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

Ellis County Star

Articles in database from Ellis County Star:    27

April 6, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5910)

Vol. 1, No. 1. Published weekly at Hays City; J. H. Downing, editor.

We have taken the advice given by Horace Greeley to young men: "Go West!" and have domiciled ourselves in Ellis County, where we have come to stay. With an experience of nearly eight years in Kansas journalism, we believe we know something of the duties of a Kansas editor and the mission of the press. An editor may do much good in a community by detecting the errors into which men may gravitate, by raising the standard of life's objects and aims, and by showing the bright side of life....We have chosen Ellis County as our home because we believe it possesses resources unsurpassed by any other Western county. The Great American Desert is here transformed into fields burdened with grain, more richly rewarding labor than was ever dreamed in the older states....As a stock-raising region it has no superior. A rich soil, a salubrious climate, varied landscapes, an abundance of wood and water, with a people generous, brave and thrifty; there is no such word as fail known....Politically we are a Republican, and to some extent partisan, but we believe a paper should never become so partisan as to be unmindful of the faults of men in public life....We are opposed to Democracy because the Democracy of today means nothing but rebellion, anarchy and misrule....

Horace Greeley said: "There is nothing easier than to edit a blackguard newspaper, and nothing more difficult to get up than to get up a newspaper free from foulness and blackguardism. Fishwomen and barroom loafers are skilled in the art of bandying epithets and bespattering each other with dirty words - it requires no brains to do this; but it requires both brains and heart to print a newspaper that a decent person can read without a blush."


May 4, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5914)

Bent Murdock of the Walnut Valley Times nominated Noble L. Prentis of the Topeka Commonwealth for Congress. Prentis declines for three reasons. His third reason is as follows: "We cannot consent to undergo the trials of a canvass. Nobody has been ten years in the newspaper business, as we have, without doing a great many mean things. We are fully conscious of that, but we shrink from the prospect of being told of all of them this summer. It seems to us that it would be an overdose, especially when washed down with several thousand lies built by the day, expressly for use during the campaign."


May 11, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5917)

We have been so confounded busy that we have failed to notice the Lantern, a neat little four-column paper published at Blue Rapids by Frank Hall. Blue Rapids has two papers....


May 18, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5918)

Frank Root's Daily Argus made its appearance for three consecutive days. It was a clear case of Root, hog, or die, and it died. The root still lives, from which something more lasting may spring.


June 1, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5921)

The Topeka Blade gave Byron Sherry of Leavenworth a little notoriety of a character in which he is not envied, which caused Mrs. Sherry to call at the Blade office and to give the editor a tongue lashing and a black eye, all of which Swayze acknowledges.

The Dodge City Times is the latest newspaper venture that has made its appearance upon our table. It is published by W. C. Shinn. Its general makeup is good and its columns sparkle with news.


June 8, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5922)

The Kansas City Price Current comes to us every week brim full of news. We consider it the very best paper for reliable market reports of the West.

James A. Scarborough, traveling correspondent of the Commonwealth, was in the city this week in the interest of his paper. "Jeems" is a good writer, represents one of the best dailies in the state, and we may look for a good report of Hays City and surroundings.


June 15, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5924)

The Hays Sentinel - Since the foundation of our city, a number of newspapers have been established in it. The first to acquire a permanent hold on the community, however, was the Sentinel. Established in February 1874, it has steadily enlarged its patronage....The editors are W. P. and F. C. Montgomery, old residents of Kansas....They also publish a second edition for Rush County.


June 29, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5926)

No. 1 of Volume 1 of the Walnut Valley Standard, a bright and newsy little four column paper published at Rush Center by Thomas Dixon, has found its way to our table....It is the only paper Rush County has ever had....


July 6, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5928)

The Kirwin Chief has changed hands. McBride & Belford are the new publishers.


July 13, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5932)

The Star was the first paper in Kansas to publish the report of the Custer massacre. We published the news at 5 o'clock p.m. on the 6th of July, and the dailies of this state contained it on the morning of the 7th....


August 17, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5936)

The Leavenworth Appeal has suspended its daily issue but will continue its weekly. Friend Embry deserved a better support than he received.


September 28, 1876, Ellis County Star (ID 5939)

Major Inman has sold his interest in the Ellsworth Reporter. John Montgomery is the purchaser.

Wirt W. Walton, for a long time local editor of the Winfield Courier, has assumed editorial control of its columns for the campaign; Col. E. C. Manning, who is the Republican nominee for state senator, retiring.

The Larned Republican has just changed hands, Pollock & Andrews retiring and Paul T. Curlett becoming editor and proprietor.


January 4, 1877, Ellis County Star (ID 5940)

The New Year's edition of the Commonwealth we regard as the most valuable ever issued in the state....A correct history of almost every county in our state is contained therein.


January 25, 1877, Ellis County Star (ID 5942)

No. 1, Vol. 1 of the Kirwin Progress, under the management of E. F. Robinson, has reached us.


March 1, 1877, Ellis County Star (ID 5945)

It is understood that Senator P. B. Plumb has appointed Ward Burlingame as his private secretary. No better selection could have been made. While we are pleased to extend our congratulations on Ward's good luck, we regret to lose him for even the time being. His letters to the Champion have been read by thousands with interest and profit.


March 15, 1877, Ellis County Star (ID 5947)

Swayze of the Blade got licked by a gentleman called Bubby Wilson. Seven just such lickings a week might teach him to respect his superiors.

We have been a reader of the Atchison Daily Champion since 1868, and for a genuine newspaper we consider it the best in the state. It has long since passed the "hard place" that all journals must pass before they can be independent. Its editor, Col. John A. Martin, is bold and outspoken upon all the questions of the day, endorsing that which is commendable and condemning that which is bad, whether it be a measure relating to Atchison, the state, or the nation. Its corps of correspondents are men of brains and experience; its local reporters are industrious in gathering all items of local interest, and its advertising patronage is to all newspaper men a sufficient guarantee of its being appreciated. For 20 years has Col. Martin put forth his best efforts to make known the advantages and resources of Kansas through the columns of the Champion....The weekly is a mammoth ten column paper filled with all the important news of the day and worth five times the subscription price to every farmer in Kansas.


April 12, 1877, Ellis County Star (ID 5948)

The Holton Argus, Vol. 1, No. 1, is before us....Brother Lillie is captain of the craft and sails under Republican colors.

With the present number we close the first year's publication of the Star. In a hasty review of our career as a journalist for that period, we are gratified to find that we have lost but a few (by death or otherwise) of the generous patrons who were with us in the beginning, and further grateful to find that we have added many to our list of patrons who then stood opposed to the enterprise....

The Swayze Tragedy. Thus far we have said but little on the subject of the Swayze tragedy, because we have felt and still feel that the whole subject should be committed to the courts, where the matter will be investigated, freed of the influence of malice or prejudice, and then the decision, whatever it may be, will satisfy all where the guilt should properly be placed....It is not our purpose now to enter into a discussion of the guilt or innocence of any one party connected with the tragedy, but in general terms to express our opinion about that peculiar element in journalism which too often ends in assaults between editors and the parties assailed. A public paper is a medium from or through which people expect to gather that class of news which is not only desirable but which they have a right to possess themselves for public good. Private character is no more to be made public through a newspaper than from the pulpit; because the editor sets himself up as a judge of what is right and courteous, and if the peculiarities of an individual fail to please the editor he at once aggregates the character of the individual and proclaims it infamous. It is something with which the public have no concern and have no business to know, for they cannot know the surroundings or motives which prompt the actions from which character is deduced. So long as an individual remains private, whatever his peculiarities may be, they are exclusively private and do not belong to the public, and he who gives them to the public does so for malicious purposes; and he who uses the newspaper to make infamous the peculiarities of a private individual, with malicious motives, commits a crime equal in atrocity to the highest crime known to the law, and in a most cowardly manner. It is making the freedom of the press malicious license. He commits crime for which there is no adequate punishment known in law. This is so well known to all men that the knowledge prompts the extremest measures on the part of individuals for revenge. For where a crime is committed against an individual and he finds there is no adequate remedy in law, vengeance take possession of the injured person, he is blinded to consequences, he stalks wildly abroad thinking only of the destruction of him who has poisoned his whole life with defamation and dishonor....The press of this state is, and always has been, too personal and that too just when and where it was not needed. It is not so, for the public good, to vent private spleen or to accomplish objects by bulldozing where the editor lacks the genius to present facts and argument to win his cause - to overpower by fear when the editor or paper had nothing else to commend it to the notice of the public. For possessing these elements of character, Swayze died; but had the press of the state condemned his course and denied him encouragement, Swayze would have still been living and would not have dishonored his profession. Mr. Swayze was one easy to influence and was much influenced by the endorsement or condemnation of the press. Had the Leavenworth Times or the Kansas City Times denounced the course pursued by the Blade, Swayze would have escaped the fate which awaited him. But they both did differently. They both approved his course and copied his articles approvingly, and called him a valiant, patriotic and vigilant journalist. The former did so because George T. Anthony, while a candidate for governor, made public a demand by Swayze for money, and the gall of bitterness ran over the Leavenworth Times. The Kansas City Times did so because it hates anything Republican and seeks always to shoot its poisoned arrow wherever it can mar decency or pull down uprightness. The blood of J. Clarke Swayze lies more at the door of the Leavenworth and Kansas City Times than to Wilson, who fired the deathly shot. If the crime was murder, then was D. R. Anthony and Dr. Mumford accessories before the fact, and should be thus treated by the courts. Today both of these papers are doing all they can to manufacture public sentiment against Wilson, that their own records for vindictiveness and mischievous attacks upon the private character of private individuals may be vindicated. We hope this may prove a lesson to the press everywhere not to use the freedom of the press for malicious purposes. To treat only upon those subjects which concern the public and leave the untold number of acts of private individuals, with which the public are not concerned, to that privacy where the public eye shall not penetrate. We hope the press will not be forgetful of decency and propriety in maintaining them. (J. H. Downing, editor)


May 3, 1877, Ellis County Star (ID 5951)

W. T. Stewart, editor of the Wathena Reporter, has sold his paper to C. G. Bridges, who will remove the material to Troy and commence the publication of a weekly paper to be called the Bulletin.

F. P. Baker of the Commonwealth has written the Manhattan Enterprise an open letter in which he attempts to set the editor aright concerning his action for libel against Mr. Morris of Leavenworth. Our relations with Mr. Morris has always been pleasant, yet we are glad that Baker has acted upon the suggestion of so many of our state editors and citizens in appealing to the arbitment of the courts instead of the revolver. Baker has quietly submitted to charges published at different times against him with a degree of fortitude that has astonished his best friends. Seven men out of ten would have loaded a double barreled shotgun and let daylight through the publisher, and rested his case in the hands of any twelve jurymen of his country. We say again that we are glad that Baker did not act rashly, but appealed to the courts, and we are somewhat surprised to see a few papers, that were loudest in their howls for law after the late Topeka tragedy, already making fun of Baker in his action for libel. Wilson was assailed in the columns of the Blade and he shot and killed its editor; Baker was assailed by Morris, a correspondent of the Kansas City Times, and he has sued for libel. Now as these trials will soon come before the courts for adjustment, we shall see which course guarantees to a man's family the most protection. (J. H. Downing, editor)


May 10, 1877, Ellis County Star (ID 5953)

Frank A. Root of the North Topeka Times has been appointed postmaster.

We are in receipt of No. 1, Vol. 1, of a neat little paper called The Kirwin Lively Times, edited by A. G. McBride, which makes the 172d Kansas publication.


June 7, 1877, Ellis County Star (ID 5955)

The shooting and killing of J. Clarke Swayze, editor of the Topeka Blade, last March by John W. Wilson is still fresh in the minds of our readers....The trial commenced on May 16th and lasted until Wednesday, the 30th, when the jury returned a verdict of "Not Guilty." We most heartily endorse the verdict. Swayze courted the fate he received, and deserved it. A publisher who will not be satisfied with heaping slander upon a private citizen simply from personal hate, but who will invade the sanctuary of his home and publish to the world that "his father shared in the proceeds of his mother's shame" deserves to be shot and denied the rites of a decent burial. Let us hope that the verdict will serve as a lesson to the newspapers of the state. (J. H. Downing, editor)


December 13, 1877, Ellis County Star (ID 5965)

A. B. Wilder has sold the Scandia Republic to L. H. Tibbetts, who will continue its publication.


Editorial convention -- The Kansas State Editorial ...
June 19, 1879, Ellis County Star (ID 1824)

Editorial convention -- The Kansas State Editorial Convention convened at Topeka, Thursday last....The assembled multitude seemed more intent on pleasure than business....The address of T. D. Thacher of the Lawrence Journal was able in its conception and valuable in suggestion. G. W. Reed of the Blade read an original poem....The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President Henry King of Topeka; vice-presidents H. Clay Park of Atchison, J. S. Gilmore of Fredonia, M. M. Murdock of Wichita, H. E. Smith of Concordia; treasurer, W. A. Peffer of Coffeyville; secretary, S. S. Prouty of Junction City.

In 1871, the Editorial Association met at Lawrence; in 1872 at Emporia; in 1873 at Atchison; in 1874 at Fort Scott; in 1875 at Manhattan; in 1877 at Leavenworth; in 1878 at Atchison; in 1879 at Topeka, and at Lawrence again next year.


Editors at Salina -- In company with our wife, we ...
April 28, 1881, Ellis County Star (ID 2080)

Editors at Salina -- In company with our wife, we attended the annual meeting of the Golden Belt Association held at Salina last Friday. The association was called to order by President V. P. Wilson....About 25 members answered their names. The first business...was the election of officers for the ensuing year. The following gentlemen were unanimously chosen: Albert H. Griffin, president; J. H. Downing, vice do; W. A. Gebhardt, secretary; J. C. Hill, treasurer. The president is editor of the Manhattan Nationalist; the vice-president of the Ellis County Star; the secretary of the Ellsworth Reporter; the treasurer of the Solomon City Sentinel.

After the new officers were duly installed, V. P. Wilson read an able paper on the subject of newspapers and their relation to railroads; after which a discussion arose, participated in by Davis, Griffin, Downing, Huycke and others....The committee...reported Hays City for their September meeting....The convention so amended the report as to make Wamego the place for...the April session of 1882.

John Davis of the Junction City Tribune read an interesting paper on phonetics, followed by Messrs. Smith, Griffin and others. Considerable business came before the association....

Salina is a beautiful, thriving and well located city of about 3,000 inhabitants....In the evening, the firemen gave a ball to which the editors were invited.


D. R. Anthony and E. G. Ross, both newspaper men o ...
May 5, 1881, Ellis County Star (ID 2085)

D. R. Anthony and E. G. Ross, both newspaper men of Leavenworth and well known throughout Kansas, met Saturday afternoon and commenced welting one another over the head with their canes. Anthony, as usual, got away with his antagonist.

E. G. Ross was a U.S. senator from Kansas during the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson and, when Mr. Ross recorded his vote against the impeachment of the then president, Colonel Anthony telegraphed him: "The pistol that killed Jim Lane is lost, but we have plenty of rope." They haven't really loved one another since.


The Russell Independent died last week. Mr. Boutea ...
August 18, 1881, Ellis County Star (ID 2112)

The Russell Independent died last week. Mr. Bouteau, the editor, says he must have three square meals a day and, as the newspaper business in Russell won't warrant such extravagance, he quits. A man that can't live on one square meal in three days has no business editing a paper in western Kansas.


Golden Belt editors -- ...At the last session of t ...
August 25, 1881, Ellis County Star (ID 2118)

Golden Belt editors -- ...At the last session of the editors of the Golden Belt Association held at Salina, it was determined...that their next meeting would be held in our city....Next month, the editors of the Golden Belt propose paying our young city a visit....It remains now for our citizens to unite in their efforts, as did Abilene, Junction City and Salina, to show these "gentlemen of the quill" that, although they may regard us as citizens and "wolverines," there is yet enough humanity in our beastly characters to do the hospitable and friendly "take them in."....

Program for the September meeting at Hays City: Morning session at 10:30 a.m., address of welcome by Maj. Jack Downing of the Ellis County Star; response by the president of the association. Afternoon session, 1:30 p.m., roll call of members...."Why we have come together," John Davis of the Junction City Tribune; necessities and advantages of cooperation among newspaper men, Albert Griffin of Manhattan Nationalist; obligations of the press to its patrons, W. S. Tilton of the WaKeeney World; obligation of patrons to the press, F. C. Montgomery of the Hays Sentinel; deadheadism as applied to the press, M. D. Sampson of the Salina Journal; some things necessary in conducting a country newspaper, V. P. Wilson of the Abilene Gazette; the press as an educator, W. W. Walton of the Clay County Dispatch; legislation pertaining to the press, F. A. Reed of the Knoxville Reporter; local correspondents, A. L. Runyan of the Manhattan Enterprise; politics and the press, Geo. Huycke of the Ellsworth Reporter; advertising, W. H. Iams of the Brookville Transcript; miscellaneous suggestions pertaining to newspaper work and interests.

S(n)ide topics: Family cares, Charley Davis and Lute Hoffman; hotels and the press, Valentine and Walton; newspaper success in the West, A. J. R. Smith; fonetic system for collecting subscription, John Davis; sword of Bunker Hill, S. S. Prouty; success of the amendment, the entire association. Adjournment.

The many rumors afloat regarding the new daily to be started at Topeka have been finally set at rest by the authorized announcement of the organization of a stock company with $30,000 paid-up stock, which has bought the Capital and will change it into a morning paper of the size and style of the Kansas City papers, with a full telegraphic report. Capt. Henry King is to be the editor-in-chief and J. K. Hudson is to be the business manager. The stock company consists of Henry King, J. K. Hudson, J. R. Mulvan, president of the Topeka Bank; E. B. Purcell, the Manhattan capitalist; and Hon. W. A. Johnston, attorney general. A new office outfit is to be purchased, and the paper will be issued as soon as the mechanical arrangements can be perfected.


E. W. White, editor of the Topeka Tribune, the col ...
September 8, 1881, Ellis County Star (ID 2122)

E. W. White, editor of the Topeka Tribune, the colored people's paper, has organized a stock company, filed a charter with the secretary of state, and is now offering 2,000 shares for sale at $2.50 a share. With the $5,000 he expects to be raised, it is his intention to fit up and equip a first-class office and then publish a tri-weekly paper. Colored men are taking hold of the enterprise with great energy, and say they intend building up a paper second to none in Kansas for size and ability.