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Oscar Stauffer

Newspaperman. Born November 26, 1886, Hope, Kansas. Married Ethel Lucille Stone, September 7, 1949. Died: February 24, 1982, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Oscar StaufferIn his early life Stauffer struggled against hard economic realities brought about partially by the death of both of his parents.  He moved to Emporia when he ran out of educational opportunities in Hope.  He completed high school in Emporia and went to work for the legendary William Allen White as a cub reporter.  White saw great promise in Stauffer and “fired” him so he would go to college.  White promised to help him if he needed it.

After two years at the University of Kansas, needing money, and apparently not wanting to ask for help, he went to work for the Kansas City Star. In 1914 he married Ethel Stone of Emporia. Looking for a chance to make it on his own he bought the Peabody Herald in 1915, which prospered.  He sold the Herald and bought the Arkansas City Traveler nine years later and soon purchased the other daily in town and merged them. A few years later he and a partner bought two papers in Independence and then two more in Pittsburg. The acquisitions continued. Stauffer Publications, Inc., was formed in 1930 to control the growing holdings.

As with many newsmen Stauffer was heavily involved in political and community affairs. In 1940 Stauffer and three partners bought the Topeka State Journal, which brought Stauffer Publications into metropolitan journalism. Acquisitions continued after World War II, including the purchase of Capper Publications, which included the Topeka Daily Capital, and radio and television properties Oscar’s son Stan assumed growing responsibilities as did the younger son John. And the acquisitions continued in Kansas and other states. Stan and John, to no surprise, were also heavily involved with all manner of community and professional activities.  A third generation of Stauffers also worked in the company, which had become Stauffer Communications, Inc. The corporation, including its 20 newspapers, was sold in 1995 to Morris Communications Corporation of Georgia.

Entry: Stauffer, Oscar

Author: G. Joseph Pierron

Author information: Judge Pierron serves on the Kansas Court of Appeals and has an interest in Kansas history.

Date Created: May 2012

Date Modified: May 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.