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Western Kansas World
The WaKeeney Western Kansas World was first issued on March 21, 1885. Its predecessor, the Wa-Keeney Weekly World had been published since March 1879, being the first and, at that time, the only newspaper in Trego County. The Western Kansas World was published weekly on Saturdays and consisted of four or eight pages per issue. The World was the “Official County Paper of Trego County” and used the motto “Stock Farming the Basis of Our Industries.” With a unique and illustrative masthead that showcased the importance of homesteads, livestock, and agriculture on local livelihood, theWorld represented the character of an entire region. Asserting a Republican outlook on events and politics, the paper maintained circulation numbers congruent with changes in the county’s population. In 1885, annual circulation numbered 385 in a county of just over 2,100 people. By 1920, circulation reached 1,225 among the 4,600 residents
By 1886, the sale of land was the largest business in WaKeeney. The July 17, 1886 issue listed nearly twenty firms, including dealers, surveyors, attorneys, and agents who dealt with the sale of land. In addition, the World occasionally featured illustrated stock brands of owners, farming notices from across the state, and listings of the largest crop producers in each township. The World experienced several editorial changes before the turn of the century. Winfield S. Tilton, editor of the World since 1882, sold his interest in the paper in September 1889. In March 1894, Harvey S. Givler became editor. Givler was a veteran editor in the state of Kansas after having previously worked for the Leavenworth Times and the Topeka Daily Capital, and he remained with the World for over two decades.
Beginning on December 6, 1890, and ending on February 7, 1891, the World published one page of a newspaper called the Ogallah Kicker in hopes of garnering publicity and establishing a wider audience for the paper. But with editors named Ketchum and Lickum and a motto reading “Whenever you see a head strike it, especially if it needs to be hit,” the Ogallah Kicker seems to have been mainly a ploy to add humor to the World. From February 14 through April 18, 1891, the World included one page of a newspaper called the Whip with editors Blister and Burns and a motto reading “It will feel better when it quits hurting.” Continuing its quirky ways, the World used headings for local township news columns that included “Collyer Cawings,” “Banner Buglings,” “Ogallah Oozings,” and “Happy Happenings.”
Provided by: Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, KS