The Rich Hill Tribune began publication in 1890 as a weekly four-page paper, appearing each Thursday and covering news from Rich Hill and Bates County, Missouri . The publishers and editors were J. Claud Oldham and Robert E. Pritchard. Ownership of the paper changed in 1900 to George F. Huckeby and Perezza A. Pritchard, and the name changed to the Tribune.
Pritchard left the paper in December of 1902, and Nannie R. Huckeby joined the editorial staff. The December 18, 1902 issue states: “For her long and faithful work in the mechanical part of the office, my associate Nannie R. Huckeby joins us in the business management of the paper, and any favors shown her, will receive our entire and unqualified endorsement. “
On January 1, 1903, the paper’s name changed back to the Rich Hill Tribune, expanding to eight pages with George P. and Nannie R. Huckeby as publishers and editors.
The Rich Hill Tribune began its sixteenth volume with the September 7, 1905 issue in which the paper advertised a contest to increase readership and to collect past due notices: “We are now for the first time making an effort to extend and increase our circulation and shall be glad to have our friends help us by paying subscriptions to any one of the twenty-five young ladies who are soliciting subscriptions in our voting contest, thereby helping them to win a valuable prize while they favor us with their subscriptions. If you owe back subscriptions, hand it to them and thus give them so many votes toward getting at least one of the prizes offered. If your subscription is paid up, one dollar will extend your subscription one year and help the young lady in her effort and you will get the worth of your money in the paper.”
The details and rules of the contest took up most of page 4 of the newspaper with the heading “NOW ON-The Tribune’s Big and Popular Piano Contest”: first prize offered to the winner would be “a fine first class Straube Piano – valued at $400.” The contest ended with the announcement of the winner: “Miss Julia Dubach Gets The Handsome Piano.” The contest was a huge success, and the Tribunewas “satisfied with the result. What we expected was subscribers and we got them; and a large number of back subscriptions collected at no greater rate than it would have cost us through an adjustment agency. The Tribune is not going out of business as a result of the contest either, but has just ordered a supply of new paper.”
On June 6, 1907, after George P. Huckeby was appointed postmaster at Rich Hill, Claude A. Brown joined the Tribune as manager and editor and was there until September of that year. Although Huckeby tried to continue running the paper, on January 2, 1908, he issued his “Retiring Statement,” explaining that the “management of the Tribune changes with this issue. Finding it impossible to do justice to the paper and give the attention demanded by the post office department to the duties of the post master, we have turned the Tribune over to Mr. George B. Dowell, a young man brought up in a printing office, and well qualified both by education and practical knowledge of the business to make the paper a success.
The general policy of the paper will not be changed, politically, morally, or socially….Mr. Dowell is the son of the popular mayor of Adrian, editor of the Adrian Journal and comes to us highly spoken of by all who know him, thus leaving the paper in the hands of just such a successor as we have been looking for. We retire from the management of the Tribune with no animosities, and with good wishes for all. Huckeby and Huckeby.”
On June 24, 1909, Albert Matteson and Luther Fry assumed management of the paper. Both men had been with the Tribuneduring the eighteen months it was published by Dowell.
The Rich Hill Tribune ceased publication in early 1911.