These are photos of " .. this community's most esteemed and honored citizen" in front of his home in St. Paul. Those words are from the opening paragraph of his obituary on the front page of the July 24, 1952 issue of the St. Paul Journal. We believe the words are still appropriate.
The original photos were not marked. But, judging from his age, they were probably taken around 1940. The house is still there, is very well-kept and is now the home of a young, well-know family.
"Most esteemed and honored citizen" are big words when you place him among the thousands of people who have lived in St. Paul, Kansas. But when you consider his humble beginnings, what he accomplished in life and the extraordinary recognition he received, it fits.
He and his parents arrived here, then Osage Mission, in February of 1881. He attended local pubic schools and then jumped at an opportunity to further his education at St. Francis Institution. He graduated with honors. Later, he cut his journalism teeth working for colorful newspaper editor Abe Steinberger at Pittsburg, and later Girard. Then, bad luck, followed by some good luck, put him in charge of his hometown newspaper, The Journal.
From there he credited "opportunity" for several more changes in his life. He became a leader of a prominent volunteer law enforcement group. He grew his Journal Publishing Company by taking on some state and national magazine and newspaper contracts and published several books. He dabbled in other businesses and helped some local entrepreneurs get started; and he "seeded" a public library. During all of this he was always one of St. Paul's biggest civic boosters. However, with success he also experienced personal tragedy and serious health problems.
He tried to stay away from notoriety. After all, he was only doing what he enjoyed — but others benefited from his effort. Finally in 1952 notoriety caught up with him. During a local banquet he was showered with awards and accolades. Of all of the honors he received that evening, there were two he certainly cherished during his brief, remaining days. Those came from his beloved Osage friends and the Vatican.
For more about this man and his remarkable life, FOLLOW THIS LINK.
Some Reference Information:
1. The photos above are from the Graves Hopkins Collection of the Osage Mission - Neosho County Historical Society.
2. For more information about St. Francis Institution follow THIS link.
Thoughts 'n Things
Some 'Thoughts' and short articles about past and present-day St. Paul and the Southern Kansas - 4 State Region.