Articles in database from Beloit Gazette: 16
We have in our possession the first paper ever printed in Mitchell County. It was presented to us by F. E. Jerome, who set the first type ever set in Beloit. In order to get this, Jerome got up in the night and put the forms on the press and took the impression, after which he returned the forms. The next morning they were again put on the press and Mr. Cornell carefully laid away the first paper printed, believing that he had the first paper printed in Mitchell County.
F. W. Knapp, editor-in-chief of the Gazette, and family left Monday morning for their old home in Wichita to spend Christmas....Being a great lover of sport, he will no doubt join in the great wolf and rabbit hunt which generally takes place in that section of the country at this season of the year....The writer has had the pleasure of knowing Brother Knapp from boyhood; we have seen him as a scholar, as a teacher, as editor of a Western paper, as clerk in the House, as private secretary to ex-Governor Hoch, as secretary of the State Board of Control, and in other ways...over more than 20 years....Mr. Knapp has spent nearly two years of untiring effort in building the Gazette up to its present high standing in the ranks of Kansas journalism....
S. H. Dodge passed on -- S. H. Dodge was born at Elmira, N.Y., Nov. 13, 1843, and died at Beloit Dec. 22, 1912. His father was Rev. Jonas Dodge, a prominent minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in the state of New York, who became one of the early pioneers of Kansas and died at Lawrence in March 1859....S. H. Dodge came to Kansas with his parents in 1858; he first settled on a farm in Doniphan County. In 1860 he went into a printing office at Grasshopper Falls to learn the printing trade. Later he worked at Atchison and St. Joseph, Mo.; returning to Grasshopper Falls, he published the Jeffersonian for a year. During this time he was anti-Lane though a staunch Republican. He went to Troy and placed the Investigator upon a paying basis, after which he sold his interest and returned to Atchison, thence to Lawrence, being connected with the Journal and Tribune offices until 1872. He was foreman in the Tribune office when the proprietor, John Speer, sold out in 1872. While in Lawrence he was one of the leading members of the Typographical Union and acted as a delegate to the National Union in 1866. He was afterward connected with the Burlington Patriot and the Garnett Plaindealer. In 1879, he established the Leroy Reporter and the same winter became foreman of the Leavenworth Times. Mr. Dodge moved to Beloit and took charge of the Beloit Gazette in 1880. The following is taken from an editorial written in the Gazette 25 years later, in 1905: +?The writer took charge of the Gazette in May 1880 and has had the personal supervision of the paper ever since and, with the exception of four years in which he was register of the U.S. Land Office at Concordia, has been constantly at these headquarters....President Arthur gave us a term in a land office; the State Editorial Association put us at its head one term. We have served as chairman or member of the Republican Congressional Senatorial Judicial County and Ward Republican Committee nearly 25 years; and four Republican governors have made us a member of the Board of Regents of the normal schools of the state (he served 16 years as regent, the longest term served by one man).+? He sold the Gazette and retired from active business about three years ago. Mr. Dodge was married Feb. 22, 1863, to Laura Ella Wheeler, who died Oct. 5, 1877. He was married a second time to America Coburn on Nov. 27, 1878, and she passed on July 3, 1909. The surviving children of the first marriage are Mrs. F. M. Filsow of Cameron, Mo., Mrs. W. W. Dilworth and George H. Dodge of Beloit, and of the second marriage Clyde C. Dodge of Ontario, Ore....His reputation as a newspaperman was the highest, his editorials were condensed until they contained the plain unvarnished fact....He was a prominent member of the several Masonic bodies....
Monday's Daily Call contained the announcement that A. B. Adamson had sold one-half interest in that paper to Harry Houghton, who has for a number of years been doing the reportorial work on the Call.
The editor of an exchange doesn't want anyone to send him any more copies of his papers in which they have found mistakes. If they find a perfect copy, however, he offers a big price for it. Same with us, says the editor of the Crystal Falls (Mich.) Drill....We will be pleased to buy copies of any paper which can be proven entirely free from errors, either typography or in statements of fact. We will be pleased to find a merchant who never made a mistake in putting up an order; a lawyer who never lost a case through his own errors; a doctor who never wrongly diagnosed a case; a druggist who never made a mistake; a postal official who never put mail into the wrong box; a woman who never forgot to put in the salt while cooking or to put the tea in the teapot before putting in the water. Bring on some mistakeless paragons who find it so easy to criticize the papers and we'll give them the chance of their lives to find out whether they are really human. -- Publishers' Auxiliary.
At the recent state Editorial Association, Merle Thorpe, dean of journalism at Kansas State University, told some facts of interest to the reading public as well as to publishers. Most of his paper was shop talk on how to improve the condition of Kansas newspapers from a financial as well as other points of view, but we are indebted to him for the use of such parts as will interest our readers. He said in part:
I should like to choose some stirring subject such as "The Power of the Press" and recount how the press of America has been a lap ahead of every great movement in the nation's history; how it stirred men to action from early colonial times to the present day....
Or I should like to live over with you the lives of those masters of our profession; of Greeley and Raymond, and Bennett, Samuel Bowles, and Joseph Pulitzer. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to portray for you some of these dramatic incidents in the life and work of Joseph Pulitzer, the patron saint of schools of journalism, who, as an 18-year-old immigrant penniless and unable to speak English landed in New York City. He returned to that city later one of America's big editors and, with an irony worthy of the fates, he paid $300,000 for the hotel from which he had been kicked out as a homeless boy 20 years before....
Or I should like to discuss with you some of the ethical rules of our game: Whether a newspaper is a public utility or a private business? Whether Congress has the right to demand that advertisements be labeled? Should news ever be suppressed? Or we might be interested in considering the action and reaction of this new and tremendous power of organized publicity on the general scheme of society. Journalism has taken its place among the permanent forces that govern the world. It visibly affects all we do and say and think; it has crowded out the old-time preacher; it supersedes parliaments; it elbows out literature; it rivals the university; it furnishes the world with a new set of nerves every day.
And I should like for nothing better this afternoon if I followed the lines of my desire than to set before you for discussion the problem of tracing out journalism consequences; of defining its nature and function, and of establishing its place and prerogatives by the side of those other forces -- religion, law, commerce, war, and art.
I tell you frankly that, if I were addressing any other body than the editorial association, I should not discuss family affairs; rather I should not miss the opportunity to laud the high place in which my profession rests. I would not fail to explain with Wendell Phillips, "Let me make the newspapers and I care not who makes the religion or the laws." I should explain that a newspaper is all powerful in that it can drop the same thought into a million minds at the same moment, that it is an adviser that needs not be sought, which is at the nation's ear every morning and evening. I should show you that every worthy citizen in Kansas reads a newspaper and owns the paper he reads. I should apostrophize the newspaper and say it is an open window through which men look upon everything that is going on in the world. I should say that the newspaper keeps pace with history and records it, that a good newspaper will keep a sensible man in sympathy with the world....
What I have to say today is arranged in two parts. You have anticipated that the first has to do with present conditions in the Kansas newspaper field. Most of this material came from you yourselves....From the 600 questionnaires sent to country editors last week only 213 replied. The other two-thirds, I take it, were stumped by one question and are still looking for their 1912 profits.
Here are a few facts boiled down to the bone:
Printing and publishing ranks fifth in the industries of the United States. It ranks sixth in Kansas. There are 4,093 persons engaged in printing and publishing in this state and the average wage is a few cents under $10 a week. Your answers verified the census figures on this fact. More than half of the editors who replied to me stated that they had taken out from $8 to $12 a week during 1912 for their salaries and had made no profit. A chosen few made $15 a week -- some weeks.
The average number of hours put in each week for this stupendous wage was 71. That's 10 hours a day including Sunday. Some editors admitted surprise when, in checking up their working hours, they found it averaging 14 and 15 hours a day, seven days a week. I glanced at the profits of one man who was working 96 hours a week. He had taken out less than $50 a month, he said. That was at the rate of 12 cents an hour.
The National Bankers Association reports that 82 percent of the publishing plants in Kansas are mortgaged and yet, in point of output, the industry ranks sixth. Work valued at $7,083,000 was turned out in 1910.
But that is not all. Worse than the long hours, the beggarly pay, is that woebegone feeling of unsatisfaction that strikes every country editor to the heart because he knows he hasn't a fair chance editorially. The community for which he struggles has loaded him down with business cares and worries. He has small opportunities to fulfill the duties of an editor proper. He is a hybrid, neither flesh nor fowl. He must be at once a businessman and a professional man, and he must be the master of one of the most intricate businesses in the world. Despite its happy-go-lucky air, which has been its curse, the print shop is a jealous mistress. The critics of the newspaper -- and the backwoods are full of them -- who hold up the local paper to ridicule and point out its sins of omission and commission, do not realize that the editor has spent five-sixths of his time to provide ways and means to furnish that critical subscriber his weekly grist of news for two cents.
...The opportunities of a country editor. Who can name them? Who can establish their metes and bounds? The country editor is the nucleus of the community life, and community life is what has made this nation strong and sound, is what makes any nation strong and sound. The country editor is the one who, more than any other, makes his community what it is. He is the big brother of its church, the patron saint of its school, the advance agent of its civic progress and the stimulus of social life. Every drop of the community blood is colored by his influence; thousands of the best citizens of Kansas are without doubt influenced more in their daily pursuits by the country paper than by any other agency; they live their lives by their paper; they plant their gardens by the paper; they make their dresses by the papers; they look to the paper for entertainment as well as for information; they judge public officials and their neighbors by the paper; their children learn their first lessons in local and national government from its columns and, after the paper is seemingly "dead and done for," a careful housewife uses it for her pantry shelves or puts it under the rag carpet.
And yet what a development of these opportunities would be possible if the country editor could spend even half his time in an editorial capacity, instead of four or five hysterical hours a week snapping up inconsiderable trifles. How the old order changes! What are they saying today? The church is a failure; our judges are corrupt; the divorce evil is undermining home life; women are bringing upon us great economic changes; there's the recall; the referendum; the initiative; and the turning about of judicial decisions. And how, pray, if these questions are to be settled by the people themselves, can it be done without an intelligent press? And how can the press of Kansas do its part if the editor is obliged to work 80 out of 90 hours a week in order to furnish the money that he may be allowed to serve his public with a weekly paper? What time has he during his 14-hour day to study municipal questions, the best methods of paving Main Street, what other towns have done in sanitation, how best to provide wholesome water, and the thousand and one civic matters to which the community looks to him for information and direction? What time has he during his 14-hour day to minister to the social side of his big family, to tell each member little stories of the life of his community?...What time has the editor during his 14-hour day to keep close to the youngsters of his town, who read his pages with wider eyes than they do the textbook or the Sunday school leaflet? When Frank Foster of the Ellsworth Messenger told in his columns years ago that I had won a prize at school, that three-line notice made me prouder by far than when the Reverend Tercy and Superintendent Fairchild praised me publicly for it.
Some call it the spell of the printed page; whatever it is, it has potential power for making community life happier and better. And what chance have the 200 editors who reported to me last week? Listen to a case which is representative of nearly all. Here is how one editor is obliged to put in his time. He works 80 hours a week. Fifty-two he spends in the back office on job and paper. Twenty hours he spends in soliciting business and advertising, and to the gathering and writing the news of his paper he gives eight hours.
This is a black picture, I grant you. There will be some who will delude themselves into saying that these are only a newspaperman's figures. But the testimony of 200 editors has shown me conclusively that of all the laborers in the Kansas vineyard, from banker to bootblack, the editor man works the hardest, puts in the longest hours, and gets the least pay.
To say that there was a lively interest manifested in the closing of the big automobile circulation contest which came to an end on the Gazette, Glen Elder Sentinel, Simpson News and Farmers Mail & Breeze last Saturday night at 8:00 o'clock is mildly expressing it....The telephones in each of the three offices where the counting was being done were kept busy answering anxious inquiries until a late hour at night.
The net result...more than 600 new names were added to our list of readers and our subscription accounts were put in excellent condition insofar as arrearages are concerned....Nearly all old subscribers took advantage of offer of two papers for price of one. Winners: Miss Emma Presler of Glen Elder, Ford roadster; Miss Isabel Arnoldy of Tipton, piano; Miss Myra Dunckley of Victor, diamond ring; Miss Grace Wilson of Scottsville, scholarship; Miss Bess Oliver of Cawker City, gold watch.
Fred W. Knapp, editor and publisher. Sworn paid circulation 2,050. Guaranteed average number of copies printed and circulated during 1913, 2,250.
Rate Card -- Net rates from and after Jan. 1, 1914. Display 10 cents per inch. Readers 20 cents per inch each insertion. Medicine locals barred. On contracts for display in excess of 1,000 inches where electros are used and furnished a discount of 25 percent will be made from above prices.
Next week will find most of the live newspaper men of Kansas at Lawrence and Manhattan....The National Newspaper Conference will convene at Lawrence the first four days and in connection with that important gathering the State University has prepared a course of study lectures for the Kansas editors. Friday and Saturday the Kansas State Editorial Association will convene in Manhattan, where an equally interesting and important program will be rendered.
Among the noted young journalists who will speak at Lawrence will be Mark Sullivan of New York, editor of Collier's Weekly; Oswald Garrison Villard of New York, author, editorial writer and president of the New York Evening Post; Henry King, editor of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat; Charles H. Grasty, publisher of the Baltimore Sun; James Melvin Lee, former editor of Judge, now at the head of the school of journalism of the New York University; E. St. Elmo Lewis, advertising manager of the Burroughs Adding Machine Co.; Frank LeRoy Blanchard, editor of Editor and Publisher; Wilbur D. Nesbit of Chicago, who is connected with the National Advertising Agency; B. B. Herbert, editor of National Printer Journalist; J. C. Morrison, publisher of the Morris (Minn.) Tribune; Barratt O'Hara, lieutenant governor of Illinois; Roy W. Howard of New York, manager of the United Press; George Hough Perry of San Francisco, an authority on advertising and marketing of goods; Ed E. Sheasgreen, a cost and efficiency expert of Chicago; Marce Morrow of Topeka, Ralph Tennal of Burlington, and others.
Next Sunday, 12 of the editors of Kansas will occupy the pulpits of the various churches of Lawrence and discuss the subject "The Press and the Pulpit." The editors chosen by the university to deliver these lay sermons are: William Allen White of the Emporia Gazette; George W. Marble of the Fort Scott Tribune; Henry J. Allen of the Wichita Beacon; E. E. Kelley of the Toronto Republican; Arthur Capper of the Topeka Capital; Homer Hoch of the Marion Record; Imri Zumwalt of the Bonner Springs Chieftain; Chas. M. Harger of the Abilene Reflector; Ewing Herbert of the Hiawatha World; A. Q. Miller of the Belleville Telescope; W. Y. Morgan of the Hutchinson News; F. W. Knapp of the Beloit Gazette.
NEWSPAPERS AND THE PULPIT
One of the big features of journalism week at the University of Kansas was a series of twelve sermons delivered by twelve famous newspaper men on "The Press and the Pulpit" in twelve different churches on the same night.
The Christ of Today -- William Allen White of the Emporia Gazette discusses social progress.
The world's gods at any time will be found to be made from the heart of the world; from the world's emotions -- its hopes and fears and loves and hatreds and aspirations. A god is a living god only so long as the god lives in the emotions and the will of men. When a god appeals only to the mind, to the memory, to the intellect and physical side of man, the god is dead. Now it so happens that in the civilized part of this world of ours today all the gods are dead -- save one -- "Chris and him crucified." The story of Christ still appeals to the hearts of men, still moves their wills, still influences their conduct. So wonderful a God is this Jesus, the Nazarene carpenter, that he is more surely alive today than ever he was before in the world.
The growth of the idea of Christ in the world parallels the growth of mankind in fellowship, self respect, benevolence and justice. The Christ that men knew in the crusades is only a small part of the Christ of today. The Christ of today will be only a small part of the Christ that men shall know tomorrow. Yet the ultimate Christ of some distant age, the Christ who shall lead men to whatever undreamed truth shall make them finally free, was in deed and in truth the God who left us 2,000 years ago -- he and none other. How he came into this world is immaterial. Whether he came with a physical miracle or not is of little consequence compared with the greatest spiritual miracle in the world that occurred when such a vast flood of divinity flowed into the world through the Nazarene carpenter. The miracle of virgin birth must be accepted upon faith; the miracle of the influx of divine truth through Jesus Christ finds its indisputable proof in the slow but resistless upward struggle of men toward the ideal which Jesus taught.
Pulpit Can Help Press -- Improvements noticeable, says George W. Marble of the Fort Scott Tribune.
It would be impossible to arrive at any accurate conclusion as to the relation of the newspaper press to the pulpit without taking account of the fact that the newspaper is subjected to economic necessities which do not confront the pulpit. The newspaper is a creature of a commercial system, dependent upon its revenues for secular services rendered in competition with other mediums of publicity for its very existence. Necessarily it must first establish itself on a paying basis before it can become interested in the questions with which it is the pulpit's mission to deal.
But the newspaper should not be expected to become more closely allied with the pulpit than to encourage in a general way the work of the church. It cannot become the newspaper's business primarily to preach the gospel. The newspaper, as a matter of fact, differs none from any other private business in the respect that it must supply a carnal demand. While it may in a measure educate its constituents to a taste for less objectionable news, it rests primarily with the pulpit to do that or at least to lead in the effort.
The experiment of publishing a daily paper according to the ideals of the pulpit a number of years ago resulted in such a severe censorship of the news as to make the paper dull and uninteresting to the average reader. True, it does not necessarily follow that the public taste for news cannot be modified. The gospel which the pulpit proclaims is effective in altering tastes. Through the medium of this gospel the pulpit, supported by a quickened press, may some day make it possible for newspapers to practice a more drastic censorship. Possibly the efforts of the pulpit to bring the press up to the pulpit's ideal of perfection would be more readily accomplished through an appreciation by the pulpit of the perplexing problems of the press and its cooperation rather than by extravagant condemnation.
Need Vision of Service -- Henry J. Allen of Wichita Beacon says papers are improving.
There is one respect in which editors and preachers may be compared, and that is in this. There are two kinds. Some have a broader vision of service than others. Some editors recognize that a newspaper has a glorious opportunity for doing good. Others recognize that it is a good thing to own for the purpose of making money and having something to do in life with which to keep busy.
The newspaper preaches daily to many thousands, and in the audience are Presbyterians, Methodists, Unitarians, Christian Scientists, Catholics and Mormons and representatives of every shading of creed and belief.
The preacher preaches twice a week to some hundreds, and he must also visit them in sickness and in death and mingle with their social life and live on terms of close brotherly and sympathetic interest. When he preaches, he preaches to Presbyterians or Methodists or Baptists or whatever creed his church represents. There is no problem in his mind as to what his orthodox duty really is. He has fewer temptations than the editor has to preach at a class or build himself a special following. His clear call is to serve Christ, and the ages have builded him a discipline of service. His marching orders are rather clear.
The editor had to begin without any program. No martyrs had ever gone to the stake for his cause. His business was not even dignified as a profession. The newspaper began in political chaos with no established standards, and it soon caught all of the faults of the age.
Newspapers that ten years ago did not seek to introduce moral scrutiny into their responsibility for their advertising columns are now cleaning up, cutting out liquor advertisements, filthy medical advertisements and seeking to make their advertising columns and their editorial columns coordinate in an effort at clean journalism.
The future benefit of this effort cannot be weighed. A clean press and a clean pulpit are traveling in the same direction, but the field of the press is naturally much the larger. Its obligation to serve high civilization is just as sacred as the obligation of the pulpit.
Editor, Too, Is "Called" -- Stands with the preacher, says E. E. Kelley of the Toronto Republican.
Whatever the bent of a man's mind, whatever the development of his body or the quality of the gray matter of his brain, two things must come into the life of every normal man. Once at least, soon or late, there comes a time when love pipes on his golden reed, and, hearing, he needs must follow to the piper's merry tune. And once again, and perhaps many times, Jehovah calls all men an insistent call that comes through the sunlight of God's sweet day or in the still watches of the night, demanding of him service; demanding of him that he be, and do, good; demanding that he serve his fellow men according to his talent; that he help and make his little world, the community or city in which he lives, the better for his having been in it.
The life of the preacher who is called of God is a life of service. He has little time for business, except that of his heavenly Father. He is an actor in all parts of the drama of life. He christens the infant, joins men and maids in wedlock, visits the old, prays with the sick and afflicted, gives spiritual advice and consolation, and when man returns to the dust from whence he came teaches the great comforting fact that it is possible for the grave to be swallowed up in victory.
And what about the editor who has heard and heeded the call -- the call to service? I know the popular but apocryphal type of country editor -- the man who takes cabbage and cordwood on subscription; whose ready print comes C.O.D.; who sells his paper in political campaigns to the highest bidder. Like Sairy Gamp's esteemed friend, Miss Harris, "There ain't no such person."
The typical country editor of this part of the west is another personality. His columns are the annals of country folk, the history of neighborhoods and families, the heartbeat of the community. He is with his people through the fat and lean years. His paper is the diary of their civilization. And by the fireside in the home its pages are gone over column by column and paragraph by paragraph. And this is service.
And the paper prints the news worth printing -- the clean news. He has convictions on moral questions, and when vice threatens the boys and girls of his little town he takes his subscription list and advertising columns in hand and stands shoulder to shoulder with the preacher in fighting the good fight. For the true editor hearkens to his "call."
Press Is Doing Its Work -- Arthur Capper of the Capper Publications calls for newspaper appreciation.
I do not want to appear before you as an apologist for the newspaper. Because the decent newspaper needs no apologist, and the indecent newspaper deserves none.
The pulpit is, I fear, too often misunderstood by the press. The newspaper is almost always misunderstood by the pulpit, and this misunderstanding arises from what I think is misconception of the provinces and functions of the newspaper.
And yet if you take the newspaper at its face value and accept it for what it claims to be the misconception is hardly possible.
All newspaper criticism is based to a large extent upon the personal attitude of the critic. It seems difficult sometimes for a man outside the newspaper profession to remember that a newspaper is made for all people, not for any one set nor class nor clique.
The newspaper is not a preacher; it is not a Jeremiah no
A deal was made today in this city whereby F. W. Knapp sells the Gazette office to John R. Harrison, lately of Salina but formerly of Manhattan....For some time, Mr. Harrison has been employed by the government in the post office department as inspector and was the last Republican to hold the office of United States marshal, which he relinquished a few months ago in favor of a Democrat. -- Monday Beloit Daily Call.
Goodbye -- Last Monday the ownership of the Gazette was transferred to John R. Harrison and the writer for the time being is a retired man of leisure....Our stay of almost four years in the newspaper field of Beloit has been a most enjoyable one....The Gazette has endeavored to keep step with this onward and upward trend. It was the first paper in the county to install a modern standard Linotype at a cost of $2,500. It has also during the past three years greatly added to its other equipment necessary for publishing a modern and up-to-date newspaper....Mr. Harrison's home for many years was Salina. He worked his way up in the railway mail service, where merit alone counts, to inspector in charge with headquarters at Chicago, Kansas City, and Washington, D.C. He was appointed United States marshal by President Taft and only recently was succeeded by a Democratic appointee....He...will move his family to Beloit immediately. -- Fred W. Knapp.
In an article in which he tells with pride of how he stood like old Horatius at the bridge in behalf of Congressman Connolly, the editor of the Cawker City Ledger says: "Again we are for him." Of course the editor is for Connolly for Connolly is for the editor for the post office. Assuming that the editor lands the post office and hoping that he does, our prediction, which is based upon an experience had with a good many postmasters, is that the editor will be for Connolly just as long as Connolly is for the editor for postmaster at Cawker City.... -- J. R. Harrison.
L.C. Headley surprised his many friends in Smith County last week by quietly slipping up from Ponca City, Okla., to enjoy the Old Settlers reunion which was in session over at the county capital. Having helped fight the battles of this section of Kansas some 50 years ago, Mr. Headley was equipped with the proper credentials....For many years, Mr. Headley published the Gaylord Herald at this point and made it one of the best papers in this section of the state at that time. About 15 years ago he discontinued its publication, sold the plant, and moved to Ponca City, where he has since been editor of the daily and weekly Ponca Courier, one of the best paying newspapers in northern Oklahoma....+? -- Gaylord Sentinel.
F. W. Knapp returned Sunday evening from a business trip to Topeka. While in Topeka, Mr. Knapp completed arrangements whereby he becomes the agent in this section of Kansas of the Germania Life Insurance Company of New York....He will have offices over the Beloit State Bank....
The Atchison Champion, which for many years under Governor Martin was one of the leading papers of the state, but which since his death has had a checkered career, has finally gone where the woodbine twineth and the whangdoodle mourneth for his first born....
Having desire to go fishing one of the hot days recently, Col. Jay House asked William Allen White of the Emporia Gazette to "jam up" an article of sufficient length to fill the "Second Thought" column in the Topeka Capital, suggesting that he reproduce that epic of Emporia life, "The Horsewhipping of the Editor of the Emporia Gazette."
Being a real obliging fellow, William Allen complied with the request and, as it requires quite a spiel to fill the hole that House has set apart for his use in the Capital, the Emporia editor went about it in the following manner:
In yesterday's Topeka Capital, Col. J. E. House, recalling the time when J. E. Todd snook up behind him and hit him with a loaded cane, rises gently to the serene and philosophic mood that comes when one views the days that were. From that vantage point, he calls upon the Gazette to reprint the story of the lady who chased its editor with a horsewhip. The suggestion is not a bad one. We should follow it but for a plan we've been maturing for years to print our recollections of the perilous times of the Kansas press.
These pallid days upon which we have fallen do not recall the blithe, gay years when reporting was combined with foot racing, mayhem, grand and lofty tumbling, buck and wing dancing and assault with intent to kill. Thirty-two years ago this summer we began to kick the heavy Colt jobber, rustle personals at the trains, and drop watermelon rinds on prominent citizens passing below as we molded public opinion in the forms, hot and often rebellious, for the columns of the Butler County Democrat.
Our first essay at reform was upon a gambler who had a little stud game four doors down the hallway from the office, and who used to like to take out a girl we fancied in a red-wheeled buggy. That red-wheeled buggy gave us a realizing sense of the wickedness of the gambler's life. So, while the editor was out of town, we slipped an item in the paper about the stud game which the city marshal could not well overlook. The item was a mistake. That gambler sat up out of hours four long days trying to get a chance to kick our base of supplies into our subconsciousness, and only a fleet and earnest pair of young feet kept the gambler from achieving his end. Incidentally, he got the girl. Which taught us a lesson about the gratitude of republics.
The year following, while riding the hook and ladder truck to fires and drawing $8 a week as runaway reporter and train chaser for Bent Murdock of the ElDorado Republican, we were persuaded by a local advertiser to make a few sensible remarks about a lady peddling corsets in the town, who was taking business from the merchant prince. The lady went to the harness shop, bought a keen rawhide and walked Main Street and Sixth avenue for two days and haunted the Republican office at all hours for the reporter. The boss and the foreman expressed virtuous indignation to her at the shameless attitude of the reporter, and he made his beat from the alleys meekly peering into a store from the back room to see if she was there, before entering it, and never getting far from the alley door. We wrote our copy on the back stairs and sent it in by the devil, who once, being eager for a foot race or something equally as good, told the waiting and obdurate woman where we were perched. Then that episode passed, and we roasted a circus that didn't advertise enough to suit our nice taste in those matters, and if the circus had sent a sober man to do its fighting he might have caught us.
In those ElDorado days, we attempted to paralyze the Farmers Alliance, and were ridden in effigy thro' the streets of the town; a boycott was declared on the paper and the candidate for county attorney on the Alliance ticket bought a gun to answer our charges.
Then we moved to Lawrence, where we have winged many a gay mile down Massachusetts street before irate citizens, have faced many a furious mob of Democrats in the office, coming in to stop subscriptions and order out advertising. Once Jerry Gladheart -- peace to his ashes -- sent word that he would shoot us on sight, and once Pete Foley came to call with a large feverish ball bat, and remained to pray. Life in Lawrence was just one long gorgeous flirtation with violent death. The only flash of light that illuminates those Lawrence literary days in our memory was the friendship of Nash Walker, a colored porter in the Eldridge house, who afterwards became famous as an actor and once, in New York, let us touch the hem of his fame and stand in the reflected glory of our association. Nash never tried to kill us. But he sat at the reporter+?s desk and grinned that incandescent smile of his while a drunken printer with a long-bladed knife came in one midnight, while Nash was sharing our lunch, and chased us all over the room, out into the business office and through the stock room. Nash certainly had a sense of humor and the thought of a printer killing us, who had no especial grievance other than that we had asked him for a quarter he had borrowed, while good and virtuous burglars whom we had libeled and slandered had failed to wing us -- the subtle humor of that situation certainly did give Nash a few merry moments.
In Kansas City, life grew gradually dull and monotonous. A glance into the howitzer carried by Joe Davenport, who came in to whip the editor of the Star, and a leap from the second story of the building to a desk in the business office on the first floor, to escape the gun, was the most considerable episode that came to relive the drab life. A delegation from the stock yards once came to fight, but we were out and they ignobly let the matter drop. A leading citizen named Owsley, and a gentleman named Blitz, obligingly threatened to kill us, but without lasting and satisfactory results. So we left Kansas City for Emporia, where for a few years business did not pick up. We were slugged by a prominent citizen, chased by a lady, laid for by a female jointist with a pistol and hanged in effigy in a Populist parade. A negro murderer once tried to fuss his way into fame through our remains, and a local statesman once removed a big gun from an irate reader of the Gazette who desired our blood. The committee has told us we had to leave town; bankers have warned us against our past-due paper, and once our dog was poisoned by designing enemies.
Yet, as we are facing fifty, we look back from these placid heights to the turmoil that was yesterday without much regret. We are more circumspect than we used to be; words are weighed more carefully than they were in our teens and twenties and thirties, when we tossed language gaily about like the dews of heaven, letting it fall upon the just and unjust.
But we wonder if our circumspection is due to wisdom, or if, perchance, in "the dear dead days beyond recall, 'ere in our lives the rain began to fall," we were not bolstered by the deep sustaining faith that we could run like a whitehead; while now the passing years have checked our speed, broken our wind and made us kindly cautious, if not entirely wise.
If the entries are all in, we are willing to award the prize for nerve and monumental gall to the editor of the Socialist paper, the Appeal to Reason. He is asking for a deferred classification (with the armed services) on the ground that his editorials are necessary to hold the Socialists in line for the government.