The Anti-Monopolist was a newspaper nearing its eighth year when it came to Council Grove from Enterprise. W.H.T Wakefield moved the paper to town in 1888 and shortly thereafter bought the interest of George L. Page and became sole proprietor. Wakefield came through Council Grove in 1854 and seemed to be quite impressed with the country and the beauty of the land. So he settled in the area and farmed for a number of years.
After arrival in Council Grove a few issues of the paper were missed due to a part of the cylinder press being sent to Chicago for repair. Although the Rock Island line made a direct route there the part was on the road for 21 days.
The old newspapers are a great way to see what the towns and communities were like at different periods. The Anti-Monopolist starts out with minimal advertisements from local business. I suppose people were leery at first. One of the first ads in this paper was from Bradford and Son physicians and surgeons. This was T.H. and C.B. Bradford the namesake of the Bradford Guest house on East Main. Doctor Bradford the senior had an office located near his home out of which they practiced. Another ad shows M. Cook a harness maker located on E. Main. We always think of the main business district of Council Grove being located in the 1, 2, and 300 blocks of West Main, but East Main was a thriving part of the town early on as well. In fact it would be to the benefit of those businesses as they would catch travelers as they came from the east.
Later on we find Maloy and Kelley Attorneys at Law; this is the Maloy that was newspaper editor, county attorney and writer of the History of Morris County. We also find P.O. Raudebaugh a general merchant in Kelso. Dr. J.R. McIlvain a physician and surgeon who specialized in electric treatment, was also located on East Main and the corner of fourth.
I like to see what else was going on in the nation and world in those times. It’s interesting that things haven’t changed much in 130 years; murder, drugs, disease, crime and such. Some of the headlines from February 16, 1888 are; Choked by a Chinaman, in Boston; Cattle Quarantined, Illinois; Opium Smuggling Ring, San Fran.
In Belmont Ohio a boiler in a sawmill blew up and killed six men. Jim Cornellius a Negro 14 years old was hung in Minden Louisiana for the murder of Ernest Wren a four year old child. A run was made on the Metropolitan National Bank in Cincinnati, the line extending from the tellers window out the door to the other side of the street. A rumor started the panic but confidence was regained by the end of the day as the bank cashed all the checks throughout the day. A memorial tablet to General John A. Logan of Civil War fame was decided on at the Metropolitan Methodist Church in Washington. Eulogies on the life of Logan were delivered by a number of prominent senators including one of Kansas’ Senator Ingalls.
I’m not sure when the Anti-Monopolist went out of print, the MCHS only has papers for the year 1888, there may be some more in storage waiting to be found. At some point I’ll attempt to give the reader a more thorough history of the newspapers of Morris County. I’ll share more when I know more.
Before I sign off I must send out a call for assistance. I had intended to mention this sooner but of course got distracted. The last article called it to my attention. During the 1954 centennial celebration there was an old fiddlers contest. I have been loosely compiling a history of music and musicians in Morris County and would love to know if any one remembers who the fiddlers were that attended this contest or who won it.