The first newspaper was the Lincoln County News, published in Lincoln Center in 1873. The editor was F. H. Barnhart. April 3, of the first year of its publication, W. C. Buzick bought an interest in it. In December Barnhart sold his interest to Rev. P. Baker, who assumed editorial management and published it till December 22, 1874. Later it was passed on to J. W. Newell, who moved it to Stockton in Rooks County.
Barnhart began the publication of the Farmer, July 16, 1874, and the next January moved It to Osborne County, where it is now the famous Osborne County Farmer.
The Western Democrat was started late in 1874, and June. 15, 1875, was sold to G. W. Wellman. The name was changed to the Saline Valley Register. It was the county paper till January, 1879, when it was sold to Watson and Kimes. In September of the same year it was sold to Geo. W. Anderson, who was proprietor until 1883. Mr. Anderson sold his plant and in 1884 his successor published a paper called the Lincoln Banner. In 1886 It was changed to the Lincoln Republican.
Late in 1879 Ira Lutes began publishing the Argus. It was bought by Hon. Walter S. Wait and his wife, Anna C. Wait in 1880, who assisted by their son, A. H. Wait, published it until the death of W. S. Wait. A. H. Wait continued the publication until the office was burned in 1901.
The Beacon was in many ways the most remarkable paper ever published in Lincoln County, and in fact one of the most remarkable county papers it has ever been the writer's privilege to peruse. The Waits all had a natural sympathy for the under dog, and provided said dog was in the right, always stayed with him to the end of the battle, no matter how many times they were bitten by opposition.
A great deal has already been said about Mr. and Mrs. Wait, so we will only mention in this connection their son, Alfred H. Wait.
He was (and still Is) a practical printer, having learned the trade in the office of the Junction City Tribune in the early seventies. He was connected with the Beacon during the twenty-one years prior to its total destruction by fire (incendiary). He was always local editor, the last seven years editor-in-chief, and the last five also owner and publisher.
The Beacon started as a Republican paper advocating prohibition, anti-monopoly, and woman suffrage. It supported the Republican party nationally until 1888, when It became convinced that the Republicans were beyond reform. That year it supported the Labor Party and the ticket of this party was elected in Lincoln County. In 1892 it became Populist and remained so as long as the paper was published. It never missed an Issue.
This is the office which was built in 1885 and occupied by the Beacon until it was burned in 1901. It was 20 by 56 feet, and the only building ever erected in Lincoln as a printing office.
We have already mentioned that the Lincoln Republican was established in 1886. This gives it the dignity of the oldest paper in the county. It is consistently Republican and true to its name. E. A. McCullum is proprietor and editor.
The Sentinel, which is the Democratic paper of the county, was established in 1894 by Ira Troup. It Is owned at present by C. C. Stoner.
Both the papers in Lincoln are alive and up-to-date, and are a great help to the town. In fact, they are an absolute necessity.
The Sylvan Grove Sentinel, a neutral paper, was founded in 1887.
The present Sylvan paper, the Sylvan Grove News, began in 1895 as the Alert. A man by the name of Hower was editor and publisher. May 4, 1900, the name was changed to what It is at present. Since then it has had various owners, St. Clair & Haffer, Smith & Cross, Harder & Poor. Harder bought out Poor and for a time A. J. Graves edited the paper for Harder. Tell Peterson recently became proprietor and editor.
The first paper in Barnard was the. Barnard Times, published by S. M. Figge, date uncertain.
The Barnard Bee was started six years ago by Will DeVinney. This paper is certainly a live wire in every way. It is responsible for some of the unusual prosperity which has come to the town in the last few years. A good paper can help a town, and this editor knows It. It has a good circulation and the subscription list is constantly growing. in politics It is Republican or otherwise. It has convictions and sticks to them.