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Kansas City Journal and Kansas City Daily Journal
The Kansas City Daily Journal was published in Kansas City, Missouri, between 1892 and 1897. The paper continued the Kansas City Journal, published in 1891-92, which traces its beginnings to the Kansas City Daily Western Journal of Commerce in the late 1850s. The Daily Journal identified as Republican politically and proclaimed itself the “official paper of Kansas City.” It also covered news in Jackson County and the rest of the state, as well as in nearby Kansas. During its run, the Journal claimed the largest morning circulation in Kansas City, with 22,928 copies distributed daily.
Its precursor, theKansas City Daily Western Journal of Commerce, was owned and edited by Colonel Robert T. Van Horn and David K. Abeel since 1858. In 1878, the name of the paper was changed to the Kansas City Daily Journal, and over the next 18 years, the title alternated between the Kansas City Journal and the Kansas City Daily Journal. Van Horn and Abeel maintained control of the Journal through the 1890s, with Van Horn serving as editor between terms in Congress. Colonel Van Horn’s political views were particularly important to the paper’s editorial character; he had been a Democrat prior to the Civil War, but became a Republican after the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln. In 1896, Van Horn sold the paper to Charles S. Gleed and Hal Gaylord, with William F. Craig as editor. Gaylord and Craig had worked on the staff of the Journal since 1892.
The Journal’s weekday and Saturday editions typically ran 8-10 pages and featured local, state, national, and international news, editorials, book reviews, serialized literature, and classified ads. A Sunday edition, titled the Kansas City Sunday Journal, printed up to 24 pages and featured standard columns such as “Home Department,” which detailed society happenings and gatherings, and “In Woman’s World,” which covered stories of famous, wealthy, or fashionable women. Sunday editions also featured special columns such as “Music and the Drama” and the “Youth Department” and provided extended international news, particularly relating to exotic locations and cultures. The Journal’s editorial style could be lively with a biting wit; during a period of intense criticism of President Grover Cleveland, an editor wrote of Populist Congressman James B. Weaver, “With all due respect to General Weaver, the country would be more likely to ‘rise up’ in opposition to the president if political fossils and windbags kept their seats.” Perceiving the influence of newspapers in inspiring the political sentiments of readers, a January 1, 1895, editorial proclaimed, “No great reform ever did or ever will succeed in this country without the liberal support of the press.”
In 1897, the Kansas City Daily Journal changed its title to the Kansas City Journal. In 1928, the Kansas City Journal merged with the Kansas City Post to become the Kansas City Journal-Post. In 1938, the Journal-Post resumed the title Kansas City Journal until 1942, when it ceased publication.
Provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO