Tama county has had an abundant opportunity to test the value of newspapers as aids in building up business centers and making known its resources to the outer world, while its civilizing influence has been 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 Tama 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 has had a tendency to inspire its citizens, as well as friends, far and near, with a 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 perusal 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, Tama 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 these papers are the repositories wherein are stored the facts and the events, the deeds and the sayings, the undertakings and the achievements that go to make 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 the 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 inquiry, enough data 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.
THE TOLEDO TRIBUNE
This was the first newspaper established in Tama county. It came to public light through its first issue on April 21, 1856. M. V. B. Kenton was the editor. The avowed principles of the paper were independent, although in practice it was republican. Its size was a six column folio, all home print, and started out with a fair advertising patronage considering the condition of the country at this time. The files for the first year have all been lost. Sometime during the year Mr. Kenton sold the office to H. T. Baldy, and returned to Ohio, his native State.
Mr. Baldy was a physician by profession, and a man of good ability, but he knew comparatively nothing of the newspaper business. He was a good writer, however, and was full of push and energy.
In the Tribune’s issue on April 22, 1857, Mr. Baldy says:
“Fellow citizens of Tama county: As the first volume of the Tribune is about to close, we wish to say a few words in relation to our paper, and to the course we intend to pursue in the future.
“As and inducement to you, fellow citizens, to continue your subscriptions for the next year, and to make it satisfactory to all parties and creeds, we will commence with the second volume to publish an Independent paper. We think this is the best means to allay party excitement and restore harmony, now that the presidential election has passed by, and party politics about ceased. We hope this will meet the approbation of all.
Fellow citizens, will you sustain your county paper? We think we shall have your approving smile and generous aid. The press is certainly the index of your intelligence, and will be the exponent of your views. We have labored under many disadvantages; first, we are no priner(sic); in the next place we have had a very cold office to work in during the winter, so that our paper at times, has not presented as good an appearance as we could have wished.
It has been uphill business thus far, but or motto is “Go Ahead.”
The inscription which he placed at the mast-head was: “A Family Journal — Devoted to Truth, Justice, Humanity and the news of the Day.”
Among the home advertisers in this issue, were the following: T. W. Jackson, N. C. Wieting, Appelgate & Staley, Isaac L. Allen and Timothy Brown, attorneys; John Connell, J. P. Wood, Isaac Butler, T. A. Graham, J. Burley and John Zehrung, real estate agents; H. T. Baldy, and W. A. Daniels, physicians. The Toledo advertisers were, C. G. Trusdell, general merchandise, Staley & Zehrung, C. D. Fanton and H. M. Mettkeff, gift distribution; J. A. Ballard, boot and shoe maker; Merchant & Davis, general merchandise; William Harkins & Bro., drugs; G. G. Edwards, photographer; Rains & Waugh, Toledo Hotel; Robert M. King, hardware; Chinn & Cannon, cabinet ware; and C. G. Butkereit, tailor. There were also many advertisements from Muscatine and Iowa City.
Mr. Baldy in a short time, sold a share of the paper to T. W. Jackson, and in August, 1857, it was purchased by George Sower, now one of the proprietors of the Marshall Times and E. B. Bolens, a lawyer, the paper being run in the name of Mr. Bowers (sic.). In assuming control, they said:
“Politically, we shall be strictly neutral—emphatically Know Nothings.”
A short time afterward, although no announcement of change in proprietorship was made, the name of E. B. Bolens took the place of George Sower. In this shape matters remained until the 28th day of October, 1858, when the books, good-will and material were all sold to N. C. Wieting and George Sower. The former took full control, and the name of the paper was changed to
THE IOWA TRANSCRIPT
Mr. Bolens then retired from the editorial field in Tama county. In closing his connection with the paper, he published a short valedictory, in which there creeps a vein of feeling of disappointment, saying:
“If we should again assume the responsibility of a publisher and editor, we shall do so under true “colors” and with the flag of “Democracy and the Union,” instead of Independent.
Mr. Wieting at once made the paper Republican, and soon enlarged and otherwise greatly improved its appearance. In taking charge, he said, among other things:
“In religion we are independent, yet ever extending a cordial invitation to the clergy of all denominations, for such contributions, free from the taint of sectarianism, as they may see fit to present. In National politics, in compliance to our own feelings and judgment, as well as, we think, to the requirements of a large majority of the citizens of our county, we are and must be a Republican.”
In a short time Sower went out of the firm and Mr. Wieting disposed of half the office to T. J. Staley. The paper was run with good success for several years, part of the time J. F. Farley being interested in it, Staley having retired. Mr. Wieting had full control during the balance of the time. In November, 1866, the office was moved to Belle Plaine, Iowa, where the material has since been used on the Belle Plaine Union.
TAMA COUNTY REPUBLICAN
This paper was established in the winter of 1866-1867, the first issue making its appearance early in January, 1867. J. T. Rice was the founder. He was lately from Mount Vernon, where he had been in attendance at the Cornell College: In a short time J. T. Stewart purchased an interest, but did not, however, remain connected with the Republican very long. He sold to M. B. C. True, who, in a few months, purchased the entire office. Rice went to Denver, Colorado, but soon returned to Tama county.
During M. B. C. True’s management the name of the paper was changed to
“THE TOLEDO CHRONICLE,”
under which caption it still runs. He was from Jones county, and came to Toledo in 1868. Mr. True was a man of fine education, with a great deal of natural ability. He was not as successful with the Chronicle as had been hoped and expected by his friends, from the fact that he was too apt in his articles to overshoot the intelligence of the average reader of a country paper. On finance, political economy, or any of the great subjects, he could write telling and forcible articles; but he could not come down to plain, local work. He continued publishing the paper until 1873, when it was leased to Warren Harman, and he removed to Lincoln, Nebraska. Soon after his arrival in Nebraska he was admitted to the bar, and began to practice law; being also for a time interested in a daily paper in Lincoln. A few years ago he removed to Crete, in that State, and is again running a weekly paper. He has become a prominent man in Nebraska politics, and has served one term in the General Assembly of that State. During Mr. True’s residence in Toledo he made many warm friends; he was firm and positive in his convictions; pleasant, though rather retired, and a man of honor and integrity.
In the issue of January 16, 1873, M. B. C. True retired from the management, saying in his announcement of the fact:
How long the retirement will continue is uncertain. For the year 1873 Mr. Warren Harman will publish and edit the Chronicle. He is fully competent and is commended to the good people of Tama county. It may be proper to remark here that the ownership of the Chronicle is now vested in a joint stock company, named and styled, The Chronicle Company, in which the undersigned is a stockholder.
In vacating the editorial chair which he has occupied for the
last four years and a half, he regretfully ceases his weekly
communication with his many personal friends all over the
county—a communication that has become a daily pleasure.
M. B. C. TRUE.”
Mr. Harman was better calculated for a local writer than Mr. True. He came from Mount Vernon, and had also been in attendance at Cornell College. After retiring from the paper he removed to Cedar Rapids, where he still remains engaged in the real estate business and the practice of law. He was a single man; genial, pleasant, good-hearted and well liked.
With the issue of December 25, 1873 Warren Harman retired from the editorship of the Chronicle, the office having been sold to JAMES B. HEDGES, who in a short time enlarged and otherwise greatly improved its appearance. In assuming control, Mr. Hedges presented the following terse article as his “salutatory,” in the issue of January 1, 1874:
“It is customary for persons taking charge of a newspaper to commence his editorial career with some kind of salutatory or greeting, we presume you will expect something of the kind at the present time and hope you will bear with us while we try to tell you something of our plans and purposes for the coming year, and in fact as long as we have control of this paper.
“And in the first place we would state that we have bought the office and moved here, and expect to stay here as long as we receive a fair degree of support from the citizens of Toledo and Tama county.
“Having come here to stay and cast our interests in with yours, we shall do all in our power to assist in the upbuilding and advancement of our town and county in every respect. It will be our constant aim to make The Chronicle one of the best local papers in central Iowa, and we shall try to make each number an improvement on the preceeding one, and to this end we invite the assistance of every resident of the county—in furnishing us items and sending us communications on matters of general interest.
Politically, The Chronicle will continue to advocate the views and doctrines of the Republican party, believing that to be the great party of progress and reform. We will ever be found fighting against monopolies of every kind, and defending the interest of the farmers and mechanics and laborers.
“As soon as we can make all necessary arrangements, we intend putting an entire new dress on the paper and just as soon as our patronage will warrant it, we will enlarge to an eight column sheet. When we get our new dress we propose making The Chronicle one of the handsomest papers in the state, and it only remains with the business men to way whether we shall enlarge it or not. It is also our intention to put into the office a first class job department with which we will be enabled to do all kinds of job printing such as cards, circulars, letter heads, bill heads, statements &c. &c., in as good style as is done anywhere East or West, and at Chicago prices.
“Trusting that we may merit and receive a
generous and hearty support the ensuing year, and that it may
be one of prosperity and happiness to us all, we close by
wishing you each and every one a happy New Year.
J. B. Hedge
January 1st, 1874
Mr. Hedge still owns and publishes The Chronicle. When he assumed the control the circulation was about 1,000. The paper is a nine column folio, all printed at home. It is neatly gotten up, well printed and edited, and contains more original matter than any paper in the county. Mr. Hedge is a thorough newspaper man, well educated; a man of extensive reading and an easy and forcible writer.
James B. Hedge was born in Jackson county, Iowa, on the 19th of March, 1849. His parents were of English descent, although both were born in America; and were lineal descendants and indirect heirs of the Hedge’s of England who left such vast estates, which are now in litigation. His father was a carpenter and cabinetmaker. James B. was brought up at school and in 1858 commenced learning the printer’s trade. At nine years of age he began attending Cornell College, and, irregularly attended for over three years. In 1873 he came to Toledo and in September purchased the Toledo Chronicle, taking charge in the following January. Mr. Hedge was married January 25,1872, to Nellie C. Palmer of Marshalltown, formerly of New York City. They have three children—John Garnett, James B. Jr., and George R.
THE PRESS AT MONTOUR.
The various papers which have in the past been published at Montour are all defunct, and as no files of them are to be found, a full history cannot be obtained. The first paper published in the town was founded by W. W. Yarham in 1867 and was known as the Oxford Leader. Mr. Yarham furnished the people with weekly news for about eighteen months, when he sold the paper to W. M. Patrick and soon afterward to M. B. C. True, who removed the material to Toledo.
In 1879 A. A. Blackman founded the Montour Review which soon passed into the hands of D. A. Ellis & Bro., who continued its publication until the fall of 1882, when they removed the same to Bancroft.
THE TAMA COUNTY UNION.
This was the first newspaper published at Tama City. Cyrus B. Ingham was the founder, and the first issue made its appearance on the 26th of April, 1866. The first copy struck off is now in the hands of J. H. Hollen, of Tama City, who to encourage the enterprise paid $20 for it. At this time Tama City was known as Iuka. The editors of the paper were C. B. Ingham and C. E. Heath, it being a six column folio. Under the heading the following motto appeared:
“O! seize on truth where’er ’tis found.
Among your friends, among your foes.
On christian or on heather (sic) ground,
The plant’s divine where’er it grows.”
For two years the paper continued in this management, meeting with good success, both in advertising and in circulation. It then went into the hand of W. G. Cambridge, who changed the name to
THE TAMA CITIZEN.
He enlarged it to an eight column folio. During his management the paper had a good support and circulation.
In the latter part of 1875, Mr. Cambridge was taken seriously ill and the issue of the paper was stopped. A few months later the material was sold to F. J. M. WONSER, and on the eighth day of October, 1875 the paper resumed issue under the head of
THE TAMA HERALD.
It was made a nine column folio. Mr. WONSERr remained editor and proprietor of the Herald until June 2, 1882, having changed the size of the paper at different times to a six column quarto, and eight column folio. On the date named, the present proprietor and editor, W. W. Wonser, purchased and took charge of the office. On December 29, 1882, the size of the Herald was enlarged to a six column quarto—the only quarto form newspaper published in the county. It has a large and increasing circulation, and, it is the intention of the enterprising proprietor to add a power press to his already well equipped office.
W. W. WONSER is a lawyer by profession and in connection with the chapter upon the “Bar of Tama county” a personal sketch of him will be found. He is an educated and well-read man upon all topics and is a forcible and pungent writer.
TAMA CITY HERALD OF ECONOMY.
This is the title of a newspaper enterprise carried on in Tama City in 1868. It was a monthly sheet, distributed gratuitously through the city and surrounding country in the interest of the business men, its object being the advancement of the business prosperity of the town. It was well written, neatly printed and furnished a correct directory of Tama City at the time it flourished. The editor and proprietor was William Heath.
TAMA COUNTY LIBERAL.
This was a campaign paper started in the interests of the “good and true Democracy,” by Hon. L. G. Kinne of Toledo. This was for the general campaign of 1872 and the publication ceased soon after the election. The printing was done at Marshalltown, and it was one of the most ably edited papers ever published in the county.
CHELSEA PEOPLE’S FRIEND.
This paper was started at Chelsea in November, 1873, as an eight page, four-column-to-the page sheet. The founder was C. Fremont Neal. It was a well gotten up paper, but for some reason lived but a few months. The editor-in-chief was a Spiritualist.
THE TRAER CLIPPER.
This paper was established by Bernard Murphy, in 1874. It was an eight column folio, and made its first appearance on the 1st of January, 1874. Mr. Murphy was a good printer and an excellent writer. He continued to manage the paper until August 16, 1876, when it passed into the hands of Averill Brothers & Beatty. On January 1, 1877, they enlarged the paper to a nine column folio, and printed the paper entirely in the home office. In the fall of 1878 Averill Brothers bought Beatty’s interest, made it one of the official papers of the county, and attempted to make a metropolitan paper of it.
In this shape it continued until the night of the 24th of December, 1878, when the office was destroyed by fire. The proprietors struggled on, notwithstanding this discouraging event, until the 20th of July, 1879, when it passed into the hands of Hon. James Wilson, James Morison and R. H. Moore. In a short time the latter named gentleman withdrew from the firm, and Wilson & Morison continued to conduct it until November, 1881, when Hon. James Wilson assumed full control. On the first day of April, 1882, a half interest in the office was purchased by O. J. Smith, and the firm became Wilson & Smith.
In the issue of April 6, 1882, Mr. Smith said:
“It is usually customary when a new man takes the helm as editor, that he make an editorial bow, and salute his patrons by declaring his aims and intentions, and make promises concerning the course he proposes to pursue, but we shall forego the custom on this particular occasion.
We shall simply add, however, that we shall try to the best of our ability to aid Mr. Miller in making the Clipper second to no county paper in the Fifth congressional district in point of excellence.”
O. J. Smith had for eight years been editing the Shellsburg Record, was a natural and thorough newspaper man, and was very highly spoken of by the press in this part of the State. He at once became one of the editors of the Clipper. In this shape the paper remained until the first of August, 1882, when Hon. James Wilson, having been nominated for Congress, and pressed by other business, sold his interest to G. Jaqua. In closing his connection with the Clipper, among other things he said:
“I give over the care of the Clipper with regret. It is like a member of my family that I have worked for and thought for anxiously. It was poor and weak, it is strong and vigorous. Three years ago it had but few subscribers, now it has many. It was then a burden of expense, it is now a source of profit. Much of its success as a business enterprise is due to the untiring attention of Mr. James Morison, whose pride of locality induced him to devote time and thought to it. The present well filled local page and well appointed job office is due to the master hand of Mr. Smith. So, really, the work that we set out to do, to put a home paper on its feet, is done. It has the sympathy of a superior farming community and the confidence of a class of business men seldom equalled for honor and enterprise in the State. James Wilson”
Hon. GAMALIEL JAQUA at once assumed editorial duties. He was well known to the public, having settled in Buckingham township in 1856. He is a native of Ohio, born in Preble county, that State, December 30, 1828. He grew to manhood in Preble county, remaining at home with his parents until eighteen years of age, assisting upon the farm and attending district school. From this time he began teaching school during the winter months and attending school in the summer, until he attained his majority. He was appointed examiner of teachers for Preble county, and was afterwards elected county superintendent of schools. In 1856, as stated, he came west and located upon a farm in Buckingham township, and divided his attention for some time between teaching and farming. In 1866, he was elected a member of the Board of Supervisors and filled this office for a number of years. In 1875, he was elected to represent Tama county in the House of Representatives; and served for two terms, making a most industrious and faithful representative. He is a man of culture and education, well read on all subjects, a sound and logical writer, and well fitted for the editorial position he fills.
In introducing himself to the readers of the Clipper, Mr. Jaqua said:
“Having purchased the half interest of the Clipper belonging to Hon. James Wilson, in taking his place upon the same, it is only fit and proper for me to say that I shall to the best of my abilities, try to sustain for it the same reputation it now has in the county and elsewhere. Being a resident of the county for the last twenty-five years, it is needless for me to assure the public of the political course to be pursued in this paper while conduction the same. Republicanism is founded in the principles of justice and right and those claims will be set forth without fear or hesitancy. We shall treat all with courtesy and with a spirit of kindness and while we shall maintain with fervor, what we deem to be right, we hope to accord to all who differ with us an opportunity when space permits, to give their views to the public. .”
Thus the firms became Jaqua & Smith, who still own and conduct the paper. The Clipper is a neatly printed, nine column folio, well filled with home advertisements and local and general news. It has a circulation of over 1,300 and is among the most able, influential and prosperous county papers in the State.
TAMA COUNTY INDEPENDENT.
This newspaper enterprise was established by Rudolph Reichman in 1874. It was an eight column folio and made its first appearance on the 4th of July, 1874. Politically it was independent and supported the anti-monopoly party, contributing largely to the election of the candidates on that ticket during the fall. On August 1, 1877, S. W. Grove leased the office and ran a paper for a few months, when it again passed into Mr. Reichman’s hands, and was shortly afterwards sold to Nathan C. Wieting.
The Founder of this Paper, RUDOLPH REICHMAN, was born on the 15th of March 1821 in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He is a son of Christian and Anna Dorothea (Hansen) Reichman; his father being a printer by trade. He received his education at the High School of his native town. At the age of 16 he entered into apprenticeship in a printing office at Hamburg, Germany, serving as an apprentice for 5 years and 3 months. He traveled over a great portion of Europe for about seven years, working at his trade in different places. In 1850 he came to the United States, landing at Quebec, started for Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where he settled down and published a news paper in german, called the Wisconsin Republikaner. He remained at the head of that paper, for about one year, when he moved to Milwaukee, was engaged as foreman in the office of a german daily called the Volksblatt, until the spring of 1852, when he came to Davenport, Iowa; when in partnership with Mr. Theodore Guelich, he started a german weekly called Der Democrat. He remained there until 1856, then opened a real estate office which he continued until 1859, when on account of his health, he went to Mercer county, Ills., and engaged in farming until 1865; in the spring of which year he came to Tama county, Iowa, settling on sections 35-85-16, Spring Creek township, where he has owned in all about 1,300 acres of land. He now has a farm of 400 acres on sections 26 and 35 also 85 acres on sections 2-85-15. Here he remained until fall of 1873, when he removed to Toledo, Iowa, where in 1874 he edited and published the Tama county Independent. He sold his paper in 1878, and retired from active life. He now resides at his private residence and owns several lots and warehouses near the depot, in Toledo. Mr. Reichman held the office of Justice of the Peace until the fall of 1873 in Spring Creek township. In politics, he is an Independent and cast his first vote for president for John C. Fremont in 1856. He was married in 1847, at Bremen, Germany, to Anna Gotte, a daughter of Johann F. and Meta (Bruening) Gotte, by which union there are five children:—Ferdinand Gustav, Johanna Ernestine, Fannie, Henrietta and Louise Antoinette.
As soon as N. C. Wieting purchased the Independent, he changed the name to The Toledo Times, and Will Clark became interested in the publication of the paper. Clark had for two years been publishing the Penman’s Help, and the office of that paper was merged into that of the Times. He remained in partnership with M. Wieting in publishing the Times for a year and ten months, when he returned to his old home in Delaware county, New York, where he still fives, publishing the Andes Recorder. Mr. Wieting continued alone with the Times until April 1, 1881, when he rented it for one year to J. C. Prehm & Son. After remaining in their charge for about six months, Mr. Wieting purchased their lease and sold the office to Smith & Dillman. A large circulation had been worked up and the Times was one of the most popular newspapers in the county. Mr. Wieting was an easy and forcible writer, having had many years experience in literary work, and a man possessing a vast fund of information. He was editor of the first newspaper established in Tama county, and was among the first lawyers. (See bar chapter.)
On July 8th 1881, the Times was changed from a weekly to a semi-weekly publication, and also changed from a six column quarto to a six column folio. The editors said of the change: “There will be no change in our terms, either for subscription or advertising.” This was continued until September 23, 1881, when it resumed the old size and day of weekly publication.
With the issue on October 13, 1881, J. C. and A. A. Prehm retired from the management, Mr. Wieting, as stated, having sold the office to E. H. Smith and J. W. L.-Dillman. In their “good bye article,” the Messrs. Prehm say:
“With this issue, our connection this paper ceases. For three months, we have in connection with this, published a paper for Eagle Grove. We have disposed of our interest here and will at once remove to the Grove and devote our undivided attention to the interests of our paper at that place. In taking our leave, we feel that we are severing newly formed ties. We were weekly becoming more and more interested in our five thousand readers. But so it is. What is our loss, will be your gain. Messrs. Smith and Dillman will serve you better than we have. Our associations have been pleasant. The business men have been generous, and we have learned to feel at home among the good people of Toledo, for whom we bespeak a bright future.
PREHM AND SON.
Smith and Dillman, at once assumed control, changed the form of the Times from a six column quarto to a nine column folio, and greatly improved its typographical appearance. E. H. SMITH became editor and J. W. L. Dillman, publisher.
In this shape the management continued until August 3, 1882, when E. H. Smith died. He was aged twenty-nine years, a native of Dupage county, Illinois, and a graduate of Cornell College, in 1877. After graduating, he taught school until August, 1878, when he came to Toledo, and, in partnership with W. D. Lee, opened a book store. In July, 1881 Smith sold his interest in the store, and in a short time, with Mr. Dillman, purchased the Toledo Times, remaining in connection with it until the time of his death, which occurred while he was visiting his parents at Marengo, Illinois. He was an able writer, a man of honor and integrity, and his death was sincerely mourned by a large circle of friends.
The publication of the Times was continued by J. W. L. Dillman and the estate, under the old firm name, N. C. Wieting taking the place of editor, until December 28, 1882, when the office was sold to L. G. Kinne and H. J. Stiger.
In closing their connection with the paper, the publishers said they regreted exceedingly the fatality which produced this result, but as they could not control this adverse fate, they were obliged to abide the results, and thanked the subscribers and public for their patronage, and with best wishes for prosperity, bade them adieu.
With the issue on the 4th day of January, 1883, the name of the paper was changed to
THE TAMA COUNTY DEMOCRAT, and the names of Kinne and Stiger appeared at the mast-head, and the publishers and proprietors. In their salutatory, they say:
“The proprietors of the Democrat believe that there is an opening here for a first class democratic paper. We have been very considerate of the feeling of the people of this county who, in the past, have been maintaining eight Republican papers, and have purchased the Toledo Times office, including the subscription lists and good will. We shall aim to publish a decent and vigorous democratic paper. As newspaper men, we have no enemies to punish. We shall criticise without fear or favor, when in our judgment, it is necessary. Special effort will be made to make this paper a necessity in every family. We expect to merit and receive a liberal share of your patronage. As soon as practicable we shall make substantial additions to our office, enabling us to furnish a better and neater sheet. We are opposed to long introductions and prefer to let the paper speak for itself.—We have come to stay.”
On the 9th of March, 1883, Charles D. Huston purchased an interest in the office and the firm is now Kinne,Stiger & Huston, the later being a practical printer. The Democrat is now a well printed, neatly arranged, nine column folio, and its editor, Hon. L. G. Kinne, is one of the most able editorial writers in the State. Mr. Kinne is the law partner of Hon. George R. Stubble, and is noticed at length in the bar chapter. H. J. Stager, is also a member of the bar and is treated in the same chapter.
The Democrat has a very large and growing circulation; it editorials are strong and powerful, and the local columns in “make-up” style of writing and news, are second to no local paper in the State.
TAMA CITY PRESS.
The following is a history of this newspaper written by Samuel D. Chapman, son of the founder of the paper, and published in his “History of Tama county:”
“In consequence of the expression of the political views of the Republican papers in the county, the Democrats in Tama City and vicinity were desirous of establishing a Democratic paper, and S. M. Chapman, father of the writer, was persuaded to embark in the enterprise, and under the above name the first number was issued January 1st, 1874.
After publishing but a few issues the paper was turned over to J. B. Spafford and W. S. Mesmer, who issued it for a number of months, but, on account of want of capital, these gentlemen soon withdrew, and the paper went back into its first owner’s hands who again resumed the responsibility of publishing it. He afterwards sold an interest to S. W. Grove, and the paper was enlarged to a six column quarto, published every Friday morning by Chapman & Grove, with good success, having a large circulation and recognized as an efficient advertising medium, until the latter part of 1875, when it passed in the hands of J. B. Chapman, son of S. M. Chapman, who run the paper; making it one of the official papers of the county, until the latter part of 1877, when the material was sold to J. G. Strong, and removed to Grundy Center.”
THE PENMAN’S HELP.
Will Clark established this paper at Toledo in March, 1877. It was devoted to the interests of penman and penmanship. In April the name was changed to The Album of Pen Art, and it became an eight page semi-monthly, with a circulation that extended over thirty-two states of the Union as well as Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It was well gotten up and ably edited. In 1878 the office of the Penman’s Help was consolidated with the Toledo Times and Mr. Clark became associated with N. C. Weiting in the publication of that paper. In 1879, Clark withdrew and returned to New York, his native State.
This was the first newspaper established in Dysart, the first issue making it appearance on the 22nd day of March, 1878. The founder was T. N. IVES, who was politically an “Independent” and conducted his paper on those principles. In his salutatory he said: “Through many vicissitudes, which have been alike trying to our patience and our pockets we have at length surmounted the manifold obstacles that ever attend the starting of a newspaper, and to-day present to the public the first number of the Dysart Reporter. And while we are willing it should be the subject of fair criticism it may be necessary to remind you that we have labored under many disadvantages, always met in the establishment of a new enterprise, and are entitled to some leniency.
“Custom, a despot venerable with age, requires of us, at this time, a most respectful bow, and an introductory salutation, with an outline of our intentions in regard to the character of our paper.
We were moved by two great considerations in the establishment of a paper in Dysart, the first personal and material to ourself, the other common to the community at large. Believing, as we do, that the county surrounding and tributary to this town possesses superior agricultural and commercial advantages and, that nature has been lavish in its manifold gifts to this immediate locality, that enlightened enterprise will find here a field for successful operation, and that the treat natural resources it so abundantly possesses, will, in time, be made to yield a golden harvest to all whose genius and industry are devoted to the various pursuits that can here be so advantageously and successfully prosecuted; we concluded to cast our lot with the people of Dysart, and be participants in the realization of the coming worth and power of this part of our common country. We intend to make the Reporter a truthful reflex and representation of the intelligence, progress and prosperity of our town, and surrounding country. We intend that it shall grow as our young city grows; that its columns shall be used to convey information far and wide of our country, its railroads and its agricultural resources, of our town, its delightful location and many business advantages.
We intend to invite honest emigrants from every quarter to come and help us in developing our hidden riches and participate with us in the magnificent future. The Reporter will be eminently independent in tone, will discuss all questions of interest to the public with perfect freedom of thought, and criticise the acts of functuaries regardless of their political affinities or party predelictions. It will unsparingly denounce and condemn all that is corrupt, demoralizing, unjust, undemocratic or unrepublican in party measures or party leaders, acting upon the belief that independence of thought is the duty of every voter, and holding that the measures of men and parties shall be open and subject to just, impartial and candid criticism.
Although we shall devote a fair portion of our time and space to political and general matter, it is our ambition to make the Reporter pre-eminently a local paper, devoted to home interests, home business and home news. How well we shall succeed, depends greatly upon the support received. It the people of Dysart and vicinity desire a live paper, and we think they do, they will bestow their patronage liberally and promptly, and if they do this, we have no fears for the result.
With the above announcement we submit our paper to the
consideration of an enlightened public, hoping that the
intercourse between publisher and patrons may be both pleasant
T. N. Ives
Mr. Ives ran the paper until April 14, 1882. In his valedictory he says: “It is with a feeling akin to regret that I pencil the farewell that separates me, editorially from friends and associations of Dysart, but “the best of friends must part” and with the current issue of this paper, having sold the office to Mr. Elmer E. Taylor my name only appears in bidding a brief adieu. My sojourn in Dysart has been pleasant, and in the vista of the future no recollections will be cherished in my heart with greater pleasure, than the memories of the four years spent in the beautiful and enterprising town of Dysart. Whether or not my labors here, in the capacity of editor and publisher, have been fruitful, even in a limited degree, is not my province to assume. If you have seen anything amiss, please attribute it to an error of the head and not of the heart, and throw the broad mantle of charity over my mistakes and short comings. I hope the paper has been beneficial to the town, and exerted a good influence, and I am confident that under the new administration, or proprietorship, nothing will be left undone to advance its influence and usefulness.
It will be in charge of Mr. W. J. Endicott, whose name appears at the head of these columns. I take pleasure in introducing him to the patrons of the Reporter as a young man of ability and moral worth. He has taught several terms and is recognized as one of the successful teachers of the county. For some months past he has been learning the “Art Preservative” with Mr. Taylor, of the Traer Star, and is competent to, and I believe will, give you a paper that will merit a liberal patronage, which I hope and believe it will receive. I indulge in high hopes for this town and paper. My intercourse with the editors of Tama county, both socially and professionally, has been of the most agreeable nature. They are, one and all, the princes of good fellows.
My numerous tilts with good natured and witty Bro. Wonser, of
the Herald, occasional set-to’s with Bro’s Weiting, formerly of
the Times, Wilson of the Clipper, and Connell of the Courier,
together with and early “struggle” with Hon. G. Jaqua, and
prolonged discussion, in the Traer Star with my esteemed and
talented friend, Rev. D. L. Hughes, in all of which I was
worsted, but had the satisfaction of making it “lively for the
boys;” will afford pleasant recollections never to be forgotten.
These gentlemen are bound to me by that “three-fold cord not
easily broken.” May they live long and prosper. Arrangements
have been made by which all subscribers who have paid in advance
of this number, will receive the paper until their time expires.
Those in arrears will settle with me or some one I may appoint
as my agent. In conclusion I will add that the most friendly
feeling has ever existed between myself and patrons;—only one
thing transpiring to ruffle the sea of my newspaper life—and in
this, my farewell issue, there is a sadness which creeps over my
pencil that mellows the words into regret that my stay in your
midst cannot be longer.”
T. N. Ives
In their first issue the new editor and proprietor says:
“In this, our first appearance before the people of Dysart as manager of the Reporter, we thank the good people with whom we have become acquainted, for the cordial treatment we have received at their hands, and take this opportunity to solicit the assistance of all citizens in making the Reporter of interest to all. We do not presume to be as able a writer as the retiring editor, but we will endeavor by untiring energy to merit the patronage of every citizen of Dysart. We ask the forbearance of the people, if for a few weeks the paper does not contain the local news that it should, on the ground that we are not acquainted with the private citizens of the place. We intend to make the Reporter a paper of Dysart (and when we say Dysart we mean all the county of which Dysart is the trading center), and the outside world will be considered when we have an opportunity. The character of the paper will remain unchanged in regard to public affairs, and will have fixed opinions on public questions. We recognize every man’s right to reason for himself and believe as the preponderance of evidence seems to him to prove, and never while we have the control of these columns, shall they be made use of to insult any man on account of political affiliations. To quiet all apprehension on the head, we wish it distinctly understood that this is no man’s organ, but intended for the use and education of all, and while we turn the crank we shall always be grateful for contributions of music, and we hope they will take such advantage of the opportunity as the make the Reporter fair representative of this locality.
To hose who have been accustomed to write from other points, we would say we hope you will aid us and please the patrons of the Reporter by continuing these favors.
With these few remarks we divest ourselves of our coat and
settle down to solid business, preferring to leave missionary
spirits of Tama editors in doubt as to our origin, but giving
them all a cordial invitation to call and see us and give us
fatherly advice when pruning in this part of the moral
W. J. Endicott, Editor
Elmer E. Taylor, Proprietor.
They ran the paper until November 17, 1882, when the following appeared as their valedictory.
“’Full many a flower was born to blush unseen
And waste its sweetness on the desert air’
Perhaps were they but found they’d be plucked up, and naught remain to show they’d once been there. Perhaps it is not the correct thing for a retiring editor to quote poetry; it sounds like a corpse composing a march for its own funeral. But the above stanza is the editor’s only, for no other class are so modest as to “blush unseen.” It is with regret that we lay aside a title that some of our best citizens have won honors for, and parting chords of friendship cause a pang as we bid good bye to the fraternal brotherhood; with a single exception in the feminine gender, the Van Horne Times.
‘To all for tight short, anxious months,
Our labor has been given;
But if a fellow lives on faith,
He’s got to board in heaven.’
“A printer must have a limited amount of patronage to keep soul and body in the same neighborhood. We have tried to earn the approbation of the just and the reproaches of the unjust. Next to a wiseman’s friendship we prize a fool’s enmity. If we have friends, we are grateful to them for the many manifestation of kindness as the emotions of a heart that knows how to feel gratitude can express. We also thank the opposition for their lack of management in their efforts to injure us. There is an element that no one can please. They are the mercury of mankind, never at rest themselves, nor allowing others to rest who have anything to do with them.
“Chief among our many sins, was the fault that we had not a wife and nine or eleven children. Should we ever conclude to found a paper of our own, we will borrow the widow and orphans of Brigham Young for the sake of appearances. The only fault that the proprietor had, was that we was born in Traer. Now, we solemnly warn succeeding generation to consider well before they select a town in which to be born. Many a brilliant youth has ruined his prospect for life by being born in the wrong locality. Start right, and success is assured. If we were to start anew in life, we believe that we would remedy our fault in this direction. There is a class that think to intimidate a printer into a passive consent to their ways by a withdrawal of patronage extended for the same purpose. They have only to contemplate their failure to convince themselves of their mistake. To the anti-men who have been loud in their denunciations of our course, we say that you have, from this time forth, a more active enemy than before. We inherited little beside a good name and a clear conscience, and we propose to keep them good. We now know what principle will do, and while no one can suit himself and everybody else at the same time, he had better suit himself first and then you will know that some one is pleased. We have done all that it was possible for us to do—or best.
“If we deserve credit we are not afraid a just public will withhold their appreciation. If we have failed it is our own loss; but whatever be the estimation in which our labors may be held by others, there is no regret in our own mind.
“In taking leave, it is hardly necessary to introduce one so well known as our successor, FRED W. BROWNE. He is a practical newspaper man and will give the citizens a paper worthy of support. The shape and size of the paper will be changed from a seven column folio to a six column quarto, so that the places that have known the Reporter shall know it no more. We thank the people again for their kindness; and no one that has not been a stranger with nothing to recommend him can appreciate our gratefulness.”
Fred. W. Browne in his first issue gave the following as his
“With this issue the Reporter appears under a new management, and, having purchased the office, subscription list and good will of the former proprietor, M. Elmer E. Taylor, W. J. Endicott retires, and we assume entire control. We shall make no extravagant statements to start on, lest we fall short of them; but we shall put forth our best efforts to maintain the present good standing of the paper, and endeavor to improve in constantly.
“Our columns will be devoted to matters of most interest and importance to Dysart and the vicinity from which we chiefly receive our support. We will advocate such measures and policies as we deem best of the welfare of our patrons, and shall defend their rights against all encroachments of any form. We shall aim to give the latest general news, political items, and make a specialty of local and county news. And we solicit the consistent efforts of all those who have any interest whatever in the paper to aid us.
We ask you indulgence on this issue, as we have had much to do in little time, have been hindered by the non arrival of goods, and deprived of the use of a most faithful servant, our right arm, by a painful gathering on the wrist, rendering us unfit for mental as well as incapable for physical labor. We have to thank our good friend, T. W. Ives, founder of the Reporter, for its appearance this week, and much credit is due to him for coming to the rescue.
Hoping that the Reporter may hereafter merit you favor and
fully meet you anticipations, we greet you.
Fred. W. Browne.”
Under Mr. Browne’s editorship and management the Reporter is rapidly increasing in circulation, and it has become one of the standard papers of Tama county.
Fred. W. Browne, editor and proprietor of the Dysart Reporter, was born in Black Hawk county, Iowa, on the 5th day of January, 1857. He is a son of W. P. and Martha (Wiley) Browne, both natives of Maine. In 1863, the parents came to Tama county and located at Tama City where the father engaged in the grain trade. Mr.. Browne received his education in the public school of Tama City and from private instruction. He learned the art of printing in the Press office in Tama City. In 1877, he purchased the Gilman Dispatch and was editor of that paper until May, 1879, when he disposed of it a bought the Tribune at Fremont, Nebraska. In September, 1879, he sold the Tribune, and established the Illinois Tradesman at Peoria, Illinois with which he was connected for about five months. He was then engaged in job printing in Chicago until November, 1882, when he purchased the Dysart Reporter, which, under his efficient editorship, is fast becoming one of the leading papers in Tama county. August 16, 1880, he was united with Miss Mary Williamson, a native of Pennsylvania and daughter of F. Williamson and early settler of Tama City. They have one child—Bessie, born October 18, 1882. He is thorough newspaperman, an able writer and a man posted upon almost allsubjects.
TAMA COUNTY NEWS.
This paper was started at Tama City, by The News Publishing Company, an outgrowth of the Tama county Democrat established by W. S. Groves at Toledo in April, 1878 afterward bought by CLARK & WINN, and run by them as an independent sheet. In October 1880, it was bought by the News Publishing Company and moved to Tama City the first issue being October 7, 1880. The following was their salutatory. “On this date we present a copy of the News for the inspection of the public. We have no wild of extravagant promises to make, but will let the News venture out upon the rough and rugged sea of journalism upon its merits and favors it may receive from the reading public. It will be the aim and ambition of the company to make the News a complete courier of news, and to chronicle all matters of interest throughout Tama county. In politics it will be Democratic, not of the fluctuating kind, but open and uncompromising in its principles. It is hoped that every Democrat in this and adjoining counties can see the necessity of an organ in this field of Democracy, and will give it their hearty support—not promises, but financial, as well as the good work it may deserve. We have founded the News for the purpose of helping to sustain our strong hold upon the opposition, and expose the crookedness and corruption of the old ring leaders and stalwarts of Republicanism. We will uphold no ‘’76 conspiracy,’ no 7 to 8 commissions, nor defend any participators in bribery and frauds; but censure and expose any one guilty of such demeanor. Trusting that every Democrat in Tama county will not falter, but come to the support of his cause and organ, without hesitancy, we submit the News to your cause and support. Truly your fellow democrats, news publishing company.”
This company ran the News until March 31, 1881, at which time dates their last issue, in which they say, through the editor, John E. Chapman: “With this issue the News will pass in the hands of W. R. Lesser, formerly of the Enterprise, of State Centre. This change comes as do changes in any branch of business. Men will change their ideas and plans, and often it is necessary to make a change in one’s vocation to affect the desired end. We have concluded to change our business and enter into some branch of the mercantile trade, and to do this we are obliged to sell this office. It will be remembered that the News was purchased from J. M. Winn, of Toledo, and moved to Tama City by its managers, and here let us say, that the present managers entered into the publication of the News without the aid and help of any one, independent and alone, on business principles, and considered it wholly—a business transaction. We are under obligations to no one, asked no aid, expected none—as we had the individual backing and finance to see our way through, and we desired to be free from obligation to any one. We did express the hope that every Democrat in the county would see the necessity of having and supporting a Democratic organ in the county, but after six months of tedious waiting, we found that the Democracy would not come to the support of this paper (a few excepted, their own kindness would tell them who), and finding that the Democrats would not sustain their paper and as we found that our main support came from Republican friends, we concluded, as we could not conscientiously publish a paper in opposition to those who support it, neither could we desert the golden principles of Democracy to please them—hence the change comes. We did all that we consider can be asked of us, informed the leading Democrats of our intentions, but they took no interest and did nothing. It cannot be expected that we can carry all the burden of publishing the paper in the interests of the party unless the advocates of the party come to its support. Let it be understood that we do not complain of the financial success of the News since we purchased it, for it has been a gratifying success in this particular to us—far exceeding our anticipations. Our files show a liberal patronage, not dead advertisements but fair paying ones, not at prices as should be, as advertising in this place has been recklessly and unreasonably spoiled by former newspaper men. Our list of subscribers reaches the hundreds (nearly two-thirds Republican) and nearly all paid. Or job rooms have enjoyed a gratifying run of work at fair rates. Taking it as a whole we do not complain. We have worked for patronage and have made several hundred dollars clear of expenses during the last six months. We took hold of the office with the determination of making, not losing money, and we have succeeded. We make no promises in the beginning, and have none to forfeit—we consider the matter wholly a business transaction. We have endeavored to make the News a clean, readable sheet—in this we have succeeded—by tried patience and endurance, and can thank the public for an approval of this course. During the time we have wielded the pen on the News, we have received many cheerful and encouraging words from friend, for which, we thus publicly tender our sincere thanks, and to the business men of this thrifty and growing city, we shall ever feel under obligations for their courtesies and patronage. Toward our exchanges abroad, we owe a gift of gratitude, for the fairness with which we have been treated and the courtesies receiver. In brief, our short connection with the News, has been a period of pleasantness to us, and if we were to continue in the paper business we would not wish for a better and more profitable field than here in the metropolis of Tama county, with all its bright future. We most earnestly hope the News is on the road to prosperity,—though it be and independent paper, as Mr. Lesser informs us he will make it.
“Mr. Lesser is well known in this place and has had years of
experience in the printing business, and doubtless will make it
a success. He has purchased the office fixtures, and the
subscription books, and will continue the paper to those who
have paid in advance, and collect all arrearages. The book
accounts for advertising and job work will be collected by us at
once. We expect (nothing to the contrary,) to remain h ere and
enter into business and feel confident that our standing among
the people in Tama City is such that we can friendly and
unembarrassingly ask your patronage if we do enter into other
business here. Considering the above a fair statement, and again
thanking you for your patronage, we subscribe ourself.
John E. Chapman, Editor.”
Mr. Lesser changed the name of the paper to: the free press.
His first issue appeared April 15, 1881, with the following announcement:
“How often the remark, ‘Well, he’ll soon be glad to come back again,’ is mad in regard to a person who has resided in a town for a number of years, when he takes his departure therefrom. In many cases, it proves to be the truth, and if any one uttered the aforesaid sentence when we left Tama City two years ago, they spoke the ‘Gospel Truth’ for we are back again and as far as we are able to peer into the future, to remain, adding our mite towards making Tama City what every citizen wishes to see her—a prominent city of Iowa. It is useless for us to introduce ourselves to the citizens of Tama City and vicinity, for we are well known to the larger majority of them, so we pass to more important things. There is no doubt in our mind, and we presume every citizen has the same ideas, but that for Tama City, there are in the future many bright days in store for her, and they will be very bright, as a contrast to the dark ones, which for various reasons has hovered over her in the past, and we shall work faithfully, doing all in our humble power, to add brightness to those days. We shall publish, as far as national politics are concerned, an independent sheet, with a right to say what we please on either side, but we shall pay greater attention to town and county news, than to political broils. Our aim will be to furnish a paper unobjectionable to any one of any fireside, always having Tama City’s and Tama county’s interest in view, giving all the local and county news it is possible for us to obtain, making a paper which will be real with almost equal interest in all parts of the county, and by all classes—the merchant, mechanic, farmer, laborer, &c. We shall endeavor to get a good live corps of correspondents who will chronicle all the news of their district; an educational column, conducted by some competent educator, devoted to the interest of the Tama county schools, will also be a prominent feature of this journal.
“We are aware that in taking this paper we are doing so under peculiar disadvantages, which we shall work with all our power to overcome, and we ask our readers to bear gently with us, and not judge us too harshly at the beginning, but, give us little time, wait, and see how things will develop, and in the meantime we shall strive hard for success. At all times we shall be awake to the interests of our business men, and shall hold ourselves in readiness to serve them in whatever manner the occasion and welfare demands. There are a number of things connected with our town, which, from our two years experience in other towns, we would like to see different, and which, from our two years experience in other towns, we would like to see different, and which we are certain were they changed or worked on different principles, would be of great benefit to the town and its citizens, and as time passes by, we shall work for that end. The Free Press starts out with a good subscription list, well distributed throughout the county; about equally between the Republicans and Democrats, and we wish to say right here, and hope all will comply with the request, that we wish all persons receiving a Free Press directed to them in any post-office, to accept it and read it carefully, for one month or four numbers, and if at the end of that time they do not wish to continue taking the paper, they can call our office, or drop us a postal card, informing us of their desires, and we will discontinue sending it, without any expense whatever to them for the four numbers received. We shall deem it a special favor if all will accept the paper on the above terms. With our contemporary the Herald, we expect pleasant relations, and shall do all we possibly can to keep out of what very few people rejoice in, but what to general readers is very disgusting—‘a newspaper fight.’ Perhaps a harmless joke or pun may pass between us, but for a fight where the character of each editor will be picked to pieces and scattered broadcast to the world, we shall certainly refrain from. With a few words to the business men of the town we shall close. We are aware that for a number of years there has been a great many dollars’ worth of job work sent to foreign offices, which, by all means, should have been done at home. We are confident that we can give satisfaction to our patrons in all classes of work, that can be done in a country town, at prices equally as cheap and in some cases cheaper, taking into consideration, cost of transportation, quality of stock used. We have an excellent job office, new and late styles of type, good presses, and a well selected stock of stationery, and we do thing it is right for our business men, to give all of their work to home offices in lieu of sending it away. We do not, by any means, ask that all of it should come to the Free Press office, but that it should be divided between the two home offices.
“Tama is not, nor never has been an advertising town, but we
are certain that it pays, not because we are in the business,
but from the experience of leading business men of the country,
and we hope in time to demonstrate the fact to the business men
of Tama City, until every business in the town is represented in
some manner in the columns of its home papers. Before closing,
we wish to make another suggestion, and that is, praise of our
town by its citizens at home and abroad. If a stranger asks you
‘what kind of a town you have got here; tell hem, and tell it to
him strong; do not, of course, misrepresent the place, that will
not be necessary, as the prospects of our town to-day are such,
that it can be shown up in glowing colors. There is a town not
many miles from here, which owes a goodly share of its
popularity to the praise of its residents, and such a course by
the citizens of Tama City, will develop in its way, good
results. Already Tama is gaining a valuable reputation abroad,
and we should all ‘put our shoulder to the wheel’ and keep’er
booming. We have, in our own mind, set our stake high on the
journalistic mountain, and shall work hard to reach it, and
perhaps pass it, but if we fail, no one but ourself will ever be
Wallace R. Lesser.”
Within two weeks Mr. Lesser changed the Free Press from a six column quarto weekly to a six column folio semi-weekly, making Tuesday and Friday, the days of issue. This arrangement is still continued by Mr. Lesser. The Free Press is neatly printed, well made up and ably edited. Mr. Lesser is a genial, affable gentleman, a natural newspaper man and an easy and pungent writer.
Wallace R. Lesser, editor and proprietor of the Free Press, is a native of Huntsville, Texas, born August 6, 1856. His father was of French descent, his mother American, the former died in Tama City, January 5, 1875; his mother is still living and making her home with her son in Tama City. Wallace was brought up until eleven years of age, at the place of his birth, attending select school, when he went with his father’s family to Chicago, where they remained a short time and then removed to New York City. Here they remained for nearly two years, when they moved to Earlsville, Illinois, and in 1872, came west and located in Tama City. Wallace had the advantages of a good education, attending the high school while in New York, and in 1874, began learning the printers’ trade. In April, 1879, he purchased the Gilman, Marshall county Dispatch, published that paper for one year and then sold out and purchased the State Centre Enterprise. In April, 1881, he sold that and purchased the Free Press, of which he is still proprietor. He was married in 1877, to Maggie A. Brown, a native of Tama county, and three children have blessed the union, Walter, Lawrence and an infant.
THE TRAER STAR
This spicy sheet came into existence at the instigation of Elmer E. Taylor, in 1878, the first issue making its appearance on Wednesday, the first day of May. Its size was a five column folio, or, twenty columns, all printed at home. It was neatly printed and well gotten up, both editorially and mechanically. In his salutatory Mr. Taylor said:
“It is with extreme modesty that we take upon us the duty of editor, for we feel that its paths are not always paths of pleasantness and peace, nor its duties, duties of delightfulness; but with the help of other power which we believe will come in time, we feel safe in venturing out on the waves of the editorial sea. If we are wrong, it will only make the waves dash higher to lecture, for it is now too late—one thing that will quiet the waves is to come up now and then and encourage rather than discourage.
“We mean to try and run a paper that will correspond with a common person’s pocket-book—little, but lively —not only in form but in finance.”
The subscription price of the Star was announce as being $.75 cents when paid in advance, and #1.00 if not paid within one month. It was announce that it would, for the present, take no active part or sides in politics, although the editor was a Republican. In this shape the Star remained until its issue of August 20, 1879, when it was enlarged to a seven column folio. At this time the paper assumed its political standing; the editor in his remarks concerning the change, saying:
“The Star will hereafter take sides and part in politics and labor for the principles advocated b the grand old Republican party, which has won so many achievements and triumphs—which has preserved the Union, destroyed slavery, amended the constitution in the interest of human freedom, and has established the nations credit abroad and made it honored and respected in the eyes of the whole world.”
Since that time the Star has been enlarged to an eight column folio, and the subscription to #1.50 per year. The paper has a good advertising patronage and is well gotten up. It has a healthy and growing circulation and is one of the best local papers in the county. Mr. Taylor is a native of Tama county; was brought up here and is therefore, well known. He is a thorough and practical printer, a natural newspaper man, and is giving his patrons a satisfactory paper.
The first number of this sheet appeared in June, 1880, shortly after the first house was built in the town. S. W. Grove, a peripatetic printer, was editor and proprietor. The paper was a five column quarto, and was soon well filled with the advertisements of the live business men of the young town. Grove remained in connection with the paper until the spring of 1881, when he sold out and bid farewell to the people of Gladbrook in the following terms:
“We have sold the Courier to R. E. Austin, Esq., of Tama City, who in turn has sold it to Mr. W. F. Winn, of Toledo, whom we take pleasure in recommending to our patrons as a young gentleman of energy and good financial backing, and also as a printer of considerable experience.
“The people of Gladbrook have been good to me, and more than kind to the Courier. For this we thank them. Earth contains no town of its size which can show a more intelligent and liberal lot of business men than the men who make up Gladbrook. Now, that the bitter winter, which seriously tried men’s souls and reached the bottom of pockets not too well filled (our own, for instance), is over, and old winter has been ousted from the lap of spring, let us hope that not only the Courier, under its new regime, but all the town under its old control, may prosper as never before. Gentlemen of Gladbrook, let us shake Good bye.”
The first issue of the Courier under the new management bore date May 12, 1881. The names of J. M. and W. F. Winn were place at the head of the columns as editors and proprietors. In their salutatory they say:
“We hope to make the Courier readable and profitable. Politically, when it may seem reasonable to talk politics at all, the Courier will talk straight republicanism, reserving the right to criticize the principles of parties and the actions of politicians, of whatever faith. We shall endeavor to be straightforward and outspoken in all things, while always striving to show a due regard for the rights and principles of others; but when we make a chalk line upon a public topic, we will ‘hew to the line, let the chips fall where they may.’ We do not hope to revolutionize journalism by our advent into its ranks. Undoubtedly there will be many things for us to learn and many details to perfect before we shall see the Courier as good as we wish to see it, but we shall labor diligently and zealously to make it so.”
The quarto form of the paper was retained, but more attention given to its mechanical appearance. In its make-up a vast improvement was noticed. The matter in its columns was arranged with taste and regularity. But a few months passed before it came out in an entire new dress, and much improved. During the campaign of the summer and fall of 1881, Dan. Connell was in editorial management. In the Courier under date of June 16, 1881, Mr. Connell made his editorial bow, as follows:
“In assuming management of the editorial page of the Courier, we are not sure that an introduction is necessary. Twenty-six years’ residence in Tama county makes us familiar with her people and her wants, and had identified us with its interests. As we may occasionally speak on politics, an introduction is not necessary, as every politician in the county is familiar with our views and methods of stating them.”
Mr. Connell did good work in the editorial department of the Courier during the campaign of 1881. As a writer he was pleasing and always spoke to the point. Mr. Connell’s name was carried at the head of the columns of the paper until July 13, 1882, although for a few months previous he had done but little writing.
On the 2d of February, 1882, J. M. Winn withdrew from the firm, and Wm. Milholland became associated with the junior partner, under the firm name of Winn & Milholland. His connection ceased June 29, 1882, when W. F. Winn became sole proprietor.
On the issue bearing the date April 13, 1882, the form was changed to an eight column folio, in which shape the Courier still remains.
WALTER T. WINN, Editor of the Courier, is a native of Knox county, Ohio, and son of J. M. and Mary F. Winn, now of Toledo, Iowa, was born in 1862. He received his education at Toledo, and began his career as a printer in the office of the Toledo Times, in 1879. In 1880, he started the Tama County News in partnership with William Clark, but in the same year sold his interest, and, moving to Gladbrook, in April, 1881, bought the Gladbrook Courier, a weekly paper, of which he is now editor and proprietor. He was married June 29, 1882, to Mess Emma J. Lawson, daughter of Harvey B. and Maria (Stewart) Lawson. Mr. Winn is a member of the V. A. S. society of Gladbrook, is respected as a citizen, and his success in managing newspaper work has more than proven his adaptability to that profession. He is a pungent and pleasing writer, and his articles are always to the point.
This newspaper was established at Toledo in 1880, by S. W. GROVE, as a seven-column folio. After publishing it for a few months Grove sold the office to Clark & Winn and it was shortly afterward removed to Tama City. Grove had been in the newspaper business in Tama county a number of years previous to this, and was a good printer. He is now somewhere in the northwestern part of the State publishing a newspaper. The office of the News has since been merged into that of the Tama City Free Press, and publication of it given up.
THE TAMA NORTHERN
This newspaper is published at Gladbrook. It was established in 1881, by THOMAS I. MANN, the first issue making its appearance on the 11th of March, as a seven column folio. Friday was the day of issue, and the subscription price $1.25 per year. In his “greeting,” Mr. Mann said, in connection with other matters:
“Before coming into your presence, editorially we could not refrain from pausing, hesitating, doubting long at the threshold.
“No one more fully realizes the fact that we are falable and liable to make mistakes than we do ourselves. No one could be more alive to the truth, that the pathway of an editor has but few resting places in it; but few and far between are the flowers that bedeck it, and should he fall by the way, the good Samaritan of our day seldom happens by with his ministrative agencies and he is left to expire in entire oblivion.
“It was in view of these things that we hesitated. But, be it unfortunate for us or otherwise, for having concluded to become a ‘printer’ this impetus was given us on recalling a strange bit of wisdom dropped from the pen of that profound philosopher Ben Franklin. He said: ‘If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.’ While it may occur to some ungenerous mind that our prospects of remembrance after death according to the above, is not the most flattering, we trust that the people of Gladbrook and Tama county generally, will not be wholly unappreciative of endeavors at least, to write and do that which may be of some service to them.
“Hoping that we may not be met with the coldest reception the
world might afford, we subscribe ourselves, editorially yours.
T. E. Mann”
The Northern is still owned and published by Mr. Mann, although for a time his father, S. S. Mann was associated with him in its publication. The paper has undergone several changes in size, and has finally become a neatly printed seven-column folio, the same as when started.
In March, 1883, the Northern closed its second volume, and entered upon its third. The editor said regarding the event:
“With this issue, the Tama Northern closes its second year. It is now two years old. In starting the Northern we made no small venture. Without the least experience in the newspaper business or in the manipulation of type, without a purse full of wealth, and without a powerful political party to look to for support, with out a hope of getting a draw at eh public ‘pap,’ with only a few forlorn ‘fanatics,’ perhaps half a dozen, to wish us well, we launched our craft. It has buffeted with many a storm, undergone many ups and downs, but we have been enabled to keep aboard, and acting upon the advice of the great captain to his soldiers, we have not given up the ship.”
The Northern now has an extensive and growing circulation, and has a bright outlook for the future. Mr. Mann publishes the paper upon a press of his own invention, which works in a much more rapid and satisfactory manner than the usual $200. Washington hand-press.’ and which cost him only about $40. The politics of the paper are with the National Greenback Labor Party.
THOMAS E. MANN was born near Centerville, Delaware county, Ohio, September 27, 1856. When about six monthis (sic) old, his parents moved to Jackson county, Iowa, where they lived for ten years, then came to Spring Creek township. His advantages for an early education were very limited, but at seventeen he was given a fall term in a graded school and at nineteen his father allowed him his time. The following four years of his life were spent in teaching and attending college. He completed his academic course one year after his marriage. Mr. Mann was married April 6, 1878, to Miss Emma Fortner, who was a resident of Le Grand, Iowa, and a daughter of Rev. Hiram Fortner, an ordained minister of the Christian Church. Mrs. Mann is a graduate of the Le Grand Academy. This union has been blest with three children—Modesta Emma, De Arve and Floy Belle. Mr. Mann, in politics is a Greenbacker. He is a man of good ability, a strong writer, and is fearless in advocating questions which he deems right and essential to the public welfare. Mr. Mann descended from a family which came to this country from the Isle of Man, from which island the family derived its name. The nationality of the family at that time, was pure Scotch, but by inter-marriage the blood has been commingled with various nations. His great grandfather, Shuah Mann, migrated from Newton, Sussex county, New Jersey, to the vicinity of Columbus, Ohio, in a very early day and died there at the age of eighty-two. Thomas Mann, oldest son of Shuah Mann, still lives near Centerville, Delaware county, Ohio. The father of the subject of this sketch, Shuah Strait Mann and oldest son of Thomas Mann, is mentioned elsewhere in this volume.
THE DYSART RECORD
This paper was established by T. N. Ives, the first number appearing Friday, January 5, 1883. The following appeared in the first issue:
‘Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. Going forth, they shall walk and and (sic) weep, scattering the seed, but returning, they shall return with joy and bring their sheaves with them.’
“Here’s or shear. What do you think of it? Perhaps some will reply like the deacon’s son, who was relating to the minister how the bees had stung his father, and the minister inquired: ‘Stung your pa, did they: What did you pa say?’ The boy replied: ‘Step this way a moment, please; I’d rather whisper it to you.’ However, we have engaged in the newspaper busines (sic) again in Dysart, and with the commencement of the new year 1883, present the first number of the Dysart weekly Record as a candidate for public favor. A live, progressive newspaper is a mirror of reflecting society, and has a most definite and positive relation to the life of the community. The poet truly says:—
‘Mightiest of the mighty means
On which the arm of progress leans—
Man’s noblest mission to advance,
His woes assuage, his weals advance,
His rights enforce, his wrongs redress
Mightiest of mighty is the press’
“We expect to make the Record a permanent fixture of Dysart, and important factor in its future progress and prosperity, and a welcome weekly visitor at the fireside where it is read. As to the political course we intend to pursue; it is hardly necessary to speak, as we are so well known in Tama county. Whether it is on account of being obliged in our younger days to ride a bare-back horse, none too fat, for the purpose of cultivating the corn and potatoes, or for some other reason, we cannot tell, but we have always had an abhorance for the sharp edge between two sides of a question. Aside from the uncomfortableness of the position, it is very hard to maintain, especially in newspaper work.
“Hence we will aim to be independent, not neutral, and as it is impossible to say a thing a dozen ways at the same time, we will run this paper to suit ourself, making due allowance for the feelings of others, and at all times endeavoring to do what is right. In fine, this paper will fill a ‘long felt want’ and you want it.”
The Record has grown rapidly in popularity and has a healthy subscription list.
T. N. IVES, founder and present proprietor of the Dysart Record, was born in Canada West, February 26, 1835. He is a son of A. J. and Mary H. (Horner) Ives. In 1839, his parents came to Iowa and settled in Louisa county, where his father engaged in the mercantile business at Wapello. His early education was acquired in the common schools, and he afterwards learned the printer’s trade. His first editorial work was at Wapello, where he, in company with James D. Barr, established the Louisa county Record, in 1859. He afterward published the Morning Sun Reporter, in the same county. In 1878, he came to Dysart and established the first paper, the Reporter. In 1882, Mr. Ives sold out the Reporter, and in January, 1883, began publishing the Record. Mr. Ives is an able writer, and his success proves beyond a doubt, that in accepting the profession of an editor he chose the one that destiny had marked out for him. He was married in 1868, to Miss Lizzie P. Hayes, a native of Delaware. Three children bless their union—Robert F., Eva A. and Walter.
THE TEACHER AND STUDENT
This is an educational journal edited by the county superintendent in the interest of the teachers of the county and the students of Western College. It is published at Toledo; is a four column folio fresh and bright and treats at length on all important educational questions.
This paper is a valuable addition to the many enterprises
inaugurated to elevate the educational status of the county, and
as such is receiving hearty support. This paper, it is said, is
the first of the kind in the State, and since its first
publication, nineteen like journals have sprung up.
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