About Us - The Arkansas City Traveler : Site

May 26, 2015
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About Us

The Arkansas City Traveler dates back to 1870, when Ark City was a rugged frontier town, before it was incorporated.

The original Traveler building was a wood shack standing with other wood buildings along the town's main street.

The Traveler's first editor was Cyrus M. Scott, who moved here on Aug. 2, 1870. There were only 12 houses in the new settlement when Scott moved here.

On Dec. 15, 1870, Professor L.B. Kellogg became the newspaper's proprietor.

C.M. Scott was in charge of local copy. Scott purchased the paper on Sept. 1, 1871, and was the sole proprietor and owner for the next seven years.

In 1880, The Traveler became a member of the Associated Press, with news arriving by Pony Express, stagecoach and Western Union.

Recognized as the oldest newspaper in Cowley County, the Traveler also was the first small-town daily to have a full-leased wire machine when it was installed in 1916.

R.C. Howard, publisher and editor of the weekly Republican, and B.A. Wagner purchased the Traveler in 1886. They consolidated the two town newspapers.

It was in the late 1880s that Howard and Wagner first printed the Traveler as a daily, under the name "Daily Republican."

It was changed to "Daily Republican Traveler" in 1889 and, a few months later, to "The Arkansas City Daily Traveler."

In 1910, Howard built a new two-story building at 117-119 W. Fifth Ave. for the Traveler and obtained a Linotype to replace the hand setting of type.

The Traveler reportedly was one of the first small newspapers to have a Linotype.

Harry D. Howard became a partner in his father's newspaper in 1918 and they operated it together until 1924, when they sold their interest to Oscar S. Stauffer.

Stauffer moved the Traveler in 1925 to the corner of Washington and A Street, the former home of The Arkansas City Daily News.

The Traveler remained at that location until April 1, 1968, when it moved to its current site, 200 E. Fifth Ave. Also in 1968, The Traveler purchased a Goss community-size offset press to replace the old "hot lead" press.

On July 27, 1994, The Traveler ran a front-page, lead story announcing that Morris Communications Corp. had signed an agreement to purchase all stock of Stauffer Communications for approximately $283 million.

The agreement was announced jointly by William S. Morris III, chairman and chief executive officer of Morris Communications; John H. Stauffer, chairman of Stauffer; and Frank H. Shepherd, Stauffer's president and chief executive officer.

Morris Communications took over ownership of the Traveler in 1995. In August 2001, Morris sold the Traveler to the Winfield Publishing Company.

Winfield Publishing also operates The Winfield Daily Courier and The Newkirk (Okla.) Herald Journal.

"The Traveler has a distinguished history of service as Arkansas City's daily newspaper and as a voice for that community," Dave Seaton, former president of Winfield Publishing, said when the sale was announced.

"We welcome this opportunity to return the Traveler to local ownership and pledge to carry on that tradition."

On July 1, 2009, David Allen Seaton, publisher of the the Traveler, succeeded his father Dave as president of Winfield Publishing Co.

One month later, a redesigned arkcity.net premiered as the face of the Traveler on the Internet and, more important, as an online community for the Arkansas City area.

Since then, the Traveler has created a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, entered the world of live streaming video with several community and sports events, launched an electronic edition, and begun email marketing.

Phase Two of the arkcity.net redesign debuted in August 2012 with a comprehensive overhaul of the site's look and administrative function.

It also featured a new online business directory, the advent of online billing and purchases, and a registration system for exclusive content.

(This history of the Traveler is an excerpt from a larger article written by Foss Farrar, first published Aug. 18, 2007.)

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