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Free press. [volume] : (Hays, Kan.) 1888-1908
Place of publication:
Hays, Kan.
Geographic coverage:
Harry Freese
Dates of publication:
  • Sept. 29, 1888-Aug. 27, 1892 ; Vol. 10, no. 43 (Sept. 3, 1892)-v. 26, no. 30 (June 6, 1908).
Weekly Nov. 3, 1888-June 6, 1908
  • English
  • Hays (Kan.)--Newspapers.
  • Kansas--Hays.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01216707
  • "Independent of any politics," Sept. 28, 1907-
  • "Official Paper of Ellis County Alliance," Jan. 31, 1891-
  • Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Numbering is irregular.
sn 84029696
Preceding Titles:
Succeeding Titles:
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Free press. [volume] January 7, 1899 , Image 1


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Free Press and The Hays Free Press

The Free Press was founded on September 29, 1888, in Hays, Kansas as the successor to a number of newspapers starting in 1882 with the German-American Advocate, catering to Volga Germans settling in northwestern Kansas. The Advocate underwent several name changes thereafter including the Hays City Times, the Ellis County Democrat and Advocate and its alternate the Advocate and Ellis County Democrat, and the Ellis County Free Press and Democrat, before becoming the Free Press in 1888. The Free Press was a Populist title until it became politically independent after 1901. It ran with the banner "Advocating the best interests of Ellis County all the time," and then later the headline: "Ellis County's Best Local Paper." Continuing from the Ellis County Free Press and Democrat, Harry Freese was both editor and publisher of the Free Press; his son John Freese became editor and business manager in July 1907. The Free Press covered local and national news and included classified ads, legal notices, church notes, and a large amount of genealogical material.

After another title change, on June 13, 1908, the paper became known as the Hays Free Press. Harry Freese continued as publisher and John Freese as editor and manager. By mid-January 1914, Albert L. Clark and Sons had quietly taken over as publisher and managed the paper its end in July 1924. Like its predecessor, he Hays Free Press was politically independent. It was published weekly on Saturdays until 1918, and then on Thursdays thereafter. Circulation remained under 1,000 throughout its run.

Despite being the "Official Paper of Ellis County and the City of Hays" for a number of years, the Hays Free Press faced heavy local competition from both the Republican and the Democratic Ellis County News ; the two newspapers eventually merged in 1912 to form the Ellis County News Republican, before returning in 1914 to the Ellis County News. In 1924, the Hays Free Press merged with the Ellis County News to form the Ellis County News and the Hays Free Press, which was published until 1936.

Provided by: Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, KS