Newspaper Obits 1860-1907

1860 - 1917 Johnson County, KS Newspapers
Index of Obituaries, Death Notices,
News Articles, and Probate Notices

Obit Index

This compilation was a cooperative effort of Maureen K. Reed individually and Barbara Baker of the Johnson County Central Resource Library. The intent is to help Johnson County researchers pinpoint the date and location of the death of an ancestor, thus the inclusion of non-traditional sources of information. Compilations of this type usually only include formal obituaries, but we have endeavored to glean every mention of a death from the newspapers. The index lists the type of entries each mention is. Some people have more than one entry. I included them all, not wanting to leave out the faintest clue. The assignment of these categories was extremely subjective on my part with categories overlapping at times. They are there mostly just to give you an idea of what to expect.

  • Obituary: A formal obituary, usually written by a family member or friend. Usually included birth & parental information.
  • Article: Sometimes the circumstances of a death were considered “newsworthy” and were written up in the newspaper as an article. Suicides, murders, terrible accidents & well-known people usually rated an article.
  • Item: This is a broad category that covers any newspaper listing that does not fit in the other categories. An Item can be only 2 or 3 lines long similar to a Notice or a long paragraph approaching an Obituary.
  • Notice: A Death Notice is very short, listing only the person’s name & the fact that they died. Sometimes a date is given.
  • Probate: This covers the legal notices put in newspapers by administrators & executors of wills. These do not usually affix an exact death date because notices can be put in the paper weeks, months or even years after the death, but it does help. Sometimes they also list heirs. These notices were published serially over a period of time, so only the first appearance was extracted.
  • In Memoriam: Usually is a sentiment or poem about or to the deceased from friends or loved ones. Usually only has the name of the deceased, unless attached to an obituary or item.
  • Resolution: These were formal statements by organizations that the deceased belonged to for the purpose of expressing their respect for the deceased through publication in the newspaper. While giving little information other than the name of the deceased, it does reveal which organizations they belonged to, which can open other avenues of research.
  • Card: Often, relatives of the deceased published a “Card of Thanks” for all the support they received in the death of their (mother, father, husband, etc.). It is signed by the relatives, thus giving not only an indication of death, but also the names of some relatives.
  • Incidental: This is when a death is mentioned in an article or item about something else.

This project was started in February 1997 and it takes some time to review and index the microfilm, not to mention the fact that we have to order the microfilm & the inevitable delays. To date, the following newspapers & approximate years have been extracted.

Olathe Herald (1st) 1860; 1861  
Olathe Evening Meteor 1879  
Educational Advocate 1880 - 1881  
Educational Herald 1880 Contained no obituaries
Johnson County Democrat (1st) 1882 - 1883; 1886 - 1889 Complete run goes to Aug 20, 1891
Olathe Baptist Builder 1887  
Olathe Republican Tribune 1905 - 1907  
Dawn of Equity 1917 Contained no obituaries

Obit Index

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