Henry County, IAGenWeb

The Press.

Portrait and Biographical Album of Henry County, Iowa
Chicago: Acme  Publishing Company, 1888.


The power of the printing-press is universally acknowledged, and its influence can hardly be estimated. This is a reading age, and almost everything eminating from the press is eagerly devoured, whether it be good or bad. It is the Archimedean lever that moves the world, and as such only the best productions should be circulated. Too much care cannot be exercised by parents and those in authority that only the pure in literature finds a place in the homes of the people. Henry County has reason to be proud of its newspapers, which have ever been among the best, and wielding an influence not alone in the county but throughout the State.

The first paper established in this county was the Iowa Free Democrat, the first Free-Soil or Abolition paper issued west of the Mississippi River. It was founded at Ft. Madison, Lee County, and moved to Mt. Pleasant in 1848, by D. M. Kelsey. In 1850 Prof. Samuel Luke Howe secured control of the paper, and it was then issued from the academy of which the professor was the head. The pupils and sons of the Professor did the mechanical work of the office. After a precarious existence of a few years its issue was suspended.
At the present writing, in April, 1888, the following papers are issued in the county: Mt. Pleasant Journal, the Free Press, Mt. Pleasant; Winfield Beacon, Winfield; New London Sun, New London Eclipse, New London. Each of these is a worthy representative of the people of the county. Other papers have lived, flourished for a time, and then died a natural death.

The Mt. Pleasant Journal.

One of the leading and most influential papers of Southeastern Iowa is the Mt. Pleasant Journal, which under the name of Observer, make its first appearance in 1856, with G. G. Galloway as editor and proprietor. Like all other country newspapers it had a precarious existence for several years after its establishment, and changed hands frequently, each successive firm running it until, somewhat discouraged, they would close it out. The office was owned in turn by Elliott & Mahaffey, D. S. Elliott, and Elliott & Edwards. While controlled by the latter firm, the name of the paper was changed to the Home Journal. Continuing it awhile under the latter name, the firm then sold it to G. W. Edwards, who subsequently took a partner, the firm of Edwards & Snyder engaging in its publication. T. A. Bereman was its next publisher, who sold it to Richard Hatton. The latter changed its name to the Mt. Pleasant Journal, and continued its publisher till his death. G. W. McAdam became a third proprietor, and in turn, E. W. Bradty, John F. Leech and John Teasdale have each held a third interest. The Hatton heirs were bought out by Mr. McAdam, and the paper was published by him until the winter of 1879-80, when J. W. Palm purchased a third interest, since which time the publication of the paper has been continued by McAdam & Palm. It is issued every Thursday, and in politics is a stanch Republican sheet, with nothing of the mugwump in its makeup. The birth of the paper was cotemporaneous with that of the Republican party, and it has never wavered from the support of Republican principals. A bright, clean sheet, it has always exerted a good influence in county and State. In connection with the Journal establishment is an excellent job office and a book bindery.

The Free Press.

This paper was established in 1866, by E. T. White, who continued its publication for nearly two years, disposing of the paper in January, 1868, to O. K. Snyder and Frank Hatton, who changed its name to the Henry County Press. Mr. Hatton retired in May, 1868, and the firm became Snyder Brothers. In 1869 Dr. D. W. Robinson became the owner, while Richard Copeland, Charles Morehous and S. W. Morehead served successively as editors. In 1870 A. P. Bentley became editor. In June, 1872, the office was purchased by Edwin Van Cise and James A. Throop, and Jan. 1, 1874, the name of the paper was changed back to the Free Press. In 1877 Mr. Van Cise removed to Deadwood, D. T., and Mr. Throop assumed editorial control of the paper. In 1881, going into the hardware trade, he placed the paper under the editorial control of D. D. W. C. Throop and George E. Throop. In 1882 he purchased Mr. Van Cise's interest in the Free Press,and has since been the sole proprietor. In 1885 he disposed of his hardware store, and again assumed the management of the office, D. D. W. C. Throop continuing with him as editor. The Free Press is now recognized as one of the leading papers in this section, and politically may be classified as independent Democratic. It has a good circulation and wields a good influence. A good job printing-office is in connection with the paper.

The Daily News.

In 1875 C. L. Morehous commenced the publication of the Daily Reporter, and continued its publication till October, 1883, when he sold out to T. McAdam, who ran it about one year and then sold to R. C. & W. C. Brown, by whom it was soon afterward discontinued. But Mr. Morehous did not propose to let the city of Mt. Pleasant be without its daily, and therefore in 1885 commenced the publication of the Daily News. As originally printed it was a five-column folio, but was subsequently enlarged to a seven-column folio. The paper has had a steady and solid growth, and is now in a very prosperous condition, with an ever-increasing circulation. Charles L. Morehous is an old newspaper man, with an experience second to none in this section of the State, and gets up a No. 1 local daily. Fred D. Morehous is the local editor, and succeeds in gathering up almost every item of interest occurring in Mt. Pleasant or its vicinity.

The Mt. Pleasant Herald.

This paper was started in the fall of 1880 by Brown & Clark, as a seven-column folio, and at once met with good success. In 1883 it was changed to an eight-column weekly paper, and the proprietors put in a power press on which to print it. In 1884 the office was completely destroyed by fire, not even the books of the concern being saved. Immediately after the fire was organized "The Herald Publishing Company," composed of J. R. Clark, M. Holland, Thomas Adger, Frank Matthews, Leonard Farr, W. Hanson, M. L. Edwards, Thomas Knox, and George W. Norton, and the Herald again appeared as an eight-column weekly paper. In 1885 the office was sold to George Spahr & Co., who ran it till 1886 as a Greenback paper, under the management of J. R. Clark. It was then sold to J. R. Hardin, who removed the material of the office to Ft. Madison, Lee County, and consolidated it with the Lee County Republican under the name of the Republican Herald. Mr. Clark then went to New London and started the New London Herald, remaining their thirteen months, and then removing to Mt. Pleasant, where the paper has since been continued as the Mt. Pleasant Herald, under the ownership and management of Mr. Clark. The sympathy of Mr. Clark has always been with the laboring men, being strongly opposed to monopolies. He therefore was an earnest supporter of the Greenback cause, and in the present contest between labor and capital he has espoused with his whole heart the cause of the former, his paper being the recognized organ of the Knights of Labor of this section of the country. The Herald has a good circulation, and is worthy the support of an intelligent people.

Winfield Beacon.

The Winfield Beacon was established in 1881, by J. H. & E.H. Hardin, and by them conducted until October, 1882, when it was purchased by its present owner, E. C. Hinkle. Its growth has been steady, and it now circulates in more than a thousand homes, scattered through every Western State and Territory. Its continued efforts to build up and strengthen home interests are manifested in many ways, and no enterprise of value to town or county is ever allowed to lag through its indifference. Among the schemes which have originated within its busy sanctum, none is probably greater than the East Iowa District Fair, an institution which promises to be one of the most noted and valuable to the town and country. The Beacon is a live local paper, and is in a prosperous condition, having the united support of the entire community.

The Salem Weekly News.

This sprightly sheet was established in 1880, its first number appearing under date September 5 of that year. Its publication was commenced by Hiram Armstrong, who subsequently sold to W. S. Withrow, from whom it was purchased by its present proprietors, D. F. Jones & Son, Jan. 1, 1883. When it made its first appearance, it was a six-column folio, but has since been enlarged to a seven-column folio. This change was made the first year under Mr. Jones. Politically the News is independent. The paper is doing a prosperous business, its circulation having steadily increased since it came into the hands of its present proprietors. A good job office is attached, also doing a remunerative business. The News is well worthy the support of the citizens of Salem and vicinity.

The New London Eclipse.

This paper was started Aug. 13, 1887, by Edwin A. Lyman, and in the short time in which it has been published has met with fair success, having a present circulation of 500 copies. The Eclipse is a seven-column folio, independent in politics, and is devoted principally to local news of town and county. It is issued every Thursday. Mr. Lyman commenced the publication of his paper, knowing nothing of the mechanical work of a printing-office, but applying himself to the work, and with a natural taste for the business prints a paper that would do credit to newspaper men of much greater experience. He certainly deserves success.

The New London Sun.

In April, 1887, Dover and Lyman commenced the publication of an independent newspaper with the above name, which they issued weekly. The firm continued in existence but a short time, Mr. Lyman retiring, his interest being purchased by his partner, W. S. Dover. The latter continued its publication till the following winter, when C. Dailey became sole proprietor, and is now engaged in the publication of the paper. The Sun is a neat paper, and well deserves the patronage of the community where it is published.

Transcribed by Conni McDaniel Hall for Henry County IAGenWeb, November 2014.

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