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The Butler weekly times. : (Butler, Mo.) 1881-1918
Place of publication:
Butler, Mo.
Geographic coverage:
  • Butler, Bates, Missouri  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Chas. T. McFarland
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 4, no. 1 (Dec. 7, 1881)-v. 40, no. 28 (Apr. 25, 1918).
  • English
  • Bates County (Mo.)--Newspapers.
  • Butler (Mo.)--Newspapers.
  • Missouri--Bates County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01213325
  • Missouri--Butler.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01228060
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
sn 89066489
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The Butler weekly times. December 7, 1881 , Image 1


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The Butler Weekly Times and The Butler Weekly Times and the Bates County Record

The Butler [Missouri] Weekly Times was the creation of Dempsey G. Newsome and a printer named Lawhorn. On December 11, 1878, the two men published the first issue of the Bates County Times. Lawhorn's association with the paper only lasted a few months, but Newsome continued publishing the weekly eight-column paper by himself. Newsome took on another partner when Charles T. McFarland purchased an interest on April 21, 1879, thus creating the firm of Newsome and McFarland. They continued to jointly own and publish the Times until McFarland bought out Newsome on January 1, 1880, and became sole proprietor, editor, and publisher.

McFarland changed the name of the paper to the Butler Weekly Times starting with the December 7, 1881 issue. The name change coincided with a format change to enlarge the paper to six columns and eight pages. McFarland recounted the history of the Times in an editorial. According to McFarland, the Times had been in trouble when he became its sole owner, but in less than two years he was able to turn it around. The paper increased its circulation and resolved its financial problems. In the same editorial, McFarland also boasted about the daily paper he started on May 26, 1881, the Butler Daily Times which, however, was discontinued the following year.

McFarland remained proprietor, editor, and publisher of the Butler Weekly Times until failing health forced him to retire. Jacob D. Allen took over the management of the Times beginning in July 1882. When McFarland passed away in July of 1884 Allen purchased the paper. Allen was no stranger to the newspaper business, having apprenticed in a printing office from 1876 to 1879. He was also a prominent member of the Democratic Party, serving as deputy county clerk when he first started with the Weekly Times. And during his tenure with the paper, Allen would also serve as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, a congressional committeeman, and postmaster for Butler. He was also appointed to a commission by Governor Stephens. In April 1910, Allen was elected clerk of the Missouri Supreme Court and moved to Jefferson City. His son, Robert D. Allen, leased the office and continued to edit and publish the Times. Under Jacob Allen's leadership, the Butler Weekly Times became one of the leading Democratic papers in Missouri. Robert continued his father's work with the Weekly Times being recognized as a model county paper.

In May of 1918, the Butler Weekly Times merged with the Bates County Record to form the Butler Weekly Times and the Bates County Record. The Bates County Record had been the first paper established in Bates County after the Civil War. David King Abeel, its editor and proprietor, presented the inaugural issue on July 9, 1866. Abeel sold the Record to Omar Dexter Austin in November 1867. Austin had previously worked as a foreman and editor at the Kansas City Daily Commercial Advertiser. Before that, he was a clerk for the United States Treasury in Washington D.C., and was at Ford's Theater on April 14, 1865, when President Lincoln was assassinated. Austin continued to edit and publish the Bates County Record until his death on March 2, 1915. His widow sold the Record to William Oscar Atkeson who remained editor until he sold the paper to Robert D. Allen. The Butler Weekly Times and the Bates County Record continued as a weekly paper until August 31, 1950.

Provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO