Muscatine County Iowa

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album, Muscatine County, Iowa, 1889, page 610

Wilton Review.

The Wilton Chronicle was the first paper published at Wilton, and was established in October, 1867, by Charles Baker and M. H. Thompson, editors and proprietors. It was a seven column paper published entirely at home. In appearance it was very creditable, and the matter it contained was prepared with care, having reference chiefly to the affairs of the town. This first number contained an interesting description of the business enterprises of the town, and a history of the business men and their establishments. Of the first number there were 1,000 copies printed, and yet the demand exceeded the supply. Among the most extensive advertisers were Frank Bacon, E. E. Bacon, A.C. Blizzard, C. B. Strong, and Addis & Strickland. The Chronicle was neutral in politics, but was well edited and newsy, and was attended with as good a degree of prosperity as usually falls to the lot of embryo country journals. In March, 1868, the name of C. D. Eaton appeared as associate editor. At this time there were employed in the office S. J. Mathis, Giles O. Pearce, and Jesse Markee. During the ensuing season the paper was conducted with great vigor-- The Presidential canvas between Grant and Colfax, and Seymour and Blair. The billows of party politics ran high, and the publishers of the Chronicle, desiring to soar above a neutral position, communicated their intention to make their paper "fearlessly and implacably Republican," Accordingly, about the 1st of June, it took the position indicated, and, amid varied vicissitudes and changes, maintained it to the close of its career. In the autumn of that year, after election, Mr. Thompson withdrew from the firm; and the firm of Baker and Eaton continued the publication of the Chronicle until the spring of 1869, in the meantime starting the West Liberty Enterprise. In May of this year, while the firm remained the same, the two members divided their labors; Mr. Baker remaining with the Chronicle, while Mr. Eaton gave his time to the Enterprise. In September 1869, the firm of Baker and Eaton was dissolved; Mr. Baker being left sole editor and proprietor. Early in the winter Mr. Baker sold the office to Henry C. Ashbaugh, who conducted the Chronicle as editor and publisher for nearly a year. In the meantime, June, 1870, Mr. Eaton returned, and commenced the publication of a second paper, which he called The True Republican. Mr. Eaton succeeded tolerably well in this enterprise, and in January, 1871, he purchased of Mr. Ashbaugh the subscription-list and good-will of the Chronicle. The two papers were consolidated by Mr. Eaton as, the Republican And Chronicle, until May of that year, when he sold the entire establishment to C. E. Cheesbro, who reduced the size of the paper, and re-christened it the Wilton Chronicle. Early in the fall of that year the paper was again sold to Mr. Baker, and in the following winter Mr. Baker took as a partner H. J. Vail, who continued about a year when he withdrew, and Mr. Baker was sole owner again until August, 1873, when he leased the office to Messrs. G. O. and G. B. Pearce for one year. In July 1874, they changed the name from Chronicle to Herald. During the administration of the Pearce Brothers, valuable additions were made to the material of the office--so much that when Mr. Baker took his away they had sufficient for every purpose. When their term of lease expired they purchased the subscription-list and good-will, and continued the publication until Nov. 23, 1874, when they sold to J. E. Stevenson. In the month of August, 1874, J. M. Rider & Co. established a second paper, called the Wilton Exponent, the first number of which appeared Friday, August 21, the next day after the great fire. Both papers continued publication until March 10, 1876, when they were consolidated and the names Herald and Exponent were merged into the Review, edited and published by Rider and Stevenson. March 10, 1877, Mr Stevenson retired, and the paper was published by J. M. Rider until April 20 of the same year; when Mr. William Lee , of Tipton, became a half-partner, and the firm was styled Rider and Lee. After a short time Mr. Rider bought out Lee's interest and run it alone until 1884, when C. L. Butterfield purchased the office, and continued the publication of the paper until February, 1887, when Ott and Moynahan purchased his partners interest, since which time he has run it alone. The Review is good-paying newspaper property, and is a credit to the place in which it is published.

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