History of the Kentucky Register

Dublin Core


History of the Kentucky Register


A vital part of the history of Madison County during the latter half of the 19th Century and also a great source of detailed local history data is the Kentucky Register, a newspaper published on Friday of each week at Richmond from 1866 until 1917.

At the end of the Civil War, Richmond found itself without any newspaper, a condition which had not existed since before 1809 when the Globe was first published. In order to fill this void in news and advertising, B.H. Brown founded the Kentucky Register in the spring of 1866. This was a 24-column weekly which cost $3 a year. At the beginning of the next year the format was enlarged to 28 columns and the price reduced to $2.50 a year.

In September, 1868, Judge W.C. Miller purchased a half interest, and the publishing firm became known as "Brown and Miller." Also at that time the paper was enlarged to 32 columns. Three years later, in 1871, Brown retired selling his one-half interest to F.M Green. By the end of the next year Judge Miller retired from the newspaper business, leaving Green the sole proprietor and editor. At that time the name of the company was changed to "The Register Printing Company." French Tipton, that controversial public figure in Richmond became editor of the Kentucky Register in 1875 and continued for many years with the exception of a couple of years when he edited other Richmond newspapers. The 36-column format which was the standard for many years was adopted in 1878.

When Brown first established his printing business, his equipment consisted of one old hand press, one old fashioned job press, and a few drawers of type. By 1880 the equipment included a large cylinder press, three job presses, a proof press, a paper cutter, and one of the largest supplies of type in Kentucky.

The editor boasted of the "finest editorial and library rooms in the State."

At that time the newspaper plant was located upstairs above the Madison National Bank on Main Street between Second and Third. In 1897, when a fire made it necessary to replace much of the machinery, it was located above Wallace and Rice's clothing and shoe store.

The editorial policy of this newspaper was, as one editor said, "to avoid extremes, to observe the rights of others, and to preserve the high tone and respectability which has always characterized its course." Politically, the paper consistently supported the Democratic party.

Page one of each issue contained government, church, and lodge directories, "professional notices," and national news. The second page contained national and regional news and advertisements. Page three had local news and advertisement. The last page usually contained feature articles from other newspapers and more ads.

The Kentucky Register came to the end of its long service to Richmond in 1917 when it and the Climax, another Richmond weekly were purchased by Shelton Saufley, Sr. and the Richmond Daily Register was founded.


Dr. Robert Grise




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Dr. Robert Grise, “History of the Kentucky Register,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed May 19, 2024, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/670.