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On March 2, 1871, the Saline County Journal made its publishing debut in Salina, Kansas. Two issues preceded the Journal under the title of the Home Journal. The seven-column, folio-format Journal was published every Thursday as the “Official Organ of Saline County” with a Republican affiliation. In 1881, the Journal boasted of having “a circulation more than double that of any other English paper in this county” and a “circulation 900 more than the Salina Herald, " a competing weekly, Republican newspaper published from 1867 to 1889.

Beginning in late March 1887, founding editor Mason D. Sampson also began issuing a daily edition of the newspaper, which was the town’s first morning daily paper, called the Salina Daily Journal. It lasted until May 1888. Beginning in 1890, the Journal began offering a two-for-one special subscription price with other Kansas newspapers, such as the Topeka Weekly Capital and the Leavenworth Times, citing that “every Kansas man should have his County paper for home news and a paper from the Manufacturing Metropolis of the State.” The Journal was also published daily during the county fair from September 13 to September 18, 1892. During its tenure, the Journal frequently reported on the arrival of the Texas cattle trade and railroads, and the effect that livestock and agriculture, particularly wheat farming, had on the Kansas economy.

Even though the Journal experienced several editorial changes, Mason D. Sampson continued his lengthy proprietorship until he retired in June 1891. His successor, Charles Byron Kirtland (1858-1948), later served two terms as mayor of Salina. The last issue of the Journal appeared on March 9, 1893, the publisher acknowledging that since “Salina has too many newspapers…I chose rather to sell than buy.” The Journal was sold to Joseph Little Bristow (1861-1944) and thus consolidated with the Weekly Republican to make the Republican-Journal.

Provided by: Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, KS