Richard C. Howard

RICHARD C. HOWARD. There is hardly any man in Kansas to whom the title veteran printer and journalist would more aptly apply than Richard C. Howard, proprietor and editor of the Arkansas City Traveler. Mr. Howard has to go back to the earliest recollections of his youth to find a time when he was not so familiar with printer's ink, and he achieved a knowledge of the mysteries of the art preservative when most boys are learning the rudiments of arithmetic and grammar. He assisted in establishing the first daily paper at Arkansas City and has been connected with journalism there for over thirty years.

Mr. Howard was born at Greencastle, Indiana, February 23, 1863. His ancestors were English, but in colonial times two brothers came to this country, one locating in Virginia and the other in Maine. Richard C. Howard is a descendant of the Virginia branch. His grandfather, Joseph Howard, was born in Kentucky in 1795, was a farmer and stockman in the early days in Indiana, and died at Greencastle in 1870. Politically he was first aligned with the whig party and later became a republican. In the years before and during the war he actively sympathized with the North, while his son Richard, father of the Arkansas City editor, was equally strong in his sympathy with the South, though a resident of Indiana.

Richard T. Howard was born in Bath County, Kentucky, and died near Greencastle, Indiana, in 1866. He grew up and married in his native county, and just before the Civil war removed to Indiana and finally located in Putnam County, where he followed stock raising and farming until his death. He was an old line democrat. He married Julia A. Duty, who was born in Bath County, Kentucky, in 1830 and died at Arkansas City, Kansas, in 1905. They were the parents of six children, Richard C. being the youngest. The two oldest were William and John, the former being deceased, and John L. is in the real estate business at Arkansas City. Joseph, the third son, is deceased. Sarah died at the age of eighteen. Mary is the wife of Cyrus Miller, living in Arkansas City, where Mr. Miller for many years has been a clerk in the postoffice.

Richard C. Howard had the advantages of the public school at Greencastle up to the time he was fourteen years of age. He had advanced rapidly in his studies, and was in his senior year in the high school when he left. He gained a knowledge of the printing art with the Greencastle Star. He worked at his trade six months, and in the meantime, having joined a local printers' union and having been elected secretary, he lost his position on that account. Later he spent a year in the printing office of the Greencastle Banner, another year with the Crawfordville Times, went back to the Banner at Greencastle and remained with it four years, becoming foreman of the office. Transferring his residence to Iowa, Mr. Howard, in partnership with Lyman Naugle, established the Herald at Morning Sun, but a year and a half later sold out to his partner and came to Kansas in 1883. Mr. Howard's first location in Kansas was at Fredonia, where he worked as a printer and subsequently was with the Fredonia Times for a year, following which he did local work and printing for the Fredonia Democrat. In March, 1884, Mr. Howard came to Arkansas City.

For a short time he was connected with the Arkansas City Democrat, and then for six months was foreman of the newly established Arkansas City Republican. He bought a half interest in that paper, which was published as a weekly, and was associated with it until 1886. With B. A. Wagner, who now lives in Topeka, Mr. Howard then started the first daily at Arkansas City and probably the first daily in Cowley County. It was called the Arkansas City Daily Republican. He sold out that paper in 1888, and continued with the new owner, Rev. J. O. Campbell. Mr. Campbell changed the paper from an afternoon to a morning issue, and installed complete Associated Press reports. It was by no means a money making enterprise, Mr. Campbell having lost $12,000 during the first year.

After a short interval of rest Mr. Howard and Thomas W. Eckert bought the Arkansas City Traveler in 1889. The paper was established in 1870 by Professor Norton, who a few months later sold it to C. M. Scott. The Traveler has always been a republican paper. It was under the joint ownership of Eckert, Howard & Co. until May, 1898. At that date Mr. Howard retired to give his time and attention to the duties of postmaster, an office to which he was appointed by President McKinley. He was in office four years and in the meantime sold his interest in the paper and had no connection with it whatever for ten months. Mr. Eckert finally sold and in 1903 Mr. Howard again bought into the Traveler and later became sole owner, publisher, editor and manager. The paper is published at 115-117 West fifth Avenue and Mr. Howard owns the office building and has a thoroughly equipped plant. The Traveler is one of the most widely circulated smaller papers in Kansas and is read in every state of the Union. It covers the general field of news but is distinctively a home paper of Cowley County. It has been a member of the Associated Press since 1892. In July, 1916, it started the leased wire day report of the Associated Press. The Traveler is the only paper in the world published in a town the size of Arkansas City that receives and publishes the full day leased wire report of the Associated Press.

On the second floor of the newspaper building Mr. Howard has an eight-room flat in which he and his family reside. He also owns one dwelling at 414 North A Street and another at 706 North Third Street. He is the owner of the Rex Theater Building. It is said to be the only theater in Kansas that complies strictly with every law and regulation. This theater is located on Fifth Avenue, and the people of Arkansas City take great pride in its equipment and management. The Rex Theater Building is noted for its unsurpassed ventilating and cooling system.

Mr. Howard is a director in the Arkansas City Savings, Building & Loan Association, is active in the Commercial Club and a member of the Knights and Ladies of Security.

In 1884, at Fredonia, Kansas, he married Miss Fannie D. Fever. Mrs. Howard died at Arkansas City in 1892, survived by two children. R. F. Howard is in the automobile business at Arkansas City, and besides graduating from the local high school was a student in the University of Kansas. Harry D., the younger son, assists his father on the paper as business manager. In 1894, at Arkansas City, Mr. Howard married Mrs. Rhoda (Martin) Coulter. She has one child by her former marriage. J. Max Coulter, who is telegraph man and editorial writer for the Arkansas City Traveler.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Adrienne Kress, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, Mach 10, 1999.

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