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Meade County news. [volume] : (Meade, Kan.) 1900-1918
Place of publication:
Meade, Kan.
Geographic coverage:
  • Meade, Meade, Kansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
John D. Wehrle
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 11, 1900)-v. 19, no. 40 (Oct. 3, 1918).
  • English
  • Kansas--Meade.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01869845
  • Meade (Kan.)--Newspapers.
  • "Democratic."
  • Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Publisher varies.
  • Supplements included.
sn 85030287
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Meade County news. [volume] January 11, 1900 , Image 1


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Meade County News

The Meade County News was founded in Meade, Kansas, on January 11, 1900. John D. Wehrle, editor and publisher, stated that "The principal aim of this News will be to promote the business interests of the city of Meade, and to further the principal industries of Meade County." He went on to say: "Politically, we will state that it was through the influence and efforts of prominent Democrats and Fusionists that this paper was established... and we feel that it is our duty to support these men." The Meade County News was the "The Official Democratic Paper in Meade County" in 1906 and the "Official County Paper" and "The Only Democratic Paper in Meade County" in 1914. The News was published every Thursday; circulation remained around 700 throughout its run.

The News covered local developments in Meade and the nearby communities of Jasper, Redbluff, Nye, Mertilla, and Green Valley, featuring marriage announcements and obituaries on the front page. On June 5, 1909, Wehrle sold the News for "personal reasons" to the Meade Publishing Company, Inc., a new stock company consisting of "some fifty of the leading business men and farmers" of Meade County. With this change in ownership, the News became an independent paper, "non-partisan in politics."New editor Ezra D. Smith stated that "the News shall be a live, wide awake advocate of this county and city." On July 14, 1910, John B. Miller became editor and remained with the News until July 6, 1911, when he left to edit the Bucklin (Kansas) Banner. Agnes Wehrle, sister of John D. Wehrle, was then hired as editor. After working for the Meade Publishing Company for a year, she purchased the News' plant and subscription list on July 12, 1912, and the Meade Publishing Company was dissolved. Agnes Wehrle changed the politics of the News back to Democratic. She and her brother George jointly managed the paper after 1915, creating Wehrle and Wehrle Publishers. They continued to publish the News with Agnes serving as editor until its consolidation in 1918 with its Republican competitor, the Meade Globe.

The Meade County News was distinct because it had a woman editor during a significant period in the fight for women's voting rights. Agnes Wehrle actively supported the cause, and the paper often featured pieces about suffragist ideals and events. Wehrle had to endure opposition from her readers and from other newspapers because of her gender. In her first month as editor, she said she would "gladly look over" all of the troubles she had faced so far "if were not for the fact that all our patrons want to see 'the man' of the office, when they come in to have work done." Later, in response to a neighboring editor's quip about the News declaring support for women's suffrage because Wehrle was a "lady editor" trying to "emulate the sterner sex," Agnes stated: "We don't know how much the Clarion editor has to do - no doubt enough - ... As for us, while we have enough to do, we are not to[o] busy to think that Woman[']s suffrage would be a good thing. We could emulate the 'sterner sex' at least, in the casting of the ballot." Women finally won the right to vote in Kansas on November 5, 1912. Two days later, the News ran a simple secondary headline declaring "The Womans' Suffrage Amendment Carried, Three to One." Wehrle continued to publish news about the National Woman Suffrage Association and national fight for women's voting rights even after this milestone was achieved.

In 1918, Agnes Wehrle purchased the Meade Globe and all of its holdings. The Meade County News joined with the Globe to form the Meade Globe-News, which was published until 1954.

Provided by: Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, KS