John W. Mahuran

JOHN W. MAHURAN, postmaster of Chase, also editor and owner of the Chase Register, was about fourteen or fifteen years old when he made his first acquaintance with a printing office. He has worked as a printer or as a newspaper editor and owner the greater part of his active life.

He is one of the second generation of Kansans, and was born in a sod dugout on a farm in Reno County, February 24, 1876. As a boy he imbibed some of the spirit of the western plains which has always been a noticeable feature of his business and newspaper career. His parents were James W. and Mary (Ansala) Mahuran. His father, who was born on a farm in Indiana in 1840, was a corporal of Company G, Fifty-Ninth Indiana Infantry in the Civil war. Though he was out three years and six months and in many battles and campaigns, including the march of Sherman to the sea, he was never wounded. In 1873 he joined the pioneers of Central Kansas, taking up a homestead in Reno County twelve miles west of Hutchinson. That homestead he has developed as a fine farm and still owns and occupies it, being now at the venerable age of seventy-seven. His is one of the few homesteads in Kansas that has never been mortgaged. His wife was born in Ohio in 1845 and died February 4, 1882. She was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The parents had seven children, four sons and three daughters, all still living except Robert, who was killed by lightning in 1884. The other children are Joseph A., Theresa M., Triphena R., John William, Mary E. and Thomas E.

John William Mahuran was educated in the country schools of Reno County. At the age of fourteen he entered the printing office belonging to his brother Joseph A. at Colwich, Kansas. He learned the trade there, and later worked from "devil" to editor of the Nickerson, Kansas, Argosy. His first independent venture was when he bought the Journal at Sterling, Kansas, in 1907. After publishing this a year he sold out and then bought the Register at Chase, of which he has since been editor and publisher. The Register was founded in 1902, under the name Chase Breeze, by C. R. Caldwell. In 1903 the name was changed to Chase Register, with Charles B. Garten editor and publisher. Under his management Mr. Mahuran has made the Register a newspaper of wide circulation in Rice County and has also added all the mechanical facilities found in the best country printing offices of the state, including typograph and other modern machinery.

Mr. Mahuran was appointed postmaster of Chase on November 16, 1908, and is still the incumbent of that office. He is a republican in politics, and served two years as police judge of Chase. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons and Odd Fellows.

June 3, 1911, at Sterling, Kansas, he married Miss Laura Dell Farrar, daughter of J. K. Farrar. Mrs. Mahuran was born in Kansas August 22, 1881, and her parents were early settlers in Kansas, her father being one of the first county superintendents of Rice County, holding that office two terms. She is a graduate of Sterling High School in the English Scientific course; also took special work in Cooper College of Sterling and has been associated with her husband both in the editorial management of the Register and as assistant postmaster. Mr. and Mrs. Mahuran have an adopted daughter, Phyllis Barbara, who was born at Hutchinson in 1907.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by Tabitha Smith, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, May 2, 2000.

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