Gallatin Publishing Pulls Old Press from Site of Editor’s Murder

By: E&P Staff

After failing to find a buyer, the 46-year-old four-unit News King was removed from the pressroom of Gallatin Publishing Co., just off the business square in Gallatin, Mo., on June 30. It is the same location where Publisher Wesley Robertson was murdered almost 91 years earlier.

GPC already had relocated two years ago to larger premises inside a former factory to fit its newer six-unit newspaper printing press, formerly used by the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The old press still worked, and the Gallatin North Missourian reported interest from as far as India and Mexico. After a deal with a Colorado publisher fell through, the company decided to sell the machine for parts and scrap.

This press originated with a printing and publishing partnership. Later, the plant was combined with the local newspaper’s operation by the North Missourian’s current publishers, Darryl and Liz Wilkinson.

The weekly reported that the press ran more than 2,450 editions, as well as other publications and commercial work. It noted that pressman Junior Evans was on hand when the News King was installed, and there when it was dismantled and removed.

In the same pressroom on Dec. 23, 1919, Editor and co-publisher Wesley L. “Uncle Wes” Robertson was shot and killed at his desk, ending a four-year feud with a former city official over stories in the Gallatin Democrat, which sought to drive out bootleggers. Hugh Tarwater sued the paper for $20,000, claiming it libeled him in a report that he had been fined for drunkenness.

The North Missourian recounts the events leading up to the shooting and omc;ides a short slide show of the press coming out.

Besides being the town’s official town Santa Claus, Robertson the first president (1891) of the Northwest Missouri Press Association and president of the Missouri Press Association 10 years later.

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