Franklin Albert Root – Publisher and Stagecoach Messenger



Franklin Albert Root was an author, publisher, and stagecoach messenger in Kansas.

Root was born at Binghampton, New York on July 3, 1837, to Albert B. and Marinda Boyden Root. He was educated in the country schools of New York and Pennsylvania, and in his boyhood worked on a farm. He later became a hod-carrier and stage driver in Pennsylvania.

At the age of 20, he came to Kansas, where he worked first in the office of the Herald of Freedom at Lawrence, and in the late 1850s was the local editor on the Quindaro Chindowan. When the Civil War broke out, he was the assistant postmaster in Atchison, Kansas, and was prevented from enlisting by his resignation not being accepted.

Early in 1863, he went on the overland stage line at Atchison as a messenger; then as a local agent in charge of the California mail at Latham Station, Colorado. He then worked as a traveling mail agent on the stage line, making trips across the plains between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains.

On October 21, 1864, he married Emma Clark of Atchison, Kansas; was part owner of the Free-Press of that city from 1865 to 1869; part-owner of the Waterville Telegraph in 1870-71, and one of the owners of the Seneca Courier in 1871-72. In later years, he became the proprietor of the Holton Express; was the postmaster in Holton; was publisher of the Topeka Argus in 1876; of the North Topeka Times from 1876 to 1880; was postmaster at North Topeka in the late 1870s. He was one of the owners of the Review and the Review Press at Gunnison, Colorado from 1880 until 1886, and from that time until 1893 he was the publisher of the Topeka Mail. He also authored the book, The Overland Stage to California, published in 1901.

Franklin Root died in Topeka, Kansas on June 20, 1926.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, updated March 2022.

Also See:

Historic People of Kansas

Kansas History

Kansas Home Page

Native American History in Kansas