The Press in Polk County

The Press; The Weekly Courier was issued first in June, 1856, by L.B. Ritchey and A. B. Cory. Early in 1860 J.F. Snyder was at the helm, and in the summer A. B. Cory became sole proprietor. In July, that year, the paper passed into the proprietorship of Cory & Crabtree. In the succeeding October Mr. Cory again became sole owner of the paper, and in December sold it to M. J. Hughes. In March, 1861, it passed into the hands of M. J. Hughes and W. M. Smith. This was an able and fairly well patronized paper for the period, and passed out of existence early in war times. In July, 1865, the Bolivar Weekly Sentinel was issued by Thomas M. Garland, and was published with more or less success about two years. In 1866, R. B. Viles began the publication of a paper called the Union, which was bought in 1867 and taken to Carthage by Thomas M. Garland, and merged into the Carthage Banner, which he there established. The Bolivar Dispatch was started upon a brief existence by John Molloy in 1867.

The Bolivar Free Press was established by a company in 1868, and subsequently was owned early in its history by James Dumars and H. B. Knight successively. June 17, 1878, it passed into the hands of James M.Stevens. Later owners were, successively, T. J. Poage, A. R. Miller, A. R. & C. W. Miller, A. R. Miller. The present proprietor, Mr. H. Z. Williams, bought it in May, 1883. The Free Press is a newsy local paper Republican in politics, devoted to the upbuilding of Bolivar and vicinity. The Bolivar Herald was issued May 1, 1871, by Potter & Barton, and passed into the ownership of Theodore Brower May 29, 1873, and from his to that of L. B. Ritchey, December 18, 1873. July 16, 1874, it was purchased by Mr. C. D. Lyman, its since proprietor, who has made it one of the best local Democratic papers in Southwest Missouri. The Polk County Review was started in September, 1874, by L. J. Ritchey, who removed it to Humansville in January, 1875, and thence to Springfield, where it passed out of existence. Two Greenback campaign papers have been published in Bolivar—the first in 1878 by W.J. Evans, and the last in 1882, by J. N. Sperry. The Polk County Leader was issued by A. R. Miller in 1885, and soon passed to the ownership of A.R. & C.R. Miller. It was later owned, successfully, by Miller & Shellenberger, C.W. Miller and A. H. Schofield, and in the spring of 1887 was removed to Humansville and consolidated with the Star of that place, under the name of Star Leader. 
This article contributed to the Polk County MOGenWeb site by Marie Clayton.


Bolivar Courier 1856 - 1861

Bolivar Free Press 1868 - 1909

Bolivar Herald Jan 1882 - Dec 1967

Bolivar Free Press 1911 - 1950

Bolivar Free Press 1951 - 1968

Bolivar Herald Free Press 1969 - Aug 1973

Bolivar Free Press Aug 1973 - June 1981

Bolivar Herald Free Press July 1981 - Feb 1990

Bolivar Herald Free Press Mar 1990 - 1998

Humansville Star Leader Jan 1913 - Dec 1954

Fair Play Advocate Feb 1919 - Apr 1968

Fair Play "The Rambler" Jan 1959 - Dec 1962

Main Page