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John Redmond. One of the prominent newspaper men of Kansas, and there is no doubt but that the state had its full share of talented journalists, is John Redmond, the able editor and prosperous owner and publisher of the Burlington Daily Republican of Burlington. A natural inclination for this profession probably prevented the state from registering one more able member of its bar, for he was early designed for the law, in which his brother, C. H. Redmond, now of Denver, Colorado, is so successful, and in which his father, the late James Redmond, so long held a distinguished place.
John Redmond was born in Coffey County, Kansas, December 1, 1873. His parents were James and Sarah Jane (Geesey) Redmond. His father, James Redmond, was educated for the priesthood but never took holy orders. Early in the Civil war he enlisted for service, entering the Forty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and gained rapid promotion for gallantry, reaching the rank of colonel. He served until 1863 when, because of serious wounds, he was relieved from active duty. He was a man of fine attainments and when he recovered sufficiently from his injuries to take up again the ordinary ways of life, he determined to study law at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and subsequently was admitted to the bar at La Grange, Indiana, where he practiced law until 1867, in which year he came to Kansas. Colonel Redmond located at Burlington and opened a law office and continued in active practice until his death in 1904. A republican in politics, he became a party leader in Coffey County and for several years served as chairman of the Coffey County Central Committee, and was also active and prominent in the various Masonic bodies. He is related to John Redmond, the Irish leader in the British parliament.
John Redmond attended the public schools at Burlington and after being graduated from the high school became a student of law, to which he applied himself more or less continuously for five years and was well grounded thereby in the fundamentals. This profession, however, was not the one that appealed to him, and finally he went to Emporia, after an interview with William Allen White, and became a reporter on the Emporia Gazette, of which Mr. White had just become editor, still later becoming a member of the staff of the Topeka Capital, now owned by Governor Copper. He then went to Wichita and served acceptably on the staffs of the Daily Star and the Beacon, becoming in the meanwhile personally acquainted with many of the noted men of the state both in and out of politics and cementing friendships with newspaper men of nation wide reputation.
All this experience was beneficial, was a school in fact that substantially prepared him for the launching of his own journalistic enterprise which had proved so eminently successful. He returned to Coffey County and with a stake of $45 and some nerve he bought the Daily Jeffersonian at Burlington, gradually absorbing the Courier, Herald, Times, Independent, Democrat, Republican and others and consolidating all under the name of the Burlington Republican. He discontinued the weekly edition October 1, 1915, and had issued the daily ever since and so popular is it with the farmers as with other residents that it had been said that the subscription list “covers the county like a blanket.”
Mr. Redmond owned his office building and had a fine modern plant, a linotype machine, presses of all kinds and up-to-date methods governing all the work. A business man of good judgment, he had been very successful in all that relates to this undertaking, and had a very comfortable home and some outside interests. Like his father, he had been an ardent and active republican. He had never asked for or accepted any official position except that of secretary of the central committee. He is actively identified with the State and National Editorial associations and belongs also to the Masons and the Sons of Veterans. He served as judge advocate general of the national body of the Sons of Veterans and as commander of the Kansas and Oklahoma division.
Mr. Redmond was married November 17, 1897, to Miss Maude Batdorf, who was born in Ohio and who is prominent socially and had a wide acquaintance over the state. During the struggle of putting the paper on its feet financially she helped in the office, and although she had done no work around the office for years, she still is a partner in the business and an ever present help in time of trouble.
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Mr. Redmond is secretary of the Burlington Commercial Club, devoting much time to local affairs, and is a worker in all of the movements for the good of Burlington and Coffey counties.