Junction City Daily Union
Articles in database from Junction City Daily Union: 21
The Wichita Daily Beacon, the most prominent democratic journal of southern Kansas, and the leading evening paper of Wichita, has been sold for $50,000 cash. The paper was established as a weekly in 1872 and was made a daily a few years since.
It is understood that Cliff C. Baker, state printer elect, has purchased the state printing office from the present incumbent, T. Dwight Thacher. The office, which is a model in all its details, was carefully invoiced some weeks ago....Mr. Baker enters upon the duties of his office the first of July next. It is also understood that William H. Caldwell of the Beloit Courier will remove to Topeka about the first of July and will have a position under Mr. Baker in the state printing house.
"Wet down another quire this morning," is what the devil-boy was told today. This phrase is plain to printers, but may be mythical to others, to whom we will explain that in consequence of the increasing interest in the business in our city, The Daily Union is growing right along....We are obliged to print still another quire to supply the demand for the daily.
Issued every evening (Sunday excepted) from the basement, corner Seventh & Washington.
Our first night in Kansas
On the 17th of March, 1857, the editor of the Union, then 15 years old, left Hollidaysburg, Penn., with his father's family for Kansas. We came down the Ohio River to St. Louis on the steamer Cambridge. At St. Louis we found a small boat called the Violet advertised for all points on the Kansas River.
The paterfamilias, having spent 1855 and 1856 in Kansas, was already filled with the idea that nothing was impossible with Kansas, and of course the Kansas River was navigable. So passage was taken on the Violet, a little stern-wheeler, for Lecompton, a point where a number of Pennsylvanians had located. There was a great rise in the Missouri, and the Violet was hardly equal to the task of moving upwards against the current of a flood. We were two weeks exactly in reaching Kansas City.
At various points along the Missouri, where the boat landed, large crowds of people would gather and make insulting remarks about the "damned Yankees," which meant at that time any Northern person, and speculate about the number of Sharp's rifles we had, how many niggers we had stolen, etc....
At Kansas City, the first thing that caught our eyes was a printing office. And, in a few minutes after the gangplank landed, we were looking around in the office of the Kansas City Enterprise. We obtained a copy of the paper from a man who said his name was R. T. Van Horn, since known to fame, and that he was from Indiana County, Pennsylvania....
Two of the party left the boat in the afternoon and walked to Westport, four miles out, with the view of starting from there the next morning for Lecompton. After dark, we started for Westport also, accompanied by two boys of our own age from St. Louis, and an uncle, William Martin, from Indiana County, leaving the remainder of the family on the boat to make the trip up the Kansas River.
We passed through a line of campfires from the levee to Westport. We joined the party, and the next morning started on our walk, six of us, for Lecompton, where we arrived very footsore the evening of the second day. This was somewhere about the 12th or 13th of April, 30 years ago.
A raw, cold wind prevailed, and prairie fires burned all around us. We dined on crackers. Night overtook us, and the wind blew harder and colder, and the prairie fires looked more wonderful to us. Someone had told us that there was a place to stop ahead on the road called Fish's Hotel. We reached there about nine o'clock.
We entered and found 8 or 10 sitting around a fireplace. We asked if we could stop overnight. One of the party replied he guessed so, and without any further attention they proceeded with their talk. A bench on one side of the room was unoccupied and, without being asked, we ventured to sit down.
We were entertained for fully a half hour with stories of a killing here and a killing there, several fights at various other places, and of prospective fights in the next few days by the dozen....We were nearly dead from our day's walk, but all we could do was to await developments. Suddenly the gang all got up and walked out without saying a word. Then we were certain that we were in a deadfall of some kind and that it was time to say our prayers.
We will never forget the relief the party all experienced when a man opened the door, threw in a buffalo robe, and with a cordiality and hospitality unbounded, said, "Go to bed!" A buffalo robe and the bare floor for six!...We put in the night as best we could, and started the next morning without breakfast....At noon, we reached Lawrence....The walk from Lawrence to Lecompton was simply awful....
The girl we married, and who has taken mighty good care of us for 23 years, was at the same time on the way to Kansas from Columbiana County, Ohio....Twenty-five years and nine months of this time, including eight years we lived in Topeka, we have called Junction City home. Three issues more will complete a quarter of a century we have edited or controlled the Union. And we still pass for a young man....
John A. Wallace, an old Lecompton boy, writes us from Wichita:..."Will you please send me a copy of The Union containing your article on 'Our first night in Kansas?'....I struck Lecompton 31 years ago the 4th of May next, as you did, and I helped Geo. W. Kingsbury set up and print the first prospectus for The Union...."
The Topeka Journal revives in a two-column article the delightful and charming record of the leading reformer of the state, Col. D. R. Anthony. The application of T. C. Thurston, who was sentenced to the penitentiary 18 years for missing Anthony in a shooting match, is the occasion for this revival of the wild and woolly period.
Noble L. Prentis moves from the Atchison Champion to the Newton Republican, and in an extended notice of his career the Abilene Gazette says: "From Lawrence, Prentis went to Junction City to take charge of Geo. Martin's paper during most of that gentleman's term as state printer. It was while at Junction City that he did some splendid work in changing the order of things at the State Agricultural College, by means of which the old fossils of the silurian period were driven off the roost, and John A. Anderson came to the management. From Junction City, he wandered back to Topeka."
While here, Prentis preached once a Sunday in the Presbyterian church, and we have heard him say frequently that he had a six months supply of sermons he would like to sell to some theological student. They were unique and fresh. He was in Junction City about two years.
The Abilene Gazette says that a wonderful change has come over the newspaper offices of Kansas within the last four years:
"Prior to that time, eight-tenths of them, as in every other state of the Union, were scenes of Bacchanalian revelry. Frequently, as long as the weekly allowance lasted, the foreman and the local and the editor and the printers would get beastly drunk and make 'Rome howl,' until the term 'bum' came to be very appropriately applied to the fraternity of type stickers. It is not so now. That same class are now sober, orderly, gentlemanly and as prosperous as the average section hand of a cross-county railroad. The blear-eyed 'bum' has taken up his bed and left."
A quarter of a century -- This week The Union closes its 25th year. We came to Junction City August 1, 1861, to assist Geo. W. Kingsburg in the publication of the Smoky Hill and Republican Union, who retired, leaving the paper in our charge about January 1, 1862. Various interruptions threw the end of the year back until the May following, so that we always start anew in the springtime....
Volume Twenty-Six -- We intimated last week that we might indulge in some reminiscences, prompted by the fact that we had closed 25 years of newspaper work....
The Union was the frontier paper for five or six years, and its responsibilities were therefore greater than today, because we had the whole desert, from Fort Riley to the Rocky Mountains, the most unpromising, desolate region on the continent, to vindicate and set forth.
There was no political power west of Topeka, and to be a member of the legislature then from any of this territory required an amount of gall sublime, bordering on the heroic, because said member was supposed to represent only buffaloes and coyotes....
But eastern Kansas was no great shakes then either, and the coyotes who went to the legislature were inspired by the same faith and enthusiasm which have since made Kansas the beacon-light of the world.
Clay, Dickinson, Saline and Ottawa were then attached to Davis for judicial purposes, a senatorial district extended from Wabaunsee to the west line of the state, the stage, the wagon, a tri-weekly mail (and when the driver got tired he wouldn't try very hard), and two or three times a year the few scattering settlers would come rushing in as the result of some hostile Indian rumor, the country wild and barren, an experiment, and home comforts limited to the dugout, or outdoors, and the bill of fare to corn dodgers, side meat and sour sorghum. Now look at it. The centre of civilization, comfort, plenty and peace!
That The Union has been a modest, humble, and faithful instrument in this wonderful change we know....During all these years it has been one of the foremost papers in the state, constantly active, bold, and reliable. It has cleaned out many a fraud and humbug in its time -- but not all of them....
We made a monster edition in 1869, and it never cost a businessman a cent. In 1876, we printed several thousand of a centennial edition which surpassed anything then attempted in the state, and we refused advertisements because we would not have the issue turned into a horse bill. In 1882, we indulged in two pictorial issues, not only without cost to the public, but we did all the work and contributed a hundred dollars toward putting the same matter in pamphlet form.
A brief sketch may be interesting to many of our readers.
The Junction City Sentinel was the first paper issued in Junction City. This was in 1858. It was edited by Benjamin H. Keyser, printed by Geo. W. Kingsbury, and supplied with the requisite cash by Robert Wilson, then sutler at Fort Riley. It lived but a few months, when it was succeeded by the Junction City Statesman, published by S. A. Medary. This was also mushroom. These publications were all democratic.
The Republicans about this time became disgusted about something, and made a contract with Mr. Vivaldi, then publishing the Manhattan Express, to publish his paper "simultaneously at Junction City and Manhattan." But this proved a fraud.
In September, 1861, Geo. W. Kingsbury started the Smoky Hill and Republican Union, a Republican paper. In February 1862, he was succeeded by William S. Blakely and Geo. W. Martin. They were relieved in the fall of 1864 by O. F. Dunlap. In a few weeks, Dunlap retired. In April 1865, the paper was revived by George W. Martin under the name of The Junction City Union. Up to May 1866, the ownership of the Union was in Streeter & Strickler and William K. Bartlett, and they supplied the wherewithal so liberally that it was always healthy.
From May 1866 until February 1867, Morris H. Porter was associated in its publication. From November 1, 1866, to August 1, 1867, The Union appeared as a six-column daily. John W. Delaney was a partner from May 1869 to December 15, 1869, when Geo. W. Martin succeeded to full ownership.
The original size of The Union was 24x36, or six columns to the page. April 28, 1866, it was enlarged to seven columns to the page. May 13, 1871, it was enlarged to eight columns.
During all of these changes from the spring of 1862 until August 1, 1873, it was edited by Geo. W. Martin. Noble L. Prentis became editor August 1, 1873, retiring March 1, 1875, when George W. Martin resumed charge. June 10, 1876, Mr. John E. Rastall, now of the Burlingame Independent, became editor, retiring August 1, 1877. On the 13th of October, 1877, the paper and office was leased to Col. S. S. Prouty, who continued in charge until November 1881, when Geo. W. Martin returned to it. Mr. Martin had been eight years at Topeka during these frequent changes of editors.
Keyser is dead. Kingsbury is a prominent politician and official in Dakota. Cuddy and Herbert went south into the rebel army. Vivaldi was afterwards minister to Brazil. Blakely, Streeter and Bartlett have gone before. Dunlap was until lately a proofreader in the government printing office at Washington. S. M. Strickler is merchandizing at Magdalena, Socoro County, New Mexico. Morris H. Porter is probably also gone before. It cost us $20 a week for three weeks once to hire a man to take care of him when he had the jim-jams. He had 'em bad -- he would pick snakes from his mustache and whiskers and shake them on the floor, with a giggle indicating a great delight and satisfaction....John W. Delany went to California, ran a newspaper at San Diego for a while, and then fell into the good graces of the great railroad magnate, Tom Scott, who placed him on the Texas Pacific, where he is yet in good position.
A newspaper somehow gathers lots of good fellows about it. Congressman John A. Anderson has done a great deal of editorial work on The Union; so has Robert McBratney, James Humphrey and Robert Hay, and, including our substitutes, Noble L. Prentis, John E. Rastall and S. S. Prouty, every one has attained political or literary fame, while many of the others were favored with great business success.
We shall stay with her. What we may do in the next 25 years we cannot say. We are built for a fight or a frolic, so that we will probably come handy once in a while.
Atchison Champion: The writer heard Col. Murdock tell, quietly and modestly, the story of his newspaper, the Eagle, and it was the story of Wichita. He began its publication when Wichita was a small village, and from that day to the present he had never, he said, solicited an advertisement -- the people of Wichita had kept the columns of the Eagle crowded with advertisements, at the best rates, without solicitation....
This week Sol Miller closes his 30th year with the Troy Chief. When we think of the newness of Kansas, this seems inconceivable....He gives a column and a half sketch of the 30 years past. He has but seven subscribers who were on his books when he started....
Capt. W. S. White of Wichita, formerly editor and one of the proprietors of the Wichita Beacon -- an old Kansan who came to the state in 1869, a member of the Fourth Ohio Cavalry, and for two years one of the regents of the State University, a bright and useful man -- died in his home in Wichita Friday morning last.
The flop of the Salina Journal from a morning to an evening paper creates considerable discussion among the papers west of us, and promises a lively war at Salina, since it falls back on ground supposed to be pre-empted by the Herald. It illustrates what a fraud the Associated Press of this region is.
Patent outsides first reduced the country newspaper business, and now we think the plate system on the one side and the very extensive indulgence in special telegrams by the metropolitan press on the other will lay out all morning papers in rural places.
We understand the Journal put up a bonus of $3,500 to get in the Associated Press, and then it had its weekly tax to pay for telegraph and its composition besides. It never gave over four columns of telegraph any morning. We have it from the inside that no place outside of Kansas City gets full service from the Associated Press. The plate system will enable any town of 4,000 or 5,000 to have an evening daily, if the businessmen are any ways liberal or ambitious. The Herald is an evening paper using the same plates furnished the Union.
...The investment necessary to start the Daily Union was about $20 worth of new material, the plate telegraph is better than the Associated Press, and we can stop before we lose $5 without sacrificing anything. We think all these country dailies will have to come to plates.
It was only a few months ago that we heard that some of the boomers of Abilene had to go down in their pockets to keep the Gazette afloat. The Salina Journal says:
Mr. Rohrer, the original proprietor of the Gazette, states that he lost $13,000 in establishing the Gazette business, and that it was only after the wealthy men of Abilene had come to his relief and taken stock in his paper that he was remunerated for his losses, and the paper put upon a self-sustaining basis....
A great deal of interest exists as to the outcome of the spring crop of dailies, several having already gone up. As far as The Daily Union is concerned, we will state that as long as it adds more to the income of the office than it costs it will continue. A daily paper is a credit to a town, and we know The Union is, because it is quoted far and wide, and it is typographically the peer of any.
Some tramp comes along with a patent almanac, a bill of fare, a paper bag, and beats the town out of advertising enough to keep a daily running a month. He skips, and the money is gone into a hole, and the town or the advertiser has nothing. If the same money were blown into a daily, hundreds of readers would be reached each day....
Jacob Stotler suspends the publication of the Emporia Globe. He failed to sell his Wellington paper and goes back to take charge of that.
A new count was made by Mr. Adams, secretary of the Historical Society, which shows that there are at present 71 daily newspapers in the state and 775 weekly papers, making a total of 846 newspapers publications in Kansas. This is an increase of 375 since June 1885.
The Kansas Commoner is a late launch upon the newspaper sea. It is published at Newton and edited by J. R. Rogers & Son, and carries the Union Labor Party standard.
It was a year ago Sunday last that Wirt W. Walton met his death. He was an ardent supporter of John A. Anderson in the famous congressional bolt of that year, and was made chairman of Mr. Anderson's committee. The Anderson friends were in consultation until midnight Saturday at the Bartell arranging for the most remarkable canvass in Kansas politics. It was blocked out and Mr. Walton entrusted with the arrangement of details. He started home Sunday afternoon, made an attempt to get on the engine at Junction City, but the engineer bluffed him; eight miles out he succeeded, after instructing his friends to collect his insurance, rode just three miles when the engine jumped the track, and one of the most promising young men in Kansas went down. He died at 5:26 Monday evening....
Col. D. R. Anthony quit the Leavenworth Times Sunday, transferring it to a stock company of New England men. The paper will shortly pass into the direct control of Z. A. Smith in its editorial and of Edward N. Dingley in its business department. We have exchanged a great deal of "sass" at various times with Col. Anthony, but this does not affect our opinion that he has been, and is, one of the conspicuous characters of Kansas, and that the boys all around will greatly miss him.
The State Historical Society is to be favored with a marble bust of Fred P. Stanton, who was secretary of the territory at one time. Stanton was one of the editors of the Lecompton National Democrat and the editor of The Union put in type miles of his manuscript. He was a Southern Democrat, but he went behind the returns and refused at the muzzle of a revolver to give a certificate of election based on pro-slavery frauds at the polls.
The slimness of advertising patronage, which is getting slimmer with the 1st of each month, and the expansion of plate surface, indicates the death of the righteous may be near for the Daily Union. If the long-felt want has been filled -- we will be glad to take another rest, for four times the work, for the same income without the Daily, is growing wearisome; but we will stick to her until the long-felt want has been filled. We have a suspicion it is nearly full.
From daily to weekly -- Since the latter par of March The Union has appeared every day. It has paid its way, but the indications are it will not do so any longer. We therefore crawl into our hole, quit, dry up, etc. We have no pride or ambition about it. It has been a matter of business and, when there is no further business need for it, we can gracefully go back to the weekly issue, which is often enough for any incendiary sheet.
We have the satisfaction of knowing that what it has cost the advertisers of Junction City has netted them at least as much as the amount they daily and weekly blew into the post office looking glass scheme, the hotel register, the hotel door card, the phrenological chart, the thermometer fake, the corner clock snap, and the paper bag.
It has kept Junction City before the state every 24 hours, furnishing reading matter about the town for a hundred exchanges. Now we will strike a weekly gait until spring. In the meantime, we trust the advertisers of Junction City will save the money they blow into the fakes above alluded to, and next season we will hurl truth at them again six days in the week.
Topeka Journal: "We should miss the Daily Union. It is sprightly and is not afraid to speak out. The editor generally has something to say and finds English language in which to say it...."