Winslow Cipra

WINSLOW CIPRA, editor and proprietor of the Lincoln Sentinel and present postmaster of that city has spent nearly all his life in Kansas, and has had a varied career of usefulness as a teacher, business man and in journalism and public affairs.

Mr. Cipra represents that sterling stock of Bohemian people who have accomplished so much for the cause of agriculture and development in Kansas. He was born at Teskov, Bohemia, December 8, 1873. His father, Frank Cipra, was born in Zbirov, Bohemia, in October, 1839, grew up and married at Teskov, and followed farming according to the intensive methods that prevailed in the old country. When he came to the United States with his family in 1877, he located on the broad prairies of Ellsworth County, Kansas, and homesteaded 160 acres in Palacky Township. He readily adapted himself to the farming methods of the West, and has greatly prospered by his industry and good management. He lived on his home farm until his death in 1907. As an American citizen he identified himself with the democratic party. He married Anna Fisher, who was born at Teskov, Bohemia, in 1839, and died on the old Kansas homestead in March, 1910. They reared a fine family of useful and honorable children. Joseph, the oldest, is a merchant at Kanopolis, Kansas; Barbara married John Kaplicky and they live on their farm half a mile east of Lincoln; Frank is a general workman living at Holyrood, Kansas; Albert is employed in a dour mill at McPherson; Louis was proprietor of a hotel and died at Wilson, Kansas, in 1911, Mary is the wife of Lee Spousta, a farmer near Ellsworth; the seventh in order of birth is Winslow Cipra; Anna married Anton Slavicek, and she died at Holyrood, Kansas, in 1909; John is a farmer in Ellsworth County; Alvina married Martin Houdek, who owns a truck farm at Denver, Colorado; Emma died unmarried in 1909, at the age of twenty-two.

Winslow Cipra was four years of age when brought to Kansas and grew up on his father's farm and attended the rural schools of Ellsworth County. In 1900 he graduated from the Salina Normal University with a teacher's certificate and the degree of A. B. In 1896, at the age of twenty-three, he had begun teaching, his first term being at Black Wolf in Ellsworth County, and at wages of twenty-five dollars a month. Later he taught two years in Palacky Township, and for one year was principal of the Holyrood Schools. It was through his earnings as a teacher that he paid for his higher education at Salina.

After giving up teaching Mr. Cipra clerked in a general merchandise store at Holyrood until 1907, and then entered the newspaper business. At that time he bought the Holyrood Banner, but sold it in 1911 and, coming to Lincoln, became proprietor of the Lincoln Sentinel.

The Lincoln Sentinel has always been a democratic paper. It was established in 1887 as the Sylvan Grove Sentinel, with W. H. Pilcher as editor and publisher. In 1894 it was moved to Lincoln and the name changed to the Lincoln Sentinel. In 1901 it absorbed the Lincoln Beacon, which had been founded in 1879 as the Lincoln County Beacon, by W. S. and Anna C. Wait. Thus the Sentinel is practically forty years old. The Sentinel is the official county paper of Lincoln County and is a prosperous, thriving business with a large circulation and with an increasing influence as an organ of opinion. Its plant and offices are on Lincoln Avenue and Mr. Cipra is sole owner.

Mr. Cipra has modestly prospered in his business affairs and besides his home in Lincoln he owns a farm of 160 acres in Gove County. At the invitation of President Wilson he took the office of postmaster of Lincoln in 1914, and has been giving much of his time to the efficient administration of the office for the benefit of the local patrons.

As would be indicated by the office, Mr. Cipra is a loyal democrat. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, is affiliated with Lincoln Lodge No. 154, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and Wichita Consistory No. 2 of the Scottish Rite.

At Holyrood, Kansas, in 1902, he married Miss Agnes Chapek. Their companionship was terminated after five years by her death in 1907. She left two children: Irma, born March 26, 1903; and Alice, born September 15, 1904. Mr. Cipra married his present wife at Ellsworth in 1910, Mis Mabel Highan, daughter of Abe and Mary (Wilson) Highan. Her mother lives at Ellsworth and her father, now deceased, was a lumberman. Mr. and Mrs. Cipra had one daughter, Ruth, who died at the age of eighteen months.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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