From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.

First Kansas Paper Printed Under Leavenworth Elm Tree


William H. Adams Set up His Newspaper Office in the Open Here in 1854--The Leavenworth Times Was Established as a Daily Three Years Later.


Leavenworth Times Jan. 11, 1940


The first newspaper printed in the territory of Kansas was published at Leavenworth, under an elm tree.

History reveals that William H. Adams set up his newspaper office, in the open, here in 1854 and that the first issue of the "Herald" was printed on September 15, of that year.

But during the next week the enterprising Mr. Adams had constructed a building for his paper and the second issue, on September 22 was printed in the new building.

In the book "History of the State of Kansas," published in 1883, the following account of that first newspaper office, as given by a man from Baton Rouge, La., says:

"A visit to the printing office afforded a rich treat. On entering the first room, on the right hand three law 'shingles' were on the door; on one side was a rich bed, French blankets, sheets, table cloths, shirts, cloaks and rugs, all together; on the wall hung hams, maps, venison, and rich engravings, onions, portraits and boots; on the floor were a side of bacon, carved to the bone, corn and potatoes, stationery and books; on a nice dressing case stood a wooden tray half full of dough, while crockery occupied the professional desk.

"In a a room on the left, the sanctum, the housewife, cook, and editor lived in glorious unity, one person. He was seated on a stool, with paper before him on a piece of plank, writing a vigorous knockdown to an article in the Kickapoo "Pioneer," a paper of a rival city. The cook-stove was at his left and tin kettles all around; the corn cake was 'a-doing' and instead of scratching his head for an idea, as editors often do, he turned the cake and went ahead."

The newspaper was established as a daily paper, the first in Kansas, on May 17, 1859. The Leavenworth Times was established March 8, 1857..

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