This man Murdock
Marshall Mortimer Murdock was one of the most compelling and controversial figures in all of Kansas history. Best known perhaps for establishing the Wichita Eagle in 1872, a newspaper whose primary business it was—as it was in fact for so many newspapers of its time—to ‘boost’ the city which carried its name, Murdock was in fact a newspaper man, a booster, first and foremost. Marshall Murdock, however, was more than just a “master town-builder,” as his friend and colleague, David Leahy, once remarked. Murdock was both essential to and responsible for Wichita’s early successes, and by extension, its near demise and consequent rebuilding in the boom to bust days of the 1880s. Marshall Murdock’s high profile, high powered, and highly charged editorial style was but a microcosm of the man himself. In a life, which embraced his role as Soldier, Statesman, Politician, Printer, Murdock was an archetype of the Gilded Age; he remained unabashedly conservative in politics and principle and sought to encourage always and compel as necessary others in his orbit to champion this same world view. Murdock was to the end of his days a true believer in both the Wichita he knew and the Wichita he envisioned. This was Murdock.
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Arts and Sciences, Dept. of History