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Editors' Biographies and Comments

Perry Coler was born in Mogadore, Ohio, March 21, 1878 and came with his parents, Anthony and Matilda C. Coler, to Norton county in 1883, where they settled in the Dunkard Colony.  In 1894 he came to Norton and started learning the printing trade at which he has since worked continuously, with the exception of three years in engine service of the Rock Island railroad.  In 1905 he married Louida Caroline Moreland, and the same year resigned from the railway service and purchased the Norton County News which he still owns and publishes.  He has made and still does make a fight for high principle rather than dollars or honor, and his paper is endorsed by a better class of people, as will be seen by at look at his subscription list, and the paper has a good circulation.  Mr. Coler is of German-French descent, and traces his family tree, on his mother’s side back to Cyrus Bowman, his great great grandfather, who served in the Revolutionary War under Washington, and who was at Lexington and Trenton.  In politics he is a progressive Republican.  He is a member of the Presbyterian Church and of the Odd Fellows, being a Past Grand of that order.

Louida Caroline Coler was born in Connellsville, Penn., and came, with her grandmother, to Kansas in 1885, and settled in Thomas county.  Although but a child, she endured many of the hardships of early life in western Kansas.  On March 21, 1905, she was united in marriage with Perry Coler and for the past ten or more years has assisted him in the publication of his newspaper, The Norton County News.  Mrs. Coler is a writer of pronounced ability and practicality, and she has been much quoted over the country, many of her poems and articles of prose have been published in large eastern periodicals.  Noted ministers have declared she would be an excellent preacher; noted lawyers have said she would excel in the legal profession, but she goes happily on with her writing, household duties and office work.  She is of Scotch-Irish nationality, but is very proud of her American birth, and that she gave two grandfathers to this, their, adopted country, during the Civil War.  She is a member of the Presbyterian Church and of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

W.H. Wright to whose artistic ability we owe the excellent get-up of the many ads in this edition, was unable to get his cut here in time to appear on this page with the rest of the force, but we assure our readers, especially the ladies, that he is the handsomest of the out-fit.  To a printer we need say nothing – his work speaks for itself, and as you will notice, no two ads are alike.  Mr. Wright was at one time owner and editor of that excellent paper, The Lebanon Times.

C.B. [Clifford Byron] Crotsenburg, of Detroit, Mic.

Mr. Crotsenburg, has worked over twelve weeks on this edition; collecting data, interviewing old timers, getting photos, soliciting advertising, etc.  He is a tireless worker, and understands this line of work thoroughly, having made a speciality of this line for many years, working all through the middle west for various papers, promoting special editions.  There is no use for us to tell you that he has made a success of this; the edition speaks for itself.

Editors' Comments


Is the NEWS appreciated?

Out of 199 merchants and professional men solicited in the county, Mr. Crotsenburg secured 187 advertisements.  Every newspaper that is fighting for the right has its enemies, but there is not one of the people who advertised with us but what wished to see our edition succeed, and we consider this as a compliment to us, that the merchants of Norton County have enabled us to publish the largest special edition every printed in northwestern Kansas. (page 60)

The Debt We Owe

We have done our best to give a correct and true history of Norton county.  Only you can tell us how well we have succeeded.  The only way we could get facts and data that we have, was through the files of the News and the county papers, and from the old settlers.  There are a few of the latter which we wish particularly to mention, and we take this way to thank them personally and to let the readers of this history know of the service they have rendered, not only to us, but to their county.  Of course the advertisers speak for themselves, and in that way honor their county, but those helpers who had nothing to advertise are worthy of mention too.  Among these are:  Rev. U.S. Brown, Rev. T.J. Duvall, Rev. T.P. Tuite and Elder G.T. Neal, of Norton, Rev. C.H. Cowman at Norcatur; Rev. Fred Blanding and Rev. Owens, at Lenora; Rev. E.C. Edgar, at Edmond; Rev. Frazier, at Clayton and Rev. J.B. Varnholt [Vornholt] of New Almelo, who have given us the history of their respective churches and other data; Mrs. Sauerwine [Sauerwein] the Catholic church at Densmore; Mrs. L.W. Hicks, for the Christian church at Norcatur; Mrs. J. Johnston for the Congregational church at Lenora.  R.A. Holmes, C.I. Griffith, R.H. Rhoades, Fred Foot [Foote], E.E. Nelson and Judge Bower for their kindness in helping us to look over the old records at the court house.  A.K. Mills and Mrs. F.J. Rose of Almena for excellent storis (sic) and much data; John Voss Sr. and John Voss Jr. and J.G. Archer of Desmore [Densmore] for data from there.  Mrs. Arthur Stickney of Edmond for photos and data; S. Larrick of Lenora for material for a good story;  Forest Castle of Clayton for help and photos; Jake Brooks for his willingness in giving data; G.W. Bressler for his promptness in writing the history of Clayton at a time when we had almost despaired of getting it; J.C. Duncan, D.R. Howey, Roland Ward, E.N. Harris and S.W. Betts all of Norcatur for help, and J.W. Deeter also of that place for the prompt and able manner in which he has written up the history of Norcatur, Rockwell City and Devizes – here is a newspaper man who, knowing that this edition would take money away from him, because of the way the merchants would advertise in it, helped it along in every possible way just because he knew it would be a good thing for the country, a big advertisement and help for his county and therefore for his home town.  Dell Morrison of Oronoque for data from that place; Chas. D. Beiber of Calvert for data from there; Mrs. E.L. Hicks for photo and data on Reager, also J.B. Shepherd of that place; N.L. Johnson of Norton for data, photos and his willingness to at all times help and thus show his spirit of progress; G.N. Cheeseman for the writeup of Lenora and assistance in other ways; John Snyder St. and Jr., for photos; A.S. Marsh for photos and information; Carl Behrent for data; Sam Sweeley for data and other help; W.B. Rogers for data on Norton; The Telegram and the Courier for their willingness in looking up cuts, and for other help; F.M. Lockard for his assistance in various ways; W.H. Hollenshead, Dr. E.A. Lyons and Amon Butler for help and data; F.E. Kennedy for photos; Dr. C.S. Kenny for data on the Sanitorium; M.G. Sheely [Sheley] for early day story; J.T. Smith for data on Edmond and other helpfullness; C.E. Reed for many of our excellent photos; L.H. Thompson for help and data.

There are hundreds of others not mentioned here, who have with kind encouraging words for us and a boost here and there.  It has been said that people do not appreciate their own town or county, but if this edition has done nothing more, it has proved to us that, which in our own hearts we have always felt was true, that is, that the people of Norton county do appreciate their own grand old county and are glad and willing to help it in any way possible.  Of course, in order to be populated with human beings, the county must have its corps of knockers, but the patronage of this edition will show you how few in number are the knockers of Norton county, and how great in numbers are the good substantial boosters – and it is the latter class who has made the county what she is today. The best county in the best state in the Union.  (page 62)




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©2005 Ardie Grimes.  Transcribed from Norton County News Historical Number 1870 - 1916, re-organized and re-formatted for ease of use. These pages are dedicated to free access to records, documents and photos of historical and genealogical value. Documents contained herein may be copied for personal, non-commercial use as long as this statement remains on all copied material.   These records, documents and photos may not be reproduced, published or re-published for any reason, in any format,  including electronic (web pages or CD's) and print, without prior written consent of the contributors or copyright holders.


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Ardie Grimes 


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Last updated 25 February 2005