Mary Alice Murdock probably deserves to rank first among Kansas women in the field of journalism. As editor and manager of the El Dorado Republican she is continuing a publication and an influence which were dignified and ennobled by her honored father, the late Thomas Benton Murdock.
She was born at Emporia, Kansas, February 28, 1870, and four days after her birth her parents removed to El Dorado, where she grew up and was educated in the public schools. She worked nearly through the senior year in high school, and finished her education in Mount Washington Seminary at Baltimore, Maryland. She grew up in the atmosphere of journalism and fitted herself into practically every detail of her father’s paper. Thus she was a thorough newspaper woman at the time of her father’s death on November 4, 1909, and on December 1 following she took an active part in the management of the Republican and largely directed it until April 1, 1910. Then, under appointment from President Taft, she filled for four years the office of postmaster of El Dorado. On May 1, 1914, Miss Murdock took active charge of the El Dorado Republican, and had since been its editor. The El Dorado Republican had a large circulation over Butler and surrounding counties, and its influence is practically state wide. It is now and had been for the past two years the official county and city paper. The plant and offices are on East Central Avenue, and Miss Murdock owned the building in which it is published. Miss Murdock is the director of the Carnegic Library, a member of the Avon Club and of the Episcopal Church.
Through her career as a newspaper woman Miss Murdock had felt that the greatest ideals she could set before her was the example and character of her father. In a period when Kansas and Kansas men gave so much to the world, Thomas Benton Murdock was typical of many of the best virtues and at the same time was distinctively individual. As a boy he knew Kansas when the territory was torn in the factional struggle over freedom and slavery. He lived here more than half a century, and to the last was a vigorous fighter for the ideals to which he dedicated his life. He fairly earned a place among the great men of Kansas.