Farmer's Mail and Breeze
Articles in database from Farmer's Mail and Breeze: 9
Ed Howe, of the Atchison Globe, has finished his trip around the world that he was making in company with his daughter. They made the trip in four and a half months and took in a great deal of territory on the side. It seems to be getting harder and harder to make this old gag about poverty-stricken editors go in Kansas. Within a year or two, at least four Kansas editors have crossed the ocean and one has circled the globe. Not so very many months ago, Frank McLennan and family were knocking about through Europe and hobnobbing with the nobility. At the same time, Fred Dumont Smith of the Kinsley Mercury was visiting with his wife and son who had been spending a year in Paris. Bill Morgan of the Hutchinson News, together with his wife, spent last summer viewing the wonders of Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. All of these Kansas editors traveled first class and rolled 'em high so far as luxuries went.
...There is no use, of course, to talk about the Kansas editor bumping along with his load of poverty and hunger after reading the account of the travels of the men we have mentioned.
Ed Howe was met at the depot by a crowd of his fellow citizens when he returned. It might be a good thing for a great many editors to go away from home for six months or a year. Maybe their fellow townsmen would appreciate them more when they return. Howe has been writing a series of letters while on the trip. The style of his letters has been improving all the time....
Were you raised in the country? asks the versifier of the Chicago Daily News. Many people were. The touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
"There's a little country paper that I love to sit and read, a paper poorly printed and behind the times indeed; with pages small and narrow and ink inclined to spread, and here and there a letter gravely standing on its head, or caps a bit erratic, boldly popping into view, in unexpected places and knocking things askew.
"A real old-fashioned paper, from my native little town. Each week I hail its coming and never put it down, till I've read its every column, all the local news you know, about the dear old country folks I lived with long ago.
"I note whose barn is painted, whose cattle took the prize, and how Trail Potts has raised a squash of mighty wondrous size. How Farmer Martin's daughter takes the school another year. At this I pause and smile a bit and feel a trifle queer, remembering how, in bygone days when life seemed made for mirth, I thought this schoolma'am's mother was the sweetest girl on earth.
"And now, perchance, I read that one whom once I knew is dead; or find again some boyhood chum the second time has wed. And so it goes and none can know what memories sad and sweet come back to me whene'er I read this homely little sheet."
After a fight lasting for more than a year, the Linotype machines have won the victory over the Monotypes and will be installed in the new printing plant established by the state of Kansas.
State Printer T. A. McNeal has placed the order for two double-decker Linotypes of the latest model, which will...be installed prior to Aug. 10, and which will cost the state an annual rental of $725 each, this money to be applied to the purchase price in case the state desires to buy the machines at some future time.
The two Linotypes will displace 10 men who have up to this time been employed at the printing plant at hand composition. Under the old law, it was more profitable for the state printer to do the work by hand composition than with machines....The state ownership plan, however, makes it necessary for the state to do its work on the most economical basis possible.
For over a year the fight has been raging between the Linotype and the Monotype companies for the honor, as well as the profit, of equipping the state plant with typesetting machinery. It is a big advertisement for a firm manufacturing typesetting machinery to place their machines in a public printing establishment of this kind. Consequently every effort has been put forth by each side to influence a decision favorable to itself.
The law gave the state printing commission the duty of building the printing plant and buying the equipment. It was supposed that this included the purchase of typesetting machinery, and hardly had Charles S. Gleed, George E. Tucker and Ed Harris been appointed to the commission when the Linotype people came down on them. The commissioners went to Chicago and Kansas City and got facts and figures about the relative merits of each machine. Some favored one kind and some the other.
The result of the investigation was a deadlock. Tucker was strongly in favor of the Linotypes; Harris favored the Monotypes, and Gleed clung to the fence with great determination....Finally Gleed discovered a way out. He figured that the state did not have enough money left to buy the typesetting machinery outright, and that it was therefore not within the province of the printing commission to settle the controversy. He further came to the conclusion that the state printer himself was authorized under the law to rent equipment for the plant.
The state printer thereupon got busy, for he was anxious to get the new machines into operation. He called upon Attorney General Coleman for an opinion and Mr. Coleman sustained the position of Mr. Gleed....Mr. McNeal at once entered into contract with the Linotype manufacturers....
"We will not dispose of all the type and cases which we have on hand," said Mr. McNeal today. "It will be kept as a reserve supply. We need a great deal of body type in our work. Our work is so heavy that we would have found it necessary to purchase more new type and employ more men at once had we not bought the machines. Our foreman, Mr. Brown, estimates that the new machines will do the work of the men who have worked at the case. Of course, there will still be a great deal of work which cannot be done on machines. We will continue to employ about 15 men in the various departments of the printing plant, in addition to the Linotype men.
"We figure that, by running the machines day and night, we can handle the rush work during the next session of the legislature without much difficulty."
T. A. McNeal, editor
A more unfair fight was never made on a candidate that is being made on Governor Hoch this campaign. This fight has been organized and carried on by the Kansas City Star, which has virtually taken the conduct of the campaign in this state out of the hands of the Democratic state central committee and is running it on its own plan. The Star scarcely mentions any other candidate on the Democratic state ticket except Colonel Harris, and directs its attacks almost entirely against Governor Hoch. It has not less than four correspondents giving their entire time to Kansas politics, the politics consisting of laudation of Harris and vilification of Hoch. The correspondents have evidently been instructed to distort and discolor, to misrepresent conditions and fill their reports with misstatements....
We do not believe in boasting....However, at the beginning of a new year it is permissible to let your friends know that you are doing pretty well if such is the case. We are pleased to say that this moral and agricultural guide is doing right well. We have been with the thing now for a dozen years altogether, and have seen it grow from a circulation of next to nothing until it now has over 63,000 regular subscribers. We have seen it extend from the space of a single room until it now occupies the most of a five-story building and is still crowded for space. From a half dozen employees we have seen the payroll extend until there are nearly 150 people working in some capacity for the publication....
The Kansas State Editorial Association held its 15th annual meeting of the editors themselves and also of their wives and some of their daughters.
We do not know that the editors of Kansas average up any better than the editors of other states in point of intellect but our opinion is that they run higher in point of nerve. There are a good many editors in the crowd who gathered here last week who have been here for a quarter of a century. Some of them have been here for 40 years and more. The older ones have seen some mighty tough and discouraging times in Kansas but we have never known them to weaken....Things never looked so bad that they didn't pretend to see light ahead. They cheerfully lied about conditions when they couldn't tell to save their lives whether they would be able to get out another issue or not. They have made Kansas the best advertised state in the Union and we are glad to say that most of them are reaping their reward....Just go out and try to buy a newspaper located at a fairly good town anywhere in Kansas if you don't believe Kansas newspapers are valuable property. We know a man who started out to buy a newspaper in a town of less than 4,000 people. The proprietor asked $11,000 for the plant and wouldn't take a cent less; in fact, he wasn't very anxious to sell even at that. We asked the proprietor of another paper located in a town of about 2,000 people what he wanted for his paper. His price was $8,000. The same paper could have been bought six years ago for $3,000.
Just now the Kansas editors are up against a serious proposition. Heretofore they have been able to trade a small amount of advertising space for a good deal of railroad transportation. They were either given mileage books or annuals and the space in the papers was not measured up....At present, the railroads are proposing to do advertising on a strictly cash basis and we notice that the newspaper men are not pleased at the prospect. The truth is that mighty few newspapers gave enough space to railroad advertising to equal in value the amount of the transportation given them. However, the newspaper men at competing points probably will do reasonably well under the new arrangement, but the fellows who are publishing papers in towns that have but one railroad will get it in the region of their neckties....
Last week we received a letter from Ewing Herbert announcing his candidacy for Congress in this First District....Herbert has the stuff in him to make a good congressman. He would be a striking figure in Congress. The first time we gazed on him, we thought he was about the homeliest white man the good Lord in his infinite wisdom had ever permitted to move, breathe and have his being; but since becoming acquainted with him he doesn't look so bad. The fact is that he is so blamed homely that he is attractive. He is smart; has made a good newspaper man. The only time that he has fallen down, so far as we know, was when he went over to Atchison and tried to run Ed Howe out of business. That was a sort of foolish thing to do because Ed Howe seems to have what the slangful call a lead pipe cinch on that town of Atchison. But there is one thing to be said for Ewing Herbert, he didn't need to have a brick house fall on him more than once before he realized that he had made a mistake....Another thing that is to be said for him is that he had the nerve to acknowledge his mistake, and then he withdrew from Atchison and went back to his own field, where he had made a success....(Since writing the above, Herbert has concluded to save his $200 and stay out.)
General J. K. Hudson is dead. The general has been for 40 years one of the striking figures of Kansas. Possessed of a remarkable vigor of both body and intellect, it was impossible for him to keep out of action. During the war he was a soldier from start to finish and rose to the rank of major, which title he carried until it was superseded by the higher title of general during the little war with Spain. While always remarkably jovial, there was so much of the born fighter in his makeup that a right lively scrap was as sweet incense to his nostrils.
...His propensity in this direction earned him the title of "Fighting Joe Hudson," which he carried to the last. He was far from being a quarrelsome man, however, and was not ready to take offense at trifles. While a stalwart Republican, during the greater part of his life he was independent in his views, and at one time was the candidate for Congress in the old Second District of the Independent Party in opposition to the regular Republican nominee....The only office of profit that he ever held was that of state printer, which he filled for a single term, 1895 to 1897.
His first office holding, so far as we know, was in 1871 when he was elected a member of the legislature from Wyandotte County. He was afterward prominent in a number of state conventions....He always took a great interest in agriculture, bought the Kansas Farmer in 1873 and served at least one term as secretary of the State Board of Agriculture. He was also one of the regents of the agricultural college for several years.
In 1879, in company with Mr. Ewing, he founded the Daily Capital. Two or three years later, he bought out his partner, Ewing, and became the sole owner. A short time after this, he purchased The Commonwealth from F. P. Baker, since which time The Capital has been the only morning daily in Topeka and the leading Republican daily in the state.
As a writer, General Hudson was remarkably forceful. He gave to The Capital his own personality so that it was everywhere known as Joe Hudson's Capital, although it was owned during most of the time that he was at its head by a stock company.
As a financier, General Hudson could hardly be called a success. His naturally optimistic nature made it out of the question for him to be a conservative investor. There were times when it looked as if he might be a millionaire, and he would have been if boom values had continued as they were in the middle 80's....
The columns of this paper have already announced that Arthur Capper, the publisher of Farmers Mail and Breeze, is soon to erect a large, modern fireproof building for this paper and its allied publications, the Topeka Daily Capital, the Kansas Weekly Capital, Missouri Valley Farmer, and the Household Magazine. We are glad herewith to reproduce the building (accompanying picture shows five-story structure).
The contract was let last week to Frank M. Spencer of Topeka, and the contract price was $138,500. This does not include plumbing, wiring and elevators, which will bring the price up to $150,000. The ground area will be 75 by 130 feet, and it will be four stories and basement. The building will be absolutely fireproof, being of steel and reinforced concrete construction. The exterior is to be of Bedford limestone up to the belt course of the second story, and the three upper stories will be of white terra cotta.
The first floor is an 18-foot basement, adequately lighted and well ventilated, which will be occupied by the presses of the various publications, and also as a storeroom for paper, and an engine room.
The next floor, which is reached by a large entrance from the Eighth Street front, will be the business office.
The third floor will be occupied by the editorial department.
The composing room, electrotyping and stereotyping departments will be on the fourth floor, and the photo engraving department and bindery will be on the fifth floor.
...When this great building, doubtless the finest modern business structure in Kansas, is completed, over 300 people will be employed in it....