J. N. Counter


Bright, Colo., May 31, 1909 E. M. Coldren, Editor of HERALD-Oberlin, Kansas

Dear Sir:  In compliance with your request to give some of the incidents leading to the establishment of the HERALD-will say that in the fall of 1878 E. E. Chapman, Ed. Knowles, J. C. Humphrey and others of Belleville, Kansas, conceived the idea of starting a new town in western Kansas. After looking the country over three miles down the Sappa from where Oberlin is located, laid out a townsite and named it St. John, after the then Governor of Kansas.

Of course it was essential to have a newspaper and in the spring of 1879 Mr. Humphrey purchased a Washington hand press and other necessary material with the intention of establishing the HERALD at St. John. In the meantime Oberlin had made much progress, and Humphrey came to the conclusion that it was the place to establish the paper. A deal was made with the owners of the Oberlin townsite whereby Humphrey, Knowles and Chapman became interested in the Rodehaver addition. Chapman and Knowles who had put up buildings and established a hardware store and a general store at St. John moved them to Oberlin. St. John and all its imagined future greatness went glimmering and the HERALD was established in Oberlin by Humphrey and Counter, the first number being printed in the rear of Bill Fraser's furniture store in June 1879. The writer then took charge, afterward purchasing Mr. Humphrey's interest and published it until the fall of 1881 when the paper was sold to Mr. W. D. Street.

With well wishes to the HERALD and any of my old friends who may be in Oberlin, I am  Yours very truly, J. N. Counter.

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