The first newspaper in the county was established in April 1872, but ante-dating its appearance, a small monthly journal was published and issued by Harbough & Corbett, which was devoted entirely to land business, and was named the Pioneer. That publication, however, is not entitled to any place in the history of the press of the county, as it was an advertising sheet exclusively.
The Western Kansas Plainsman was the first newspaper established in the county, having been started by A. B. Cornell, in April 1872, at Russell, the first issue of the paper appearing on the twenty-fifth of that month. Some months after it was started, the name of the paper was shortened to the Plainsman, and under this name it was published until October 1876, when the paper and office material was sold by Mr. Cornell to Prof. Robinson, who had it removed to Kirwin, in Phillips County. This was a seven column, four page, weekly, and was Republican in politics.
The New Republic This was the name of the next paper started in the county, and was established at Bunker Hill in May, 1872, by J. R. Rankin, who run (sic) it a few months when he sold it to B. W. Goodhue, from whom it passed to Harbaugh & Corbett when W. B. Christopher became editor. The county seat having been removed from Bunker Hill to Russell in 1874. Dollison Bros. followed with the New Republic the following year, when the name of the paper was changed to the Record. The paper remained in possession of Dollison Bros. until the latter end of 1881, when it passed into the hands of W. A. Lewis & Co., who, in March, 1882, sold it to W. L. Evans, who is now the sole editor and proprietor, and by whom the paper is at present published. The paper is an eight-column folio, Republican in politics, and has a circulation of 600.
Advance The paper that made its appearance under this name, was established in March, 1878, by Johnson & Maxwell, who, in October of the same year, finding their venture rather unprofitable, moved the press and material to Saline County.
Advertiser The next paper to make its appearance in Russell County, was the one whose name appears as a side caption to this item. It was started in 1879, at Bunker Hill, by J. B. Powers, in whose possession it remained about a year, when it passed into the hands of Rev. J. J. A. T. Dixon, who changed the name of the paper to that of Banner. Under Mr. Dixon’s management the paper lived about two years when, in January 1883, it passed out of existence.
Independent This paper was started at Russell in the fall of 1879, by W. P. Tomlinson, who, after running it a short time, sold a half interest to W. A. Lewis, and subsequently sold the other half interest to Asa Kinney, the paper then appearing under the editor and proprietorship of Lewis & Kinney, under whose management it was published for several months, when it passed into the hands of E. S. L. Banton. Six months subsequently, the paper was purchased by Dollison Bros., who consolidated it with the Record, which they were publishing at that time.
Hawkeye This is the last newspaper venture made in the county, and was established in March 1882, by the Hawkeye Printing Company, with A. B. Cornell as editor, whose name still appears as such at the head of its columns. It is a six-column quarto, weekly, Greenback in politics, and has a circulation of 450.
Source: Russell County, History of the State of Kansas, 1883.