Daviess County, Missouri Genealogy Trails

History of Daviess County, MO Press

History of Daviess and Gentry Counties Missouri – (Daviess County portion by John C. Leonard and Buel Leonard – Printed by Historical Publishing Company, 1922 – Transcribed by Veneta McKinney


No newspaper was published in the Grand River country until 1843. At that time James H. Darlington established the Grand River Chronicle at Chillicothe. Under his management, the paper became one of the most influential in North Missouri. His son, E. S. Darlington, took charge of the paper in 1855, and published it until 1860. Because of its advocacy of the doctrine of secession, the paper was suppressed by the Federal authorities. This paper no doubt had some subscribers in Daviess County.


It was not until 1853 that a newspaper was published within the county. At that time the Missouri Sun was established by Stearns and McKean. It was Democratic in politics.


In 1917 a copy of this paper was found by J. C. McDonald, which was dated Feb. 1, 1855. A description of the paper was given by the Jameson Gem:


"The paper shows a splendid advertising patronage from business firms in Gallatin, Brunswick, St. Joseph, Pattonsburg, Chillicothe, Kingston and other places. One Gallatin merchant ran a want ad to buy up 1000 yards of brown jeans, 1000 yards of white linsey, 500 dozen. pair of socks and other home-made products. One peculiar advertisement was that of S. Bryan, who offered to pay the highest prices in trade for deerskins."


Two years later Frame & McKean became the proprietors, and the name of the paper was changed to the Gallatin Sun, and for the next three years, it upheld the politics of the "Know Nothing" party. The failure of the party meant the death of the paper.


After the failure of the Sun in 1858, Edward S. Darlington, former editor of the Grand River Chronicle, bought the materials and began the publication of a Democratic sheet, known as the Western Register. He continued the paper for four years, when it was sold. Mr. Darlington at various times edited papers at Chillicothe, Trenton, Kirksville, Lawson, Holt, Rayville, Columbia, Fulton and other places. He died near Richmond in 1912. According to D. H. Davis, while Darlington was in Gallatin, he fell heir to an estate in Virginia, most of which he spent in buying a negro servant. The servant soon skipped to Kansas and sent back word that he was free as his former master.


James Graham, who purchased the Western Register from E. S. Darlington in 1862, changed the name of the paper to the Peoples Press. Although Mr. Graham was a Democrat, he made it a local rather than a party organ. In spite of its conservativeness, the editor incurred the wrath of the militia, and in 1864 the paper was suspended.


The establishment of the North Missourian is told by Mr. Kost, one of its first editors, in the Dec. 29, 1905, issue of that paper. He tells of coming to Gallatin in Aug., 1864, and of meeting B. J. Waters, a young lawyer, who suggested that they buy out Mr. Graham.


The first issue came out Aug. 28, 1864. Six months later B. J. Waters sold his interest to Mr. Kost and removed to Ray County and at the next election was elected to the Legislature from that county. In 1865, J. T. Day became associated with Mr, Kost. At this time there was no newspaper in DeKalb County, and the Missourian managed to get most of the printing from that county. In 1871 Mr. Kost disposed of his interest to W. T. Foster. Mr. Kost later represented Daviess County in both branches of the State Legislature.


In March, 1873, Mr. Foster retired, and Josiah Powell purchased his interest. Mr, Powell sold out to William T. Sullivan in Aug., 1875, and removed to Chillicothe, where for twenty years he served as surveyor and deputy.


Mr. Sullivan was a leader of the Radical party. In 1881 he was appointed to a government position in the Pension Department, continuing in that work nearly six years. For 25 years he was a post-office inspector. He died in 1910.


Mr. Day disposed of his interest in the Missourian, and for a time Mr.Sullivan was sole editor.


Harley Brundidge then became one of the editors. He retired after two years. Mr. Brundidge has since attained considerable fame as an editor, becoming chief director of the Los Angelos Express and Tribune. He was a member of the board that framed the charter for Los Angeles. At present he is President of the Railroad Commission of the state of California.


In 1893 or 1894, R. M. Harrah purchased the Missourian. He was succeeded by D. H. Gilchrist, who soon disposed of it to C. M. Harrison. Mr. Harrison continued to edit the paper until 1909, when the paper was purchased by S. G. McDowell, a former editor of Bethany. In 1913, Mr. Harrison and his son, Fred M. Harrison, again acquired the paper and it has continued under their management up to the present time. Fred M. Harrison having the active management.


Ed. Howe, later editor of the Atchison Globe, was once an employee of the North Missourian. An interesting account of his life in Gallatin, is written by Judge McDougal.


"Twenty-six years ago, when I, a stranger in a strange land, was wrestling with the mysteries of Blackstone here at Gallatin, a rosy-faced, good-natured printer boy struck town and went to setting type in the North Missourian office, then owned and edited by Kost & Day. We took our meals at Mrs. Emmons boarding house * * * * The printer boy heard everything, said little, was full of quiet, quaint humor, and had sense, and I became very fond of him. So after he drifted away from here, I kept track of him but did not appreciate his well-earned fame until I read his 'Story of a Country Town' only a few years ago. That settled it, for the 'Twin Mounds' of that book is Bethany, the county seat next north of us, and Howe's old home. And no old citizen of Gallatin can read the book without recognizing at once John Williams as the 'nervous little druggist,' old man Jacobs as the 'big fat blacksmith' and Harfield Davis' drug store as 'the place where all questions, political, religious and social were discussed and settled,' although Howe does not directly name either."


Although not mentioned in any history of the county, the Columbia Statesman makes mention of a Democratic paper published in Gallatin from January, 1854, through 1858. The paper was published by G. W. Gardner and L. R. Stephens, and was known as the Gallatin Spectator.


The Democratic paper which had been published prior to and during the war had in the latter part of the war incurred the enmity of the militia and had been suppressed. The party now demanded an organ of expression, and the Torchlight was established in the summer of 1866, by James M. Gallimore and William H. Schrader. In October of the same year, Mr. Schrader sold his interest to his partner and went to Maryville, where in 1869 he acquired an interest in the Maryville Register, later the DeKalb County Herald. On Jan. 30, 1869, Mr. Gallimore sold the paper to Thomas and George Frame, and the paper was edited by Thomas Frame. In July, 1869, D. Harfield Davis took charge of the paper and from that time on the succcess of the paper was assured. The name was soon changed to Democrat.


Mr. Davis remained an editor until June 30, 1870, when he retired for a few months in favor of Frank P. Warner. In the fall of 1871 Mr. Davis again became editor. During this time the paper was gaining in popularity, and was organizing the Democratic party into fighting form. In 1872, Mr. Davis again retired temporarily and during the campaign of 1872 the Democrat was edited by S. M. C. Reynolds. For the first time since the war, the Democratic party won out in the county election. In December, 1872, Mr. Davis again assumed the management of the paper, which he retained until Feb. 26, 1874, when he sold the office and good will to Dr. W. E. Black, Milt Ewing and Dr. N. M. Smith. Dr. Smith withdrew in November of the same year. On Jan. 1, 1875, S. L. Harvey, then of Trenton, purchased the paper and became proprietor, but remained only a few months. He then sold out to Lewis Lamkin. Mr. Harvey later edited papers in Trenton, Centerville, Iowa, and Neosho.


Mr. Lamkin remained editor of the Democrat for several years. He was one of the best known editors in Missouri. He died at Lee's Summitt in 1907. He assisted in establishing the first paper in Kansas City, moving the press from Independence.


Wesley L. Robertson purchased the Democrat in 1889, and continued as editor until 1894, when J. F. Jordin took charge. Mr. Jordin owned the paper only three years, at the end of which time it became the property of Gus Leftwich. After a few months, in March, 1898, he again became editor with Robert J. Ball as his partner. They continued to publish the paper until the death of Mr. Robertson in December, 1919. A few months later, Mr. Ball purchased his partner's interest, and is assisted in the publication of the paper by R. L. Etter, Jr.


The Daviess County Republican, a short-lived paper, was published in Gallatin. The last issue was in February, 1902. In the Gallatin Democrat of the following week, C. M. C. Showalter, the editor, made the following statement: "Not having been notified that last week's Daviess County Republican would be my last issue before the paper was out, I did not make my bow to the patrons of the paper as I should have, which I very much regret. I have no apologies to make ; I have done my best under the unfavorable circumstances that I have contended with." H. L. Eads, W. T. Paugh and others owned the plant.


The New Era was started in December, 1880, by E. A. Martin, now of the Pattonsburg Call. After nine months, the paper was suspended.


The next newspaper met with somewhat better success. The Winston Independent was founded in 1883 by Harvey L. Cross and was continued until about 1887. Mr. Cross is now editor of the Bentonville (Ark.) Sun.


The Winston Star, edited by H. J. Hollis, was established May 3, 1888, and published by him until July 1, 1901, when the plant was sold to James H. Wise.


Mr. Wise then changed the name to the Winston Sentinel, with H. L. Johnson as its editor. On July 21, 1902, Dudley A. Reid became editor and proprietor and continued its publication until May 16, 1903. At that time the plant was purchased by T. H. Black. On April 8, 1909, the paper became the property of Williams & Black until Sept. 7, of the same year. It was then taken over by Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Black. Virgil H. Black became the owner on July 21, 1910, and continued as editor until Sept. 7, 1916. The plant was purchased by Benton B, Smith, and published by him until the editor was inducted into military service. Until his return from the army in June, 1919, the paper was edited by the present editor, Howard J. Hollis. Immediately after his return, Mr. Smith sold the paper to C. A. Smith. Mr. Hollis continued as editor and business manager. Mr. C. A. Smith died on Dec. 7, 1918, and on Nov. 1, 1919, Mr. Hollis purchased the entire equipment and goodwill of the Sentinal, and is still its owner and editor.


About 1891, the Winston Mirror was founded by W. W. Arnold. Within the next two years the paper became the property of Edward A. Truitt. It suspended about 1894,


The Coffeyburg Life was established in 1897 by I. J. Vogelgesang. It was published for only a short time. The next paper was the Sun, owned and edited by Allen F. Wade, present editor of the Jameson Gem. It was established in 1899 and published until about 1901. A paper was also established by Rupe & Son, known as the Headlight, which was short-lived.


In April, 1904, Ben Sailor, who had been editing the Altamont Index, moved the Index plant to Coffey, and the first issue of the Enterprise appeared in May of that year. Mr. Sailor was succeeded a few years later by W. F. Rice. A short time later Thomas Cunningham became editor. W. T. Pugh became the owner in 1910 or 1911.


The first editor of the Lock Springs Herald was T, E. Piatt, who started the paper about 1900. It was independent in politics. He sold his interest to J. B. Ferguson in 1907 or 1908, who continued to edit the paper until his death in May, 1917. Charles R. Clark then took charge of the paper, but in May, 1918, he sold it to Charles E. Cook, In July, 1918, the writer of the Lock Springs items in the Gallatin Democrat complains that the "Lock Springs Herald closed its doors some two months ago and quit business. We suppose the owner went to seek greener fields."


Lock Springs was then without a newspaper until a few months ago, when the Era was established.


The Jameson Reporter was established in 1884. On Jan. 1, 1885, M. F. Stripes took charge, but nine months later gave it up, having purchased the Jamesport Gazette which he published for so many years.


In 1891, E. A. Martin, editor of the Pattonsburg Call, began the publication of the Larconic, which was printed in the Call office. This paper continued quite successfully until 1897, when the Call office burned. There was no insurance on the plant. The Larconic was then discontinued.


For a short time Jameson was without a newspaper. In 1899 or 1900 the Journal was established by C. C. Bartruff. This paper was continued until 1903. It was independent in politics.


Allen F. Wade became the next Jameson editor. The Gem was established about 1913. It was an independent weekly.


The first newspaper was established in Altamont in 1894 or 1895, under the name of the Index. Joe H. Hess was its editor in 1899-1900, and he was succeeded by George W. Crenshaw, In 1902 Ben F. Sailor bought the paper. Two years later, in April, 1904, it suspended publication and Mr. Sailor moved the plant to Coffey. About a month later the Index reappeared, edited by Al Snow. Its next editor was D. M. Fisher. The paper was discontinued.


The Live Wire was a short-lived publication. It was established about the same time as the Index.


The Altamont Times was started by Leo Sharp in 1908. Some two years later Barrett & Clark became its editors. They were succeeded by George G. Tedrick, the present owner. The paper had always been listed as independent in politics until the last few years when it has carried the Republican label.


Jamesport has had a number of newspapers, but its first one, the Gazette, has outlived all of them, and is today the only paper in the town. The first number of the Gazette was issued March 8, 1877. Its editors were M. O. Cloudas and Joe Wright, son of Elder D. T. Wright, editor of the Christian Pioneer. This number announced that the paper would be issued "every Thursday from the corner of Main and East Streets, Jamesport, Missouri. Our politics and religion & got none. Our rates are the same to everybody, $1.50 per year in advance." On Sept. 1, 1886, M. F. Stipes became the editor of the paper. For some time it was published semi-weekly. The paper was alternately Democratic and independent in its politics, being listed in the 1889-1890 and 1891-1892 state manuals as an independent paper, while from 1893 to 1904 it was classed as Democratic, and after that it was again ranked as independent. Mr. Stipes was a historian of considerable ability, being the author of "Gleanings in Missouri History," and various historical articles. Mr. Stipes disposed of the newspaper about 1913, and died in Jamesport, Oct. 14, 1916.


Upon the retirement of Mr. Stipes, Thomas R. Shaw, Jr., became the editor. He continued it as an independent sheet and changed it to a weekly paper. In January, 1918, the paper was sold to a Mr. Ryal. Albert F. Hulen is the present owner and editor. Since about 1900 the Gazette has had no rival in the town.


The Gallatin Democrat of March 17, 1883, contains the following item: "The Jamesport Observer has suspended. Our young friend, Sam Buzzard, has too good a financial head to waste money on so precarious an enterprise." Just when this paper was started has not been ascertained, but it evidently was short lived.


The Jamesport Herald was established about 1889. Robert M. Harrah was editor of the paper until 1893 or 1894, when he became editor of the Gallatin North Missourian. The paper was not affiliated with an political party, but since its editor later became the editor of the Republican North Missourian, it is probable that he had strong tendencies toward that party.


In 1899 or 1900, Ed A. Sproul started an independent paper known as the Jamesport Natural Gas. It was published only a short time. The editor went west and has since been connected with various papers.


The first paper published in Pattonsburg was the Call, the first issue of which appeared in September, 1881. Since its establishment, the paper has been edited by Eugene A. Martin. Mr. Martin is a native of Iowa, but the family removed to Hamilton, Mo., while he was still a small boy. Here he learned the printer's trade and worked at Brookfield, Laclede, Kingston, and Linneus, and assisted in establishing the Hamiltonian. In December, 1880, he came to Daviess County and founded the Winston New Era. The paper was published only nine months. He then established the Call. During 1889 and 1890 the paper was semi-weekly and again in 1911 it was published twice a week. It is independent in its political policy. Mr. Martin also published for a time the Jameson Larconic. No other editor has seen so many years of service in the county.


Missouri Veteran was established at Pattonsburg in 1884 by Col. W. B. Watts, a veteran printer. After about a year he disposed of the paper to Charles E. Hill, a real estate man. A short time afterwards the paper was suspended.


Dr. William Neil established the Star in the early nineties. About 1895, Charles P. Warner took over the paper and changed its name to the Star-Press. He soon gave it up, and W. S. Daniels became its editor. About 1898, Mr. Daniels disposed of the paper to E. A. McCollom. It was suspended about 1900. Under Mr. Daniels the paper was listed as Republican in politics, but under Mr. McCollum as Democratic.


During the summer and fall of 1894, a paper was edited by Anthony Dahl.


At one time Pattonsburg had three newspapers, the Call (independent) the Star-Press (Democratic,) and the Life (Republican.) This latter paper was edited a short time by W. T. Paugh, who about 1898, moved the plant of the Coffey Life to Pattonsburg. The paper was published for a year or two and the plant was again moved to Coffey. In 1901, it was purchased by John Adams, a school teacher, who again brought it to Pattonsburg, where he established the Courier. Joe Wright was also connected with the paper. It lasted only a short time, not long enough to be listed in the state manuals. The plant finally landed in Gallatin where it became the Daviess County Republican, which had a brief and troubled existence.


Still later a man from Camden Point started a paper which lasted only a few months. This was the Call's last competitor, and from the length of time it was published, it did not cause much competition.

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