IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Table of Contents

History of Clayton County, Iowa
Chapter VIII

The Press

Clayton County Herald * Clayton County Journal
North Iowa Times * Col. A.P. Richardson * McGregor News
Mississippi Valley Register * Die Nord Iowa Herald * Elkader Register

(page 376-377)

There is no instrumentality, not even excepting the pulpit and the bar, which exerts such an influence upon society as the press of the land. It is the Archimedian lever that moves the world. The talented-minister of the gospel on the Sabbath day preaches to a few hundred peole; on the following morning his thoughts are reproduced more than a thousand fold, and are read and discussed throughout the length and breadth of the land. The attorney at the bar, in thrilling tones, pleads either for or against the criminal arraigned for trial, often causing the jury to bring in a verdict against the law and the testimony in the case. His words are reproduced in every daily reached by the telegraphic wire, and his arguments are calmly weighed by unprejudiced men and accepted for what they are worth. The politicain takes the stand and addresses a handful of men upon the political qustions of the day; his speech is reported and read by a thousand men for every one that heard the address. Suddenly the waters of one of our mighty rivers rise, overflowing the land for miles and miles, rendering thousands of people homeless and without means to secure their daily bread. The news is flashed over the wire, taken up by the press, and is known and read of all men. No time is lost in sending to their relief - the press has made known their wants and they are instantly supplied. "Chicago is on fire! Two hundred millions worth of property destroyed! Fifty thousand people rendered homeless!" Such is the dread intelligence proclaimed by the press. Food and clothing are hastily gathered, trains are chartered, and the immediate wants of the sufferers are in a measure relieved.

The power for good or evil of the press, is to-day unlimited. The short comings of the politician are made known through its columns; the dark deeds of the wicked are exposed;l and each fear it alike. The controlling influences of a Nation, State or county is its press, and the press of Clayton County is no exception to the rule. Since Henry S. Granger started the Clayton County Herald, in 1853, the press of Clayton County has been an important factor in all things tending to the general welfare of the county.

(page 377)

This was the first newspaper established in Clayton County. Its publication commenced Jan. 28, 1853, a few weeks later than originally intended. Had its first issue appeared when intended it would have been the first paper north of Dubuque, but the Lansing Intelligencer was issued a week or two previous. Henry S. Granger was editor and proprietor, and the sheet was a six column folio. In his salutatory the editor said:

"In politics we are--no matter what. The Herald will be neither Whig nor Democrat, but will, as far as possible, give the people news of the day, and keep its readers advised of the proceedings of all parties, without expressing a decided opinion as to the particular merits of eighter, believing as we do that much good and some evil belong to each."

At the expiration of a year and a half Mr. Granger retired from the editorial chair, disposing of the office to A. W. Drips, who on assuming control, wrote one of the shortest salutatories on record. It is as follows:

   "I have bought the Herald office, and will assume its responsibilities. The paper will remain neutral in politics. With respect, A. W. Drips."

Mr. Drips continued alone in the publication of the Herald until Nov. 17, 1856, and under his management it ranked among the best county papers in the State. On the 17th he associated with him in its publication John McBride.

(page 377-382)

The Journal is the successor of the Clayton County Herald, and made its first appearance at Guttenberg, Thursday, May 6, 1858, Williard F. Howard, Editor and Publisher. It was printed on the type with the press that formerly printed the Herald The salutatory of Mr. Howard was short, opening with an apology, and informing his readers that it was his first newspaper experience. In politics the Journal proposed to advocate the principles of the Republican party, "believing," so the salutatory read, "that the principles of that party are the true principles on which our Governement was founded, and if properly carried out will add the greatest good and glory to the Union. We have no sympathy with the present administration (that of President Buchanan) except such as may arise from pity of the unfortunate." A. W. Drips, former publisher and editor of the Herald took leave of his readers in this number of the Journal, as follows:

"Six years ago we indulged ourself with the pleasing idea that we were "permanently located" in Clayton County. That idea, like the permanent location of the county seat, has proved to be a delusive one. The county seat has said "good-bye" to two county seats since our first location in the good county of Clayton. It is now our lot to bid "good-bye" to the old and new settlers of the county with whom we have had intercourse every week for five years past. And it is no easy task to say farewell to those whith whom we have been in such intimate relationsip; so we will say but little and be gone. Indeed, we are not sure but it would have been best to have kept silent entirely; but we know that in our career as editor we have made many friends--real friends--and we could not help saying to them: We have known, felt and appreciated your very many noble acts of kindness toward us, and in our heart of hearts we will bear a strong recollection of the kindnesses wherewith you have brightened the dark hours of an editor's life. And to those who have been our enemies during our sojourn in Clayton County, we will say: Honi soit qui mal y pense, which in plain English is: "Go to thunder, my honies!" Good-bye, all! and we "dry up!"

The Journal was a six-column folio and was well filled with interesting reading matter. The fourth number contained at the head of the first page the name of Aldpheus Scott, as proprietor, and Mr. Howard, as editor and publisher. No explanation was made. The fifty-first number Mr. Howard's name appears again as proprietor, and he announced in the editorial columns that he has purchased the office and all outstanding accounts and wanted all the money that was due. The office was at once removed to Garnavillo, which by a vote of the people had once more become the county seat. On the 4th of August, 1859, Mr. Howard's valedictory appeared, the office having been disposed of to Joseph Eiboeck, who retained control for many years.

Joseph Eiboeck is a Hungarian by birth, but was raised and educated in Germany, and speaks fluently several different languages. He learned the printers' trade before coming to Clayton County. He came here in 1856. Among his first acquainteances was Judge Murdock, whom he met on the public square and informed that he was a printer and out of money, and looking for employment of some kind. He was referred to the Herald office, where he labored as a journeyman printer until he purchased the office from its owner, Alpheus Scott. Murdock says of this purchase: "Everybody looked upon this purchase as a child's bargain on the part of Eiboeck, and Scott often told me that the paper would come back to him. Eiboeck, however, plodded along with his paper week after week, and month after month, not knowing a week in advance where the next week's supply of paper was coming from on which to print its columns. The county printing at that time was but small, and quite a large amount of that had been paid for in advance to the old proprietor. Without money and without any prospect of an income, and with a large debt hanging over him, accumulating every day, the prospects must have looked gloomy, indeed. But there was one thing alone that saved him from utter ruin and disaster, and that was his personal integrity, which, during the most trying position of his life, he never for a single moment suffered to be marred. He always seemed to consider this integrity as so much stock in trade or as a deposit in bank of which he could at all times during dark hours draw, and have his checks honored, and which deposit must always be kept good though the heavens fall. In a few years he paid off the mortgage on his office, freed himself from debt, and owned no man a dollar."

During the war he visited Washington, passed over the Potomac to the headquarters of the army, where his gentle manners and pleasing address made him a welcome guest, and from here he corresponded with his own paper. He has traveled this continent from ocean to ocean, explored the Pacific coast from California to Vancouver, and everywhere stored his mind with observation and facts.

In 1873 he was appointed by Governor Carpenter to represent Iowa at the World's Fair in Vienna. During this trip he visited many cities in Europe, took notes, and from them compiled several interesting and valable letters. He is an easy, correct, pleasing and fluent speaker. He is now in Des Moines, editor of the Iowa Anzeiger.

Mr. Eiboeck sold out in June, 1872, for political reasons, to Junius W. Shannon, an editor of long expereince.

Junius W. Shannon was the son of Robert Emmett and Nancy (Daniels) Shannon, and was born in Will County, Ill., in 1835. His father was of Irish, and his mother of French-Irish descent. Until seventeen years of age Junius spent his life largely on a farm. At nineteen he went into the office of the Sterling Times, beginning at the bottom as a "printer's devil," and in nine months had editorial charge of the paper. He never completed a regular apprenticeship at the printers' trade, but picked up the art in a few years. He edited papers at Sterling and Morrison, Whiteside County, until November, 1858, when he moved to Fayette County, Ia., spending a year or more on a farm. In 1860 he started the North Iowa Observer at Fayette, meeting with good success. Seven years later, in connection with C. H. Talmadge, he started the West Union Gazette, another success. In 1871 he took charge of the Iowa State Reporter at Waterloo, and the next spring when the Cedar Rapids Daily Republican was started, he became its cheif editorial writer, and remained in that position until he purchased the Clayton County Journal. In 1873 he was appointed Postmaster. Mr. Shannon read law and was admitted to the bar, but not liking the profession, he never practiced. In boyhood he was an Abolitionist, and since he was old enough to vote has acted with the Republican party.

Jan. 1, 1880, J. F. Thompson and C. B. Macdonald bought out Shannon and Company, and the Journal was published by this firm until November of the same year, when Mr. Thompson retired from the paper (selling his interest to Mr. Macdonald) to accept the postion of Clerk of Courts, to which he had been elected. A sketch of Mr. Thompson is given in the chapter entitled "National, State and County Representation." [Chapter XI] Mr. Macdonald was then sole proprietor until Jan. 1, 1881, when he sold a one half interest to George W. Thomas, of Lansing.

George W. Thomas was born at Lansing, Iowa, July 6, 1857. He was the oldest son of J. W. and Nancy (Lemen) Thomas, natives of Missouri. J. W. Thomas removed from Missouri to Wisconsin at the age of sixteen. He taught school in Iowa County and at Potosi for some time, during which he became acquainted with George W. Gray. In 1856 Mr. Gray went to Lansing, where he opened a general store, and Mr. Thomas followed soon after to the same place, going into his employ. Shortly before the war Messrs. Gray and Thomas started a private bank. After the national baniking law was passed, they converted their bank into a national bank, with a capital of $50,000. Mr. Gray was President, and Mr. Thomas, Cashier. Mr. Gray disposed of his interest in the bank about 1872, adn removed to Salem, Oregon, where he has taken a prominent station in life. The bank was again made a private bank in 1881, and is now controlled by J. W. Thomas and Co.

George W. Thomas, our subject, lived at home until he was of the age of ninetten, when he went to the Lenox Collegiate Institutie, at Hopkinton, Delaware County. Here he remained two years, taking the collegiate course. After leaving this institution he entered the Lansing Mirror office, where he was employed till December, 1880. The first of January, 1882, he took as partner Andrew P. Bock. Mr. Thomas is unmarried. In politics he is a steadfast Republican. His ability as an editor is universally admiteted, and his friends prophesy for him a successful career. He is young and energetic, and a witty, easy and forcible writer.

Andrew P. Bock, the present partner of Mr. Thomas in the management of the Journal, was born in Kronkorp, Sweden, March 31, 1857. He was the son of Charles J. Bock and Mary Haney, natives of Sweden. Charles J. Bock is a blacksmith by trade, and still works at this in Lansing, Allamakee County, though now fifty-six years old. He has had eight children, seven of whom are now living. Andrew P. is the fourth son. In 1867 the family emigrated from Sweden, landing at New York. Proceeding westward they remained in Chicago five weeks, and then came to Lansing, where the family still live. Four of Andrew's brothers now live at New Albin -- Alfred, in partnership with a Mr. Lane in the dry goods business; William O., clerking for this firm, and Charles G. and John J. manufacture wagons. Mary J. and Edward are at home, in Lansing. Edward is a successful telegraph operator.

Andrew P., our subject, was eleven years old when the family emigrated to America. He had attended school in Sweden four years. In Lansing he attended the public schools for five years, until he was sixteen years of age. Nov. 3, 1873, he entered the office of the Lansing Mirror, then published by James T. Metcalf. Andrew P. here remained five years, the first three of which constituted his apprenticeship, and the last two of which he worked as journeyman printer. He has always been devoted to the "stick," and his success in the management of the Journal is due to his long expereince as a practical printer.

In September, 1878, he left Mr. Metcalf, an employer for whom he still retains the kindliest feelings, and went to Austin, Minn., into the office of the Mower County Transcript, managed by C. H. Davidson. He worked here three years, but during this time, in 1880, he went to Lime Springs, Howard County, Iowa, and purchased the printing office and outfit of the Lime Springs Tribune. He took Mr. George C. Burdick as partner, and leaving him to manage the Tribune, Mr. Bock returned to Austin. In 1881 he went to Lime Springs again and remained there three months. He sold out the Tribune and outfit to H. M. Daniels, who is still running it. Jan. 5, 1882, he came to Elkader and succeeded C. B. Macdonald as partner of George W. Thomas in the Clayton County Journal, which is now published by Thomas & Bock.

(page 382-384)

The Democrats of Northeastern Iowa agreed in 1856 that a paper ought to be started in consonance with their principles. They believed that it would be well supported, for there was at that time no Democratic paper in Iowa north of Dubuque and east of Osage, while there were of Republican and neutral papers sometimes two in each county. Accordingly the first number of the North Iowa Times was issued Oct. 10, 1856, in the midst of an exciting presidential campaign, and from the first boldly advocated the election of James Buchanan, and opposed that of John C. Fremont.

The Times was published by F. W. D. Merrell and A. P. Richarson, the latter of whom was editor. In the first number of the Times, which was of four pages, seven columns to the page, appeared the names of Buchanan & Breckenridge at the head of the second page. Then followed the opening article of greeting to the public, accompanied by a statement of the principles of the Times, and of the reasons for its establishment. There was a historical account of McGregor, with an exhibition of its prospects, a little over a column in length. The remaineder of the second page was taken up with various notices and announcements and one political editorial. On the third page was a descriptive account of Straweberry Point, and a column or so of locals. The remaineder of the third page and the whole of the fourth page, except a column containing the prospective railroad and a village directory of Clayton County, was occupied by advertisements. A fact worthy of mention is that four whole columns were taken by mercahnats of Monona, where the paper was originally to have been started. The first page was filled iwth two columns of advertisements and five of miscellaneous reading. Thomas Updegraff, County Clerk, reported the valuation of Clayton County in this issue, and the total was $3,112,074. Mr. Merrell was with the enterprise but two weeks when he retired, leaving Colonel Richardson sole editor of the Prairie du Chien Courier.

May 15, 1857, the paper was increased in size to eight columns to the page. April 14, 1858, Mr. C. C. Fuller became associated editor, a position which he filled about seven months, when he retired. Andy J. Felt was admitted May 23, 1860, as associate edotor, as private affairs required Colonel Richardson's attention part of the time. Mr. Felt retired in a few months.

In the issue of April 24, 1861, the announcement was made that George W. Tenney, formerly of the Monroe (Wis.) Sentinel had become a joint proprietor in the publication of the Times. Says Mr. Richardson in introducing Mr. Tenney to his readers:

"It is proper to inform the readers of the Times that Mr. Tenney entertains Republican sentiments, and in order to meet each other half way, burying the appellations which have distinguished both of us as partisans, we have agreed to withdraw the Times from its position as Democratic and call it Independent. If this change in its course offends any of our present subscribers, they need feel no delicacy in letting us know it, and in stopping the paper. We never publish people for stopping our paper; if it is not welcome at the fireside, or in the counting room, we would not let a man have it though he paid three prices for it. It has been so near independent for four years, with the exception, perhaps, of short periods immediately preceding hotly contested elections, that the change will not be serious to me. Political discussions of a partisan character never had many charms for the undersigned, and as the distinctive featurews of all platforms are now merged in the noble motto, 'LIBERTY and UNION, now and forever, one and inseparable,' we feel that is an auspicious moment to declare our independence of all recent or remote party obligations. As the education of each of us has been radically different, it will not be surprising to see an occasional contrariety of learning in this discussion of subjects; but the reader will know at once that those articles which squint toward Republicanism are Mr. Tenney's, and those which lean the other way are mine. It is not our intention to write to suit either party, but from long habit it will be impossible to prevent the views we entertain from cropping out. Trusting that our readers will be charitable toward our weknesses in this respect, we fling our banner to the breeze inscribed alone, 'The Constitution and the Union.' The motto which I have carried at the head of this paper since its first issue, 'We march with the Flag, and keep step to the music of the UNION,' is as good a sentiment as we want--appropriate then--appropriate to-day--appropriate all the time. This sentiment will stay where it is till the last hope of a restoration of peace and harmony has expired."

In August, 1861, Mr. Richardson retired from the paper, and the Times was then published by George W. Tenney and John H. Andrick, the latter of whom is now editor and proprietor. Mr. Tenney retired in August, 1863, and was succeeded by Colonel Richardson. The paper, after being independent in politics for over two years, now became Democratic once more, under the management of Andrick & Richardson.

Milton Goddard, from his twenty years' connection with the Times as foreman, was so widely known through the country as to deserve mention in this sketch. He began work under Andrick & Richardson, in September, 1861, and remained almost continuously till the month of March, 1882, when he retired. He was succeeded as foreman by William J. Wallis, who commenced as "devil" in the Times' office in February, 1858.

The Times came out in heavy mourning in Decmber, 1870, the cause being the death of Col. Richardson. For the following sketch of this able journalist, we are indebted principally to the files of the Times:

(page 384-389)

.. for most of fourteen years editor of the Times, was born in Philadelphia, May 28, 1818, and was in his fifty-third year at the tiem of his death, which occurred Dec. 5, 1870. When quite young, his parents emigrated to Southern Ohio, where they remained until he was in his nineteenth year, when they removed to Northern Indiana. Her he won an enviable reputation as a teacher, for which occupation his active, cultivated mind made him so well fitted. At the age of twnety-two, he was joined in matrimony to Miss Harriet, daughter of Rev. Paul Egbert, of whom he was often heard to speak oas being possessed of rare qualitites of mind and heart, and with whom he lived during the few years she was spared to him in the most perfect felicity. In time he became united in a second marriage to Miss Caroline, sister of his first companion, who stood by him and smoothed the pillow upon the dying loved one's bed, and who felt his loss most deeply. During this period of his life he became prominent in the State as a newspaper correspondent and competitor of Vice-President Schuyler Colfax, with whom, although differing widely in political opinions, there ever existed the warmest and most kindly friendship. It was during his residence here, also, that he received the appointment of Colonel of the State Militia; but, being greatly averse to anything like pomp or tinsel show, refused to accept that appointment. He was in consequence of this appointment, however, ever afterward known and addressed by that title. At the death of his father, whose colse companion he had been from the decease of his mother in his early childhood, and whose great worth and noble mind he inherited, he visited the people of his life companion at Monona, in this county, who had in the neantime located in that village. It was while on this visit that he recieved intelligence of his nomination to the State Senate for the counties of St. Joseph, Marshall, Fulton and Starke. He was elected to that office and served his term not only acdeptably, but with distinction. While in the Senate Chamber, as all through his career in life, he had the good of the people at heart. Here he battled successfully with all the various forms of fraud and corruption, and won the warmest friendship of his constituents and the people of the State generally.

At the expiration of his term of office as State Senator of Indiana he removed to this county, and, in 1856, established the Times. Col. Richardson was acknowledged by rivals to have been one of the most popular editors in the State of Iowa. His writings were pithy, terse and expressive, and spiced as he only could make them. He controlled a most versatile pen. Upon subjects requiring the most profound thought and deepest research, he would lead his reader from sentence to sentence by an irrestistible fascination with his pen-pictures until column after column was pleasantly enjoyed, instead of being laboriously mastered. From this he had a faculty which few possess of turning the sheet and flinging off columns of the most pleasing and brillant wit and mirth, which sparkled as diamonds in the sunlight, or, without apparent labor, deal in the most withering sarcasm or rebuke. This rare ability which he possessed in pen arguments placed in his hand was an engine of great power. He never sought to abuse that power. There was poetry in his prose, and he was evidently a chief of his profession. He sought out the gems of literature and loved to follow the thoughts of the great and noble. He never wearied in the perusal of his favorite author, Shakspeare [sic]. As in writing, a flow of wit and pleasantry ran through the whole of his conversation. He was eminently a socialist. Out of his genial, warm heart there were going constantly kind acts to all about him. He never received the most trivial favor from the most humble without a pleasant "thank you" slipping off his tonque as though it was a part of his nature. He could never order even the dullest menial, part of his nature. He could never order even the dullest menial, but a pleeasant request, followed or preceded by "please," was natural, and with him irresistable. He could not witness suffering and want when within his power to relieve. He was liberal to a fault. He took more pleasure in giving than in receiving. The children loved him, and the most humble never passed him without receiving a kind word. A despiser of every sort of fraud, he was an honest man in the broadest sense; he would lose all rather than gain by the merest semblance of wrong.

Col. Richardson's funeral sermon, preached at the Baptist Church in McGregor by Rev. W. C. Wright, was attended by many a sorrowing heart, and during it the business houses were generally closed from respect to the memory of the deceased. The reverend gentleman delivered a very impressive discourse; a portion is here copied:

"Col. Richardson was a man of more than usual talent and wit, and had abilities which he might, no doubt, have used to signal advantage. He seems, however, to have been in the main contented with his sphere, and not very much disturbed by ambitious aspiration. In his temperament he was highly social and sympathetic, and possessed to more than an ordinary degree the faculty of making friends among those with whom he was wont to mingle. In his manner he was unostentatious and outspoken, with an evident dislike to all airy pretensions and pompous parade. Under a somewhat rough exterior, however, he carried affections that could feel for the needy and suffering, for whose relief he was ready, not only to use his pen, but also to contribute freely of his substance. Having long resided here, and having been more or less in contact with the public in various ways, and especially through the weekly paper with which he was so long identified, he needs no extended notice from me. His record is made. He has printed his own impression upon the public mind, and upon the memories of his many friends. Our office, therefore, to-day is not to offer fulsome praise, much less to criticise, but to kindly bury the dead. We have made our brief, respectful tribute to him as a man and as a citizen; and now, as we are gathered about his silent form, which must shortly be lowered into the earth's maternal bosom, we would feel the fraternal bond that makes all members of one great family. We would own the tie which should never sunder us from each other's generous sympathy and tender mercies. Here then, while we let fall the dew drops of pity for a fellow mortal laid low, we would say: Buried with him be any lingering prejudices of faction or partisan strife, and here let ungenerous rancor in silence take her flight. The good qualities that the deceased displayed in life let us own and imitate; while mindful of all human imperfections, and especially of our own, over whatever errors or blemishes he may have shared we leave the veil of an oblivious charity, hoping that when we ourselves shall be brought to paleness and motionless silence, the measure we now mete to another shall be measured to us again."

The announcement of Col. Richardson's death brought out many eloquent tributes form the press of not only Iowa, but Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. The News, the rival of the Times, went into mourning in the usual manner, as though it had lost one of its own editors instead of a rival.

John H. Andrick bought Mrs. Richardson's interest in the Times, Aug. 28, 1880, and is now sole proprietor. He is ably assisted by Col. Otis, who for many years has substained the editorial department of the paper, and a competent force of practical printers. The circulation of the Times is from 1,800 to 2,000 and is increasing. The salaries of the employes amount to $70 per week.

John H. Andrick was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, April 22, 1834. When quite young his parents, taking him with them, removed to near Monroe, Wis. Here he passed his early life on a farm and at school, and in 1851, at the age of seventeen, he commenced clerking in a store. He followed this occupation five years, and then set out for McGregor, at that time one of the best known points in the Northwest. Here he landed Aug. 9, 1857. In the following month he went into the general store of G.H. Flanders as a clerk, remaining two years and a half. In April, 1860, Mr. Andrick went to the mountains, returning in the early part of November of the same year. After working again in a store for a few months, he went into partnership with George W. Tenney in the publication of the Times. With this paper he has remained ever since, a period of twenty-one years. He was married July 5, 1870, to Mattie J. Scott, daughter of G. S. C. Scott and Jeannette Moore, a native of Arkansas. They have two children-- Jessie J., born Jan. 16, 1876, and Lizzie Scott, born Sept. 22, 1880.

Colonel George H. Otis was born in Potsdam, N. J., Oct. 10, 1837, and the first twelve years of his life were passed in that place. He attended the common schools of Elmira, N. Y. In 1849 He moved with his father to Racine, Wis., where he attended a private school for some time. In the spring of 1851 R. Otis entered the office of the Janesville Standard, then published by John A. Brown & Bro. In 1852 the family removed to Mineral Point, Wis., and our subject entered the office of the Mineral Point Tribune, published by Bliss & Chaney. While living here he attended school one year. AFter learning his trade he worked as type-setter on various papers, among which are the Chicago Journal, Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Intelligencer, chicago Post, St. Paul Pioneer, Buffalo Courier, Racine Democrat, Potosi Republican, Madison Patriok Prairie du Chien Courier, Mineral Point Democrat, Mineral Point Tribune, Wabashaw Herald, Preston Republican, and North Iowa Times.

In April, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Second Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry serving three years in that regiment in the Potomac army. He enlisted as a private, but for bravery and meritorious conduct was promoted successively to the rank of Corporal, Sergeant, 2d Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant, Captain and Major. He brought the regiment home to Madison, Wis., at the expiration of its term of service. He had commanded the regiment at Gettysburg and in other engagements when his superior officers were wounded or disabled. He was brevetted Lieutenant-Colonel by Presidnet Johnson for conspicious gallantry on the field of Geetysburg. In 1864 He was commissioned by President Johnson Major of the Eighth Regiment, U. S. Veteran Corps, a body of picked veterans organized by General Hancock. Colonel Otis served one eyar in the fortifications at Washington and New York Harbor. He was elected Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Iowa County, Wisc., in 1864, and re-elected in 1866. Colonel Otis moved to St. Paul, Minn., in 1869, and in the fall of that year took charge of the Austin Transcript, then owned by a stock company, of which Hon. Sherman Page was the principal owner. He was married at Austin, March 30, 1871. He sold his interest in the Transcript and went to Decorah, Iowa, and engaged with S. S. Haislett on the State Press. This not proviing a profitable adventure, he withdrew and came to McGregor in the spring of 1872. He commenced work on the Times, entering on the editoral work in the spring of the followin year. In January, 1878, in comapny with A. M. Goddard, he started the Elkader Register. Mr. Goodard retired after two months, and Colonel Otis continued in that office till the end of the year. He then withdrew, and returned to his former position on the Times, which he has occupied since.

The Colonel has taken considerable interest in politics, and as a Democrat has been connected with various local organizations. For two years he was chairman of the County Central Committee, and he served one term as a member of the State Central Committee. He is a member of the Iowa Legion of Honor, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the V. A. S. fraternity. In the Pocket City Lodge, No. 37, I. L. of H., he has held the office of Secretary since its organization. He was Recorder for two yars in Keystone Lodge, No. 111, and Master Workman one term. He served in two sessions of the Grand Lodge of I. L. of H. as representative. He was married in McGregor, Feb. 19, 1876, to Kate M. Seitz. They have three children-- Edmund R., Irving J. and Marion R.

(page 389-394)

The early history of this paper is difficult to obtain, as there are no files perserved of more than the last five years. The following outline of its various changes in management, though meager, is believed to be correct:    It was estabished in August, 1859, by George Haislett and S. S. Haislett, under the name of the McGregor Press. It was then, as now, a Republican weekly, and its first editor was Orlando McCraney. It was moderate in views, and a creditable sheet, editorially and mechanically. It was from the first pronounced in its opposition to negro equality, to State aid to railroad schemes, and to Congressional interference in Territorial affairs.

Mr. McCraney was succeeded in March, 1860, by R. Tompkins as editor. In July 1860, R. Tompkins and B. Truax purchsed the Press, and published it till October, 1861, when it was sold to H. Belfoy. Mr. Truax is now in Chicago, engaged in the job printing business. Mr. Belfoy continued its publication until Nov. 1, 1861, when the paper was suspended for a time. The office material was soon disposed of to Willis Drummond, who, Dec. 9, 1861, began its issue, under the name, "Pocket City News." Under his management the paper did faily well, but Mr. Drummond was disposed to join the Union army, and he accordingly sold the paper in the fall of 1862, to T. J. Gilmore and W. W. Williams. These gentlemen continued its publication until August, 1863, when they disposed of it to George W. Tenney. Mr. Williams is now in Albert Lea, Minn, the editor of the Freeborn County Standard. Mr. Tenney, in turn, sold the paper to T. J. Gilmore, in October, 1864. R. Tompkins again became editor, and continued as such until April 6, 1866, when Willis Drummond became propriertor.

Willis Drummond published the paper for about two years, and then it passed successively through the hands of Tompkins & Gilmore, and Douglas Leffingwell. Under Mr. Leffingwell the News was not a financial success. The paper was suspended for a time. Before its suspension, however, another paper had been started in McGregor, known as the Home Journal. This was started by one McClaughrey, of Dubuque, in patnership with a cousin. After a time they sold to Willis Osborne, who, after the suspension of publication of the Pocket City News, bought its material. He then changed the name of the paper to the McGregor News. The number of Jan. 31, 1877, was the last wich Mr. Osborne published. He first leased, and afterward sold to Mr. A. F. Hofer, the head of the present management. In the issue of Feb. 7 appears the valedicotry of Mr. Osborne and the salutatory of Mr. Hofer, from the latter of which we extract the following:

"After deliberate consideration of the material encouragement and general good will shown by many friends, we no longer hesitate to engage in this occupation, although new to us. Financially, this is the era of promise, and this is a good place to make ours. To begin with, then, the political part of the News will be conducted in the interest of the Republican party We do not hesitate to say that we will fearlessly publish our views, adn aim to be right rather than partisan. Our country and justice first; our party and ourselves next. We shall strive to keep within the influence of the spirit of the times, and march with the guidance of reform and progress. We shall conbime the strictest attention, unceasing diligence, and judgement based in integrity with a business already founded on a solid financial basis. We mean by this that no labor will be spared, or no sacrifice be considered for a moment, that can add to the interst or increase the value of the News as a family and business journal. Whenever the intersts of the city or county are drawn into question, we beg that the News may be considered as the lever by which abuses and corruption may be lifted from the atmosphere of prejudice adn partisan in spirit, and held under the scrutiny of public opinion. We are but keeping in the ranks with many other journals, when we freely offer the columns of the News for the discussion of any question that is or may be before the public. If we deviate from the course hitherto taken by the journalists of this city, adn appropriate a limited amount of space to the temperance movement, we do not exclude any advice which may be offered, that will in any way tend to the improvement of evils that cannot be avoided. Our unbounded admiration for our public schools enlists our sympathies for their interest, for they must stand as the honest pride of every intelligent citizen. We sacredly recognize our various churches as the bulwarks and foundations of all culture and social advantages. Then to the church and to the school we extend heart and hand as noble institutions worthy any tribute. Political, financial, social, literary, and commercail questions, and every "top-topic" of the day will be made to contribute to the development and upbuilding of what we at present consider as a necessity, that is, a first-class family paper. To this end, then, we solicit the good will and assistance of all our friends, and such recognition as we shall deserve from our neighbors and contempoaries of the press."


This chapter continues with the remainder of The McGregor News, The Mississippi Valley Register, Die Nord Iowa Herald and the Elkader Register.

Your help is needed to transcribe the remaining pages of Chapter VIII.

source- History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882, Chicago: Inter-State Publishing Co., 1882. Reproduced by the sponsorship of the Monona Historical Society, Monona, Iowa, reproduction Evansville, Indiana: Unigraphics, Inc., 1975


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