New Historical Kansas Newspapers Now Available

If you have ancestors from Kansas or an interest in Kansas history, we’re pleased to announce a partnership with the Kansas Historical Society that will ultimately make available nearly 11 million pages of newspapers, primarily from pre-1923. We’re halfway through digitizing this collection and adding more records every day! The entire archive will be digitized by year’s end!

Kansas Historical Society Organized - 1875
Kansas became the 34th state in 1861, months before the start of the Civil War. In a clipping from The Lecompton Sun, an early Kansas pioneer remembered the conflict over slavery that led to bloody battles in Kansas in an era known as the Border War or Bleeding Kansas. Lecompton’s Constitution Hall is where the territorial government drafted a pro-slavery constitution which would be used for obtaining Kansas statehood. This constitution was ultimately rejected at a national level and never went into effect.

After the Civil War, railroads expanded to Kansas. Military posts were installed to protect the railroad. This led to the creation of small towns dotting the rail line and plenty of newcomers. This clipping from The Dodge City Daily Globe in 1912 heralded the new railroad that would double the town’s population — unless, of course, you wanted to “Get Outta Dodge!”

Newspapers from early Kansas communities provide a glimpse into the daily life of settlers. This page from the Weekly Republican in Cherryvale is a typical example. Like many other Kansas towns, the population of Cherryvale tripled from 1880-1890 because of westward expansion. Early newspapers recorded births, deaths, and other details of settlers lives.

Expansion led to increased confrontation with Native American tribes as their land was given to whites. This clipping from the El Dorado Republican recounts the incredible story of a woman kidnapped by the Sioux tribe in 1877. She later concluded that Native Americans had been treated unjustly by settlers. Tribes were forced to smaller reservations and tensions were high.

In 1874, Russian immigrants arrived in Goessel, and according to legend, came with kitchen crocks full of Turkey Red winter wheat seed. The wheat berries contained more protein and proved well-suited for the climate. Until then, corn was the Kansas crop of choice. Today Kansas is one of the world’s top wheat producing regions.

In 1886, developer Ben Blanchard was drilling for oil when he hit salt instead. The town of Hutchinson sprang up and the Kansas salt industry was born.

The famous landmarks of Castle Rock and Monument Rocks in Gove County have been landmarks for many including explorer John C. Freemont and travelers on the Overland Trail. Monument Rocks was the first designated National Natural Landmark in Kansas. The monuments have also been a gathering spot for many Kansans over the years.

Search our archives to learn more about Kansas history or to document your early Kansas ancestors through this historical newspaper collection!

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14 thoughts on “New Historical Kansas Newspapers Now Available

  1. This is a welcome development. I research Kansas history and have published my first book KANSAS ODDITIES. (Arcadia/History Press). I have used in a lot of my research. this will make it much easier and thorough.

  2. So excited for the Kansas collection to be available soon online. Hoping that the Baldwin Republic Newspaper is one of them. Fingers crossed.

  3. Excellent! Pro wrestling was big in Kansas in the 1910s-20s, and took place in a lot of small towns that weren’t yet represented in any of the online newspaper archives. This is very welcome news.

  4. Always thankful for more Kansas papers just wish they didn’t stop in 1920s. Doing historical research on high school football in Kansas and need papers into at least the early 1990s

  5. Word around the camp fire is that the Parsons Sun will be digitized through the mid-90’s. Any chance that may be included in this Kansas update? Any truth or word to those efforts? If so, possible timing?

  6. I love this announcement! I used Kansas newspapers, as well as a few other states, on while researching my book, “Not A Soldier, But A Scoundrel.” It was absolutely vital and fascinating to read through those 1860s papers.

  7. YEAH! Two great-grandfathers and the siblings of a gr-gr-grandfather were newspaper men. One brought to the state the first of a particular printing press in the 1860s.

    I’ve seen many of the articles they have written in their newspapers, but it will be exciting to see more!

  8. I Love history of any kind. I would be especially interested in more history of my home state.

  9. With a grandfather and great grand father that settled Western Kansas, founded a newspaper still in operation today and the great grand father served two years in the Kansas legislature, there is much to be heralded by Kansas research. The other side of the family is part of the history that brought the winter wheat to Kansas and turned the grand prairie to become a bread basket to the world

  10. I was told my 3 great aunts had gone to Kansas. They were there before 1900. I had pictured them in a Conestoga wagon, but now that I am older and wiser I realize they probably arrived on one of those steam engines, I will be de.ighted to hopefully find out more about them. out them. are great for tnose little tidbits that make our ancestors real people.

  11. I have always loved history and hearing it from your perspective seems to have put a spark back into my drive to get back into studying the truths of our past. Thank you for your wisdom and insight and ability to share it with us.

  12. very happy to hear about your updates on history for
    Kansas. I am researching there so will be excited
    to learn more. Judy Jouglet

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