Guide to National Women and Media


Well before Mary Paxton Keeley became the first female graduate of the MU School of Journalism in 1910, women had been making journalism history in Missouri. During the nineteenth century, many women who were related to Missouri editors and publishers assisted their husbands, fathers, and brothers in newspaper work, from typesetting to editing and writing for the papers. While much of this early work went unnoticed, by the turn of the twentieth century a number of women were beginning to gain recognition in the newspaper business.

Some were single women such as Junia E. Heath, the editor and publisher of the Walnut Grove Tribune in Greene County from 1903 to 1916 before moving on to the Wright County Republican in Hartville. The sister team of Eva and Fidelia Mize worked as editors at the Newton County News from 1890 to 1907. Another set of sisters, Jennie and Artie Dickson, also worked as editors at newspapers in Grundy County during the 1910s and early 1920s. Ada L. Wightman worked with her brother Sam Wightman as co-editor and publisher of the Bethany Clipper beginning in 1905.

Other women assisted their husbands or took over their spouse’s newspaper duties when they became ill or died. Christina Graf took over publishing the Hermanner Volksblatt, a German-language newspaper, after her husband, Jacob Graf, died in 1870. She also assumed ownership of the English-language Hermann Advertiser and continued publishing both papers until she sold them to her sons in 1880. The New Cambria Leader was run by several couples over the years, beginning with G. and Nellie Hunton in 1920. They later sold it to Frank and Bettie Robertson. After Bettie died, Frank married his assistant, Jennie Jones, in 1947, and she continued to run the paper after his death the following year.

The stories and professional work of these and many other women editors, publishers, reporters, and columnists can be found in the Society’s newspaper collection. Below is a listing of a number of Missouri newspapers in which women played key roles. Their names, job titles, and dates of employment are included.

For a list of all digitized newspapers, visit the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project.

For a list of newspapers on microfilm at The State Historical Society of Missouri, visit the newspaper catalog.

County City Title Also Available On Date Range Name/Role/Dates
Audrain Vandalia Vandalia Leader Microfilm 1880-1882; 1895-1898; 1901-present (incomplete) Lily Herald Frost, Editor, 1907-1922
Boone Rocheport Rocheport Progress Microfilm 1908-1917 Annie Chapman, Editor and Publisher, 1906-1917
Franklin St. Clair St. Clair Chronicle Microfilm 1927-1977 Dorothy O. Moore, Publisher, 1952-1985
Gasconade Hermann Hermann Advertiser Microfilm 1875-1877 Christina Graf, Editor and Publisher, 1874-1877
Gasconade Hermann Hermann Advertiser-Courier Microfilm 1877-1993 Christina Graf, Editor and Publisher, 1877-1880
Gasconade Hermann Hermanner Volksblatt Microfilm 1860-1872 Christina Graf, Editor and Publisher, 1870-1873
Gasconade Hermann Hermanner Volksblatt Microfilm 1875-1879 Christina Graf, Editor and Publisher, 1874-1880
Gentry King City King City Democrat Microfilm 1898-1899; 1903; 1905-1918 (incomplete) Maggie A. Bowman, Editor, 1892-1918
Greene Walnut Grove Walnut Grove Tribune Microfilm 1904-1918 Junia E. Heath, Editor and Publisher, 1903-1916
Grundy Spickard Grundy County Gazette Microfilm 1901-1907; 1910-1922 Jennie Dickson and Artie Dickson (sisters), Editors, 1910-1922
Grundy Spickard Spickard Herald and Grundy County Gazette Microfilm 1907-1910 Jennie Dickson and Artie Dickson (sisters), Editors, 1907-1910
Harrison Bethany Bethany Clipper Microfilm 1905-1922 Ada L. Wightman (with brother Sam Wightman), Editor and Publisher, 1905-?
Henry Clinton Clinton Eye Microfilm 1885-present Amanda E. Moore Woolf (aka “Shawnee Shifters”), Columnist, 1891-1939
Jasper Webb City Webb City Daily Register Microfilm 1903-1907 Alice Creswell Rozelle, Reporter, Editor, and Publisher, 1903-1918
Jasper Webb City Webb City Register Microfilm 1907-1917 Alice Creswell Rozelle, Reporter, Editor, and Publisher, 1903-1918
Johnson Holden Holden Enterprise Microfilm 1876-1937 Dora J. Sankey, Editor, 1876-?
Macon New Cambria New Cambria Leader Microfilm 1914-1961 Editors and Publishers: G. and Nellie Hunton, 1920-1926; Frank and Bettie Robertson, 1926-1943; Jennie Jones Robertson (second wife of Frank), 1947-1950
Marion Hannibal Hannibal Daily Courier Microfilm 1873-1889 Julia M. Bennett, Editor, 1879-?
Newton Newtonia Newton County News Microfilm 1890-1907 Eva and Fidelia Mize (sisters), Editors, 1890-1907
Pettis Sedalia Rosa Pearle’s Paper Microfilm 1894-1909 Elizabeth Dugan, Publisher, 1894-1911
Pettis Sedalia Sedalia Weekly Bazoo Microfilm 1871-1895 Elizabeth Dugan, Editor and Reporter, 1872
Phelps Rolla Rolla Herald Microfilm 1877-1953 Edwarda McCrae Woods, Publisher, 1899-1942
Platte Dearborn Dearborn Democrat Microfilm 1898-1977 Nancy Jane "Jennie" Watson, Editor, 1905-?
Pulaski Waynesville Pulaski County Democrat Microfilm 1902-1917 Mary Louise Wheeler, Editor and Publisher, 1906-1912
Shelby Shelbina Shelbina Democrat Microfilm 1870-1918 Martha Jewett, Editor, 1902-1910
Taney Forsyth Taney County Republican Microfilm 1895-1992 Mary Elizabeth Prather Mahnkey, Columnist, 1930-1948
Wright Hartville Wright County Republican Microfilm 1911-1957 Junia E. Heath, Editor and Publisher, 1916-?