History of Chicago, Rufus Blanchard, 1900
HISTORY OF THE CHICAGO EVENING POST
1st year (Apr. 29, 1890)-43rd year, no. 13,130 (Oct. 29, 1932).
The first issue of the Chicago Evening Post appeared April 29, 1890. It was founded by the late James W. Scott, who believed there was room in Chicago for a high class evening newspaper—one that should be conservative as well as enterprising, and, above all things, clean—and his wisdom has since been demonstrated. The literary excellence and superb news service of the Evening Post gave the paper a hold upon its readers that enabled it to sell for two cents when every other English daily in Chicago—both morning and evening—dropped to a penny. The people who were in the habit of reading it wanted it, whether the cost was one or two cents, and this has given it a spirit of independence greater than that seen in any other Chicago newspaper. Unaffected by the changing methods of its contemporaries, it maintains the even tenor of its way, for it has a patronage that cannot easily be taken from it.
Changes in the business and editorial policy of the Evening Post have been few and well considered. It has issued several special editions, when circumstances have seemed to warrant it, and they have invariably been successful. The memorial edition at the close of the Spanish- American war—in effect a tribute to the Illinois soldiers—was a good illustration of this, but perhaps the most noteworthy special issues have been the annual book numbers. The paper always has given particular attention to book reviews, and of recent years has issued special book numbers previous to the opening of the holiday trade. These were an extraordinary success from the beginning. They are highly prized both by readers and publishers. The former were enabled to quickly learn the merits of the recently published books, and the latter could ask no better opportunity to present their claims to
patronage to the book buying public, for it is among discriminating readers that the paper has its circulation.
Since its first issue the Evening Post has had three homes. Its start in life was made at 128 Fifth avenue. Mr. Scott had been successful with the Herald, and he deemed the time ripe for the establishment of an evening paper that should especially appeal to the intelligent people. Most of the evening papers of that time were little more than bulletins of the day’s doings, filled up with miscellany, and he desired to publish a news paper, one that would compare favorably in every respect with the morning papers. He chose for his managing editor Cornelius McAuliff, who had been his night editor on the Herald, and consequently had had an extended and valuable newspaper experience. Mr. McAuliff conducted the paper through the early trials that all journalistic ventures encounter (although they were fewer than usual in this case) and remained with it until Herman H. Kohlsaat bought both publications in 1895. Meanwhile a change had been made from 128 Fifth avenue to 164 Washington street. An old building standing there had been purchased and remodeled, and it continued to be the home of the Evening Post until sold to the Chronicle when the latter paper was established.
Mr. Kohlsaat came into possession of the two papers that had belonged to Mr. Scott in April, 1895, and about May 1, of that year, he invited Mr. McAuliff to the managing editorship of the Times-Herald and installed Samuel T. Clover, who had been business manager of the Evening Post, as managing editor of his evening paper. A little later the paper was transferred to the Times-Herald building, from which it has been published ever since. Under the general management of Mr. Kohlsaat, the editor-in-chief, and the direct supervision of Mr. Clover, the features that have so greatly added to the popularity of the Evening Post were established and developed. It neglects no legitimate department, but it gives special attention to those that appeal most strongly to the intellectual, financial and solid business interests. It has proved itself the home paper, presenting all the news, and yet devoid of sensationalism, enterprising, attractive typographically, of literary excellence and conservative in the sense that its aim is above all things to be reliable and to eliminate those features that make a man hesitate to take a paper home with him. The book numbers, to which reference has been made, were first published and have since grown in importance under the present management, and in addition particular attention has been given to educational matters. The paper also has a large staff of special writers, which materially adds to its interest and attractiveness.
From “Story of Chicago In Connection with the Printing Business”, 1912
There have been many journalistic ventures in Chicago with the name of Evening Post, but the one which has lasted and bids fair to become as permanent as the municipality itself, is the one begun with ample equipment of newspaper resources and liberal capital in 1889 by James W. Scott and a coterie of trained journalists. This practical band of clever news gatherers at once made the enterprise a success, and almost from the first issue the Post had a large following. Originally the paper was sold at two cents, but a short time ago the price was lowered to the cheaper standard, and the paper has continued to Hourish. In typographical excellence the Post is regarded as a model, and in dignity and bearing the paper is of meritorious quality. A number of noted newspaper men won distinction on the Post in its early days, among others F. P. Dunne of “Dooley” letters fame, and Kirke La Shelle, who afterwards became prominent as a playwright.
John C. Shaffer is the editor and publisher, he owning three daily papers in the Hoosier state, and one in Louisville, Ky. For a number of years the Post has leaned to the principles of the Republican party, but the recent campaign found the paper espousing the cause of the Progressives. Much space is given in the paper to music, art, theatricals, book reviews and commercial and financial reports, its patronage seeming to warrant the attention given to these departments.
Chicago Tribune, October 29, 1932
Purchase of the Chicago Evening Post by the Chicago Daily News was reported last night. Knowlton L. Ames, publisher of the Post for the last eighteen months, was reported out of town. Frank Knox, publisher of the News, sent word through his secretary that “if it’s about the Post, there’s nothing to say.”
According to reports, however, formal announcement of the acquisition of the Post, now in its forty-third year in the evening field, will be made by the News today as the last issues of the Post are run off the presses. Today’s editions, it is understood, will be the last published hy the Post.
The first issue of the Post was published on April 29, 1890. Its editor, the late James W. Scott, announced in his first editorial that the paper would be “not weak sister but the big brother of its competitors in the morning field.” Herman H. Kohl later acquired the paper and was its publisher until 1901.
In that year he relinquished control to John C. Shaffer. Under Mr. Shaffer the Post in 1929 constructed a nineteen story building at 211 West Wacker drive and moved there from its old location at 16 South Market street.
In February, 1931, through a judgement obtained by the Arthur Dixon Transfer company, the Post was thrown into receivership. Mr. Shaffer had previously announced his retirement from the paper. Federal Judge Woodward named as receiver George Getz, coal operator, who acted as publisher for two weeks, then sold it at auction to Mr. Ames, then publisher of the Chicago Journal of Commerce.
The knockdown price was $132,000. Mr. Ames being the only bidder, excepting Hearst’s American, which entered a lower bid in an effort to get the Post’s Associate Press membership. Insull financed Mr. Ames purchase, loaning him $500,000 through the Public Service Trust, a subsidiary of Insull Utility Investments, to buy it up later and carry on. Mr. Ames later settled the debt with receivers at 12 cents on the dollar.
CHRONOLOGY OF CHICAGO EVENING POST
Chicago Evening Mail, 1870 – 1875 (became Chicago Post & Mail)
Chicago Evening Post, 1865 – 1875 (became Chicago Post & Mail)
Chicago Post & Mail, 1875 – 1878 (absorbed by Chicago Daily News)
Chicago Evening Post, 1886 – 1932 (absorbed by Chicago Daily News)
Chicago Daily News, 1876 – 1978