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Publication Details

Fair play.

More information about this newspaper title may be available on the source website.

Source: Chronicling America [US Library of Congress]

Country: United States

State: Missouri

City: Ste. Genevieve [Mo.]

Issues of this title available in Elephind: 2,198

Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 9,780

Earliest Date: 14 June 1872

Latest Date: 31 December 1921


Ste. Genevieve Fair Play

The Ste. Genevieve Fair Play began publication in 1872, printing its first issues on Fridays but quickly switching to a Thursday publication schedule. Edited by S. Henry Smith, this weekly newspaper served the town of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, and the county of the same name.

In the beginning, Henry Smith published the Fair Play as politically neutral, declaring on the masthead: “Politically Independent—Open to all Parties—Controlled by None.” However, by 1874, Smith had discarded his neutral stance, and the Fair Play’s masthead announced that it was “Democratic to the Hub!”

The Fair Play had very little competition during its early years, seemingly ruling the newspaper business until 1882 when Joseph Ernst began publishing two newspapers in Ste. Genevieve.  Ernst launched the Ste. Genevieve Herald on May 6, 1882.  The next week, on May 13, Ernst also began publishing a German edition titled the Ste. Genevieve Herold. The Herold was published until February 2, 1895, when it was absorbed by the English edition. The Herald--which included a German insert until March 30, 1918--is still in publication today.

The Fair Play enjoyed a 90-year run before it was succeeded by the Ste. Genevieve Fair Play in 1961. For 53 of those years, it was edited and published by the Janis family.  In January of 1889, Henry J. Janis had purchased the Fair Play from Joseph Flynn, and Janis continued with the paper until May of 1907 when his brother Jules J. Janis took over and Henry and his family moved to St. Louis.  Jules J. Janis edited and published the paper until his death on July 14, 1921. The Fair Play was not published that week, and the next edition appeared on July 23, 1921, with LeClere Janis as editor and publisher. Although he retired as editor in January 1941, LeClere Janis remained publisher until 1945 and as printer of the Fair Play as until his death in October of 1947. 

Another brother, Felix A. Janis, also worked for the paper for many years.  His obituary in the October 25, 1947 issue of the paper states “Mr. Janis, a printer by trade, was connected with the Fair Play for many years until ill health forced his retirement in 1943.  Previous to his connection with the Fair Play he worked for various papers in Flat River, MO., and Bonne Terre, Mo.”

Thus, the Janis brothers brought Fair Play to Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, for over half a century.

Provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO