Articles in database from Chief (Troy): 20
We had lost sight of and almost forgotten Jack Henderson. We remember him in the early days as a roaring Democrat, but singularly enough, opposed to Border Ruffianism; and his paper, the Leavenworth Journal, was frequently as hard on the Pro-Slavery Democracy as on the Free State men. The following extract from a New York paper, with a preface by George W. Martin of the Wyandotte Gazette, is a reminder of him:
A HERO. Listen to this. We read it in the New York Mail and Express. As we remember Jack Henderson at Lecompton, he could fill up with budge and lay around a grocery or doggery and sleep more contentedly than any man we ever knew. He was clever and good natured and not the remotest terror in any way:
Everybody knows Captain "Jack" Henderson, who is now gray haired and lame, but who was a terror to evil-doers in Kansas just previous to the war. He edited a paper, and called a thief a thief, even if he had to shoot for his temerity. He passed through the corridor of the St. James hotel and was pointed out by one who knows his history and did not mind telling it.
"There is no braver man breathing today. His body is scarred by seven wounds, five received in duels, and two in battle for the Union cause. 'Bleeding Kansas' was proud of Jack, for he was progressive and against slaveholding. He was a good shot, but not a quarrelsome man....
"In the summer of 1857, when Geary City was in its prime, and contained a number of citizens who afterwards became prominent in Kansas and elsewhere, a paper was published there called the Era which had three editors, representing three political parties. Their names stood at the head of the paper as follows: 'Editors -- Edwin H. Grant, Republican; Joseph Thompson, Democrat; Earl Marble, American.'...
"Early in the fall of 1857, we received a letter from Grant, in which he stated that he had got into a newspaper war with Jack Henderson of the Leavenworth Journal, and as we had gained a reputation as a newspaper slasher, he solicited us to lend a hand and help him do up Henderson.
"Now we had already been in a number of ructions on our own account, in one of which we came near being challenged by one Colonel Bottom of St. Joseph, a particular friend of Colonel A. W. Slayback, who was assassinated in a newspaper office in St. Louis a few years ago; and we had no relish for a row on account of somebody else with whom we were at peace. So we wrote Grant, declining the honor.
"...It soon became too hot for words, and a challenge from Henderson to Grant to the 'field of honor' was the result. We remember that, after some fierce correspondence, they both owned up they did not mean it, shook hands, kissed and made up.
"George W. Larzelere, who was then a printer working on the Era, acted as Grant's friend. Since his death, there were found among his papers two of the notes that passed between Grant and Henderson.
"...The Era office was bought and moved to St. Joseph in 1859, where during that year and 1860 it was used in printing the Free Democrat by D. W. Wilder and Frank M. Tracy. Grant, Thompson and Marble went along as attaches of the office. The office of the paper was mobbed in the excitement following the Doy rescue; and the publishers were afterwards indicted for treason or some other heinous crime for opposing the institution of slavery.
"While the publishers were refugees, Mrs. Grant, who was Thompson's sister, edited the Free Democrat and got into a controversy with the St. Joseph West, one of the publishers of whom was Capt. F. M. Posegate. The editor was E. Y. Shields, a high-toned specimen of Southern chivalry. Mrs. Grant was too much for him and, as was the Southern style in those days, only gore would appease him.
"He therefore gave notice in his paper that, if any man would assume the responsibility for the articles of the Free Democrat, he would attend to his case. After several demands of this character, Thompson announced that he held himself responsible for them. A challenge ensued, and the parties came over to Elwood to murder each other where 'honorable retractions' followed, and the parties returned to St. Joseph with all their blood...."
The latter part of this article does not have any connection with Jack Henderson; but he also went into the Union army, and was a good soldier.
THE AGORA. The publishers Crane & Co. at Topeka have our thanks for a copy of the April issue of The Agora, the new Kansas quarterly. Its articles are mostly political, and some of them are racy -- for instance, C. S. Gleed's article on the late Kansas war, and C. S. Finch's reply to Colonel Phillips' "Young Crowd" article in the January number. There is a "symposium," as they call it, on the late conflict, containing, beside that of Mr. Gleed, articles by E. W. Hoch, Judge Doster, and C. G. Clemens. Doster and Clemens present the Calamity side, and Hoch and Gleed the sane side....The literary papers are on Shelley and Byron. Poetry is scarce in this number. The frontispiece is a portrait of Col. Cyrus K. Holliday. The price of the Agora is 25 cents a number or $1 a year -- and it is well worth it.
J. A. Constant has purchased the Sabetha Republican and Herald offices, and unites the two papers under the name of Republican-Herald. It is a very businesslike proceeding; but from what we have recently seen of the Republican, we judge that the material was fit only to be shipped to the type foundry as old material.
The purchase of the Fort Scott Monitor by Jake Stotler brings to mind the founder of that paper. David B. Emmert was one of the early Kansas printers, whose ambition was satisfied with small towns and positions and gradually expanded. Away back, perhaps as early as Territorial days, he published the Auburn Docket at a little town in the southwestern part of Shawnee County....Next he was elected a subordinate clerk in the Legislature. Thereafter he started a paper at the little town of Marmaton, in Bourbon County, called the Monitor. This paper he afterwards moved to Fort Scott, where it became the Monitor that still exists. From Fort Scott, Emmert was elected to the state Senate, after several unsuccessful races for chief clerk of the House. Then he was appointed to the Humboldt land office, and afterwards, we believe, to another land office farther west....He died some years ago in New Mexico....
Sol Miller, editor
THIRTY-SIX YEARS. This issue completed the thirty-sixth year of the publication of the Chief....When the Chief was started, U.S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, Phil Sheridan were unknown except to their immediate families and neighbors....When the Chief began, Jeff Davis, Buchanan, Douglas, et al, were the big men of this country. Where are they now? When the Chief started, Grover Cleveland was a young blood twenty years of age....The first name on our subscription list was that of Sam Lappin. Among our first subscribers were also Jim Lane, M. Jeff Thompson, and Dr. R. J. Gatling, the inventor of the Gatling gun. Lane and Thompson never paid their subscription; Gatling did, and took the paper for many years....Who has kept the paper going, all these long years? The subscribers who paid. The men who pay are the ones who keep the world moving. The others are clogs and pull-backs....
By Editor Sol Miller
During the past 36 years, the question has often been asked us, why we do not let our readers know something about ourself....Perhaps the principal reason for this was that there was not much history to speak of....To begin, then, we will say that we belong to what may be called a hereditary family of pioneers, on both sides of the house. They were always in the pioneer business....
Our father's grandfather was one of the pioneer settlers in Pennsylvania. But along about 150 years ago, the country became too old for him, and he struck out for the Valley of Virginia, well up the Shenandoah. Readers of Irving's "Life of Washington" will remember...that when young Washington, at the age of 16, struck out into the wilderness west of the Blue Ridge...his party came upon the scattered cabins of German settlers who could scarcely speak English....Well, our father's grandfather...was one of those settlers. He finally located in what is now Rockingham County, where, in 1760, our grandfather, Frederick Miller, was born.
Our mother's side of the house was named Runyon. They were among the early Dutch settlers of New Jersey....Here our grandfather on the other side, Michael Runyon, was born a few years before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. But the country was becoming too populous for his father's comfort, so he...emigrated to North Carolina, settling in Guilford County, where our grandfather, when a...boy of 11 or 12, dodged around...watching the British army as it marched to the battle of Guilford Court House, his father being in the Continental army....
Our grandfather on our father's side, who was born in Rockingham, when about 18 years of age joined the Continental army, and served during the last half of the war. He was in Washington's army at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. We were less than five years old when he died....
Our other grandfather, Runyon, in the meantime grew up and also married. His wife...was a native of Rockingham County, Virginia. Her name was Blackford and she was of Scotch descent.
Long before the close of the last century, our grandfather Miller began to hanker for the pioneer business. So...he struck out for the new country of Tennessee, and pitched his tent in what is now Anderson County....
Our grandfather Runyon, about the same time,...also took the pioneer fever, and loaded up for the new country of Kentucky, settling in Barren County....
So time passed...,when both grandfathers became restless to go on...to new countries....In the fall of 1803, Grandfather Miller...reached Lebanon, Ohio, where he left his family, and went out prospecting. He located a claim on Twin Creek, in what is now Preble County, near the present town of West Alexandria, and where he located his family in the spring of 1804...on which farm he died in 1835.
About the same time, our Grandfather Runyon emigrated to Ohio, and took a claim in the western part of the same county, a few miles southwest of Eaton.
Our father, John,...was born in Anderson County, Tennessee, Sept. 19, 1800; our mother in Preble County, Ohio, Sept. 29, 1806. They gave her the name of Dicey....Our parents were married March 4, 1824.
...But Ohio settled up too fast, and our Grandfather Runyon began to pine for the pioneering happiness....About the year 1833 he pulled out for Illinois, locating near Joliet, in Will County, where he died some time from 1854 to 1856.
Our father, a few years after his marriage, took the pioneer disease. Some of his friends had moved to a famous new country called "the Wabash," and he determined to follow, which he did in 1830, settling in the new town of Lafayette, Tippacanoe County. There used to be a mysterious disease in that country known as "milk sickness"...our father...found it. It...almost killed him. So he decided he would quit being a pioneer...and get back to God's country in Ohio. He did so, but we...were born on the 22nd of January 1831, and were a few months old when the back track to Ohio was struck. This is how we came to be an Ohioan, although born in Indiana....
Our father was not long in venturing in the pioneer business. Attention was directed to "the St. Joe," as northern Indiana was called, and in 1836 he made a trip to that region, entering a quarter section of land in Elkhart County; but...he never went, but lived and died at West Alexandria. That event occurred Aug. 4, 1876; the death of our mother Sept. 19, 1884.
This leaves us to paddle through our own history...the history of almost every boy. Fighting bumble-bees and yellow-jackets, fishing and swimming, and all the fun and mischief going....We went to school in the old school house on "Chicken Street," the only one we ever attended....We never bragged much on the beauty of our penmanship, but spelling was our strong point....We spelled down everything in school, the teacher included.
...We early developed a fondness for reading, which became so strong that we would...slide away from hard work, seek some sequestered spot, and go to reading a book or old newspaper....There was a little saddler in town named Tom McFarland, who was packing up to move away. We were standing around...when he picked a book from a pile of plunder and handed it to us, saying: "Here, you d--d little devil, is a book you may have; it is interesting, and you will like to read it." The name of the book was "Gulliver's Travels."...We thought it was just the greatest book that was ever made....Just then there was a religious boom in that part of the country....Among the visitors to the protracted meeting, who should come along but little Tom McFarland? He used to be terribly wicked, but he had got religion, and was a licensed exhorter, and of course he stopped at our house because he knew the grub of old....He got hold of that "Gulliver's Travels."...With a look of horror on his face, he called our mother's attention to the "filthy novel," which we were "imperiling our mortal soul" by reading; winding up with the advice to her to "throw it into the fire." Well, to please him, she threw it into the fire, and it assisted in cooking his dinner....The loss of the book almost broke our heart. The thing that made us maddest was the idea of that ornery little shoat, McFarland, who had given us the book, playing us such a measly game as that....How many boys have been given a distaste for churches and religion by the over-officiousness of the Tom McFarlands, who have got worms and think it is religion.
Our father was a carpenter and often took us with him to assist in his work....But we didn't like the carpenter business. Our heart was set on being a printer, and printing newspapers....At length we found a place in the Gazette office at Germantown, Ohio. We were duly "indentured" for four years, for board and clothes, with an extra "freedom suit" at the expiration of our apprenticeship. We began on the 28th day of January, 1848....Our first instruction was given by F. J. Oblinger, for many years past connected with the press of Toledo, Ohio. He was soon succeeded in the foremanship of the office by J. Z. Reeder, now on the editorial staff of the Dayton (Ohio) Herald, under whose direction we worked for more than four years, or until July 1852....At the date just mentioned -- July 1852 -- in connection with a fellow apprentice, we bought the office, giving our note and a bill of sale on the office as first payment, made the paper Whig in politics, and supported Gen. Winfield Scott for President. We made the...discovery that the paper was not half paying. To add to our discomfort, our partner was religious, and kept worrying us....Finally,...we split the difference by attending a revival meeting,...leaving our partner in the office....The town fire bell sounded, and the cry of "Fire" emptied the church....It was the building containing our office....The building was saved, but there was a bad mess of "pi" in that office. Shortly after, our partner absconded....To our appeal to subscribers in arrears to come forward and help us out, most of them came in with receipts from our partner, showing that a month or more previous to his hegira he had been diligently collecting all the accounts that were collectable, never mentioning it to us less it should disturb the religious meditations that he thought we ought to be engaged in. Only one thing kept us from total ruin -- we had nothing to ruin....We never changed our mind as to the origin of the fire....He afterward turned up as publisher of a paper in Missouri....
In those days, we taught a class in Sunday school, and tried to do honest work....Throughout our whole newspaper career at Germantown, we had in our employ a man, still living, who is no doubt the oldest printer in the United States, having learned the trade about 70 years ago. It is C. L. Dill, familiarly known as "Louie Dill," still living at Germantown in the 88th year of his age....We lingered along...for some three years longer. Business being slack,...we got married in September 1855....After the campaign of 1856, the pioneer passion...broke out all over us with great virulence. Kansas was open for settlement; and so,...we packed up and struck out for the new country, arriving here in the early spring of 1857. And here we have been ever since....Our exploits in Kansas are so well known that we can spare the reader from the harrowing details. During the war, we served in the Price Raid, by substitute....We were elected to the Legislature five times -- once to the House, and four times to the Senate -- but as the last time was more than seven years ago, the crime has outlawed, and an indictment will not stand against those who voted for us....We have been repeatedly accused of "selling out," and the price named was never less than $7,000. A man who can command that figure must be considered worth something. How we would have lik
Doniphan County Newspaper History
By Sol Miller
The Chief was first issued at White Cloud under date of June 4, 1857. The printing material was removed from Ohio in March of that year, but it being necessary first to build a house for the office, the stuff was stored in a dilapidated old log cabin on the levee until the house was ready, which was not until May.
John H. Utt undertook to erect a building for the purpose, the lower story to be occupied as a store. The building, composed of cottonwood, long since torn down, stood almost opposite C. W. Shreve's present drug store....On account of the great demand for lumber, the work was stopped before the east side was enclosed; but Mr. Utt brought over from Oregon, Missouri, a bolt of muslin...with which he enclosed that side of the building.
We had rigged up our cases before the west side was enclosed and, being at that time utterly unacquainted with the average Kansas spring zephyr, we took no precautions to weight the cases down. As a consequence, we went in one day and found a couple of the cases tipped over, and the types scattered on the floor....About ten feet of the front end of the room was partitioned off, making a commodious room of 10x22 feet, which we used as a residence for the first two years.
We had been disappointed in securing printers, but Mr. Utt again came to the rescue. Having business at St. Louis, he gathered up a couple of printers working in the Republican office, named Morris Lewis and John W. Barton, advanced money to pay their passage on a steamboat, and brought them to White Cloud.
The first issue of the Chief was issued the last week of May, a few days in advance of its date, in order to distribute copies, as a boom for the town, at the Iowa Trust Land Sale, which began at Iowa Point the first of June....During the first four years, we fully learned what it was to "run a newspaper under difficulties." We have often wondered how we managed to hold out during those first years....In those times, Kansas was full of aspiring towns,...and every town at the very start must have a newspaper. There was bitter rivalry between these towns, and the newspaper was expected, above all things, to make it a special business to abuse the other towns.
White Cloud then had only about half a dozen houses. The surrounding country for miles was occupied chiefly by young fellows holding claims of a quarter section each, which they intended to buy in at the land sales; sell out to the best advantage, and skip for fresh fields. The field was not a bonanza for a newspaper. But we weathered it through.
During the first two years and a half, we missed four regular issues of the paper, issuing half sheets, however, two of those weeks. Since the second week in December 1859, the week of the first election for state officers under the present Constitution, we have not missed a single weekly issue; and today the Chief stands as the oldest paper in Kansas, having outlived every paper that existed previous to or at the time of its birth. But we had to work for it. For fifteen years we rarely enjoyed the pleasure of bed until long after midnight....
The year of the great drought, 1860, caught us and the ensuing year brought the hardest times ever known in Kansas. Then the war broke out and every paper in Doniphan County suspended, the only one in Brown burned up, and Nemaha had none. The Chief had the county and legal printing of the three counties; and as the delinquent tax lists were enormous, and the publication notices and sheriff's sales numerous, we had as good a snap as we formerly had a tough one.
About that time the greenbacks were issued, and prices of farm products, labor, and everything jumped away up, and flush times began, lasting all through the war. Money was so plentiful that every scalawag appeared to have a pocketful of greenbacks.
We would like to give sketches of all the old printer boys who worked on the Chief, but want of space forbids....Lewis did not remain long, but returned to St. Louis. At the outbreak of the war, he was publishing a paper at Pocahontas, Arkansas....Barton, or Bart, as he was familiarly called, was full of fun and never fails to figure in the early day rollicking stories related by the old-timers. He took a claim and entered it adjoining the present city of Hiawatha. He is still living, and is foreman of the office of the School and Home at St. Louis....
In 1863, the Chief moved from its old quarters into the building now owned by Miss Mary Noble, farther up the street. In the same year we began the building of a brick office and residence,...which we moved to in the summer of 1864, and occupied until our removal to Troy. This occurred the 4th of July 1872. We occupied the upper story of Sinclair's drug store until June 1880, when we removed to, and soon after bought, the building in which we are now glad to see our friends.
We have been told...that had we located in some large city or political centre, the Chief might have become a great paper. They forget that, when we came to Kansas, every town expected to become a mighty city....We have never regretted not having sought another location. We have seen hard times, but we also have made hundreds of good friends in Doniphan County. The people have been kind to us, and have stood by us at all times.
Having given this short biography of the Chief, we shall now proceed to give a list of the newspapers that have been published in the county.
The first paper ever published in the county was the Constitutionalist at the town of Doniphan; started in 1855 by Thomas J. Key. The paper was Pro-Slavery Democratic, ran for about two years, when Mr. Key removed the office to Iowa Point, and started a paper there. He soon after returned to the South. The last we heard of him, several years ago, he was publishing an agricultural paper at Louisville, Kentucky.
In June 1857, a few days after the Chief began, the Era was issued at Geary City. It had three editors, their names standing at the editorial head as follows: E. H. Grant, Republican; Joseph Thompson, Democrat; Earl Marble, American. But it was a Free State paper, soon followed by Thompson, leaving Marble to go it alone. He was of a highly poetical turn, and almost every issue of the Era contained one or more of his poems. He continued the paper until the summer or fall of 1858, and then suspended. In the spring of 1858, the notorious Charley Lenhart was a printer in that office, when one night he got drunk and started out to paint the town red. He entered Porter & Cooper's store, in which the late Alexander W. Patterson was employed as a clerk, and began firing his revolver at the glassware. Patterson seized a revolver and let him have a charge, inflicting a wound that almost proved fatal. Of the three editors, Dr. Grant has long been employed in the Treasury Department at Washington; Thompson served in the war, and has since been a citizen of St. Joseph; Marble returned to the East and for some years edited a musical and dramatic paper at Boston, and several years ago moved to Denver.
In July 1857, the Elwood Advertiser (neutral) was started by Fairman & Newman. Ed Russell and Tom Osborn, afterwards governor, wrote editorials for the paper, which suffered several temporary suspensions. Jack Merrick ran it for a while in 1858 until the Pike's Peak gold excitement arose, when he with others went to Cherry Creek near Denver and started the first paper there, which we believe is the present Rocky Mountain News. Merrick was killed or died in the army. Fairman returned to Pennsylvania, where he was afterward connected with a newspaper. Newman was recently working at his trade at North Platte, Nebraska.
Early in 1858, James Redpath started a paper at Doniphan called the Crusader of Freedom. It was radical Republican, intended as the personal organ of Gen. James H. Lane, and to advocate his nomination for the Presidency in 1860. But Redpath and Lane soon quarreled, and the paper was suspended in May, the last issue being a special edition devoted to roasting Lane. The late Governor John A. Martin did his first type-setting in Kansas on the Crusader. It was in that paper that Miss Josie S. Hunt's now famous poem, "You Kissed Me," first appeared. A few years later, the material of the Crusader was removed to Atchison, and used in printing the Union, now the Patriot. Redpath soon left Kansas, and afterwards became a famous war correspondent, and an organizer of negro regiments. He is said to have been the originator of Decoration Day. In later years he conducted a lecture bureau, and died within the past two or three years.
In July 1858, the material of the Doniphan Constitutionalist was removed to Iowa Point by Mr. Key, and a Democratic paper started called the Enquirer. He did not remain long. Thomas J. Vandersilee afterwards issued the paper for a few weeks, then gave it up.
*In the summer of 1858, the Leader (Free State) was started at Palermo by F. W. Emery and Charles Parkham. It continued about two years. The publishers both returned to the East, Emery having served in the First State Legislature in the spring of 1861, to which he was elected in December 1859. Parkham was afterwards connected with his father in an immense "Gift Enterprise" in New York City. The material of the Leader was purchased in 1862 by Peter H. Peters and removed to Marysville, where he used it in the publication of a paper. On account of its disloyal tone, the men of Capt. Perry Hutchinson's company of the 13th Kansas Regiment, which was then recruiting at Marysville, mobbed the office and Peters was confined for a short time in Fort Leavenworth.
In the winter of 1858-9, the Elwood Advertiser was resuscitated, or rather a Republican paper was started with the material, called the Free Press, which was edited by D. W. Wilder and Albert
...Beware how you pitch in to redress grievances. Especially if you are editing a newspaper, beware of this. Men will come to you, and tell you of all manner of scandalous things that should be exposed, until you feel that you are chosen and anointed for that especial purpose. You pitch in and expose some rascal. If a broken head or a sore sitting down arrangement is the consequence, it belongs exclusively to you; the public have no interest in it. Perhaps, in the process of denouncing fraud and redressing grievances, you find yourself jerked up in a libel suit. But you feel that you are all right, for you have your witnesses. Yes, you have them. When you put them on the stand, they don't know anything about it. You are the one that must stand the punishment, and pay the lawyer. Not a man will come forward to help you out in expenses. Let the public redress its own grievances, under the laws in such cases made and provided.
THE OBITUARY BORE. Could not some plan be devised, this year of 1894, to exterminate the bore who writes long obituaries, no matter how young or how obscure the subject? Newspapers are imposed upon in this way oftener than in any other....
A PUBLIC NUISANCE. We refer to the city reporter of the average daily paper in a one-horse city; the person who is always referred to by the paper upon which he is employed as a Gazette, or a Herald, or a Journal "young man." They will shove in their noses and their gab whenever a prominent man comes along, and the first thing the man knows he will find a lot of his unconsidered random remarks in print, altered and garbled, as the result of an interview which he gave to the reporter. A public officer will carelessly reply to questions in order to rid himself of a bore, and in like manner will find his words printed as an authoritative official statement, perhaps to the detriment of the public service, or the defamation of some other officer or citizen. If a family meets with some great sorrow or scandal, the same "young man" will thrust himself into the privacy of the home to question the family about the matter, for the purpose of spreading private family matters before the world. A kettle of boiling water emptied upon the "young man" on such an occasion would be the most proper answer to his meddlesomeness.
Ewing Herbert has started a monthly, entitled Newspaperdom, devoted to Kansas newspaper interests. The intention is no doubt all right, but the evident object will be a failure. Kansas newspapers will go on the same as before. Those that do not receive sufficient home advertising will fill up with foreign advertisements. Papers will be started -- perhaps two or three of them -- in places that cannot support a paper corn-meal sack, and in order to eke out a lingering existence will cut their neighbors' throats, and finally their own, by taking work at prices that will not buy raw material. Patent medicine men will beat them down to less than half price, and then go around showing the contracts to all the other offices in order to beat them down. Papers will accept snide advertisements and lose the whole bill. They will advertise and take pay in articles they need, rather than pay 200 percent profit in cash to some dealer for the same article. They will take advertising from advertising agencies, allowing them a commission of 25 percent, and then let them keep the balance as pay for an advertisement in their "Newspaper Directory."
It has often been remarked that the mean who undertakes to run for office on a newspaper boom invariably gets left. It does seem to be a fact. The candidate who can turn out the most columns of newspaper puffs generally has the fewest delegates. It is a sad fact that newspapers have but little political influence....
Frequently an item goes the rounds to the effect such and such a county has from ten to a dozen Republican papers, and yet (strange to say!) the county gives a large opposition majority. That is the very trouble. There are too many so-called Republican papers and they devote themselves chiefly to cutting one another's throat. Kansas has quite a number of able, straight-out papers that fight for principle and cannot be swayed by boodle; but look all around them -- holy Moses!...
Scores of them, that cannot influence a vote, will heartily endorse a candidate for a dollar and a half; and five dollars binds them "firmly by these presents." They will renounce their party, and become an organ of an opposition party for twenty-five to fifty dollars. This is why newspaper puffs have no influence; it is generally understood that they are paid for. Some blacksmith, who can buy a case of second-hand type and an army press, will start a newspaper where there is no patronage, and will give his "endorsements" and his "support" to candidates who ante up enough to get his little wad of ready prints out of the express office. This is why the newspapers are losing their influence....
In these hard times, it signifies little or nothing that a number of papers change their politics. They have no principle and sell for the price of a few months' bread and butter. When there are two or more papers of the same politics in towns or counties that cannot support more than one, we usually find the party divided into factions, each faction being championed by one of the papers....There is another class of editors who failed at some time to get a post office, or some other position, and have devoted their lives to getting even with the man whose recommendation controlled the appointment. Only one man can hold a given office; the other fellows think it was high treason that they did not get it....
These are the sort of men who talk about politicians kicking down the ladder by which they climbed into office....Is it any wonder that newspapers have but little influence? Most of the people have common sense, and can see the motive of such warfare.
We have spoken from a Republican standpoint, but this thing is not confined to the Republican Party....There are examples all around us....Almost every county has like specimens. They have undertaken to do business on an overstocked market, or have offered the public shoddy goods, and are reduced to the necessity of selling what they call their "principles" in order to eke out a precarious existence.
The discrimination shown by many of the brethren of the press in Kansas is something almost amazing. Sol Miller's Troy Chief was a magnificent 9 column folio containing a vast amount of his own matchless composition, and the remainder of it was such selections from every source imaginable as only Sol's exquisite taste could gather. When a scrapbook maker got through with a copy of the Chief, it looked like a flag that had been between the lines during an artillery battle. About a year ago he took in an advertising solicitor who soon succeeded in filling the paper with great glaring poster ads, crowding out all the classic, rare and quaint things that were formerly so attractive and cutting right and left into the editorial quarters. Immediately words of commendation and congratulation over the change were spoken by the papers all over the state, and the veteran editor was praised more for the work of his ad beggar than he had ever been for his splendid contributions to the newspaper literature of Kansas. The newspaper boys have an eye to the larder. -- Concordia Empire.
The boys have all been through the mill, and know the desperate straits all newspaper men in Kansas have been put to keeping their papers alive. They can appreciate paying ads. The exigencies of business make it necessary for us to occupy more space with advertisements than we would from choice, and to place them in positions not in accordance with our taste. If we were rich like Vanderbilt or Astor, with no gross necessities to satisfy, but able to indulge our taste to its full capacity, without being compelled to admit a single advertisement, we think we could get up a paper that all the boys would "holler on." -- Sol Miller.
The Wichita Eagle sends us a line set up by its typesetting machine, bearing the legend, "Chief, Troy, Kansas." The type of the Eagle is now wholly set by the use of machines. By this system, a paper comes out in a dress of new type every day.
*Relics -- Someone in Atchison has two volumes of Sam Medary's Crisis, bound. He published this paper at Columbus, Ohio, at the beginning of the war, soon after leaving Kansas as territorial governor. It was rebel in sentiment. We have the first bound volume of the same paper, that was sent us by Wm. R. Smith, whose father was a subscriber.
We have another relic which would no doubt be highly prized back in Dayton, Ohio. It is a bound volume, comprising about six months of the Gridiron, a paper published in Dayton in 1822-3 by John Anderson. It is devoted largely to "slashing" people for their misdeeds, and has many decidedly racy articles....
We also have a file of the Germantown (O.) Gazette, published in 1826-7, which contains the marriage notices of many old citizens,...and advertisements of business men who live only in the memory of the older people.
We have many other old publications that we value highly. They are perhaps the only publications of their kind in existence, and contain local records of great interest. -- Sol Miller.
Perhaps some of our subscribers, in comparing notes on last week's Chief, found something in the make-up of the outside that they could not account for. By a mistake in wetting down, the wetter got over one hundred papers short, which was discovered after the inside was worked off, and part of the outside was dismantled. We knew there would be a general howl for that installment of the story, if we cut the subscribers off with a half-sheet; so we rigged up another outside, using some matter prepared for this week, and printed papers to supply the deficiency, containing the regular amount of story. But that outside was different from the original, and contained one column of reading that is in this week's issue.
Oh, for relief! We wonder if the experience of other publishers of country papers is the same as ours. The mails appear to be literally burdened with propositions usually conveyed under circular form, in envelopes bearing a one-cent stamp, to make country editors rich, to boom their circulation, etc. In every such proposition, the first point is to send money to somebody else. We find offers of clubbing rates with Eastern newspapers, in which we are asked to reduce the price of our paper in order to apply the amount reduced to the subscription of said Eastern paper, for clubbing purposes. There are offers of bicycles, sewing machines, and all manner of gimcracks, to be offered as premiums, for which we are asked to pay only a small amount in cash, being simply the retail price of the machine, and as much more in addition in advertising. We are offered books, magazines, music and everything imaginable, at a very low figure, for the purpose of offering to people to induce them to subscribe to our paper. Every such proposition professes to be for the purpose of making money for us, or booming our circulation. We throw all such propositions into a corner, to be used as fire kindling. They have supplied us with kindling all winter, and the pile is growing on our hands.
Old Busby, the tramp printer, spent Christmas with the Horton Commercial, which paper, in giving an account of it, and of the bed he made for himself on the office floor, has this reference to the Chief: "The Troy Chief he put under his feet, for he said he intended to kick Old Sol Miller the first time he meets him, because he (Busby) exposes some of the old editor's tricks, and because `Old Buz' is an older printer than Sol." We want to remark that Busby is evidently mistaken about being an older printer than ourself. He came to Kansas in an early day, and enlisted in the First Kansas at the breaking out of the Rebellion....There may be old printers in Kansas whom we do not know of; but the only two in the state who began the business before we did, to our knowledge, are John Speer, and S. D. McDonald of Topeka, and Speer has been out of business for so many years that we may claim to be the older printer of the two. Judge W. C. Webb of Topeka was a printer many years ago, before we began. On the 28th of this month, if our wind holds out so long, we will enter upon our fiftieth year in the business. And it has been continuous service, without cessation or lay-off. We never tramped, or went into some other business; but from the first day we entered a printing office to the present, have buckled down to the work. By the way, we have helped to put in type some mighty interesting history, in these 49 years. The last year of the Mexican War; the revolutions in France, Germany and Hungary; the discovery of gold in California; the usurpation of the Empire by Louis Napoleon; the Crimean War; the Franco-Italian War; the great American Rebellion; the war between Prussia and Austria; the French-German War, and the downfall of the Empire of Louis Napoleon; and all the lesser wars since that time. We think we lay it over "Old Buz." -- Sol Miller.
By Sol Miller
We made mention, last week, that that date marked forty years since we pulled up stakes in Ohio and struck out for Kansas. Next Sunday, the 28th about 12:00 o'clock in the afternoon, it will be forty years since we landed on Kansas soil for a permanent residence. That day was Saturday, and a rare and glorious day it was; and the next day was like unto it. We remember it well by the token that we rambled over the hills to view the landscape, and did not get back in time for the sermon of an itinerant Methodist preacher who held forth that day. His name was Butt. He undertook to haul us over the coals for it, like a genuine inquisitor; but greatly to the scandal of some of the faithful, we informed him that we were not subject to his beck and call, and proposed to use our own pleasure in such matters; that this was a free country, or at least we intended to do our part to make it so. And we have never been to church since, thanks to the intolerant meddler.
Forty years are a long time....Kansas has witnessed wonderful changes, and the country at large has made great history, in that time....
Sol. Miller, for the past forty years editor and proprietor of The Weekly Kansas Chief, died at his home in this city at 6:30 a.m. on the 17th day of April, 1897, after an illness of several months, during which his sufferings were very great. His disease was valvular disease of the heart, known to the medical fraternity as mitral stenosis. It had its origin several years ago, coming on imperceptibly, and when known was beyond the reach of medicine....He passed away peacefully in the presence of his family....Solomon Miller was born at Lafayette, Indiana, on the 22nd day of January, 1831. When but a few months of age, his parents returned with him to West Alexandria, Ohio, their former home, where he grew up, and received such advantages as the very common schools of that period provided. At the age of 17 years, it was determined that he should become a printer, so he was apprenticed to William Gunckel, the proprietor of the Gazette, a paper that was established at Germantown, Ohio, just 12 miles further down Big Twin Creek, his favorite stream, about two years before. He applied himself closely to the business, and soon became proficient in the art of printing. He worked while others played, and very soon outstripped his associates. Before the completion of his apprenticeship, Mr. Gunckel sold the Gazette to Reeder & Oblinger, two of his printers, who changed the name of the paper, calling it the Western Emporium. About this time, a telegraph line was built from Dayton to Cincinnati, which passed through Germantown. An office was established in the Emporium building, and in a short time Sol became the leading operator, and gradually got in the habit of reading messages by sound, while standing at the case setting type. Indeed, it is quite probable that he was the first to do so. Sol and J. H. Brooks...became the successor of J. Z. Reeder (who bought the interest of F. J. Oblinger in the Emporium) and after Brooks had left, the former continued to publish the Emporium until May 1854, when the name was changed to Twin Valley Locomotive....The Locomotive gave way to the American Republican, the first number of which was issued on his wedding day....Married. On Thursday afternoon...by Rev. A. Henkel, Sol Miller, editor of the Republican, to Miss Mary Kaucher, eldest daughter of Jacob Kaucher....Two children were born to them, Lelia D. and William K. All three survive him. In the spring of 1856, the White Cloud Town Company determined to have a newspaper...and a contract was made which brought Mr. Miller, with his office, to Kansas in the spring of 1857. Mr. Miller was the last of four brothers -- Jonathan, an older one; Alexander Hamilton of White Cloud; and Geo. W. Miller of Lapel, Ind., all of whom died years ago. Two sisters survive him -- Mrs. Cynthia Robinson of Greenville, Ohio, is the oldest of the family, and Mrs. Sallie Spessard of West Alexandria, Ohio....Mr. Miller had served in the capacity of apprentice about four years, and as editor over forty years, making his entire service a little less than fifty years....Mr. Miller has been severely criticized because of his peculiar religious views....He despised hypocrisy and shams of all kinds, and never hesitated to condemn them in vigorous language. Many of his strongest friends were ministers and leaders in the church....He was a true Odd Fellow....He became a member of Friendship Lodge No. 21, I.O.O.F., in 1853 by initiation and afterwards transferred his membership to White Cloud Lodge....The funeral...was under the control of White Cloud Lodge No.6, I.O.O.F., of which Mr. Miller had been a member since its organization. Rev. Riggle of the M.E. Church was present and delivered a short address, devoted mainly to the history of the deceased editor. The floral offerings were numerous....Many flowers were left upon the grave, and there we leave all that was mortal of Sol Miller.
The Weekly Kansas Chief, with its furniture, fixtures, good will, accounts and everything pertaining thereto, were transferred by the late Sol. Miller, a few days before his death, to his son, W. K. Miller, who will hereafter continue the business. No change in politics, policy or price will be made in the paper, but it will be conducted as nearly as possible on the same lines as those marked out by its founder....
With this issue, I relinquish the management of the Chief to T. J. Schall, who will conduct the affairs of the office for the next five years in his own way, being only limited to the name of the paper and its politics, which will be the same as now. The name Chief was adopted at the beginning and has never been changed, making it the oldest paper in Kansas, and this might also include Nebraska, the Dakotas, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Indian Territory, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, the only exceptions being the Nebraska City News, the Northwestern Christian Advocate, of Portland, Oregon, and the Desert News of Salt Lake City, Nevada.... -- Wm. K. Miller.