Emanuel Julius (1889 – 1951) was a socialist journalist who came to Girard, Kansas in 1915 to work at the nation’s leading socialist newspaper, Appeal to Reason, which had been published in Girard since the late 1890s. He would become one of the more significant American publishers of the first half of the 20th century and would print books that would change the reading habits of America. Eight months after his arrival in Girard, Julius married Anna Marcet Haldeman, the only child of a prominent and wealthy family, vice president of the Girard State Bank. Marcet was also the niece of Chicago social reformer, Jane Addams, of Hull House. The couple decided to use a hyphenated version of their names, Haldeman-Julius, to indicate their collaborations in writing, publishing, and business. Emanuel Julius would be known as Emanuel Haldeman-Julius from that point on. In January 1919 Haldeman-Juliuses co-purchased the Appeal and its printing plant from the heirs of the paper’s founder, Julius A. Wayland. To enhance their investment, Emanuel envisioned a series of pocket-sized books at a reasonable cost. He got the idea from a pamphlet edition of the Oscar Wilde poem that he purchased years before, at the age of 15, in a Philadelphia bookshop. Although the emphasis in the early numbers was on socialism, these books, which would become known as the “Little Blue Books,” would also feature works by well-known writers. By the time of his death in 1951, the “Little Blue Book” series of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius included just over 2,200 titles. In 1925 he had also started a series of “Big Blue Books” (5” x 8”) that by 1951 included over 1,000 titles. Many of these Haldeman-Julius titles were controversial at the time they were published and remain so, today. After purchasing the Appeal, Haldeman-Julius would rename the paper the Haldeman-Julius Weekly. Its mission was the self-education of the American public. In 1939 the title was changed to the American Freeman. Haldeman-Julius had other publishing ventures such as Life and Letters, Know Thyself, the Haldeman-Julius Monthly, the Haldeman-Julius Quarterly, and The Militant Atheist.
The pictures in this collection include images of Haldeman-Julius’s first and second wives, relatives, and people and locations relevant to his business and life.