Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 1052-1053


PERL WILBER MORGAN, author of "The History of Wyandotte County," is a native of Indiana. He was born in the town of Monrovia, Morgan county, December 4, 1860, being the third of eight children of William Hoard Morgan and Maria (Marvin) Morgan. The father was born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, in 1824, and the mother in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1836. In 1864 the family moved from Monrovia to Plainfield, twelve miles distant, and in that historic old Indiana Quaker town the subject of this sketch was reared. He received such education as the common schools afforded until, at the age of fifteen, he entered the office of the Plainfield Citizen, a weekly paper owned and edited by John N. Vestal, as a printer's devil. By a study of good literature, for which he has a liking, and by almost constant reading, together with the advantage the newspaper work brought to him in the way of self-education, he made rapid advance in the newspaper profession. He combined his work as a printer apprentice with writing local articles for the paper and with correspondence for the Indianapolis Journal and Sentinel and the Cincinnati Enquirer and Gazette for four years. In 1879 he left his home town and went to Indianapolis, where for seven years he was connected successively with the mechanical department of the Indiana Farmer, the Saturday Review, the Journal and the Sentinel. Although engaged in printing as a member of Indianapolis Typographical Union No. 1 during these years he did much writing for the Sunday Sentinel and other publications. In 1886, when he decided to come to the west, he was in charge of the auxiliary printing department of the Sentinel, supplying "patent insides" for many Indiana weekly papers. In April, 1886, he stopped at LaHarpe, Illinois, and spent a few months in helping to set up and start the Hancock County Herald.

On coming to Kansas, Missouri, he dropped the mechanical side of printing and devoted himself to writing, reporting and editing. He went to work as a reporter on the old Kansas City Times when it was owned by Dr. Morrison Mumford, and in a few weeks was placed in charge of the news department for Kansas City, Kansas. He filled the position until 1890, when he became associated with the Kansas City Gazette as news editor, George W. Martin, secretary of the Kansas Historical Society, being the editor-in-chief. After three years of this service Mr. Morgan resigned that position to become the head of the news staff in Kansas City, Kansas, for the Kansas City Star. To this position was added larger responsibilities when Colonel William R. Nelson, in 1901, purchased the Times and made it the morning edition of the Star, Mr. Morgan being at the head of the news service for the two papers. In this important position he had an opportunity of "trying" scores of young men ambitious to become newspaper reporters and writers, and he is proud of the fact that many successful men now employed on newspapers in the United States served their apprenticeship in the Kansas City, Kansas, office of the Star and the Times. Mr. Morgan also is proud of the fact that his position afforded great opportunities for usefulness in helping along the development of Kansas City, Kansas, from an aggregation of towns to the metropolis of the state. And it was this civic interest, together with a desire to perform a larger service for his city, that caused him to resign his position with the Star in April, 1911, to become secretary of the Mercantile Club.

Mr. Morgan was married October 21, 1884, to Miss Mary McKnight, of Plainfield, Indiana. Of the four children born to them, a son, Howard Charles Morgan, is living. He, at the time of this publication, is a student at the University of Kansas.

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