Butler County Newspapers




from The History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa, Illustrated. Springfield, Illinois, Union Publishing Company, 1883.






Butler county has had abundant opportunities to test the value of newspapers as aids in building its resources to the outer world, while the civilizing influence is almost unlimited; and, as a general thing; its citizens have always manifested a liberal spirit or purpose towards the various journalistic enterprises that have been inaugurated in their midst. It must be truthfully said, that in dispensing their patronage to the press, they have been tolerant and magnanimous, as they have been reasonably generous to journals of all parties. It may be difficult to correctly estimate the advantages derived by Butler county in a business point of view, from the influence of the press, which at various times has called into requisition respectable, if not eminent talent in the advocacy of local interests, which have had a tendency to inspire its citizens, as well as friends, far and near, with hope and confidence in its prosperity. 

In every community there are shriveled souls, whose participation in the benefits of enterprise is greater than their efforts to promote the public welfare. These are the men who will never subscribe for a newspaper, but will always be on the alert to secure, gratuitously, the first persona of their neighbors' papers. These are the croakers, who predict evil and disparage enterprise. But, with very few exceptions the press of this region, or the community through which they circulate, has never been cursed with such drones. On the contrary, as patrons of the press, Butler county citizens have established a good name. As records of current history, the local press should be preserved by town and county governments in their archives for reference. As there papers are the repositories wherein are stored the facts and the events, the deeds and the sayings, the undertakings and achievements that go to make up final history. One by one these things are gathered and placed in type; one by one the papers are issued; one by one these papers are gathered together and bound, and another volume of local, general and individual history is laid away imperishable. The volumes thus collected, are sifted by the historian, and the book for the library is ready. 

There should be some means devised by which press records might be preserved and made accessible. This of course is attempted in all offices; but as a general thing files are sadly deficient; still by diligent search and much enquiry, enough date has been gleaned to supply a tolerably accurate record of the county press; but if any inaccuracies or omissions are noticeable, they may be attributed to the absence of completeness in the files.


This was the first newspaper established in Butler county. It first saw light in 1858, at Clarksville, which was then the  county seat, under the management of Palmer & James. It was republican in politics, and was a spicy little sheet. But the county was too new to support it, and in 1860 it was suspended and the material moved to Wintersett, Madison county, Iowa.


This paper was the second to be issued in Butler county, and was published at Butler Center, in Jefferson township, so the name seems well bestowed. It was started by William Haddock, in August, 1860, and between that time and October, 1861, only about thirty-six numbers of the paper had been issued. In October, 1861, it was purchased by Martin Bailey, who, in January, 1862, changed the name to the


And for two years it made its appearance regularly, and was one of the most able papers ever established in the county, as Mr. Bailey was a pungent writer and a well educated and well read man. Mr. Bailey then went to the war and the publication of the paper ceased. In August, 1865, the material and office furniture was purchased by McCormack & Francis, who with it established


They continued this newspaper for about six months, and in February, 1866, sold it to Judge John Palmer, who changed the name to


In the spring of 1866, Judge Palmer's interest in The Stiletto became the property of his son, W. L. Palmer, who removed it to Shell Rock. In the fall of 1866 it was consolidated with the Clarksville Gazette. A sketch of John Palmer is found in connection with the judicial history. W. L. Palmer was an able writer, and in addition to his newspaper writing compiled a history of Clarksville, which is an interesting little work.


This newsy representative of the press was brought into existence in the summer of 1866 by the efforts of Van E. Butler, a smooth and pithy writer, and one of the most capable newspaper men who ever handled a "stick" in the county. In the fall of 1866 it was consolidated with The Stiletto, which was then being published at Shell Rock by W. L. Palmer, and the publication was continued at Clarksville under the firm name of Butler & Palmer, and title of,


In the winter following, of 1867 and 1868, the paper changed hands and became the property of Frank C. Case, who changed the name to


It still retains that name. In April 1872, Mr. Case disposed of the Star  to James O. Stewart, a gentleman of much newspaper ability, and who by enterprise and energy soon made it one of the leading newspapers in the county.

Mr. Stewart opened the year 1875 with a determination to let nothing remain unturned to make the Star an interesting and instructive paper. About the second issue in January he commenced publishing a complete history of Butler county, which ran through the paper after the manner of a continued story for the greater part of the year. For the historian he secured the services of Mr. Van E. Butler, one of the most able writers who have had been a resident of the county since boyhood and was therefore familiar with pioneer life in this part of the great Hawkeye State. The history was not only valuable as a history, but was also very interesting reading. This enterprise was indeed commendable in the Star, and was the only attempt at such ever made in the county. The history, too, was appreciated by the readers of the paper, as the writer, in his historical interviews and researches, has often had the matter called to his attention in most complimentary terms.

Mr. Stewart, in closing the year 1875, says:

With this number we close volume eight of the Star, fold it up and lay it away, and count it among the things of the past. How well we have suited our patrons we leave for them to say. We have tried to do so. That we have made some enemies and some friends during the year we are very well aware, but have the consciousness that in either case we have done so in carrying out what we honestly believed; hence we have no excuse or apologies to make. If we have been in the wrong we are willing to lay the ill feeling away with volume eight and the old year 1875, and wish all our patrons a happy new year.

Mr. Stewart continued in management of the paper until in June, 1882, when he sold out to Mr. L. O. Hull, who is the present proprietor. Mr. Stewart in leaving the paper in the new management , in the Star's issue of the 29th of June, 1882 said:


With this issue the undersigned surrenders the pencil, scissors and paste-pot and vacates the editorial chair in the Star office, in favor of L. O. Hull, of Waterloo. Ten years ago we took charge of the Star with some hesitancy as to our ability to give you a readable paper, but with a full determination to do our best, and spare no efforts to do so. How well we have succeeded we leave our many readers to determine. However, we feel we will be pardoned for entertaining the thought that we have reasonably succeeded. What our future has in store we have no idea, but be what it may or where it may, we shall always hold in kindly remembrance the people of Clarksville and Butler county. To our friends we say, God bless you; to the other "fellers," look out for yourselves.     
We heartily commend to the Star family and the people generally, our successor, Mr. Hull. He is a young man of ability, is a farmer's son, who, by dint of hard work, steady habits and a laudable ambition has already gained a creditable place in the editorial profession. He is a good writer, and an industrious news gatherer, and we have no doubt will make the Star a much more welcome guest than ever before. We ask for him all the favors you have extended to                    
Yours Truly and Sincerely
J. O. Stewart.
  Mr. Hull, in assuming control, greeted his readers with the following:


With the last issue of the Star, Mr. Stewart, who has labored long, earnestly and honorably for the people of Butler county, laid down his pencil, and we have no doubt that our readers will long miss his familiar style. All his friends will join us in the hope that he may live long and prosper, wherever his lot may be cast. The present proprietor asks for a continuance of the favor of all the old friends of the Star, and promises his most earnest endeavors to make the paper a worthy representative of the people of Butler county. We have come here to stay and labor with and for the united interests of the whole people. The interests of the people are our interests, and it is our ambition to grow and increase as Butler county grows in Population and influence.

The Star will be republican in its politics, and, at the same time, will endeavor to treat democratic principles with candor and fairness, and democrats as friends and brothers, having an equal stake in the country.

The Star will, in the contest which is imminent as a result of the prohibition election in this State, use its influence in favor of the support and enforcement of law, and also endeavor to "be temperate in all things."

The Star believes in Christianity and free thought, and that individual conscience, and not restraining creed, should be the rule and guide of life.

The Star will remember its friends, and, if it shall have enemies, will try not to forget to treat them with kindness and generosity.

We cannot close this article without thanking the press for their generous comments on our purchase. The notices given us by papers published in the county are especially are gratifying to us. We are also under large obligations, which we will try to repay by earnest work, to many good people of Clarksville and Butler county for a generous and hearty welcome.

Sincerely Yours,
L. O. Hull.

L. O. Hull, son of Lorenzo and Emily (Stewart) Artlip, was born in Illinois, March 18, 1855. When he was thirteen months old his father died, and a few months afterwards his mother also; not, however, until they had given him to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Hull, by whom he was adopted and whose name he bears. With them he moved to Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, in 1858, settling in a neighborhood of "copperheads." His intercourse with that class of boys at school had considerable to do with the formation of his political character, which is, and always has been, republican. He remained there until twelve years old, when he removed to Fon du Lac county, Wisconsin, settling on a farm. At the early age of fourteen years he demonstrated a natural capacity for editorial newspaper work. As a result of this ability -- augmented by a judicious selection of reading matter -- at this age he contributed considerably to the pages of the county papers. At the age of eighteen he removed to Fon du Lac. At the same time his parents parents came to Iowa. He removed to Black Hawk county in the fall of 1878, remained there engaged in various business until July, 1881, when upon the solicitation of Matt. Parrot, editor of the Iowa State Reporter, he removed to Waterloo, and was given editorial charge of that paper. He came to Butler county in July, 1882, and purchased the Clarksville Star. Under his efficient management this paper has already been enlarged from four pages of eight columns, to eight pages of six columns each; is well supported by the public, and in a prosperous condition.

He was married at Dubuque, Iowa, October 5, 1882, to Miss. Lizzie I. Beck, daughter of Wm. P. Beck, of Sioux City.

Mr. Hull is a member of the First Baptist Church, Waterloo. He is an able writer, a good newspaper man, and will make the Star take front rank in the Butler county press.



This paper was started at Parkersburgh, in the spring of 1870, by W. L. Palmer; but as no files of it have been preserved, we are unable to present any particulars as to size. The Times had rather a hard existence, and as all the material had been purchased by subscription among the citizens, there were too many managers --the "too many cooks spoiled the broth." In 1871 it was purchased by C. G. Bundy, who finally made up his mind that a change of location was desirable, and in July, 1872, changed the name to the Butler County Times, and removed it to Maudeville, which was then the Iowa Central Stock Farm. The paper survived until September, 1873, when it quietly succumbed.




This was the first newspaper established at the village indicated in its name. It first made its appearance on the 23d of August, 1872, with J. H. Boomer & Co. as editors and proprietors. It presented a neat and tasty appearance, and indicated that the managers were experienced newspaper men. In the salutatory published in the first number its editor says:
In response to the universal demand for a local paper in Shell Rock, the Enterprise its appearance to-day. As the name indicates, it is an enterprise of the people of Butler county in general, and of Shell Rock in particular. But, it is understood, that, while  it is an enterprise, it is not an experiment. It has come to stick. Its founders have an abiding faith in the liberality of the people of the Shell Rock Valley, and have staked their bottom dollar on its success. It has not been nursed into being by any bonus or pledges, other than the earnest, active support which its merits may demand. We propose to make it a local paper. What we know about the unlimited resources of the Shell Rock Valley will be made known.

Unlike the New York Tribune, The Enterprise twill be "an organ." It will support the republican party and its standard bearer. With Grant and Wilson we propose "to fight it out on that line." The publishers of this paper propose to launch their bark upon the sea of public opinion, relying upon a generous public for support, and success. Shall our anticipation be met?

Yours, etc.
J. H. Boomer & Co.

This firm continued the publication of the Enterprise until the 4th of October 1872, when it was purchased by F. M. Barnard & Co., and two months later the firm name of White, Barnard & Co. appears at the head. In this shape the management remained until the 5th of March, 1874, when it was dissolved and the partnership of White & Hall took the helm of the paper.

In making their introductory bow they say:

The undersigned have formed a co-partnership under the firm name of White & Hall, and will, in the future, carry on the business of publishing the Shell Rock Enterprise, and would respectfully solicit a continuance of the liberal business the office has formerly been favored with.
Silas White, Frank Hale

Early in the month of August, 1874, this firm dissolved, Frank Hale retiring, and Silas White becoming sole proprietor. He continued the publication alone until January39, 1875, when O. B. Courtwright purchased a half interest and became a partner, under the firm name of White & Courtwright.

It seems that from the number of times the paper changed hands, it did not receive sufficient encouragement, or else lack of good management, for on the 19th of February, 1875, it was purchased by E. A. Kittel, M. D.  The Doctor did not have much newspaper experience, but he had ability and "grit." In his salutatory he strikes out boldly from shore, as follows:

A newspaper has become a necessity to every live, enterprising village from one end of the land to the other. It would be a sorry comment on the enterprise and intelligence of this community did they not support a newspaper. If we need a newspaper, then let us have a good one.

The great mass of the community will fully endorse the above, but when we come to speak of the means necessary to attain the result, there is too often a difference of opinion. To begin with, something more is necessary on your part, then merely to subscribe for the paper. It is an easy matter to look over the barren columns of your home paper, with a doleful countenance, and anathematize the editor for not furnishing more news; as though a printing office was an establishment where news can be ground out wholesale from ever ready material. Before you say another word, let us ask, have you ever written a word for the paper? Have you ever stepped one single foot from your path to give the editor a single item that may have taken place under your very nose? Lastly have you paid for the paper you are so liberal in denouncing? The chief object of a county newspaper is the local news; but how meagre it may be in this particular, if the only items published are such necessities of the business, must be immured in the office much of the time. Then don't be a niggard in your views. We shall strive, however, to atone for our inexperience as far as possible by especial, earnest and determined effort, hoping by your aid to publish a paper that shall be a credit to the town. We do not aspire to any independence, so called, which is rather a blind obstinacy. But we wish it distinctly understand hat we are not a tail to wag at the will of any man or party.

E. A. Kittel

Mr. Kittel was succeeded in the management of the paper by Hazlet & Thorp, who changed the name to the Enterprise to


In a short time the firm name was changed to Lucas & Hazlet.

On the 2d of November, 1876, the property was purchased by George E. Farrar, and he inaugurates his administration as follows:

I have purchased the News of Lucas Y Hazlet, and shall assume the management of the same. In publishing the News, I am, in a great part, entering upon a field new to me, and can only tell you what I intend to do. My own endeavor shall be to furnish the people of Shell Rock and Butler county, as good and as readable a paper as the county affords. In Politics, the paper will be in the future, as in the past, a republican sheet, working by all honorable means to advance the principles of the republican party as enunciated by their platform, and supporting Hayes and Wheeler, and republican nominees. How well I shall accomplish what I propose to do, time and your own judgment will tell. The News has heretofore been well patronized, and I shall do all in my power to merit a continuance of the same.

Mr. Farrar continued in the management of the News until the 6th of September, 1877, when he sold it to E. E. and E. Savage. In his "valedictory, " he tersely says:

With this issue we close our editorial connection with The News, having sold our interest to Messrs. Savage, to whose tender mercies we consign the business with best wishes for its prosperity and yours. Our connection with The News has been one of profit and of pleasure to us. Knowing nothing of the newspaper business when we assumed control of the paper, we are egotistical enough to think we do know something now of how a paper should be managed. Our course has been full of errors, and gross ones, too, which our optics perceive as well as yours, and in which we thank you for your kind forbearance. Towards Shell Rock and its people, we shall ever bear the kindest remembrance as the scene of our first business efforts, and as the pleasant village where we have passed more than two years of our existence. Now as we step down from the stool, and our successors step up, we do so feeling that the news will be an enterprise, that it will pay you to support; for we feel assured that it will be more worthy of your support than it has heretofore been. Once more then we say farewell.

George E. Farrar

In the same issue the new proprietors take the pen and say:

Once again we have the pleasure of making our bow to the world as we mount the editorial tripod.

Being naturally very modest, we do not propose, at this late date, to laud and magnify ourselves, nor to make large promises of what we can do. It has been the subject of remark for some years past, that Shell Rock could not support a newspaper, and from the numerous changes it would seem to be a fact, yet we believe that by careful attention to business and economical management, it will not only be possible for a paper to exist, but that it may be made a profitable investment. To the end that we, Shell Rock and Butler county, may be the better for our coming, we ask the assistance of the people of Shell Rock. It shall be our object to aid every undertaking that has for its chief end the good of Shell Rock. In politics we adhere to the republican party; in morals we endeavor to be upright, and shall try to promote purity in the same. We strongly oppose intemperance, that has lain its blight on so many of the towns of our country. With this brief statement of where we may be found, we salute our readers, Grand Salaam!!

E. E. & E. Savage

On the 20th of September, 1877, this firm was dissolved, and the senior member, E. E. Savage, retained possession of the paper. In his few remarks on the change he explains it as follows:

Once again! Again we note a change in the ownership of The News, Mr. Ernest Savage having disposed of his interest to the senior member of the firm. The News will hereafter be managed by the undersigned. There will be no change as regards politics, or principals, nor as regards business matters. We are thankful for past generous patronage, and solicit a continuance of the same.

E. E. Savage

Mr. Savage continued to publish the paper until the latter part of September, 1878, when a financial crash came upon him and he was obliged to abandon The News. The office was sold at sheriff's sale, and was purchased by J. P. Reed, the present editor and proprietor.

In November, 1878, Mr. Reed took editorial control, and in his salutatory, speaks thus:

Having chosen the publishing business as a life calling, we purchased the material of the late Shell Rock News, and propose to make this beautiful little town of Shell Rock our starting point. We believe we have a correct idea of what a good local newspaper should be, and that idea shall be faithfully our guide. We then, reaching across the editorial table, extend a friendly hand to everybody throughout the country, and especially to every citizen of Butler county. We ask your friendship and assistance, your prayers and words of cheer, for the average newspaper man does not get rich in these days of close competition, and his burdens are often grievous to be borne. We shall always labor to make  the News a spicy, lively and able exponent of the business and growth of our town and Butler county. We are from principle a republican, and shall adhere to the doctrines of that party; but in these critical times it is essential that every man should be on his guard; and it shall ever be the aim of The News to lay bare fraud and corruption whether it be committed by republicans or democrats, and always to be on the alert for the interests of the people. On questions of temperance and morality we shall ever be on the right side; and work for morality in all its phases. We know that the interests of the people are our interests; the people's prosperity our prosperity; and we trust always to advocate the highest good to the greatest number. We hope to make The News a household and a welcome visitor to every family in Butler county. With these hasty words of salutation, we now turn to the work at hand, with a faith strong and enduring in the future greatness of the beautiful and picturesque village of Shell Rock.

J. P. Reed

Mr. Reed still manages the newspaper, and has made it one of the leading press advocates in the county. With a large and healthy subscription list it makes a most desirable medium for advertising. Mr. Reed is a well read and well posted man, an able writer and a thorough newspaper man.

J. P. Reed, editor and proprietor of the Shell Rock News, was born in Mercer county Pennsylvania, November 24, 1851, and is a son of Martin and Elizabeth (Morrison) Reed, who are both natives of Pennsylvania. In 1858 his parents moved west to settle in Stephenson county, Illinois, and here J. P. grew to manhood, and received his education in the common schools of Freeport. In the spring of 1864 he enlisted in Company B, 46th Illinois Volunteers, and served as a private until honorably discharged at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Upon receiving his dismissal from the army, he returned to Freeport, and learned the "art preservative of all arts," in the office of the "Journal" of that city. In 1869 he came to Cedar Falls, Iowa, and for a while, clerked in a grocery story of that place, and then formed one of the staff of the Gazette, and afterwards of the Reporter, of Waterloo. In 1878 he located at Shell Rock, and bought the News, of which paper he has since been the proprietor. Mr. Reed was married in September, 1880, to Miss Carrie S. Jones, who was born in Shell Rock, and is a daughter of J. R. Jones.

In December, 1882, Mr. Reed received an appointment in the Treasury Department at Washington. The News says in its issue of December 21, 1882:

J. P. Reed, editor of this paper, writes us saying, that he secured a clerkship in the Treasury Department at Washington at a salary of $1,200 a year. He does not say when he will be at home, but the News will be issued every week just the same.

In 1877, with the issue of May 24, number, forty of volume four, the management of the paper again changed, and the firm of W. W. Riner and George E. DeLavan took the helm, announcing as their motto: "Independent in everything, neutral in nothing." The publication day had in the meantime been changed to Thursday, and in its issue on the 26th of July of the same year the size was enlarged to an eight-column folio and again adopted the "patent inside" pages, which were printed at Des Moines. In this shape the Press continued, enjoying a liberal patronage, until May, 1880, at which time the partnership which had existed between W. W. Riner and George E. DeLavan was dissolved, and the former retired from the newspaper business. Mr. DeLavan is still at the helm of the Press, and conducts it in an efficient and able manner, being a pointed and ready writer and a competent business manager. The paper is on a solid and permanent basis, with a large and healthy circulation, and is one of the best advertising mediums in Northern Iowa.




This was a saucy and piquant little sheet which flourished at New Hartford in the year 1873.




This was a paper established at Greene, in 1876, by J. B. Adams. It was published at that point for about one year, when it was removed to Clarksville, and continued until the latter part of 1880. It was then moved out of the county to Rockford, Iowa.




Was established at Bristow, in 1879, by Mr. Morgan, who ran it until the spring of 1880, when it was purchased by J. Q. Stewart, and continued until the winter following, when it was moved to Sumner, Bremer county.




This newspaper was first conceived by the Dodge Brothers, of the Parkersburgh Eclipse, in December, 1880. At that time they made a visit to Allison, and purchased a lot for the erection of an office building, which they at once commenced, and in May 1881, was so far along that a full and complete outfit of new printing material and stock was put in, and on the 16th of June, 1881, the Tribune first appeared, as an eight column folio, with patent insides, well printed and ably edited. The paper was -- and yet is-- owned and published by the Dodge Brothers, en personne, Frank L. and Fred A. Dodge, the editorial management being under the direct control of the former.

In the first issue, the Tribune rather trampled upon the old and established custom of newspaper men, in not taking up a half column of space setting forth the principals, convictions and policy to be pursued. But the entire "Salutatory" is condensed into three comprehensive lines, which mean everything, as follows:

The Allison, Butler County Tribune Pledged to the right in all things, according to our best understanding.

                                                                        Very respectfully

                                                                        Dodge Brothers.

In another article, the editors, under the head of "The Tribune," say: 

Public servants and educators are subject not only to praise and favorable comment, but also to severe and unsparing criticisms. To step before the public as such, is to acknowledge and accept the situation with all its realities and consequences. This is the first number of the TRIBUNE, and it is certainly a strong and healthy looking infant newspaper. A demand has been made for it from the shaping and turning of events, and in its establishment has been duly considered the perils to which young newspapers are subject; but, here it is, reader, a living reality, the product of heavy expense and hard labor. It is now yours, to assist and to be assisted as a helper in the growing interests of Butler County. 

The same effort which has brought it forth, will be continued to make it a strong and prosperous exponent of county interests. We wish it to be emphatically a county newspaper, which will reach the firesides of the people, laden with reliable news, advocating honorable and elevating principles. Editorially, we will make no pledges further than that contained in our salutatory except to say that all shall have fair treatment through our columns. If wrong is condemned, it shall be because of the wrong, and not of the individual who may commit the wrong. Locally, we want the Tribune to be bright and newsy. We want newsy correspondence from all parts of the county, and well written, studied articles, communicated upon important current topics. The educational, moral, political, agricultural and scientific themes of the day, we hope to have fairly and explicitly discussed for the benefit of the Tribune readers, but first of all, may it be a Butler County Newspaper.

And again, as to the political policy to be pursued by the paper, the editor tersely says:

In establishing the Tribune, we cannot but choose for its foundation those principles of public policy that stand out boldly as having already achieved enduring victories for the right, and which promise most strongly to advance the circumstances of the people of the age in which we live. In the party struggles through which our nation has passed during the last quarter of a century, reaching every grade of dispute, from the organized campaign of discussion, to the terrible climax of war, we truly believe that the right has triumphed, and on the basic principles through which that triumph has been won, we establish the Allison Tribune. We establish it on the principals of our country's present administration, making no compromise with the dictatory factions that would disturb and sacrifice its peace. We do not believe in stereotyping opinions, either politically, religiously, morally or scientifically, but would rather have them advance and grow in spirit and in truth. With this we give you the Tribune's party principles.


The above was written at the time of the conflict and rupture between two factions of the republican party, over the nomination of Mr. Robertson as collector of the port of New York; Roscoe Conkling leading the Stalwart faction and the President's administration backed by the Half-breeds. This is what was meant in the reference to "dictatorial  factions," the paper siding with the administration.

The first issue of the Tribune contained a lengthy review, historical, of the county, and of Allison. In the second issue appears this item:

The first copy of the Tribune was printed at 4 o'clock, June 14, 1881. The office being full of citizens who were eager to get and possess it, it was put up at auction, J. W. Spencer auctioneer, and knocked down to the Hon. J. W. Ray, at $3.00. The next hour was spent in giving those present a pull at the lever, each one present printing a paper for himself. **** Twp pails full of ice cold lemonade were drunk to the Tribune's health, and three rousing cheers given for its long life and prosperity.

The subscription price of theTribune was first fixed at $2.00; but this has since been reduced to $1.50. The publication day was Thursday, and still is. The paper is neatly printed, well edited, and teeming with local news. Mr. Dodge is a well educated and extensively read man, a deep thinker and is an easy and fluent writer. He has made a paper which is a credit to the county. In this connection it will be well to present a short biographical sketch of the editor in charge.

Frank L. Dodge was born September 10, 1846, in the town of Dunham, McHenry county, Illinois, the sixth of a family of ten children. He was brought up a farmer, educated in common schools, in addition to which he had two terms at a select school, and one term each at the high schools of Harvard and Woodstock, of his native county. He was married at the age of twenty-two, to Anna A. Hills of Marengo, Illinois. He taught school winters, and worked on a farm summers, until 25 years of age, when he moved to Parkersburgh, Butler county, Iowa. He sawed wood to support his family  through the winter of 1871-72, and in the spring following engaged in carpenter work with his brother, C. B. Dodge, who was among the first settlers of Parkersburgh. In the winter of 1872 he engaged in teaching the first school in the new school house of Parkersburgh, which he taught for five terms, vacating one intervening term in the spring of 1874, during which he worked at bridge building with William Ferguson, who had the contract of bridging the Beaver ricer at Parkersburgh. In the fall of 1874 he resigned the principalship of the Parkersburgh schools to enter upon the editorial duties of the Parkersburgh Eclipse, which work employed his attention until the spring of 1881, when Fred A. Dodge, who became a partner in September, 1880, took editorial control of that paper, and he removed to the new county seat, Allison, to take the initiatory steps of founding the Allison Tribune, which he issued for the time June 16, 1881 The way he came to get into the newspaper business, all started in a joke, while waiting to see a friend off on the midnight train. Auyer and Edwards, the owners of the Eclipse, were also waiting to go to Webster City, on the same train, to found a new paper. In conversation with them about a buyer for the Eclipse Dodge jokingly remarked that may he had better buy it, and from this insincere remark the newspaper fever caught him, and resulted in a purchase in less than two weeks.

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