Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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For some time after the settlement of the county commenced, the settlers had to depend on verbal and written communications for the transmission of local news. The first paper to be published in this part of the State was the Neosho Valley Eagle, the first issue of Which is dated May 2, 1868 - just a month before the first publication appeared in Labette county. While the Eagle was published at Jacksonville, in Neosho county, it was issued from an office only a few feet north of the county line, and was regarded by the settlers in this county almost as their own paper. B. K. Land was editor and publisher, and until the establishment of the Register his paper was considered the official paper of this county, and was very generally patronized by our citizens.



Was the first paper to be published in Labette county. The town company arranged with E. R. Trask, of Emporia, to bring a press and establish a paper at this point, and guaranteed him 300 paid subscribers, office rent for one year, and a building lot. The first issue of the paper appeared June 5, 1868. Trask continued to publish the paper until June 4, 1869, when he sold out to C. C. Clover and F. B. McGill, who thereafter published it until December 30, 1870, when McGill sold his interest to Clover, but continued as editor until June 1, 1871. About August 19, 1871, John Shorten took charge of the paper as editor and publisher, although there were associated with him in its ownership, and probably in its management, some who had been longer residents of the county. December 27, 1871, Shorten retired from the control of the Register, and B. W. Perkins took charge as editor. On May 21, 1872, E. R. Trask became joint owner with Perkins in the paper, and together they published it until May 1, 1873, when R. J. Alexander and J. C. Smith became the owners and publishers, and so continued until the 17th day of the month, when its issuance ceased, and no paper was issued until October 3, 1873, when J. R. Wilson became editor, with L. S. Crum as publisher. This arrangement continued until about the last of January, 1874, when W. P. Bishop succeeded Mr. Wilson as editor, and L. S. Crum continued as business manager. The last issue under this management was on November 27, 1874. E. R. Trask succeeded Bishop, and for some time thereafter E. R. Trask and H. P. Newlon had control of the paper. About the last of February, 1875, they arranged for its sale to F. B. McGill, and on March 12, 1875, appeared the last issue of the Register; and from henceforth it became incorporated into the outfit of the Oswego Independent.

THE FIRST DAILY.-On May 13, 1869, Trask issued a little sheet which he styled the "Oswego Daily Register," and which was marked "Vol. 1, No. 1." This was filled with matter relating to Oswego and Labette county, and was intended simply as an advertising medium. No. 2 of this "daily" never made its appearance. About September 10, 1871, Shorten started. the Oswego Daily Register, which was the first daily paper published in this part of the State. He thought to make it a success by supplying the neighboring towns with a daily paper the same day of publication, and as soon as the issue was out a messenger started with a bundle of them to Chetopa and other points. This daily was short lived, only about 40 issues appearing, and it finally closed November 15.


W. J. Lea had been one of the publishers of the Independent at Columbus for some time prior to its removal to Oswego. F. B. McGill, having no connection with any paper at that time, arranged for the purchase of a half-interest in the paper, the other half being retained by W. J. Lea, and they two moved it to Oswego, and on June 15, 1872, the Oswego Independent first made its appearance. Lea was one of the publishers up to November 23, 1872, when he sold his interest to F. B. McGill, who thereafter was editor and proprietor up to September 5, 1874, when J. W. Monfort became a joint owner and publisher, and continued as such up to June 10, 1875, when McGill again assumed exclusive ownership and control, and continued the editor and publisher until his death, on August 18, 1879. J. S. Waters, who had done some editorial work for Mr. McGill prior to his death, while he was unable to do the work himself, succeeded Mr. McGill as editor, and continued as sole responsible editor to October 8, 1881, at which time the name of J. E. Bryan appears with that of J. S. Waters as editors. Mr. Bryan had, however, for some time before this done more or less editorial work. Waters and Bryan were joint editors up to April 29, 1883, when Mr. Waters retired, and Mr. Bryan became sole editor, and continued to act as such up to November 27, 1885. At that time Nelson Case became editor. Mr. Bryan's name continued to appear as one of the editors, up to September 3, 1886, but he did very little work after Mr. Case took charge. Mr. Case continued to edit the paper to March 1, 1889. Since that time Mrs. McGill and her sons, W. F. McGill and Lee McGill, were the editors. Of course the local work has been done by many different parties. W. F. Thrall was local editor for some time, and the McGill children have for many years done a large part of the local work. Mrs. Mary A. McGill continued as publisher and business manager of the paper from the time of her husband's death down to her own death, which occurred June 12, 1900. Soon thereafter, Lee McGill and Maud McGill purchased the interest of the other two children in the plant, since which time the Independent has been under their management, the editorial work being in the hands of Lee McGill. It will thus he seen that since the first issue of the Independent on June 15, 1872, it has been under the control of the McGill family.

THE DAILY INDEPENDENT. - On Wednesday, October 5, 1881, the first issue of the Oswego Daily Independent appeared, with J. S. Waters and J. E. Bryan as editors. Mr. Bryan had for some time been doing more or less editorial work on the Independent, but not until the commencement of the daily did he appear as associate editor. Mrs. McGill continued to publish the daily until January 25, 1883, when its publication ceased. It may fairly be stated that the daily was not started nor its publication continued with the idea on the part of the publishers or the editors that the best interest of all concerned required the publication of a daily in this place; but the Oswego Republican being at that time opposing a part of the Republican ticket, it was thought by some of the political managers that the oldest Republican paper in the place, and the one recognized as the most reliably Republican, should issue a daily to meet the opposition of the Daily Republican. It was under these circumstances that the Daily Independent was started and maintained as long as it was, and its publication discontinued only after its owner had made it evident that Oswego was not a large enough place to justify the publication of a first-class daily paper.


In the spring of 1870 M. V. B. Bennett came to Oswego from Iowa, bringing with him material for a newspaper office, from which he soon issued the Oswego Democrat, which he continued to publish until November 27, 1870, when he moved the establishment to Independence, from which place he continued to issue the paper.


On September 27, 1878, Volney Moon, of Webb City, issued the first number of the Oswego Enterprise, which he published weekly until November 20 of the same year, when, claiming that he failed to get a sufficient support to justify its continuance, he sold the establishment to J. F. McDowell, who moved it to Baxter Springs.


This paper was founded October 16, 18791 by George S. King, D. S. Capell, and Frank W. Frye. Mr. King did the main part of the editorial work, Mr. Frye the local Work, and Mr. Capell had charge of the job office. On May 30, 1880, Mr. Capell sold his interest to his partners and retired from the firm. Messrs. King and Frye continued together until February 11, 1881, when Mr. Frye sold his interest in the paper to Mr. King, who was its editor and publisher until December, 1882, when G. F. King became editor - his father, however, remaining publisher. This arrangement continned until July 1, 1883, when the paper was purchased by J. M. Landis and A. D. Carpenter, who continued in charge until March 13, 1884, when Mr. Carpenter sold his interest to Mr. Landis. On September 13, 1877, C. E. Hughey and H. A. Harley leased the office, and continued in its management until the first week of December, when Mr. Landis again assumed control, and for several years continued to be the editor and publisher. However, at the close of 1892, the paper passed under the control of J. D. H. Reed. Mr. Reed continued as the ostensible editor and, publisher of the paper until May 17, 1894, when Mr. Landis again became the recognized editor, - he remained in charge until July 26, 1894, when he sold the plant to The Democrat Publishing Company. Although not so announced on the paper, Harry Mills was its editor and business manager, and so continued until March 5, 1896, when its publication finally ceased, the plant at that time having been sold to William Cook, and the paper having been merged in the News-Blade.


On August 29, 1889, the first number of this paper was issued from its Oswego office as the successor of the Chetopa Statesman, which for four years preceding had been published at Chetopa. Nelson Abbott, with his wife a part of the time and his son a part of the time associated with him, was the editor and also the publisher of this paper from its first issue until its publication ceased at his death, which took place January 20, 1892. The last issue of the paper under Mr. Abbott's management appeared January 8, 1892, although one or two small sheets subsequently appeared during his sickness explaining the cause of the paper failing to issue. In March, 1892, R. B. Claiborne purchased the office from Mrs. Abbott and renewed the publication of the Statesman, the first number under his management being on March 10, 1892. When the Times suspended and passed under the control of the Democrat, Mr. Claiborne purchased the right to use its name, and on July 14, 1892, the name of the paper was changed to the Times-Statesman.


Was published but a few weeks; it first ap peared November 18, 1892. W. W. Whetstone was its publisher and Harry Mills, its editor.


About August 1, 1881, a sandy-complexioned, medium-sized man, named H. H. Brooks, whose speech at once gave token of his English origin, made his appearance upon the streets of Oswego, hailing at that time from some point in Texas. It was not long after until the material for a printing establishment appeared at the depot, and on Monday, August 8, 1881, No. 1 of the Oswego Daily Republican was scattered among the reading public. On Thursday of that week appeared the Weekly Republican, and from that time on both the daily and weekly Republican made their regular appearance. Upon March 7, 1883, the daily ceased, but the weekly continued until the close of 1886, being at that time changed into the Bee. I. W. Patrick, who was a joint owner with Brooks from the start, did not appear as one of the editors or publishers until September 30, 1881. Brooks and Patrick continued as joint owners until August 3, 1882, when Brooks sold his interest to Patrick and retired. Patrick continued to run the paper until April 23, 1885, when it was sold to C. A. Wilkin and Jess Brockway. In the fall of 1884 J. M. Hutton became associate editor, and in Patrick's absence as Indian agent did all the work on the paper. Wilkin and Brockway as editors, and F. G. Moore as publisher, ran the paper until August 27, 1885, when they sold to Abe Steinbarger, who, from September 1st to the close of 1886, had complete control as editor and publisher, when its publication ceased under the above title.


On January 1, 1887, the first number of the Bee appeared as the successor of the Republican. It was run by Abe Steinbarger as a weekly, on very much the same plan as he had theretofore run the Republican, up to October 6, 1888, when he sold to R. W. Wright and J. H. Macon, who conducted it until January 26, 1889, when it passed into the hands of a publishing company with Jess Brockway as editor, under which management it continued until May, 1889, when its publication ceased.

THE DAILY BEE made its appearance March 7, 1887, and continued until September, 1888.


Was published from the old office where the Bee had been gotten out, and was considered a successor of that paper. Its first issue was dated May 25, 1889, and it continued to appear until February 27, 1891, when its subscription list and good-will were sold to the Independent. It was started by S. C. Steinbarger and A. L. Utterback; December 14, 1889, Mr. Utterback retired and the paper was continued to its close by Mr. Steinbarger.


Was started by S. C. Steinbarger, June 13, 1891, and was conducted under the same management until July 9, 1892, When its subscription list and good-will were sold to the Labette County Democrat, and the Times was discontinued. Mr. Landis sold Mr. Claiborne the right to use the name of the suspended paper in connection with that of the Statesman.


In 1877 Parnell & Houck started this paper as an advertising medium. Its publication continued for several months.


In July, 1885, C. R. Waters, a real-estate agent at Oswego, issued a sheet with this title, through which to let the people know what he was doing in the real-estate business.


Was a sheet edited and published in Oswego by O. V. Hays and S. A. Rendall during the session of the institute in August, 1881. It was devoted mainly to matters connected with the institute.


Was a monthly publication having but a short life. Mrs. Lucy Best was its editor and J. M. Landis, its publisher. The first number appeared in October. 1892.


Was the successor of the Labette County Statesman, the name having been changed when the Oswego Times suspended publication and its name was purchased by Mr. Claiborne July 14, 1892. R. B. Claiborne continued to edit and publish the paper until his death on October 1, 1899, when his son, H. H. Claiborne, assumed control and conducted the paper until January 4, 1900, at which time the plant was sold to William Cook & Son; the publication of the Times-Statesman then ceased, being merged into the News-Blade.


Was a daily, published by S. C. Steinbarger. It was started in the spring of 1894 and ran in that manner until August of that year, when it was united with the Union Blade to form the News-Blade.


Was started by Captain G. A. Nicholetts, apparently with the intention of making it of especial interest to old soldiers and as the organ of the G. A. R. The first issue appeared January 27, 1894, and the last on August 4, 1894, when it was sold by Captain Nicholetts to S. C. Steinbarger, and united with the News.


Made its appearance August 11, 1894, being the consolidated Oswego News and Union Blade. The last issue of the Union Blade was numbered 28, and the first issue of the News-Blade was numbered 29. S. C. Steinbarger was the editor and publisher of this paper from its first issue in August, 1894, to the close of 1895. On the 1st of January, 1896, William Cook became half-owner of the paper. Its publication was continued by Steinbarger & Cook until June 20, 1896, when Mr. Cook purchased Mr. Steinbarger's interest and became the full owner. In 1899 he associated his son, John, with him in its publication. February 10, 1897, the name of the paper was changed to that of the Oswego Weekly Blade, and as such it is still conducted by William Cook & Son.


Was a monthly publication started in February, 1899, by S. C. Steinbarger. Its publication was continued but five or six months.


First twinkled on May 4, 1899. William McNamer was its editor and ran it until about the middle of October of that year. He revived its publication for a short time in December, but with the close of 1899 it ceased to shed any light.


When the Star suspended in October, 1899, Charles Howard started the Messenger, which he conducted for about a month, or perhaps a little more.


The first issue of this paper appeared October 21, 1899, and it has been issued regularly since that date. Alf. D. Carpenter has been its editor and publisher from the first.


Is an irregular publication conducted by Dr. W. S. Newlon as an advertising medium, and also as a vehicle through which he conveys to the public much of his general information.



Col. John W. Horner and A. S. Cory brought to Chetopa from Baldwin City, Douglas county, a printing-press and outfit, in December, 1868, and the first issue of the second paper in the county appeared under the above designation, January 6, 1869. J. W. Horner was editor, and Horner & Cory were publishers. From the first, J. M. Cavaness was foreman of the office. On the last day of May following Mr. Cory retired from the paper, leaving Colonel Horner as sole owner and editor, which he continued to be until the first of Jannary, 1870, when he associated with him S. A. Fitch in the management and editorship of the paper. At this time the name of the paper Was changed to that of


The last of July, 1870, Mr. Fitch retired, leaving Mr. Horner again as sole owner. On July 1, 1872, James M. Cavaness became the owner of a half-interest in the paper, and its business manager. Mr. Horner sold his half-interest on February 27, 1873, to L. J. Van Landingham, and the paper was then conduced by Cavaness & Van Landingham. Angust 27, 1874, Nixon Elliott bought from Mr. Van Landingham his half-interest, and became the business manager, with Mr. Cavaness as editor. Mr. Cavaness, by the purchase of Mr. Elliott's interest, became the sole owner of the paper on February 25, 1875. The name of the paper was on April 4, 1878, changed back to the


On Febraury 4, 1886, A. F. Sloane and W. A. Shanklin leased the office from Mr. Cavaness, and became its editors and publishers. With the opening of 1887 Mr. Shanklin retired, and Mr. Sloane continued as sole editor and publisher until June 30 of the same year, when R. M. Roberts succeeded him in that position. On October 5, 1887, Mr. Roberts' engagements calling him elsewhere, A. G. Drake assumed control of the paper, in which position he continued for one year. Mr. Cavaness, having all the time retained the ownership, again took charge of the paper as its editor and publisher on October 4, 1888, and continued in that relation until September 1, 1899, when the paper passed under the control of William P. Hazen as editor and publisher, and under his management it has since appeared.


On March 4, 1876, this paper made its appearance under the editorial charge of J. H. Hibbits, the publication of which he continued until September 1, 1877, when he announced its suspension on account of want of support. On December 15, 1877, Frank W. Frye, who had been employed in the Herald office under its publication by Capt. Hibbits, resurrected the paper in a much diminished size, it being a five-column quarto, and being changed from a Republican to a Democratic sheet. It was continued under this management until February 16, 1878, when the office outfit was finally sold, and the paper ceased.


Was a temperance paper, edited and published by J. M. Cavaness and J. H. Hibbits. The first number appeared May 1, 1883.


The 1st of April, 1872, the first issue of this paper appeared, under the editorial management of F. D. Harkrider, in time to advocate the election of Geo. W. Fox for mayor. Its publication was continued until September, 1872, when the outfit was advertised by the sheriff to be sold on execution.


Made its appearance in June, 1884, with R. F. Brown as editor. On January 22, 1885, its publication was suspended, arrangements having been made with the Advance to fill out its unexpired subscription list.


Was founded March 16, 1888, by J. J. Rambo, who continued as its editor and publisher until November 11, 1897, when he sold the plant to M. A. Chesley, who has since been its editor and publisher.


No. 1, volume 1, of this sheet appeared Angust 6, 1885, with Nelson Abbott and, Mrs. R. M. Abbott, editors and proprietors. At the close of its fourth volume the material of the office was removed to Oswego, and the Labette County Statesman appeared as its successor.


J. B. Cook, doing a large land business at Chetopa, and desiring to advertise the same, started a paper with the above name, which he issued quarterly from 1873 to 1880, inclusive.



On January 5, 1871, the first issue of this paper appeared, purporting to be issued from Parsons, but being printed, in fact at the Monitor office, in Fort Scott. Perry D. Martin was its editor and proprietor. After the issuance of a few numbers its publication was suspended, but it was again resurrected about the middle of the year, appearing at this time as issued at Osage Mission. But two issues, however, appeared from its new home; and a disagreement between Martin and his associates arising, Martin was forced to retire, and the paper was succeeded by the People's Advocate.


Shed its light through No. 1, volume 1, on June 17, 1871, M. W. Reynolds and Leslie J. Perry, editors and proprietors. It was started as an eight-column, all home print. On Angust 12th of that year Mr. Perry sold his interest to Angell Matthewson, who continued with Reynolds as publisher until February 13, 1872, when he sold to G. C. West, from which time Reynolds & West conducted the paper until November, 1872, at which time West retired as associate editor, and was succeeded by Harry L. Gosling. In May, 1874, Reynolds, having theretofore been appointed receiver of the U. S. Land Office, retired from the management of the Sun, and G. C. West assumed full control, which he continued until April, 1875, when the Sun again passed under the control of Reynolds. Gifford & Winter, who up to about this time had been publishing the Parsons Surprise, soon thereafter consolidated it with the Sun, the management of which was now under the control of Reynolds, Gifford & Winter, who continued its publication until November 11, 1876, when its publication as a weekly was discontinued, appearing occasionally thereafter, more as an advertising medium than anything else. On May 12, 1877, its publication was renewed by Reynolds, and by him continued until December 14, 1878, when the entire outfit was sold to H. H. Lusk, who has continued its publication ever since.

DAILY SUN. - On the morning of September 5, 1880, the Daily Sun made its appearance, and has continued regularly to appear since that time as the only morning daily paper published in the county, with the exception of once or twice when one of the other papers appeared as a morning issue for a short time.


Was conducted at Parsons by T. C. Cory and V. J. Knapp. It was started September, 1872, and published monthly thereafter until January, 1873. It was a five-column, eight-page paper, nicely gotten up, carefully edited, with a large amount of reading matter intended to give a good idea of the great West to all persons seeking information in respect thereto.


On Thursday, May 22, 1873, this paper was started by O. Edwards, A. W. Gifford, and A. C. Covell, and its publication continued for something less than one year, when it failed for want of support.


About the 1st of April, 1874, the Parsons Weekly Herald was sold on chattel mortgage and bought by J. B. Lamb, with which outfit the Parsons Eclipse was started by J. B. Lamb and J. B. Taylor as editors land proprietors. The first number appeared April 9, 1874. On March 29, 1877, at the end of the third volume, Taylor withdrew, from which time its publication was regularly conducted by J. B. Lamb & Sons until the death of Dr. Lamb, December 26, 1890, since which time his sons conducted it. For several years past, Celsus A. Lamb has been sole manager and editor.

THE DAILY ECLIPSE was started May 9, 1881, and is farther spoken of under the head of dailies.


About the middle of April, 1873, A. W. Gifford started the Surprise, which suspended after a few weeks' existence, and the force united with the Herald outfit. The latter having finished its career about the last of February, 1874, the Surprise was resurrected, being published by A. W. Gifford and W. L. Winter, and continued until January 26, 1875, when it surrendered to the inevitable.


Was started in October, 1882, by G. F. Kimball as editor and proprietor; it continued but a short time.


In July, 1879, Copeland & Brewster, of Parsons, issued a real-estate sheet under the above title.


The Daily Journal having been discontinued in January, H. C. Sourbeer, on May 1, 1891, commenced the publication of the Journal as a weekly, which was continued by him until November 13, 1891, when it was merged into Mills' Weekly World, and its publication under the title of the Journal ceased.


Frank W. Frye and Will W. Frye were the founders of this paper, the first issue of which appeared February 24, 1883. From August, 1883, to February, 1885, E. S. Stevens had charge of the job department of the paper. From February to October, 1886, George S. King had charge of the editorial department. Will W. Frye then did the editorial work for some time. On June 1, 1889, Frank W. Frye purchased the interest of his brother in the establishment, since which time he has been sole editor and proprietor.


Was started in the summer of 1888, by Sheward & Gregg. After a few months Mr. Gregg sold his interest, and L. S. Sheward became the sole editor and proprietor. In January following, A. H. Tyler became editor, in which position he continued until the close of the year, at which time Mr. Sheward again became its editor as well as publisher. Its publication was continued, with few interruptions, until near the close of 1890, when it altogether ceased.


About the 1st of August, 1872, Bancroft and Cory issued the first number of the Settlers' Advocate, at Parsons, and continued the publication as a monthly until the spring of 1873, when they issued a weekly edition.


In September, 1871, Walker & Thomas, real-estate agents at Parsons, started the publication of a, real-estate paper under the above title, to advertise their land business, the publication of which continued for some two or three years.