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The Springfield herald. : (Springfield, Baca County, Colo.) 1887-1919
Place of publication:
Springfield, Baca County, Colo.
Geographic coverage:
  • Springfield, Baca, Colorado  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
L.A. Wikoff
Dates of publication:
  • Began in Sept., 1887? Ceased in Nov., 1919?
  • English
  • Colorado--Springfield.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01231557
  • Springfield (Colo.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from the Colorado Historical Society.
  • Description based on: Vol. 10, no. 21 (Jan. 15, 1897).
sn 89052133
Succeeding Titles:
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The Springfield herald. January 15, 1897 , Image 1


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The Springfield Herald and The Democrat-Herald

Begun in 1887, by George E. Hosmer, the Springfield Herald was a four-page Democratic publication. Hosmer quickly sold the paper to Charles F. Mechler in 1888, and later went on to serve as the state printing commissioner, president of the Colorado State Editorial Association, and Colorado's customs collector. On March 10, 1888, the Bent County Register reported, "An aggrieved reader held Charlie Mechler, editor of the Springfield Herald up with a gun. Charlie has been in the business a long time and expects such slight interruptions to business occasionally." Later the same year, Mechler sold the paper to Arthur J. Henbest, described in the November 24, 1888 issue of the Bent County Register as a "red-hot Republican." Under Henbest, the Herald reached a circulation of around 680 readers in the agricultural boomtown of Springfield, Colorado as well as in the other towns of Baca County.

By 1890, severe drought in the southeastern corner of Colorado brought about an exodus from Baca County, reducing the population of Springfield from nearly 500 to just 90 people. Publishers Patrick Byrnes and J.A. Love took over the Herald, with James E. Church acting as editor. The Lamar Register noted on March 7, 1891 that the paper had evidently been overtaken by an "office scullion" in the absence of the regular editor and published a "disreputable sheet." The Register further asserted that while the Herald "has been one of the brightest and most readable country weeklies in the State," the guest editor proved himself to have been "naturally depraved or else half-witted." The following month Church retired as editor of the Herald, and L.A. Wikoff assumed control.

L.A. Wikoff was the former editor of the Minneapolis Chico, published in Minneapolis, Colorado, one of the small farming communities that sprung up during the boom years of Baca County. Wikoff stayed at the Herald until 1898, when Frank Hays Jr. took over the paper with a circulation of about 200 readers. During Hays's tenure, the paper identified as an independent publication. Hays left the Herald in 1901 to edit the Manzanola Sun in Otero County. With Hays's departure, Silas E. Speckman returned as editor and publisher of the now-Republican paper, staying until 1908 when E.M. Whitaker took over as editor and manager. E. Doc Emerson became the next editor of the Herald at the end of 1909, and briefly expanded the paper to an eight-page publication, including serial and patent content.

Springfield experienced a resurgence as the drought conditions improved and with the construction of a railroad, which provided transportation of agricultural goods to markets further away. By the time S.M. Konkel took the reins of the Herald in 1913, the circulation of the paper had bounced back to over 500. Konkel purchased the Baca County Democrat and merged it with the Herald, forming the Democrat-Herald in 1919. Konkel continued as manager and hired F.J. Graves as editor. Konkel managed the Democrat-Herald until 1930 when I.C. Rosa and L.L. Brown purchased the paper, and then they sold it a year later to Ralph and Juanita Williams. In 1939, the paper was purchased for the final time by Bruce Thompson and merged with the Springfield Plainsman to form the Plainsman-Herald.

Provided by: History Colorado