The Press: In Kansas City

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Last week Mrs. Laura Nelson Kirkwood died in Baltimore of apoplexy. She was the only child of a great editor and her death will have its reverberations through the middle west, the reason is simple. Her father, William Rockhill Nelson, was nearly 40 when he went out to Kansas City from Fort Wayne, Ind., that was 1880. In his new home he founded the Kansas City Star. He made it not only one of the greatest but one of the most prosperous papers in the middle West. It not only dominated Kansas City but all the surrounding country—and it made its owner a very wealthy man. He was a peculiar type without much education. In his paper he championed Grover Cleveland, Henry James, Art and Theodore Roosevelt. He was a hearty, bluff kind of man, scrupulous in his dealing's, loving fights, refusing to be dictated to by advertizers and also labor unions. He picked up several old masters, which he later gave to Kansas City when he gave it a museum. But he found masterpieces were hard to get so he secured for the museum copies of old masterpieces —good copies made by first rate painters.

He died in 1915 leaving his publishing business and nis wealth in trust to his wife and daughter. His wife died in 1921. Last week his daughter died. According to the terms of his will the trust will now be administered by trustees named by the Presidents of the Universities of Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. The trustees are to sell the Star within two years—to let his old paper go into a new orbit. Both before and after the sale the income of the trust will be used to furnish Kansas City with works and reproductions of works of the fine arts, such as paintings, engravings, sculpture, tapestries, rare books."