Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Kansas City Journal Post

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The Kansas City Journal-Post was a newspaper in Kansas City, Missouri from 1854 to 1942 which was the oldest newspaper in the city when it folded.

It started as a weekly The Kansas City Enterprise on September 23, 1854, a year after the city's founding and shortly after The Public Ledger had folded. Kansas City's first Mayor William S. Gregory and future mayors Milton J. Payne and E. Milton McGee along with city fathers William Gillis, Benoist Troost, Thompson McDaniel, Robert Campbell and Kansas City's first bank and biggest store Northrup and Chick pooled $1,000 to start it.

William A. Strong was its first editor and David K. Abeel was the first publisher. It operated above a tavern at Main Street and the Missouri River in the River Market neighborhood.

In 1855, Strong enlisted another future mayor Robert T. Van Horn to take over the paper. Van Horn bought it for $250 and retained Abeel as publisher.

In 1857 it became The Western Journal of Commerce and in 1858 it became The Kansas City Daily Western Journal of Commerce.

During the lead up to the American Civil War the paper was to espouse the popular Missouri view that the status quo should not be disrupted. Missouri should remain in the Union and remain a slave state. When the war erupted Van Horn enlisted in the Union Army and the paper became staunchly Republican.

The paper was to actively encourage city fathers to invest to get the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad to build the first bridge across the Missouri River at Kansas City. The construction of the Hannibal Bridge in 1869 was to make Kansas City the dominant city in the region.

In 1880 William Rockhill Nelson started The Kansas City Star which would become The Journal-Post's primary competitor.

In 1896 Van Horn sold the paper to Charles S. Gleed and Hal Gaylord who renamed it The Kansas City Journal.

In 1906 Fuller Brooker founded The Kansas City Post proclaiming in its first issue:

It will be our purpose in politics to avoid participation in factional disputes and personal quarrels, and seek the general welfare of the Democratic party as a whole, and that only.

In 1909 Denver Post publisher Frederick Gilmer Bonfils and Harry Tammen bought The Post with J. Ogden Armour being the silent partner. The Post with its tabloid format, red headlines and yellow journalism was to tie its star to the rise of the Tom Pendergast political machine.

In 1921 Walter Dickey bought The Journal. He bought The Post in 1922 and combined their operations and 22nd and Oak. Dickey poured money into the papers to compete with The Star ultimately bankrupting his own lucrative clay pipe manufacturing company. The papers combined as The Kansas City Journal-Post on October 4, 1928.

Dickey died in 1931 and his home was to become the first building at what would become the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

In 1938 with the beginning of the collapse of the Pendergast machine, the paper jetisoned The Post name and became The Kansas City Journal. Also in 1938 Journal photographer Jack Wally ran an undercover photo expose of gambling houses under Pendergast that ran in Life magazine.

The paper's last publication was on March 31, 1942. The paper's demise spelled the end of the last daily competition to The Star.


Kansas City Journal-Post Wikipedia