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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Hobson Bros., editors, publishers and proprietors of the Argo, of West Union. The Argo is a seven-column folio, 24 x 36 inches in size, and was established by its present proprietors September 15, 1881. The Hobson brothers, Frank and Leroy T., have built up a successful business enterprise in the Argo and are now the official printers of the city and county. Leroy, the junior member of the firm, began publishing while a lad of twelve years, attending school. He issued a little amateur paper called the Weekly Times, which he ran one year without missing an issue. The paper was a folio only six by nine inches in size. In 1877 the brothers formed a partnership in the publication of a little advertising sheet called the Trade Journal, and in 1880 established 'Hobson's Monthly Magazine,' a literary paper of sixteen pages with cover. After a year's experience in that venture the magazine was suspended and in February, 1881, they joined A. E. Winrott, of Fayette, in the publication of the Fayette County Clarion. When the county seat war arose between West Union and Fayette the paper took an anomalous course; it was what is known as a patent outside print, the two inside pages being home print. One page was devoted to West Union's interest and the other to that of Fayette, so that both sides of the county seat war were given to its readers. When the fight terminated in favor of West Union, the days of usefulness of the journal, as projected, were over. The Hobson brothers then established the Argo, as before stated, which is all home print, is Republican in politics and has grown in business to very satisfactory proportions. The office is well equipped for general job work and has built up an excellent trade in that line.
Frank Hobson, the senior member of the firm, was born in Auburn, Fayette County, January 13, 1856, and is a son of the Hon. Joseph and Elizabeth Hobson. He received a good English education and on attaining to his majority became associated with his brother in the newspaper business, as before mentioned. He was married in West Union, October 1, 1879, to Miss Sarah E. Torode, daughter of C. W. and C. C. Torode, who were early settlers of this county. She was born in Auburn and is a member of the Methodist Church. They have one child, a son, Harry T., born September 26, 1886.
Frank Hobson is a Republican in politics and is a member of West Union Lodge, No. 69, A.F. & A.M., Langridge Commandery, No. 47, K. T., and of El Kahir Temple, A. A. O. W. M. S. He is also a member of Round Grove Lodge, No. 41, I. O. O. F., and of the West Union Encampment, No. 17. He is now serving his second year as Chief of the West Union Fire Department. The department recently distinguished itself in checking and subduing a very formidable fire on the south side of the Square. Their success in saving the Owens Building undoubtedly saved the entire south side of the Square from destruction.
Leroy T. Hobson, the junior partner of the firm of Hobson Bros., was born in West Union May 30. 1861, educated in the public schools and entered upon life as a printer when a schoolboy of only twelve years. His business career is described in the sketch of the Hobson brothers, and it has been an eminently successful one, for which he certainly deserves no little credit. He is a Knight Templar Mason, holding membership in the same Masonic orders to which his elder brother belongs. He is the present Junior Warden of the Blue Lodge and Recorder of the Commandery.
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