Saturday, under the editorial control of P. G. Parker and H. H. Patten.

Geo. W. Martin of the Junction City Union has recently been elected one of the ruling elders of the Presbyterian Church of that city.


P. G. Parker and Capt. H. H. Patten have become th ...
April 4, 1872, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1124)

P. G. Parker and Capt. H. H. Patten have become the publishers of the Spring Hill Enterprise....Capt. Patten has written much for the Paola Republican and other papers, and is "pearl with a pencil."

Frank A. Root has issued the prospectus of a new paper, to be called the Express, and to be published at the flourishing town of Molton, Jackson County.

The Irving Recorder of Friday last announces that that number will be its last. It goes to join the long train of defunct journals that have already been swept to a similar fate.


J. W. Buel of the Spring Hill Enterprise has assum ...
May 2, 1872, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1137)

J. W. Buel of the Spring Hill Enterprise has assumed the city editorship of the Fort Scott Monitor.


The New Commonwealth, How It Has Been Received. Ex ...
January 29, 1874, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1305)

The New Commonwealth, How It Has Been Received. Extracts from Notices of the Press. (Henry King, editor)

"The Topeka Commonwealth of the 1st comes out in its enlarged form, and is truly a most commendable specimen of journalism. Ten weeks ago the office was destroyed by fire. It has been refitted and furnished, and the paper comes out in a new form, printed throughout on new type, and evincing in its whole makeup true newspaper tact and ability...." -- Lawrence Journal.

"The Topeka Commonwealth appeared in a handsome new dress and an enlarged form on the 1st of January. It has always been one of the ablest and most interesting journals in the state, and it is now one of the largest and neatest in appearance. We congratulate Captain King of the judicious taste displayed in the makeup of the new Commonwealth, and we are sure that the paper will continue to deserve the confidence and patronage of the people. Capt. King is one of the most accomplished journalists in the West, and he is assisted by a staff of gentlemen of fine capacity...." -- Atchison Champion.

"It is a most beautiful sheet and is now the largest and by far the handsomest daily in the state. Capt. King is a capital newspaper man and deserves great credit for his nerve and energy in thus emerging from the ruins of the former office. The Commonwealth has adopted the new feature of giving special dispatches from all the leading points in the state, containing reports of the news and business of the various sections...." -- Troy Chief.


For a pointed, practical and comprehensive obituar ...
March 12, 1874, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1318)

For a pointed, practical and comprehensive obituary notice, the following from the Atchison Champion comes about as near filling the bill as anything we have lately seen: "The Leavenworth Argus, a scabby and venomous journal, established some months ago, has woodbined. If it had been a decent paper it could not have lived because there was no room for it. Being a filthy, slanderous, lying and malicious little nuisance, of course its life was brief."


The Kansas Banner has suspended and hereafter will ...
July 2, 1874, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1357)

The Kansas Banner has suspended and hereafter will be hung on the outer wall at Little Rock.


F. J. V. Skiff has been duly launched as city edit ...
July 23, 1874, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1367)

F. J. V. Skiff has been duly launched as city editor of the Lawrence Journal.

The Mound City Sentinel is to be moved to Fort Scott, where it will do guard duty as a tri-weekly.

C. T. K. Prentice is canvassing and corresponding for the Lawrence Tribune.


Dispatches...convey the sad intelligence of anothe ...
August 13, 1874, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1373)

Dispatches...convey the sad intelligence of another disastrous fire at Paola, the third conflagration within 14 months. The fire occurred on Wednesday night, commencing in the St. Charles hotel, on the corner, and burning through the entire block, destroying the best buildings in the city, including the first and third national banks, the post office, and the Spirit and Republican offices....Mr. Perry has $2,000 insurance on the Spirit office. Mr. Nicholson of the Republican has no insurance, and loses in addition a very fine law library.


The McPherson Farmer's Advocate removes to Salina. ...
March 18, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1424)

The McPherson Farmer's Advocate removes to Salina.

The first number of the Holton Recorder has appeared.


The Ottawa Journal is dead....Credit your Franklin ...
March 25, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1426)

The Ottawa Journal is dead....Credit your Franklin County items to the Ottawa Republican.


The Appeal and Times of Leavenworth yesterday anno ...
April 1, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1428)

The Appeal and Times of Leavenworth yesterday announced that J. W. Roberts of the Oskaloosa Independent had purchased the Leavenworth Commercial. Mr. Roberts has conducted the Independent for 14 years with success....Whether such a daily can be supported in this "naughty world" is at least questionable.

John P. Kenea has again taken charge of the LaCygne Journal.

J.D. Greason has left the Miami Republican and John N. Rice takes charge.


The State Sentinel of Leavenworth has changed hand ...
April 8, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1430)

The State Sentinel of Leavenworth has changed hands. Major H. A. Calkins of that city and D. C. Beach of Lawrence are the purchasers. Mr. Beach is secretary of the grand lodge of Good Templars of our state and a lawyer by profession. Major Calkins is a life insurance solicitor.

Dead Newspapers. The following beautiful and touching obituary notices appear in the Cawker City Tribune: "The Beloit Index has ascended the tin tube. It expired at the early age of three months. The fierce struggle for corn meal and potatoes was too much for it in these grasshopper times. Another good newspaper office will now become food for the sheriff. The Solomon Valley is paved with newspaper presses, as hell is with good intentions. They stand at every four corners, monuments of warning to would-be Greeleys and Bennets. They are all sacred to the memory of departed ambition and ruined hopes. Only the bleaching buffalo bones outnumber them. Phillipsburg once had one, Kirwin has one dead and one stored away. Cedarville once had it and it died. Osborne City killed one. Stockton was threatened with one. Cawker City has borne up under the infliction of two of them, and now supports one. The place where Lindley once stood is marked by an old hand press. Solomon City gets away with about two a year, and this is not the first death that has occurred in Beloit. It buried a Mirror once. But now McBride 'has stepped down and out,' and the grief of Beloit is so great that she 'sits on the ragged edge' and wishes she had never held out inducements to lure the young 'Ibex' on to his ruin."


A satisfactory arrangement has been made by me wit ...
May 6, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1436)

A satisfactory arrangement has been made by me with F. P. Baker to transfer the subscription list, advertising patronage and good will of the State Record newspaper to him for the purpose of merging it with the Commonwealth; the Record has been discontinued. All subscribers of the Record will receive the Weekly Commonwealth instead....The State Record was established by Maj. E. G. Ross 16 years ago, and 12 years of this period I have been one of its proprietors. It was a success from the start, and took high ground as a political and family newspaper....As a business venture it paid well, the receipts of the office averaging fully $15,000 per year from the date of its first issue. This is a better showing than can be made by any other Kansas newspaper. And here let me say that, at the time of its discontinuance, it was still on a paying footing and would have been continued but for the liberal offer of Mr. Baker. The success of the Record was largely due to his untiring efforts while one of its proprietors, and he will not fail of making the Commonwealth a first-class newspaper and a financial success. -- S. D. Macdonald.

The above explains itself. The Commonwealth will be furnished instead of the Record, as stated by Mr. Macdonald, and I trust that the merging of the two papers will be satisfactory to all. -- F. P. Baker.

The first number of the Topeka Daily Times appeared yesterday evening....V. P. Wilson is announced as the editor, and the Topeka Times Printing Company as the publisher.


Of the nine newspapers published in Sumner County, ...
May 20, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1440)

Of the nine newspapers published in Sumner County, eight have died in spite of everything that skill could suggest. We learn this from Dr. Folks of the Sumner County Press.


Newspaper Vicissitudes. The Ottawa Republican publ ...
May 27, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1442)

Newspaper Vicissitudes. The Ottawa Republican publishes, in its issue of May 20, a history of Franklin County newspapers which well illustrates the uncertainty of journalistic fortunes.

Franklin County is one of the first settled and best settled counties in the state, and has as good natural advantages as any county in Kansas. Ottawa, the county seat, is and always has been a fine town. Altogether, Franklin County is a field where the tender plant known as the newspaper ought to flourish if anywhere. We will sum up the Republican's story:

The first paper in Franklin County was the Kansas Leader, and was published at Centropolis. It lasted from the fall of 1856 to the spring of 1857. The Leader then traveled to Mineola, where it re-appeared as the Mineola Statesman and lived six or eight months and then expired. S. S. Prouty bought the press and took it to Burlington, and the material was scattered. Some young boys then ran a paper from March to September 1864.

Kalloch & Evans then started the Ottawa Home Journal in the fall of 1865 and it was run by Kalloch till 1867. In December 1867 the Ottawa Register was started, and ran till the March following, and then Kalloch's Home Journal (subscription list) went to Lawrence, and the Ottawa Republic took the field. In September 1869, the Republic changed hands and the name was changed to the Ottawa Journal. The Journal met with numerous changes of proprietors and finally suspended Jan. 22, 1875.

But, to go back, the Ottawa Herald was started in December 1870, and lasted till August 17, 1872. Its successor is the Kansas Liberal, of which it is difficult to say when it began or ended. The Democratic Leader was started October 28, 1872, and lasted until August 10, 1873. On March 19, 1873, Mr. Sharpe bought the consolidated Herald, Liberal and Leader office, afterward absorbed the daily and weekly Ottawa Times, and has now erected a fine newspaper on the ruins of its predecessors.

Franklin County has been the grave of the Kansas Leader, Statesman, Register, Ottawa Home Journal, Republic, Journal, Herald, Times, Democratic Leader and Kansas Liberal, 10 papers, leaving out the boys' newspaper and calling the daily and weekly Times one paper.

The men who published and edited these papers were, as a rule, quite up to the standard of editorial ability, and some of them were remarkably bright. They number, according to the Republican's list, 27....


The first newspaper published in Chase County was ...
June 3, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1444)

The first newspaper published in Chase County was called the Kansas Press, four pages of six columns each. It was edited by S. N. Wood and the first number was printed in Cottonwood Falls and bears date of May 30, 1859.

The Thayer Headlight, in its autobiographical sketch, thus describes its beginning: No bottle of champagne was broken over the prow as the paper was christened. In fact, the most romantic thing about the office was a half bushel of pi and 24 bent column rules, part of the remains of the Thayer Criterion, a seven-column paper edited by Charles Olney, the youngest editor in the state. Olney only measured five feet four, and 15 summers and a fraction over. The Criterion died. No monument marks its resting place. Even the building has been moved away. All this occurred in the spring of 1871.


And now comes Mary A. Spring as editress and publi ...
June 10, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1445)

And now comes Mary A. Spring as editress and publisheress of the Index at Cherokee, Crawford County.


Yesterday the Commonwealth as a newspaper moved in ...
July 1, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1451)

Yesterday the Commonwealth as a newspaper moved into a new habitation, but to the gentlemen who wear out pencils, shed ink, brandish scissors and smear paste for the benefit, real or supposed, of the readers of the Commonwealth, the move was a return home, and there's no place like home.

The old Record building, as it will probably always be called, has been the home of the "art preservative" almost from the earliest history of the printing business in Topeka. The first power press in the city was set up nearly where the Commonwealth press will stand. The first daily paper published continuously in this city was printed on that press, though a daily printed on a hand press had previously been issued during the successive sessions of the Legislature, beginning in 1861.

The Record office, as its present occupant left it in December, has been changed somewhat, and it may be necessary to inform the visitor that if he turns into the door marked "Blade office" he will find neither the Blade nor the Record, but if he enters the door marked "Record Counting Room" he will find the Commonwealth.

In fitting up the new, yet old, office the main object...has been to get the greatest possible amount of material into the smallest available space. By close calculation, room has been found for presses, stands, racks, imposing stones and Prouty, and yet so compact is everything that a vigorous yell from the counting room raises the "devil" in the coal house.

The editorial room has been designed on the most approved military principles. The gentleman who wants to see the man who "writ that piece" will be obliged to pass through a narrow passage, where he can be converted into a cribbage board by the office shotgun and can retire into Capt. Allen's office and get a pension for "total disability" or, if the visitor happens to hold the winning hand, the "fighting editor" can retire through the window and slide down a greased rope into the alley.

WEB WILDER has returned from his search among the archives at Leavenworth. He reports that Colonel Anthony's collection of bound files of newspapers is the most complete he has found yet, numbering 99 volumes.


Gratuitous Printing. The Council Grove Democrat ag ...
July 8, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1454)

Gratuitous Printing. The Council Grove Democrat again makes its appearance, having arranged its financial difficulties. Under the above heading, it sums up as follows: "We have been 'footing up' a little and find that, during the four years we have been wrestling with the Democrat in Morris County, we have done work, for which we have received no compensation, as follows: Political printing $504, public enterprise printing $272, religious printing $79, public entertainment printing $65, loss from non-paying subscribers $247.50, loss from miscellaneous sources $184. Total $1,349.50. The above is not overestimated, and goes to show that the newspaper, as well as any other business, is subject to leakage. We propose to stop the leakage right now." Our experience is that the Democrat has got off easy. But few papers in the country but what have lost fully as much, if not more.


...The irrepressible, omnipresent Ford of the Kans ...
August 5, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1458)

...The irrepressible, omnipresent Ford of the Kansas City Times has been doing the Solomon and Republican valleys during the past week. His trip has extended from Solomon City to Kirwin, and from Kirwin to New Scandinavia, where he was lost sight of....


The Elk Falls Journal has moved to Sedan and will ...
August 12, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1459)

The Elk Falls Journal has moved to Sedan and will be known as the Chautauqua Journal.


In the libel suit against the Burlington Patriot a ...
August 26, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1462)

In the libel suit against the Burlington Patriot and Wm. Venard and Wm. B. Parsons, brought by A. Sherwood for $3,585 and costs, the jury found for the defendants.


As is customary in all the small country towns of ...
September 2, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1463)

As is customary in all the small country towns of Kansas, Cottonwood Falls enjoys the benefit of two lively weekly papers, the Chase County Leader and the Chase County Courant, the former published by W. A. Morgan and the latter by Martin & Timmons. They are all experienced newspaper men, and all hail from the classic newspaper fields of Cincinnati and Louisville. They deserve a better fate.


The Commonwealth has labored under a difficulty fo ...
September 23, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1464)

The Commonwealth has labored under a difficulty for a long time in not being able to reach a large portion of the state till the day after publication. Through the courtesy of the Topeka post office we are now enabled to reach all points on the Gulf R.R., the MK&T from Fort Scott to Chetopa, and north from Parsons to Burlington, and on the LL&G its whole length on the day of issue....


A paper mill is being erected at Humboldt and not ...
September 30, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1465)

A paper mill is being erected at Humboldt and not many weeks will elapse till the building is completed. The main building will be 25 x 85 with an addition 15 x 20. A portion of the machinery has been ordered.

E. G. Ross, who for a year past has been foreman of the newspaper department of the Journal office, Lawrence, takes position as assistant editor and Robert Burns, formerly of the Tribune office, assumes the foremanship.

We have heretofore noticed that E. G. Ross had become associated with Mr. Thacher in the editorial management of the Lawrence Journal. Ed Ross has many friends in Topeka among the old settlers. He was one of the pioneers in this city and was the founder and for many years the editor of the State Record. He worked for Topeka when the city needed help and was never one-half paid for his work. He has borne opprobrium for his vote on the Johnson impeachment and, while we still think he made a mistake, it is due to him, from the writer, to say that no taint of anything dishonest attaches to that vote. We are frank to say this because at the time we thought and said differently. Ed Ross is a whole souled man and we wish him success.


The Reno County Independent is the name of a new p ...
November 18, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1467)

The Reno County Independent is the name of a new paper started at Hutchinson....We think that there is hardly room for two papers in that place....

E. C. Manning has leased the Winfield Courier and once more becomes an editor and publisher in Kansas.

The Mennonites in Kansas will soon have an organ of their own. It will be published semi-monthly in the German language, of course, at Halstead under the pleasant name Zur Heimath, by a stock company organized for that purpose and for a general printing and publishing business....Articles of incorporation of the company under the style of The Western Publishing Company have been filed at the office of the secretary of state. The first board of directors is composed of Wm. Ewert of Marion County, B. Warkentin, David Goerz, Peter Wiebe, and John Lehmann of Harvey County. Mr. Goerz, a young man of brains, formerly a teacher in south Russia, will be editor of Zur Heimath.


One of the most important features of Wilder's adm ...
December 2, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1470)

One of the most important features of Wilder's admirable "Annals of Kansas" is the fact that the bulk of the book was gleaned from common newspaper files. But for the newspapers published in Kansas since 1856, it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to present anything like an accurate and connected account of the events that transpired....The Kansas newspapers, with all their waywardness and all their weaknesses, are yet the fount from which the historian of our stormy and checkered career draws not only his pictures of men and things, but even the potent facts, dates and figures which enable him "to copy fair what time hath blurred." This book of Wilder's is really a monument to the solid worth and practical value of the local press....


"Hon. E. G. Ross of the Lawrence Standard called o ...
December 16, 1875, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1472)

"Hon. E. G. Ross of the Lawrence Standard called on us yesterday and looked through the rooms which he dedicated to the printing business 18 years ago. We are always glad to see old settlers of Topeka, and particularly glad to see one who did as much for this city as Ed Ross did for a number of years in its early history." -- Commonwealth.

"We reproduce the above both to thank the Commonwealth for the kind compliment it pays us, and to say that we were gratified to see that establishment back in the old quarters we, in connection with W. W. Ross, established 19 years ago for the old Kansas Tribune, and glad also to hear that it is in so prosperous a condition. We hauled the rock for a part of the present building occupied by the Commonwealth, in the fall of 1856, after the cessation of the Border Ruffian hostilities of that year, and then helped to lay it up. The Kansas Tribune was published there in 1856-7-8, the State Record from 1859 till its absorption by the Commonwealth in 1875, and now the latter has it for its place of publication. During the fall and winter of 1856-7, the building was but a single story. The walls were of concrete, perforated by some hundred holes left by the mould board cleats, thus insuring ample ventilation. The floor was of sawdust on which 'the boys' were able to practice at will without making too much noise the 'manly art' with the foils, broadswords and bayoneted muskets with which well-regulated printing offices in the then Territory were furnished, while the roof was of cottonwood boards well spaced out and weighed down with stones. True, the room was at times unpleasantly moist and we had occasionally to deposit the paper 'heap' underneath the sheltering 'bank' (another cottonwood outfit) to keep it dry, but we were able to avoid the close, stifling air and unwholesome confinement which has been the death of so many printers. And, too, we were in free Kansas (at least we knew it would be free), and that reconciled us to a good many things that otherwise might have been inconvenient. The large building added on to this, and running out to Sixth Avenue, by Baker & McDonald, we believe, was destroyed by fire a few years ago, but was soon rebuilt. With that brief exception it has been continually occupied as a printing office for over 19 years. Is there another building in Kansas with a similar story?" -- Standard, Lawrence.


Topeka Newspapers: The Commonwealth, daily and wee ...
January 1, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1474)

Topeka Newspapers

The Commonwealth, daily and weekly, F. P. Baker, publisher. The daily edition is the only morning paper, and the only paper in the city receiving the dispatches of the Associated Press. It is the official paper of the state and Republican in politics.

Blade, daily and weekly, J. Clarke Swayze, publisher. A saucy, spicy, piquant and sparkling paper, independent in politics and everything else. The daily edition is an evening paper.

Times, daily and weekly, published by the Times Publishing Company, V. P. Wilson, editor. The daily edition is an evening paper and the weekly is the official paper of the county. It is Republican in politics and a live and entertaining newspaper.

Kansas Farmer, published weekly by J. K. Hudson. It has a circulation of 5,000 and is the only paper in Kansas devoted exclusively to agriculture and the interests of the farmer. It is edited with ability, vigor, and spirit.

American Young Folks, published monthly by J. K. Hudson. Its name indicates its character. It is well illustrated with engravings and its reading matter is all original.

Kansas Democrat, published weekly by T. W. & T. B. Peacock. It is an able and true exponent of the Democracy of the old school, and believes in Jefferson and Christopher Columbus.


State Historical Society. The above society is now ...
January 6, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1478)

State Historical Society. The above society is now fully organized. As Mr. Baker, who was first elected secretary, is too full of his own business to give it the attention it deserves, the board of directors has accepted his resignation, and has appointed F. G. Adams in his place....Judge Adams has just the qualifications for the office. He has procured a bookcase and for the present it is in the auditor's office. In this he files all papers that are sent, with the exception of binding them at the close of the year. If, as is hoped, that ere long there will be money to pay for each paper in the state, the payment will commence from the date the first paper is sent. Donations of books and documents pertaining to the early history of the state are solicited and will be carefully preserved. There are a great many such documents in existence, and they should be gathered together and placed in a shape to be preserved and for reference. We don't believe that the State Historical Society will die this time. It is in the hands of those who will sustain it. We trust within the next 30 days a copy of every paper published in the state will be sent to the Historical Society. Let them all commence with the first issue of 1876.


The last Legislature, very unwisely as we think, r ...
March 16, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1485)

The last Legislature, very unwisely as we think, refused to make an appropriation to put the State Historical Society on a proper footing. As it is, the society must try to get along without the help of the Legislature. We don't think it ought to be allowed to die. The secretary, F. G. Adams, is absent in the mountains, but we hope, when he returns, that the society will be called together and a circular issued appealing to citizens to become members. A pull together will keep it going. Meanwhile, we hope the newspapers of the state will unite in bringing it to the notice of their readers. Let them continue to send the papers and have the amount applied on membership. We believe enough money could be raised to keep it on its feet.



W. F. Wallace has sold the Rice County Independent ...
March 30, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1486)

W. F. Wallace has sold the Rice County Independent to E. C. Bruffey, who has changed the name to the Examiner and announces that hereafter the politics of the paper will be Democratic.

Newspaper Change. We take the following from yesterday's issue of the Topeka Times: With this issue of the weekly and next Saturday's issue of the daily Topeka Times, our connection with the paper as publishers and proprietors will pass into the hands of S. S. Prouty & Co., who will fill out all unexpired subscriptions and advertisements....We thank one and all who have shown friendship and good will toward the Times....V. P. Wilson, J. W. Wilson.

When I purchased the Topeka Times two years and three months ago, I left property and business interests at Enterprise and elsewhere in Dickinson County which I hoped to dispose of long since, but I find that I cannot do so without making too great a sacrifice. I have, therefore, thought it best to dispose of the Times and devote my time...to the real estate business and the publication of the Dickinson County Gazette at Enterprise. The new editor of the Topeka Times, Col. S. S. Prouty, needs no introduction....I reluctantly sever my connection with the Times....My sojourn in Topeka has been pleasant, if not profitable....V. P. Wilson.


*The death of Mrs. Elizabeth D. Speer, wife of Joh ...
April 13, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1492)

*The death of Mrs. Elizabeth D. Speer, wife of John Speer of Lawrence, the editor of the Kansas Tribune,...took place on last Sunday morning. The writer of this has known Mrs. Speer since 1858....As the mother of an honored family, and the wife of one of the ablest and best of the old Free State leaders, and as an active participant in every good cause, her life has been a part of the history of Kansas, and her death will carry a feeling of sorrow in many hearts. The hearty sympathy tendered to the often bereaved family by the people of Lawrence, at the funeral Monday afternoon, fully attested the public feeling....

Mrs. Speer was born at Corydon, Ind.,...and was the daughter of John McMahon, a prominent citizen and one of the early settlers of the state. His father was a soldier in the War of 1812, and his brother was a lieutenant in the sanguinary Indian battle of Tippacanoe....On her mother's side she was descended from one of the old colonial governors of Virginia....

On the 18th of May, 1855, Mrs. Speer emigrated to Kansas, her husband having resided here during the winter of 1854. She was a cultivated and intelligent lady, of excellent taste in the adornments of her home....Among the pictures of that beautiful home are those of the mother and her three sons: Jno. M. Speer, one of the noblest young men of Kansas, brutally murdered in the Lawrence massacre; Robert Speer, supposed to have been killed in the massacre but his body never found; and Joseph Speer, accidentally killed August 5th, 1865....

She was well educated at the school of the Sisters of Bethany near Bardstown, Ky. She was familiar with all the privations of Kansas life, heroic in suffering and in danger, and in the hours of darkness and gloom never faltering in her devotion to the Free State cause....

The mortal remains of Mrs. Speer were followed to the grave by many of the oldest and most respected citizens of Kansas....She leaves behind her five children. William, the eldest son, resides in Texas; Mary (Mrs. Neff) resides in Lawrence; and Eva, a young lady, and Hardin, aged 14 years, and Rosa, aged 12 years, remain at home.... -- S.C.


*The St. Joe papers of Tuesday contain a notice of ...
April 27, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1497)

*The St. Joe papers of Tuesday contain a notice of the death of Gen. Lucien J. Eastin, who died at Glasgow, Mo., on the 24th....Gen. Eastin edited the Weekly Leavenworth Herald, the first paper published in Kansas. The paper was started in September 1854 by Adams & Osborne. Gen. Eastin became connected with the paper as editor in the December following, the publishers then being Eastin & Adams. The pioneer Kansas printing office was thus described by a writer of the period:

"Under a tree, a type-sticker had his case before him and was at work on the first number of the new paper, and within a frame, without board on side or roof, was the editor's desk and sanctum. When we returned from the Territory to Weston, we saw the 'notice' that the editor had removed his office from under the elm tree to the corner of 'Broadway and the Levee.' This Broadway was at that time much broader than the streets of old Babylon for, with the exception of the fort, there was probably not a house on either side for 30 miles."

Gen. Eastin remained in Kansas till 1859, and during his residence was a member of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention, and was appointed by acting Governor Woodson a brigadier general in the militia. He was, of course, in those days identified with the pro-slavery party, but lived to get over all the animosities of the bad times. According to a sketch of his life in the St. Joseph Gazette, he edited...nine different newspapers, besides serving as a captain in the Mexican War, so that it is evident that he had his share of trouble in this world. At the time of his death, he was a resident of St. Joseph and was stopping at Glasgow, temporarily conducting the Glasgow Journal for his son.


We learn from Judge F. G. Adams, secretary of the ...
July 27, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1523)

We learn from Judge F. G. Adams, secretary of the State Historical Society, that 75 newspapers in our state have published local histories....The histories in those 75 newspapers bind us together. The names of the hardy and brave pioneers are preserved, and they and their children will have an abiding love for Kansas....


Pursuant to...call, several newspaper men met at t ...
August 17, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1526)

Pursuant to...call, several newspaper men met at the Blade office last evening, and proceeded to business by electing Jim J. Chatham chairman and Wirt W. Walton secretary. The following members of the press were present: D. R. Anthony, Leavenworth Times; Swayze, Topeka Blade; Chatham, Independence Courier; Peffer, Coffeyville Journal; Griffin, Manhattan Nationalist; Hart, Abilene Chronicle; McDowell, Columbus Courier; Lane, LaCygne Journal; Runyan, Manhattan Enterprise; Hughes, Marysville News; Brown, Burlington Independent; King, Mound City Clarion; Higgins, Columbus Democrat; Kelly, Chautauqua Journal; "Giff," Parsons Sun; Shinn, Dodge City Times; Martin, Chase County Courant; McMillen, Neosho County Record; Downing, Ellis County Star; Walton, Winfield Courier; and Steinbarger, Howard City Courant.

Col. Anthony reported that his efforts to secure satisfactory rates for an editorial excursion to the Centennial were a failure, but that parties could make individual contracts with the various railroad lines for two tickets, to and from Philadelphia, and pay for the same in advertising.

...The Committee on Resolutions reported: ...As some of the members of "the brainiest" Legislature made an unwarranted attempt to have the printer's fees for publishing the Constitutional Amendments cut down to rates unreasonably low. Therefore, be it resolved that we will charge the State of Kansas full legal rates, or $1 per square for the first insertion, and 50 cents for each subsequent insertion, for the publication of the proposed Constitutional Amendments submitted by the last legislature to the people for their consideration in November 1876....


The announcement...that State Auditor Wilder was.. ...
September 21, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1536)

The announcement...that State Auditor Wilder was...to "go on" the St. Joseph Herald created considerable comment here....We give the following particulars...in the St. Joseph Gazette....The Herald was yesterday sold to D. W. Wilder, present state auditor of Kansas; Frank M. and Robert Tracy of Troy, Kan., and Capt. Joseph Thompson of this city. The price was $12,500, of which sum Col. C. B. Wilkinson receives $5,000 for whatever interest in the concern he may have claimed....We understand that the present mechanical force and editorial attaches now employed by the paper will be retained until the 1st of October, when the following regime will be established: Editor, D. W. Wilder; city editor, Joseph Thompson; business manager, Robert Tracy; and foreman, F. M. Tracy....


The change in the Fort Scott Monitor introduces to ...
September 28, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1539)

The change in the Fort Scott Monitor introduces to the Kansas public Elmer and Darrow of Syracuse, N.Y....It also lets out Mr. Fleming, who has conducted the Monitor for two years or more with excellent judgment and unvarying courtesy....

The Topeka Leader...re-appeared Friday, the number being 22 of volume 4. The new Leader is a handsomely printed six-column weekly, whereof W. H. Johnson is announced as proprietor and W. H. Johnson and J. F. Cummings editors. The paper raises the Republican ticket.


...A change has taken place in the Ellsworth Repor ...
October 5, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1541)

...A change has taken place in the Ellsworth Reporter, Col. Henry Inman...retiring and John Montgomery, its original publisher, taking entire charge of the establishment.


The Parsons Sun announces that it will be stopped ...
November 23, 1876, Weekly Commonwealth (ID 1550)

The Parsons Sun announces that it will be stopped as a weekly. It will be published once a month if it can be made to pay. Mr. Reynolds says: "The Sun is too large, too expensive and too good a paper for the city of Parsons. It has been run at a loss since its start. We have stood the pressure as long as we can afford to...."