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Subscribers received the first issue of the Wichita Daily Eagle on March 18, 1890. The paper was published daily, except Mondays, until June 9, 1906, and asserted a Republican affiliation. The successor to a number of similarly named newspapers under the same proprietorship, the Wichita Daily Eagle by 1890 boasted a circulation of nearly 10,000 in a county with almost 45,000 inhabitants. By 1906, the Eagle’s readership doubled to 20,000, as the population in Sedgwick County surpassed 51,000. The growth and prosperity of Wichita was linked to that of the Eagle.

During its 16-year tenure, the Wichita Daily Eagle covered the arrival of Carry A. Nation and her hatchet in Kansas and the activities of the temperance movement. The Eagle also reported on the success of the railroads, including the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe among others, and the rise of Populism. The prominent Kansas Populist (or People’s) Party leader, Mary Elizabeth Lease, was often the target of derogatory comments, and critiques of her outward appearance appeared in many Republican newspapers, including the Eagle. The Eagle also frequently included news from Oklahoma, whose state line lay only 50 miles from Wichita.

The Wichita Daily Eagle was a collaborative effort between Marshall M. Murdock and his younger brother Roland P. Murdock. The elder Murdock had first established the weekly Wichita City Eagle in 1872. In the years that followed, the paper was called the Daily Eagle, the Wichita Daily Eagle, and the Wichita Eagle, before being renamed the Wichita Daily Eagle. Long-time publisher and founder of the Eagle enterprise, Marshall Murdock retired in 1906 (the same year as his brother’s death) and died two years later.

The Eagle newspapers remained a family affair for many decades into the future. Victor and Marcellus Murdock, Marshall Murdock’s sons, acted as editors and publishers during their own lifetimes. Victoria Murdock, was publisher of the Wichita Eagle for several years following the death of her husband Marshall and also published the Wichita Daily Eagle in the years leading up to her own death in 1914. These newspapers and other renditions of the Eagle paved the way for the Wichita Eagle we read today.

Provided by: Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, KS