Edwin F. Korns, Newkirk, Oklahoma

Korns family divider line

Biography from Korns Genealogy Book
A biography of Edwin is given on page 246 of the 1949 book "The Genealogy of Michael Korns, Sr. of Somerset County Pennsylvania". That biography states:

"A wide awake man, full of vim and push, Edwin F. Korns of Newkirk, has filled various public offices of trust and responsibility and is now serving most acceptably as Postmaster of this City. He is likewise proprietor of the Republican News Journal, the Republican organ of the city and a weekly publication widely known throughout northern Oklahoma. He is a product of Ohio, his birth having occurred June 10, 1852, at. New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, which was the birthplace of his father, Henry Korns.

His paternal grandfather, Charles Korns, was an early settler of that part of Ohio, migrating there from Pennsylvania. The grandfather raised a large family of children in which there were seven sons, namely: Daniel, Robert, James, Henry, Frank, William, and John. The family consisted also of three daughters: Cecelia, Drucilla and Harriet. Cecelia was the only one that married and bore children. Henry Korns grew to manhood and married Harriet Watkins, who was of English descent.

He enlisted in response to Lincoln's first call for troops during the Civil War. They had one child, the subject of this sketch. After the death of his father, Edwin F. Korns lived with his paternal grandmother at New Philadelphia, Ohio, where he gleaned his first knowledge of books, attending the city schools. While a mere lad he began to know what it meant to support one's self. He secured work in a printing office where he stayed for four years. Leaving home, Edwin F. Korns went to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he secured a position in a book and job office. He later went to Champaign, Illinois, and worked as a journeyman on the Champaign Union. Migrating from there to Glenwood, Iowa, he secured a position on the Glenwood Opinion, a weekly paper, where he remained until he purchased a weekly paper at Malvern, in the same county.

His next move was to Phillipsburg, Kansas, where he bought the Phillipsburg Herald where he remained for 14 years. During that period the appointment of Newspaper men to Postmasterships became somewhat general and President Harrison made Edwin F. Korns Postmaster of Phillipsburg. In November 1893, two months after the opening of the Cherokee Strip, Edwin F. Korns located in Kay County and for a year lived a rural life, being in the, to him, novel occupation of farming. Having been so long schooled and steeped in journalism, the farm seemed too prosy a proposition and in 1894 he founded the Kay County News. Two years later the News, the Republican and the Kildare Journal consolidated as a stock company, Mr. Korns holding one-third interest, and the privilege of controlling the policy of the paper. He was appointed Postmaster of Newkirk.

On Oct 19, 1882, in Osceola, Iowa, Edwin F. Korns married Ida M. Millard who was born in that city, May 3, 1860, a daughter of Rev. A. H. Millard and Achsah (Barstow) Millard, formerly residents of Ohio. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Edwin F. Korns namely: Harry M. Korns and Nellie M. Korns.

Harry M. Korns, who has grown up in the Republican News Journal, was educated in the Newkirk High School, the Old Presbyterian Academy, and at Park College in Parkville, Mo."

Biographical Information Abstracted from Newkirk Newspaper
The following material is abstracted from the biography of Edwin F. Korns that was printed in the September 8, 2005 issue of "The Newkirk Herald Journal:

  • Edwin F. Korns was born circa 1852, and his father died during the American Civil War..
  • In order to help his grandparents, Edwin began working as a printer's devil at the age 11 in Tuscarawas, OH for two dollars a week.
  • After four years, he was earning four dollars a week. He left and worked in an Indianapolis book and job office for a twelve dollar a week salary.
  • Next, Edwin went to Champaign, Illinois and worked as a compositor for a weekly paper there for two years. He was not yet 18 years old, but thought of himself as a printer.
  • At the age of 19, Edwin purchased the Malvern, IA "Leader" for $600.00. He was its sole owner, and was its editor and publisher. He needed a loan to purchase the newspaper, so he approached the president of the First National Bank. The president said that he would lend Edwin up to $2,000, at an interest rate of six percent, if Edwin would take out life insurance for the amount. The president said "If you live, I believe you will make good and pay your obligations, and if you die, your policy will pay all your obligations.". He paid off the loan and was out of debt in two years.
  • A minister offered to sell Edwin 160 acres of land in Phillips County, KS for $500. Edwin sold the "Leader" and bought the land, which was near Phillipsburg.
  • Edwin took over a local newspaper, the "Phillipsburg Herald". In regard to the newspaper, Edwin related "I soon found it no easy matter to publish a paper 30 miles from the railroad ... Homesteaders were having hard times, I was anxious for new subscribers and in the lack of ready money, I took everything from wood, chickens, corn, sorghum molasses to soap for subscriptions. Corn was cheaper than coal for fuel and I burnt the entire 150 bushels traded me for fuel that winter."
  • Edwin was appointed as the Phillipsburg postmaster. Edwin and his family moved to a farm near Newkirk Oklahoma shortly after Cherokee Outlet was opened. They moved there by covered wagon.
  • Farming did not appeal to Edwin, who related "Like most of my other small ventures out of the newspaper business, I found farming did not 'take' and I was losing all the money I had accumulated. At that time there were four weekly newspapers in Newkirk; the Republican, the Times, the Democrat and a Populist paper. Not one of them was able to hire a practical printer at living wages, so it was up to me to take a desperate chance and start another weekly paper.".
  • Edwin procured an older army printing press from Crescent City, OK, and in 1895 he began publishing the "Kay County News". Edwin earned sixteen dollars the first month, and in only six months he was doing all of the printing for the city of Newkirk and for Kay County.
  • Two other newspapers, the "Republican" and the "Kildare Journal" approached him on the subject of consolidating the newspapers. It was proposed that he would be the business manager and the associate editor.
  • Edwin bought out the consolidated "Republican News Journal" newspaper in 1912, and operated it until he retired in 1917.
  • One of the things that Edwin didn't like was that as a newspaperman, his loyalty to the Republican party led him to place "too many $50 saddles on $20 horses.".
  • Edwin served for four years on the Newkirk city council. He was the mayor of Newkirk for one year, and for three years he was the Newkirk city treasurer.
  • Edwin also did work as an insurance agent and as a real estate agent in Newkirk. When Oklahoma was a territory, Edwin was appointed by Governor Jenkins to be the oil inspector, and also served as oil inspector under Governor Ferguson.
  • Edwin was the Newkirk postmaster for many years. He was appointed by Theodore Roosevelt, and served until 1913.
  • Edwin was active in the Republican party, and served a number of times as one of the Kay County delegates to the Oklahoma state Republican party convention. He even served as a delegate when he was eighty years old.
  • Edwin was a friend of U.S. Vice President Charles Curtis.
  • Edwin was struck by a car in December 1933, and died.
  • Edwin's wife's name was Ida.
  • Edwin had two children. One was named Harry Korns, and the other was named Nellie (Mrs. Mrs. Nellie Montgomery.)

    Links to pages relating to Edwin Korns family
    Photo of Edwin and Ida Korns & children
    Edwin F. Korns, Phillipsburg, Kansas Councilman, 1880
    Edwin F. Korns, co-owner of the Phillipsburg Herald, 1888
    Edwin F. Korns Postmaster Appointment, Newkirk, Ohio
    Johnson & Korns, owners of Newkirk newspaper
    E. F. Korns serves on murder investigation jury
    1910 biography of Edwin F. Korns, Oklahoma (1574 KB PDF)

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