Jacob S. Boreman as Editor of the Kansas City Bulletin
January 26, 1873

In 1873, a rival editor recounted the history of the Kansas City Bulletin, which Jacob S. Boreman had edited several years earlier. 


The origin of the Bulletin is hidden beneath that veil of smoke and bluster which in 1868 initiated President Grant into civil life. It was the outburst of the gushing carpet-bag spirit which burst upon this State in 1866, during the administration of Rodman, Fletcher, Drake & Co., and made its appearance in a little seven by nine form in August or September, 1868, and floating upon the wave of popular sentiment, became a newspaper. Messrs G. W. Householder and McDonald were the original proprietors and originators of the new paper, although Mr. Householder was really the sole proprietor and originator of the paper. Mr. Householder, a Pennsylvanian by birth and proclivities, amateur like, sought to model a newspaper for the western frontier upon the model of a newspaper of the staid and steady old city of Philadelphia, and chose for his model the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, and after naming his venture started it upon the sea of journalism with THE BANNER OF RADICALISM nailed to its mast. It was the first evening paper that had made its appearance west of St. Louis, or west of the Mississippi, and started out with bright and even brilliant prospects before it…


The paper started forth in the spring of 1870 with flying colors. Judge Boreman, fresh from the halls of the State Capital, an old line Democrat, converted by force of circumstances to Radicalism, at the helm. He was popular, and brought with him to the paper a large influence composed principally of the carpet-bag Radicals of the D. H. Porter stripe—men who had recently arrived in the State and desired a voice in the councils of the Radical party, which the old liners were loth to give. Boreman brought with him considerable capital, and invested nearly all he had in the enterprise, which G. W. Householder and J. D. Williams quietly absorbed. Judge Boreman entered upon the stream of journalistic life with all the enthusiasm of a youth. He was mild, moral and strictly orthodox in his policy. Woe to the unfortunate reporter or correspondent who should cast an eye or squint toward the false gods of Democracy, or quote the sacreligious doctrines of Williams. At this period of its history the Bulletin may be said to have attained its natural position. It was upon a good financial basis, enjoyed a better reputation than it did either before or afterward, and was regarded as an average Radical provincial paper…


No newspaper had a better prospect before it than had the Bulletin at this stage of its existence. It had a good circulation, had capital, had a fair editorial force, possessed a preponderance of popular favor, and as an evening paper might have succeeded. But the stockholders, all of them novices in the newspaper business, conceived the idea of modeling a paper upon the plan and of the size of the St. Louis Democrat. To do this they must make it a morning paper, enlarge, get new type, and move into a new building, all of which was done. It was here where the Bulletin made its fatal mistake. Instead of fighting its way against a weak adversary, then staggering and struggling for life, it launched forth into the field of popular favor with two established newspapers as its opponents.

The struggle between the Journal and Bulletin for the Associated Press franchise, in which the TIMES took grounds in favor of the Bulletin, are familiar to all. The next misstep made by the Bulletin was to dismiss its original editors, Boreman and Porter, men of character and influence, and install into their place an adventurer, a Democrat, unknown, and as bold and independent as he was erratic—Mr. A. C. Buel. The Bulletin was soon among the shoals and breakers of politics. The Journal, taking advantage of the inconsistency of the editorial policy of the Bulletin, soon created a division of sentiment among the stockholders, and for a time there was chaos in its editorial management…


The Kansas City Times, January 26, 1873