History of Early Amateur Journalism in Missouri


A Missouri A.P.A. was organized at St. Louis, October 12,1878, Louis W. Beaubien, of Hanover, being chosen President, and F. W. Koch, Treasurer. Next March, in Hannibal, W. A. Morris was elected President, and at Sedalia, Beaubien was again chosen. In 1878 a Mississippi Valley A.P.A. was formed at St. Louis with J. L. Watson, of St. Louis as President. It never had another meeting.


A local St. Louis Club, organized in 1879, held monthly meetings for some time. In November, 1881, a Stanberry A.P.A. was formed, Dee A. Canon being President, and R. B. Teachenor, Secretary. In July, 1882, Teachenor became President. Another St. Louis club in 1908 had Henry G. Weliking as President.


Early amateur journalism in Missouri centered around St. Louis. In 1866 a boy 12 years old named True Worthy Holt published the Boy's Idea there, and in 1868 William Schuyler proved himself a typical amateur journalist. He printed a paper called the Young American. Having a font of type, a chase and no press, he made a wooden frame to fit over the chase and stretched a piece of cloth over it. After inking the type with a home-made ink-ball, he laid the paper upon it, put the frame with the cloth over it, and took the impression with his knee. A little later he procured a small press.


The Gem began publishing monthly in 1870 from Dresden. Its editor was J. D. Brown. It was a poorly printed four page paper but showed gradual progress and even managed to almost keep to its monthly schedule, its tenth issue was dated December 1871 (in which issue it printed its first illustration, a homemade woodcut). It featured “amusing stories” and puzzles. It lists quite a number of exchanges. The Vidette started in 1870 and proved a success from the start. It is a large paper featuring original fiction, sports, exchanges, etc. It was published in St. Louis by R. E. Filley.


Nathan Cole, Jr., in 1873, issued the News, and in 1874 began the publication of his Acorn, which for several years was one, of the leading journals of the time. Frank L. Misner became associate editor. In 1876 George F. Pierrot issued the Monthly Blossom, Frank L. Seaver the Amateur Repository, and Edgar R. Hoadley, True Blue. In 1877 appeared the Amateur, 0. B. Short editor, and the Literary Galaxy, E. R. Koeger editor; and the next year J. L. Watson, who issued the Young Oak in 1876, began publishing his famous Snark, and F. W. Koch sent forth the St. Louis Telephone, which he published with some intermissions until 1885. In 1878 appeared Our Galaxy, edited by Maurice J. Harty, and the Young Statesman with A. H. Bohn as editor. George B. Huffington started the Courier in 1879, and Ulrich Knoch Our Banner. The next year Knoch, Huffington and Pierrot united in publishing a large literary magazine known as the Youths' Lyceum, containing contributions from nearly all the leading amateur authors of the day.


Outside of St. Louis, W. H. Reynolds issued the Western Boys, and J. M. Knapp the Queen City Boys, from Sedalia in 1877, and Louis W. Beaubien, of Hannibal, issued the Mercury in 1878, while the same year the Star came from Trenton with W. A. Morris as editor. Stanberry appeared upon the amateur map in 1880 when Richard B. Teachenor began his amateur career with the Juvenile, a year later issuing the Amateur Exchange, afterwards combining it with Albert E. Barker's Journal, published in Arkansas. From Stanberry also came in 1882 Canon's Battery, edited by Dee A. Canon. In later years W. B. Stoddard was active in 1906, Edward F. Suhre, of St. Louis, published the Missourian, beginning in 1908, and Henry G. Weliking issued West the same year. In Kansas City in 1883 Louis Ballentine published the Amateur Argosy, in 1909 Charles O. A. Kramer the Ozark, and in 1932 John D. Pursell Much AdoPaul H. Appleby was active in Sedalia and Elbert Moffett in St. Joseph, both in 1903. A notable St. Louis publication was Bacon's Essays, issued by Victor E. Bacon in 1929.


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