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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Northern Wisconsin, 1881":

A History of the Press in Trempealeau County

-As transcribed from page 1037


The first paper published in the county, it is claimed by Charles Utter, of Trempealeau, was the Trempealeau Times, issued in 1858 by F. A. and Charles Utter, for the purpose of publishing the Buffalo County tax list. This being accomplished, the Times suspended, and its material was disposed of to be used in the publication of the Trempealeau Pioneer, established in 1859. The same year, the Trempealeau Representative, edited and published by Hastings & Newland, was also started at Trempealeau, and disputed with the Pioneer for precedence, until the spring of 1860. At that period, the Utters, who held a mortgage on the material of the latter sheet, foreclosed and sold the same out, a portion being purchased and taken to Neillsville, the remainder being taken to Galesville by G. S. Luce, with which he set up and prepared for publication, the first paper issued in that village, the Galesville Transcript, on Friday morning, March 16, 1860. The Transcript was a quarto of thirty-two columns, ably edited, and containing with each number the choicest literary selections. It continued in Galesville until October, 1867, when Charles A. Leith and A. F. Booth purchased the same and caused its removal to Trempealeau, where, as a successor to the Representative which expired in 1861, it was published under the name of the Record. In 1869, Mr. Leith sold his interest in the paper to his partner, Mr. Booth, and for a short time the Record was run with Newman & Booth, editors. The former withdrew, however, after a brief apprenticeship, and T. D. Stone purchased a half-interest, which he managed until the fall of 1872, when the good will of the paper was disposed of by Stone & Booth to George S. Luce, who had established the Galesville Journal at Galesville, in 1870, the materials being taken to Madison, to print the Wisconsin Good Templar.

In March, 1873, the Trempealeau County Republican was established at Trempealeau, by C. A. Leith, and in 1874, the Messenger and Journal Record was issued at Whitehall, by Bert E. Clark. To recapitulate briefly, it should be stated that, with the purchase of the good will of the Trempealeau Record, by Luce & Powers of the Galesville Journal, the latter's name was changed to Journal and Record. In 1871, Powers sold his interest in the concern to H. S. Bunn, who in turn sold to one Burt, but subsequently reowned and again sold, this time to his partner, Mr. Luce, who, in 1874, as already stated, sold to Clark, by whom the Messenger, the first paper at Whitehall, was published. Clark remained at the helm of the Whitehall undertaking for about one year, when his interest was bought out by the citizens (because, it is alleged, of disputes relative to the location of the county seat), who organized the Whitehall Printing Association, and continued the publication of the Messenger with Dan Camp as editor.

In 1874, the Independent, of Galesville was first issued, and in June, 1875, the Leader was started at Arcadia, by Messrs. Heuston & Hollenbeck, by whom its destiny was jointly directed, until March, 1876, when Heuston's moiety in the venture was purchased by the Hon. Noah D. Comstock, who published the paper in conjunction with Mr. Hullenbeck until March, 1877, when the latter withdrew.

In December of the same year, Mr. Comstock, who had been editing, publishing and managing the affairs of the Leader, solus, became wearied of the combined task, and sold out to C. A. Leith, who removed the Republican from Trempealeau to Arcadia, and consolidated it with his purchase, since when the Republican and Leader has been published at Arcadia with considerable success. In 1878, N. P. Tucker established a small paper called the Free Press, at Trempealeau, where it was published for about one year, when its materials were removed to Galesville, for the purpose of "setting up" the Trempealeau County Democrat. The latter journal survived a year, in the village of its birth, but gradually weakening, was taken to Arcadia, in the hope that a change of air, so to speak, would prove beneficial. But it was too late, and after a few spasmodic efforts at recuperation, it yielded up the ghost in the fall of 1880.

On March 9, 1878, George E. Gilke issued the first number of the Independence Weekly News. Mr. Gilke remained as editor and publisher until February 26, 1880, when W. R. Allison assumed control, and changed the name of the sheet to the Weekly News Bulletin. Less than three months' experience were enjoyed by Mr. Allison before he sold the enterprise. Howe & Turnbull, the purchasers, substituted the Weekly News, and conducted it one month, when H. I. Turnbull became sole proprietor, remaining so until June 24, 1880 (three weeks), at the expiration of which period, J. R. Faulds was received as partner, and in two months, or on August 8, 1880, absorbed his partner's interest, and assumed the entire responsibility of the venture, in which capacity he has since continued. In January of this year (1880), the Whitehall Printing Association was dissolved, and the Messenger and Journal, which, after the retirement of Mr. Camp from the editorial tripod, had been managed by George Eads and E. B. Wagner successively, was sold to F. E. Beach, who subsequently associated. his brother, J. B. Beach, with himself in the publication of the paper. The paper is still owned and operated by these gentlemen, under the firm name of Beach Bros.

From the above, it will be seen that journalistic births in Trempealeau County have been numerous. While all have not reached an age where they can be esteemed permanently secure, all have not fallen by the wayside, and those which have survived are worthy evidences of that success which attends industry and perseverance.

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