John Arkins was born possibly in New York City in 1842. Associated with newspaper all of his life, Arkins began work in a printshop at a young age. In December 1861, Arkins left his job and joined with the Union Army as a member of the Fifth Minnesota Volunteers. Arkins served with the Union forces through 1864, participating in campaigns in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Following the Civil War, Arkins worked as a merchant in New Orleans and later in Chicago. In 1878 Arkins came to Denver to work as a printer on the old Denver Tribune. It was during this time that Arkins met his future business associates, C.C. Davis and James Burnell. In late 1878 the three men, Arkins, Davis and Burnell, left Denver for Leadville where they founded the Leadville Daily Chronicle. The Chronicle was the first successful newspaper to be printed in the thriving silver boom camp. In late 1879 Arkins and Burnell left Leadville after seeling their shares in the Leadville Daily Chronicle to Davis. The two men headed to Colorado Springs where they founded the Gazette, which was the first daily paper in the Springs. The following year Arkins bought the Rocky Mountain News from railroad financier William Loveland, and thus began his career as the crusading editor of Denver. A pioneer in the field of wire service news reporting, the Rocky Mountain News under Arkins' direction became the first paper in Colorado to join the Associated Press. During a visit to Chicago in 1890, Arkins toured the proposed site of the 1892 World's Fair. He wrote an editorial for the Associated Press which helped to sway the selection committee in favor of Chicago. John Arkins was an active and influential figure on the Denver political scene using the power of the press to expose crime and political corruption. Among his achievements while editor was a series of articles which exposed Soapy Smith, a famous Denver conman. In the late 1880's Arkins' partner and trusted friend, James Burnell, betrayed him and he lost control of the Rocky Mountain News to T.J. Patterson. John Arkins died on August 19, 1894 of pneumonia. In a series of articles on the history of newspaper publishing in America (which appeared in the Los Angeles Times), John Arkins was named along with such men as Horace Greeley, one of the twelve great American editors.