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Wallace H. Johnson. The newspaper men of Kansas, as a rule, need no glowing encomiums from other professions or the public. Their guild includes names that are as household words from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The newspapers of Kansas are moulding public opinion daily through the accurate knowledge and wide vision of the men in the editorial chair, and that the state had made such remarkable progress and had, in many ways, pushed so far ahead of many of her sister states of the Union, may justly be credited to the facile pen that gives expression to truths, calling the necessity for reform to thousands of readers, courageously telling the truth concerning shams and subterfuges and giving praise to the uplifting movements that hearten and encourage the people. Many cities in this far favored state have such wise, enlightened and earnest editors, and such an one had Saline in Wallace H. Johnson, who is the editor and owner of the Salina Sun.
Wallace H. Johnson was born in Ohio, May 20, 1838. In 1856 he accompanied his parents to Kansas and practically had spent his time here ever since. He attended the public schools in his native state but the only university he ever was graduated from was that of experience. he was probably born to be a journalist, for his first ambition was to learn the printer’s trade, and later, after coming to Kansas, he worked at the same on some of the first newspapers issued. He had a wealth of reminiscences of those days and more than once worked at the same case in the primitive offices with men who later deserted the profession and became famous in other lines. He remained true to his vocation and experienced in a way many of the ups and downs seemingly inseparable from newspaper work.
During his long journalistic career Mr. Johnson had established seventeen different newspapers in Kansas. Two of these yet continuing publications are the Iola Register, an influential journal of Allen County, the property of ex-Congressman Charles F. Sert, and the Salina Journal, which is now published by ex-United States Senator J. L. Bristow. In 1884 Mr. Johnson founded the Salina Sun, which had been his own property and under his own management ever since.
Mr. Johnson is a veteran of the Civil war, having served its entire length as a member of the Second Kansas Cavalry. He is very active in all that concerns the Grand Army of the Republic, at present serving as adjutant of John A. Logan Post No. 127, Salina. He is also a member of the State Council of Administration.
Mr. Johnson’s pleasant home at Salina is brightened by five daughters, one of whom, at least, had inherited newspaper tastes and talent, being the competent society editor of the Salina Evening Journal.