First and Only Paper in Flourishing Territory 1854

First Press in the Kansas Territory 1854

The Press in Kansas; Towns Springing Up 1854

Herald of Freedom Founded in Lawrence 1855

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

Lincoln in Kansas! His first speech! 1859

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

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

We have neglected to notice the Fort Scott Monitor 1863

*The fight between Ewing and Anthony is still wagi 1863

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

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

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

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

Modern Improved Methods of Printing 1900

Kansas Optimist

Articles in database from Kansas Optimist:    10

February 9, 1905, Kansas Optimist (ID 4922)

At last we've that new press, and we feel happy, but not so happy as we will be when we get a gasoline engine to run it with. That's the way it goes; one new thing demands another. But seriously, we feel very thankful to our many friends who, by their loyalty and continued patronage, have made it possible for us to add this new machinery to our office. They will receive their reward in a better printed paper, and perhaps a more interesting one. This new press does not make work any easier for the editor, by any means, it simply makes him more independent and makes it possible for him to get out a better looking sheet than before....In addition to this, we have put in a new series of type since the first of the year, and improvements will continue so long as business justifies....Almost everybody around Jamestown now gets the Optimist, but there are still a few stragglers, and to those we extend an invitation to come into camp.


April 6, 1905, Kansas Optimist (ID 4933)

Any boy who will secure ten new subscribers for the Kansas City Weekly Journal for 25 cents per year each, making a total of $2.50, and will send the full amount to us together with the names and addresses, we will mail to his address, postage prepaid, a beautiful watch named "The Pride."...Any girl who secures ten new subscriptions for the Kansas City Weekly Journal...we will mail to her address, postage prepaid, a beautiful gold watch called "The Lady Juliet."


July 27, 1905, Kansas Optimist (ID 4959)

People still refer to the "editorial pen," though it is probable that not more than one editor in a thousand uses a pen for editorial writing. The pencil years ago supplanted the pen for the purpose of producing copy. Though the pen has been supplanted by the pencil, we have another agency now at work, and the pencil is being supplanted by the typewriter. Below is an illustration of "the editorial pen" used in this office (an Oliver typewriter). The beauty of using this "pen" is the fact that the writing is plain, its work is of a permanent character, and it is swifter than either pen or pencil. This is an age of improvement, and it will be but a few years until every businessman will use typewriters instead of pens and ink. Every job printer prints more unruled stationery each year of his business life because of this growing demand for typewriters....P.S. -- Some editors use a pair of scissors for their "editorial pen," and that is the reason so many people wonder why all editors think alike.


August 10, 1905, Kansas Optimist (ID 4963)

The Lincoln Park Editorial Association met at the Park (west of Cawker City) last Saturday forenoon and effected a permanent organization by adopting a constitution....After a few remarks by various members of the association, officers were elected:...President, Mrs. L. A. King, Plainville Gazette; vice-president, W. L. Chambers, Stockton Record; secretary-treasurer, Robert Good, Jamestown Optimist....About a dozen editors were present at the organization of this new association, but beyond a splendid paper by Mrs. Alrich of the Cawker Record on "Pioneer Women in Journalism" and a speech by the ever popular Tom McNeal, state printer and editor of the Mail and Breeze, no program was given, the day having been given to the North Central Kansas Editorial Association which, instead of having a program meeting, started from the park on an excursion to Pike's Peak Saturday evening. At the business meeting of the NCKEA in the afternoon, officers were elected: President, H. R. Honey, Mankato Advocate; vice-president, E. A. Ross, Burr Oak Herald; secretary, Mrs. Grace Snyder, Cawker City; executive committee, W. T. Logan, Selden Independent; V. Hutchings, Smith County Pioneer; Robert Good, Jamestown Optimist. The attendance...was very small but it was expected that the party of excursionists would number 40 before it left the state.


November 2, 1905, Kansas Optimist (ID 4976)

The editor went up to Downs last Friday....He was considerably interested in all that Brother Smith, the local editor for the Times, could show him. Downs has enough good buildings to make a splendid appearing city if they were only grouped, but they were scattered over so much territory that one can hardly realize the importance of the city without walking all over the townsite....On every hand are evidences of thrift and prosperity, and new dwelling houses are numbered by the score. Even the newspapers seem to be enjoying surplus wealth, as Brother Weld, proprietor of the Times, is building him a fine new office. The News also has purchased a building of its own which, when remodeled, will give it a pleasant home....


December 28, 1905, Kansas Optimist (ID 4984)

Last Saturday evening about 5 o'clock, the editor of the Optimist received an urgent telephone call to come to the Methodist church, to help with something about the preparations being made for the entertainment that night. He didn't find much to do, and on his return downtown Mr. Kelly called to him to come into the bank for a moment. Once inside, he led the editor and the dentist to the rear door, and into the back yard, where a number of the businessmen were standing around with solemn faces, gazing upon a shapeless object covered with burlaps. Men and women were seen running out of back doors and up the alley and the editor's heart sank as he fancied he saw the resemblance of mangled forms under the burlap....Standing thus, cold with fear of what he might see when the covering was removed, the editor was slowly brought from the realm of speculation to the land of reality by the voice of Mr. Kelly. Then followed a recital of all our manifold wickedness of the past year, especial emphasis being given to the fact that the community had become tired of our everlasting "kicking." A committee had been appointed to investigate the matter, and see if there was not some way to stop this "kicking." That committee had reported to the effect that but one remedy existed, namely a gasoline engine, to be taken entire, belts, pulleys, shafting, tanks, etc. In the interests of peace, the speaker said, he took pleasure in giving to us the remedy, on behalf of the people of Jamestown. Just then the burlaps were removed and there stood a fine new 2-horsepower International Harvester Company vertical gasoline engine, the greatest desire of our heart for several months past. The surprise was complete. Not a suspicion had entered our mind that the good people of this community would ever do such a thing. The editor was flabbergasted. Everybody laughed but the editor. He couldn't laugh with his lips and voice, because his heart was so swelled with joy and thankfulness that there was no room in his throat for laughter. It is reported that he thanked the people for their gift, but if he did he has forgotten the language.....At the supper table that night, a little girl said: "Papa, what makes your eyes so red, and full of water?" Someday, maybe she will be able to understand why they were red.


December 13, 1906, Kansas Optimist (ID 5037)

Railroads and newspapers -- It is a popular fallacy that newspapermen carry free passes on the railroads. This may be true of some of the "big guns" of the Fourth Estate, but this editor has never carried an annual or unlimited pass in all his experience of 11 years as a newspaper publisher. Until recently we have had a contract with the Missouri Pacific whereby we agreed to furnish a stated amount of advertising in return for a stated amount of transportation at the rate of 3 cents per mile. But even that contract was annulled a couple of months ago....About a year ago, the railroad companies sent out to their agents, all over the country, a list of questions about the local newspapers, evidently with the intention of ascertaining which were "friendly" and which were not. They may hide behind the Interstate Commerce Commission all they please, but it will not remove the suspicion that they are using a club to make the "boys" be good.


December 27, 1906, Kansas Optimist (ID 5039)

His Christmas Poem: "The editor sat in his sanctum, His brow was deep furrowed with care. He thought of the bills coming due soon, And strongly was tempted to swear."

Thus far the editor had written in an attempt to compose a Christmas poem, when the sanctum door opened and two visions of loveliness floated in, and carefully deposited upon the desk a plump dressed chicken and a luscious big fruit cake. Before the editor could recover from his astonishment, the visions disappeared, but the presents remained, and the editor, after pinching himself to make sure that he was awake, threw his "pome" in the waste basket and started anew:

"The editor sat in his sanctum. His face wore a piece of a smile, And despite all his debts and his trials, He felt they'd come right after while."

Ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling, the phone bell rang, and the gasping editor heard an invitation to take dinner with one of the neighbors, and a request that the children be allowed to spend Christmas in the country. Just then the express man came in with a package from the home folks, and a lady dropped in to pay a year's subscription for herself and two daughters. The editor couldn't write any more just then, so he went home, the first place of refuge for his soul whenever he has lots of trouble, or lots of joy. He had hardly settled down when a knock at the door called him to meet Santa Claus in the form of a lady who said "Merry Christmas" and faded into the darkness, leaving behind her a sense of sweetness, spiritual and actual, because the editor had about six pounds of honey in his hands when he shut the door. And the children were all good that evening, and went to bed early, and the baby didn't have the colic, and the editor sneaked away and tried once more on his Christmas poem:

"The editor sat in his sanctum. His face was a joy to behold -- It spoke of good will to his fellows, Whose hearts he had thought were so cold.

"His eye sparkled brightly with pleasure. His cheeks glowed with happiness rare, And his heart sang a song of thanksgiving, While his lips uttered words of a prayer.

"He thought not of past tribulations, Nor borrowed of future days' woe. His mind was filled full of the present. Contentment his heart made aglow.

"The editor sat in his sanctum, In a state of beatific bliss...."

And that's all he ever got written, but the reader can supply the rest.


January 31, 1907, Kansas Optimist (ID 5044)

With this issue we close the third year of our ownership of the Optimist. The three years have been pleasant ones for us, and fairly profitable, though the last year did not increase our bank account one cent....Beginning with the first of the month, the Optimist's rate care will read like this: Display advertising, 10 cents per inch per issue; display advertising, yearly contracts of not less than one column, $6.00 per column per month; business cards, 50 cents per month; local reading notices, to parties having contract ads as above, 2.5 cents per line. No free copies will be sent to advertisers inside Cloud County. These rates are a trifle higher than those prevailing heretofore, but are absolutely necessary on account of the increased price of everything entering into the making of a paper.


March 21, 1907, Kansas Optimist (ID 5053)

The Optimist now has a circulation of more than 950 copies each week. The common method of averaging is to count five readers to each paper, which gives the Optimist an audience of almost 5,000 people each week, which is quite a good sized audience for a paper published in a town of only 450 inhabitants....