For more than, a score of years Gomer T. Davies has been at the head of a western newspaper, and notwithstanding the political animosities that have arisen from time to time, he has stood firm and steadfast by the convictions he deems best for the people and the country. Mr. Davies has been intensely devoted to his chosen field, and the result of his close application is obvious in the well-edited columns of the Kansan and the patronage it receives from the citizens of Cloud county.
First home of the Kansan - Its present quarters.
The Editor's Corner.
The Foreman's Corner.
In the Business Office.
In an article contributed to the official report of the seventeenth annual convention of the National Editorial Association, which convened at Hot Springs, Arkansas, April 15-18, 1902, George W. Martin, secretary of the Kansas Historical Society, among other fetching things, with reference to Mr. Davies, says: "The country newspaper publisher is a man unto himself. There is no other like him. His wrestle for the provender which supports life, his contests with the world and the devil in behalf of all that is good, necessitates a variety of talents, a vigilance and an industry, wholly unnecessary with Mr. Morgan or other mergers, who simply float along with millions and billions accumulated near the mouth of the great river of commerce and industry. It is the man at the head of the stream, with nothing but what nature has given him, who performs miracles with this old world of ours, and who gives to the current its direction for usefulness that causes the wheels of production to go round.
"The country newspaper publisher is the most important of all the factors at the beginning of things. It is he who gets near the home, who is known and read in every household of his bailiwick. Every line in a country newspaper is read by the grown folks and the children alike in each household where it enters, and not merely skimmed over, or only headlines read, as is the case with the city papers. Hence there is no overestimating sway of the rural newspaper.
At this convention Mr. Davies was honored by one hundred and seventy-seven of the two hundred and seventy-seven votes cast that elected him second vice-president of the association, and, referring to this consideration, Mr. Martin further says: "It is a matter of interest to all, and of good judgment upon the part of the National Editorial Association, that, at its late meeting, it came to central Kansas for one of its vice-presidents. The association is to be congratulated that in its selection of Gomer T. Davies, of the Concordia Kansan, it has an all-around bunch of Kansas nerve and inspiration, of editorial and business ability, and of general usefulness to the fraternity and to the public." And the state at the meeting of their last Editorial Association recommended Mr. Davies for the office of first vice-president, to be determined when they meet in Omaha, in July, of the present year (1903). He was president of the Kansas North Central Editorial Association in 1896, and for 1901 was president of the Kansas State Editorial Association.
He is prominent in various social orders, has passed through all the chairs of the Odd Fellows lodge and is one of four candidates for grand master of the order. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Knights of Pythias, Woodmen of America and the Order of Elks. Mr. Davies is a significant member of the Concordia Commercial Club and one of the directors of the Kansas Historical Society, in which he and every loyal citizen of the state takes pardonable pride.
Mr. Davies' success has been phenomenal. He started in the news paper business with but two dollars in his pocket, but he appealed his case to the enterprising people of Kansas, to win or lose his small capital - and won. His standing, socially and financially, indicates the verdict. He owns his office, a two-story brick building, ninety feet deep, equipped with the most modern machinery; a farm within a mile of Concordia, and a comfortable home in the city.
The birth of Mr. Davies occurred at Pont-y-pridd, Glanmorganshire, South Wales, January 25, 1855. Mr. Martin says: "One would not think this of him at all, for he is just as rational as though born in Podunk township, Pennsylvania: Posey county, Indiana, or on the White Rock In Kansas.
He emigrated to America in 1863. After a residence of a few years in Pennsylvania he removed to Livingston county, Missouri; but, imbued with the same spirit as many foreign-born people adopting America for their home. He left the scenes of older civilization and moved further westward, into Iowa, where he lived from 1869 until 1882, when he wisely turned his attention towards northwest Kansas and in 1883 purchased the Republic County News, his first newspaper venture. While editor-in-chief of this paper Mr. Davies was twice elected by the Republican party to represent his district, which comprised the north half of Republic county, in the state legislature, sessions of 1887 and 1889. November 18, 1896, Mr. Davies bought the Kansan and removed to Concordia. He was married in 1879 and his family consists of a wife and seven children.
The journalistic career of Mr. Davies is characterized by his sense of discrimination between right and wrong, and his acuteness along these lines is evinced by the abiding good will of the people, who demonstrate their approval by a renewal of their subscription annually. There are few homes the Kansan does not reach.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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