When Leslie Wallace, publisher of the Larned Tiller and Toiler for 24 years, died on May 9, 1940, one contemporary wrote: “He was one of Kansas” great editors...because he so impregnated his paper with his personality as to make it unique. And the strength of his personality was shown by the fact that the Tiller and Toiler... became the outstanding weekly newspaper of the state.”
Wallace was born in Paola on September 15, 1876. At 14, he edited, printed, and published a tiny two-column paper which he called the Bucyrus Chief.
Before he became publisher of the Tiller and Toiler in 1914, Wallace had worked on the Paola Times, the Topeka Capital, the Iola Register, and the Kan-sas City Star; he had also been Washington correspondent for the Topeka State Journal.
His Larned paper won several state and national awards, and his editorials were widely quoted. He was frequently mentioned as a Democratic candidate for governor, although he never ran.