Roy L. Fruit, one of the progressive newspaper men of the state, is publisher and proprietor of the Sedan Times-Star, one of the oldest republican journals in the southeastern quarter of the state.
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The Times-Star inherits the history of half a dozen or more papers which have had their share in the newspaper history of Chautauqua County. The Chautauqua Journal was founded at Sedan in 1875 by H. B. Kelley and R. S. Turner. It was consolidated with the Sedan Times in 1885. The Cedarvale Times, founded in 1878, was removed to Sedan the same year and the name changed to the Chautauqua County Times with P. H. Albright editor and publisher. Another change of name occurred in 1901 after which it was the Sedan Times, with A. D. Dunn as publisher. As already stated it was consolidated in 1885 with the Chautauqua Journal under the name Sedan Times-Journal and with R. G. Ward editor and publisher. The Cedarvale Star was founded in 1884 by I. D. McKeehan and was consolidated with the Times-Journal at Sedan in 1894 and the name of the consolidated paper became the Weekly Times-Star. Adrian Reynolds and F. G. Kenesson were editors and publishers. Freeman’s Lance, founded in Pern in 1891 by W. A. Tanksley, was moved to Sedan in 1892, was known as the Sedan Lance, and A. S. Koonce was its editor and D. E. Shartell publisher. This was consolidated with the Times-Star in 1909. The Sedan Republican, founded in 1890 by T. B. Ferguson, was sold to the Lance in 1892. The Chautauqua County Democrat and the Chautauqua County Journal were two other constituents papers of the Times-Star early history. The first was absorbed by the Times-Star in 1894 and the latter in 1912.
Mr. Fruit had done a great deal to maintain the best standards in the management of the Times-Star and had also secured a mechanical equipment equal to the best. The plant is situated on Chautauqua Street and it had a full equipment of a modern linotype, power presses and other facilities.
Roy Lee Fruit had been in the newspaper business for nearly ten years. He was born at Wapella, Illinois, February 20, 1888. His paternal ancestors came from Wales to Virginia about 1750. His grandfather William Porter Fruit was born in Kentucky in 1811, was one of the early settlers in DeWitt County, Illinois, and in 1871 removed to Montgomery County, Kansas, where he was a pioneer farmer. He died at Cherryvale, Kansas, in 1896.
William P. Fruit, father of the Sedan editor, was born near Wapella, Illinois, May 10, 1862. He was reared and married in that locality, became a farmer, and in 1897 removed to Table Grove, Illinois, where he was in the mercantile business for about a year and in May, 1898, came to Cherryvale, Kansas, where he had followed the business of carpenter and builder. He is still a resident of Cherryvale. From 1890 to 1894 he served as deputy sheriff of DeWitt County, Illinois. He is a republican and a member of the Knights of Pythias. William P. Fruit married Josephine Jones, who was born in Peoria County, Illinois, in February, 1864.
The only child of his parents, Roy Lee Fruit was educated in the public schools of DeWitt County, Illinois, continued his education after coming to Cherryvale, Kansas, was graduated from the high school there in 1905, and during the year 1906-07 was a student in the University of Kansas at Lawrence. His first business experience was in a drug store with Charles L. McAdams, with whom he remained a year, and he then entered the newspaper work at Sapulpa, Oklahoma, being connected with the Sapulpa Democrat, associated with Senator H. W. Davis. After two years at Sapulpa he removed to Joplin, Missouri, where he was in the newspaper work a year, then spent twenty months with the Cherryvale Republican and in April, 1913, bought the plant of the Sedan Times-Star from H. G. James.
Mr. Fruit is a republican in his personal political convictions and is an active member of the Third District Republican Editors’ Association, a member of the State Editorial Association and is affiliated with Vesper Lodge No. 136, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, at Sedan and Camp No. 919 of the Modern Woodmen of America at Sedan.
July 20, 1913, at Cherryvale he married Miss Yolande Dobson. Her mother, Mrs. F. N. (Dobson) Michener is still living at Cherryvale. Mr. and Mrs. Fruit have one child, Jeannette Frances, born May 24, 1916.