Noble Lovely Prentis

Noble Lovely Prentis

Noble Lovely Prentis.

Noble Lovely Prentis was an author, journalist, and newspaper editor who worked in Kansas for over three decades.

Prentis was born on April 8, 1839, in a log cabin three miles from Mount Sterling, Illinois. His parents died in Warsaw, Illinois, of cholera during the epidemic of 1849, leaving him an orphan at the age of ten. He then lived with an uncle in Vermont until he was 18. He moved to Connecticut and worked an apprenticeship in the printer’s trade. He then came west and worked in a newspaper office in Carthage, Illinois.

At the opening of the Civil War, he enlisted as a private in the Sixteenth Illinois Infantry and served four years when he was honorably discharged. Prentis married Maria C. Strong on May 13, 1866. He published a paper at Alexandria, Missouri, until Captain Henry King of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat induced him to come to Topeka, Kansas, in 1869 and assist him on the Record. He next worked on the Commonwealth and then on the Lawrence Journal. From 1873 to 1875, Prentis edited the Junction City Union, then returned to the Topeka Commonwealth, and in about 1877, he began to work on the Atchison Champion. He remained with that paper during Colonel Martin’s term as governor and, in 1888, took charge of the Newton Republican.

In 1890, he accepted a position on the Kansas City Star editorial staff, which he held until his death. In 1877, he went to Europe. His observations during the trip were published in book form, A Kansan Abroad, which ran through two editions. He also wrote Southern Letters, Southwestern Letters, and Kansas Miscellanies, and in the last year of his life, he wrote A History of Kansas, which became his best-known work.

A History of Kansas by Nobel Prentis

A History of Kansas by Nobel Prentis.

His first wife died in 1880, and he remarried in 1883 to Carrie E. Anderson of Topeka. Noble Prentis died on July 6, 1900, at the home of his daughter in La Harpe, Illinois.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, updated April 2024.

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