This week The Western Star begins its 64th year of continuous publication, having last week completed Volume 63. The paper was founded in August 1884, one year before Comanche county was even organized and only a few months after the town of Coldwater was started. Since that time, 3,328 issues have passed through the Coldwater post office without once missing an issue.
The Western Star and the town of Coldwater started the same year and each has kept pace with its surroundings. Coldwater, according to Santa Fe records, does more business than any other town on the Englewood branch out of Wichita. It is surrounded by an excellent trade territory, fine schools, churches, swimming pool and city park, court house, and other places of business.
Likewise, The Western Star has endeavored to keep abreast of the times. In 1942, the Star installed the first automatic job press in southwestern Kansas. The Star also had installed recently a new saw, router, full page casting box, photo-engraving plant, new type faces to the typesetting machine and rebuilt the old one to accommodate the new and larger type faces. All this modern machinery was added to ease the shortage of help while at the same time, permitting the publication of a better, neater and cleaner paper with less time spent working late at night in order to get the Star into the mails by early Friday morning. There were many nights during the war when the Star force worked until dawn and after on Friday mornings.
On May 4, 1945, in compliance with the will of Mrs. Lenore B. Butcher, her interest in The Western Star newspaper and the office building were transferred to her partner, Ward H. Butcher and to his son, Norman W. Butcher, share and share alike. Thus, the third generation of the Butcher family becomes engaged in the business. After the Star had been published for 14 years it was purchased in 1898 by H. V. Butcher, now deceased, and has continued under the ownership of the Butcher family for the past 49 years.
The Star today is a far cry from the first Washington hand press and shirt tail full of type to the modern type and precision machinery which now makes possible the publication of an up-to-date weekly paper.
No newspaper can be a success without the help of the people which it serves. The Star is appreciative of the patronage and the cooperation of the subscribers and correspondents for their part in making it a success.
If we can help make this a better community and county in which to live; if we can help keep our people working unitedly for the common good; if we can furnish the public with an accurate and unbiased record of the current news and conditions locally and show the world what a fine lot of people we have here, we will have accomplished our purpose.
The Western Star has been published continuously in Comanche County since 1884. Archives of the newspaper are available on microfilm via interlibrary loan through the Kansas State Historical Society. For subscription information, please write or call:
The Western Star
113 S. Central
Coldwater, Kansas 67029
Phone: (620) 582-2101
Leona (Liggett) Butcher, Obituary, The Western Star, December 30, 1976. She was the wife of Ward Butcher.
H.V. Butcher, "Some Pioneer Experiences Recalled", The Western Star, December 18, 1925. (These reminiscences are NOT about Comanche County, Kansas.)
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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