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Country: United States
City: Benton, Scott County, Mo.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 157
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 632
Earliest Date: 27 January 1894
Latest Date: 13 February 1897
Phil A. Hafner was editor of the Benton News Boy, and according to the History of Southeast Missouri, he chose this name in honor of the newsboys who were “always bright and always much in evidence on the street cars.”
Hafner started the paper in 1888 and served as editor for its full run of 13 years, publishing the Newsboy as a four-page weekly each Saturday. One of the unique features of the layout is a wonderfully illustrated masthead with a unique font. However, sometimes the paper was published under the alternate title of Scott County Newsboy, and when the paper utilized this title, the masthead was strictly plain text, and its front page more closely resembled its contemporaries.
The Newsboy was a typical local paper, devoting its pages to the news of the small towns of Southeast Missouri. Hafner related the travels of local businessmen, provided details of sermons given at the local churches, and recounted the illnesses and recoveries of not only his readers and their neighbors but also of their favorite horses and other animals.
The news is often given interest through Hafner’s witty writing which was present from the very first issue when he wrote, “J. B. Stubblefield is now certain the top of a fence post is harder than his fist. Witness his hand in a sling.” Hafner’s humor was not only for his friends and acquaintances; he was not too proud to make fun of himself in his paper as well. In the February 10, 1894 issue, Hafner told of the attempt he and two friends made to rope a “reluctant” cow, ending the tale with the line that if the reader had seen it, “you would have busted yourself in laughing.” Hafner continued to publish the Newsboy for several years, but he became increasingly interested in the rights of farmers and in limiting corporate land ownership. In 1901, Hafner sold the Newsboy and started the Benton Scott County Kicker.
Provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO