A well-known Socialist newspaper, the Benton Scott County Kicker was edited by Phil A. Hafner and published by the Workers Printing Company. Prior to the Kicker, Hafner was editor of the Benton Newsboy, and according to the History of Southeast Missouri, he chose this name in honor of the newsboys who were “always bright and always much in evidence on the street cars.”
Increasingly interested in the rights of farmers and limiting corporate land ownership, Hafner sold the Democratic Newsboy and started the Kicker as an independent publication which focused on social issues and class conflict, embracing many of the reform and progressive movements that were taking hold in the early 20th-century. Hafner proclaimed that “The Scott County Kicker is the People’s Paper. It is Not Muzzled. Wears No Man’s Collar.”
The paper had a long run and did not cease publication until 1917, when Hafner had to “announce the suspension of the Kicker for an indefinite time” because he was “a very sick man." With the loss of its forceful editor, the Kicker quickly ceased publication.
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