NEWKIRK — Ed Korns was an early, influential Newkirk leader, as publisher of The Newkirk Republican newspaper, one of the earliest publications in Newkirk. The community has a chance to learn of his colorful life at Charlie Adams Day, Sept. 12 as Brian Hermanson portrays him as part of the Newkirk Storytellers.
Korns had his first taste of business when he was just 11 year old. To help his grandparents, he took the position as a printer’s devil at $2 a week. His father had died several years previously of exposure while serving in the Civil War. At the end of four years he was making $4 a week, which went for board and clothes. He went to Indianapolis, Ind. and worked in a book and job office for $12 a week.
Although he received a raise at the end of six months, he wanted to get on a weekly paper, which he did and found a position and worked for two years. By this time, he considered himself a full fledged practical printer, even though he was not quite 18 years old. He moved two more times and was offered a paper for $600, and he decided to take it if he could raise the money.
He went to the president of the bank for a loan, and told him he would give a mortgage on the plant. The president smiled and said, “That will not do.” He asked Ed if he had any life insurance. He said he would let Ed have all the money he wanted, up to $2,000, for 6 percent if he would have his life insured for that amount. He told him, “If you live, I believe you will make good and pay your obligations and if you die, your policy will pay all your obligations.”
So, at 19 years old, Ed Korns became the sole owner, editor and publisher of the Malvern (Iowa) Leader.
Ed Korns ended up in Newkirk, and became the owner of the Newkirk Republican, and had an amazing influence not only on Newkirk but also on the State of Oklahoma.
Come to Charlie Adams Day on Sept. 12 and hear the rest of his story. Brian Hermanson will portray Ed Korns.
This year the storytelling will be in front of the Newkirk Public Library along with the Main Street Mavericks. The storytelling is sponsored by the Newkirk Community Historical Society.