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The Chicago Polish-language weekly the Telegraf began on June 1, 1892, as a personal organ of its editor Henryk Nagiel, who only stayed with the paper through October 1892. He was succeeded by J. Rybakowski, who assumed the position of editor and remained with the Telegraf until 1894. With his departure, the paper ceased publishing for two years. M.J. Szameit took over as publisher and editor and resumed printing until the turn of the century when C.F. Pettkoske assumed the position of editor. Pettkoske remained with the Telegraf for nearly 20 years, and in 1903, changed the paper's political affiliation from Democratic to Republican. In 1918, Edward L. Kolakowski bought the paper from Pettkoske, and in 1924 his wife, S.H. Kolakowski served as editor. Kolakowski returned the paper to its Democratic roots and remained with the Telegraf until its demise in 1939.
The changes in personnel brought changes in the frequency of publication, as well as political affiliation. The Telegraf appeared daily from 1892 to 1905 and weekly after 1906. During its first Democratic period, the Telegraf was affiliated with the Polish-American fraternal organization, the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America.