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Ed J. Leeman. Proprietor and editor of the Duncan Banner, Ed J. Leeman, is one of the successful newspaper men of Southern Oklahoma. To journalism he has brought the ability which would have enabled him to succeed in lines of business much more remunerative, and since boyhood has been through all the grades of service in the Fourth Estate, from printer to editor, and from a salaried position to independent publisher.
The Duncan Banner which he is now so successfully upholding to the breeze of public patronage has the distinction of being the oldest paper of Stephens County. It was established in 1892. The equipment was purchased in Texas, shipped by railroad to Pauls Valley, and from there hauled by wagon to Duncan. Its politics is democratic, and the Banner enjoys a large circulation and influence both in Stephens and surrounding counties. The offices and plant are located in the rear of the City National Bank Building, near the corner of Main and Eighth streets.
Ed J. Leeman was born at Blackjack Grove, Texas, September 23, 1874. The Leeman family is of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and were settled many years ago in the State of Kentucky. J. A. Leeman, father of the Duncan editor, was born in Kentucky in 1847, and after fully half a century of useful service in the medical profession is now living at Pecos, Texas. He came to Lamar County, Texas, just prior to the Civil war, and in 1862 enlisted in a Texas regiment and was with the Confederate army until the close of hostilities. He was once taken prisoner. After the war he graduated from the Louisville Medical College, first located in Hunt County, and began the practice of medicine in Hopkins County, Texas. He practiced there and in West Texas for at least half a century, retiring from his work in 1914 when elected county treasurer of Winkler County, Texas, the office to which he now gives all his time. He is a democrat, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and of the Masonic fraternity. Doctor Leeman married Miss Mattie Armor, a native of Mississippi. Their children are: Sam M., who is connected with the Waurika News-Democrat at Waurika, Oklahoma; Flora, who married J. L. Mann, a merchant at Clyde, Texas; Ed J.; William B., who is in the newspaper business at Clyde, Texas; and Lucy, wife of a railroad man at Toyah, Texas.
Ed J. Leeman was educated in country schools and in a high school in West Texas, but at the age of sixteen began his practical career in learning the printing business in Stonewall County, Texas, being connected with the Rayner News for three years. The next three years were spent in the Merkel Mail in Taylor County and at the end of that time he bought the plant and edited the Mail until 1904. He then removed to Fort Worth and was in the drug business one year. Mr. Leeman came to Duncan, Oklahoma, in 1905 and bought a half interest in the Banner, his business associate and partner being F. E. Sampson. On February 1, 1915, Mr. Leeman bought Mr. Sampson’s interest and is now enjoying the entire responsibilities of management and is the owner of one of the best newspaper enterprises in the southern part of the state.
Mr. Leeman is a democrat, served three years on the Duncan Town Council, and has been secretary of the Democratic Central Committee since the date of statehood. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and affiliates with Mistletoe Lodge No. 17 Knights of Pythias and is secretary of the Duncan Chamber of Commerce.
While living in Texas at Abilene on December 4, 1898,’ he married Miss Alice Herring, whose father, now deceased, was an educator well known at Waco and other places in Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Leeman have five children: Wi, a junior in the Duncan High School; Edwin, Terry and George, all in school; and Judson.