Top of page

Newspaper The St. Joseph Observer (St. Joseph, Mo.) 1906-1932

View All Front Pages

About The St. Joseph Observer (St. Joseph, Mo.) 1906-1932

The St. Joseph Observer began publication in 1906 under the ownership of Charles Fremont Cochran and Frank Freytag. Later that same year, Cochran died and Freytag assumed control of the paper. The eight-page paper was Democratic in politics and covered developments in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, and Kansas City, as well as major state news items and national politics. One frequently published column, “News from all over Imperial Missouri,” was described as “Interesting happenings which have taken place in the greatest state of the union; the product of the scissors, the pen and a little actual labor.” The paper also frequently devoted attention to local area markets and “doings in society” and printed serialized literature and excerpts from other Missouri papers and national publications such as the Christian Science Monitor.

Frank Freytag’s editorial columns often featured colorful, direct language, admonishing readers to be more hard-working or pragmatic, particularly during World War I. An editorial advocating eating soup as a solution to wartime meat shortages was titled “Oh Soup! You Panacea.” Freytag often questioned the credibility of the St. Joseph News-Press: “Don’t you believe, Democrats, that it is about time for you to do your own thinking and not allow the Republican News-Press to do it for you?” The rivalry with the St. Joseph News-Press typically surfaced around the time of local and state elections. The Observer offered humorous brief opinion articles alongside more serious editorials, such as this 1916 quip revealing opposition to suffrage for women: “It is too much to expect that [this] winter will be thoroughly patriotic. Well, the women [suffragists] will not picket the White House anymore.” Freytag often strongly endorsed Democratic candidates for office and consistently defended President Woodrow Wilson and his policies.

Faced with stiff competition from rising local papers and the increasing circulation of Kansas City papers in St. Joseph, the Observer ceased publication in 1932.

Provided By: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO

About this Newspaper


  • The St. Joseph Observer (St. Joseph, Mo.) 1906-1932

Dates of Publication

  • 1906-1932

Created / Published

  • St. Joseph, Mo. : Frank Freytag, Jr., 1906-1932.


  • -  Saint Joseph (Mo.)--Newspapers
  • -  Buchanan County (Mo.)--Newspapers
  • -  Missouri--Buchanan County
  • -  Missouri--Saint Joseph
  • -  United States--Missouri--Buchanan--Saint Joseph


  • Newspapers


  • -  Weekly
  • -  Vol. 1, no. 13 (Nov. 24, 1906)-v. 27, no. 16 (Dec. 29, 1932).
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • -  St. Joseph union (Saint Joseph, Mo. : 1899) (DLC)sn 92058872 (OCoLC)25937098
  • -  St. Joseph union-observer (DLC)sn 92058871 (OCoLC)21793585


  • volumes

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn90061457

OCLC Number

  • 21981753

ISSN Number

  • 2157-6688

Preceding Titles

Succeeding Titles

Additional Metadata Formats


Rights & Access

The Library of Congress believes that the newspapers in Chronicling America are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions. Newspapers published in the United States more than 95 years ago are in the public domain in their entirety. Any newspapers in Chronicling America that were published less than 95 years ago are also believed to be in the public domain, but may contain some copyrighted third party materials. Researchers using newspapers published less than 95 years ago should be alert for modern content (for example, registered and renewed for copyright and published with notice) that may be copyrighted. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

The NEH awardee responsible for producing each digital object is presented in the Chronicling America page display, below the page image – e.g. Image produced by the Library of Congress. For more information on current NDNP awardees, see

For more information on Library of Congress policies and disclaimers regarding rights and reproductions, see

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

The St. Joseph Observer St. Joseph, Mo. -1932. (Saint Joseph, MO), Jan. 1 1906.

APA citation style:

(1906, January 1) The St. Joseph Observer St. Joseph, Mo. -1932. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The St. Joseph Observer St. Joseph, Mo. -1932. (Saint Joseph, MO) 1 Jan. 1906. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,