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Histories:  Trempealeau County Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 12:

Newspapers

-As transcribed from pages 255 - 260


Seven newspapers cover the journalistic field in Trempealeau County.  The Whitehall Times-Banner traces its history directly to the Galesville Transcript, founded in 1860, and indirectly to the Trempealeau Times, issued in 1858.  The Arcadia Leader dates back to the Trempealeau County Republican which was established at Trempealeau in 1873. The Galesville Republican, itself established in 1897, has absorbed the Galesville Independent which was started in 1874.  The Independence News-Wave had its beginning with the Independence Weekly News in 1878.  The Trempealeau Herald was established in 1885.  The Osseo News dates from the Osseo Recorder, established in 1890.  The Blair Press was established in 1898.

For the most part, the papers of Trempealeau County have been started as commercial ventures.  Support of the labor movement has been the motive underlying the establishment of at least two, and some have had the prohibition cause as their sponsor.  Civic pride also entered into the establishment of several of the papers, and the county seat controversies caused the inauguration or change of location of a number of the publications.  Two foreign papers flourished for a while.

The first paper published in the county was the Trempealeau Times, issued in the spring of 1858 by Charles and Francis A. Utter, who had brought the type and a printing press from Elkhorn, Wis., and got out four issues for the purpose of publishing the Buffalo County tax list.

The printing material used for the Trempealeau Times was later used in the publication of the Trempealeau Banner, established October 8, 1858, by J. Ketchum Averill.  Averill remained in Trempealeau a short time and then went to Tomah, where he established the Tomah Chief. 

The Utters, who still held a mortgage on the plant, foreclosed and sold out, a portion being taken to Galesville for the printing of the Galesville Transcript.  The Transcript was the most notable paper ever issued in Trempealeau County.  Fortunately its early files have been preserved.  A bound volume of the first two years is in possession of the Trempealeau County Historical Society.  The same society, and also Bert Gipple of the Galesville Republican, are in possession of a large number of unbound issues.  "Devoted to home improvements," the paper made its first appearance 16 March 1860, with Samuel S. Luce as editor.  An important feature was the department of "Law Intelligence," giving in full the proceedings of the Circuit Court of the district.  George Gale was the corresponding editor.  The paper contains many historical and literary contributions, and was remarkable for the quality of its contributions. Charles A. Leith succeeded Judge Gale as part owner of the paper.  In October 1865, Leith and H. R. Gale became the owners.  It continued in Galesville until November, 1867, when Leith and A. F. Booth, who had purchased an interest, caused its removal to Trempealeau, where it was published under the name of Trempealeau County Record.  In August, 1869, Mr. Leith sold his interest in the paper to his partner, Mr. Booth.  For a short time A. Atwood was a partner and A. W. Newman editor.  Then T. D. Stone purchased a half interest.  In January, 1873, Stone and Booth disposed of the paper, the printing materials being taken to Madison to print the Wisconsin Good Templar, and the good will going to Geo. S. Luce, who merged the paper in the Galesville Journal under the title of Journal and Record.  He continued to print a column or more of Trempealeau news.  Geo. S. Luce sold the Journal and Record in August 1874 to B. E. Clark, he removed the paper to Whitehall under the name of Trempealeau County Messenger.  A committee of citizens under the name of the Whitehall Printing Association took over the paper in June 1875, and placed Dan A. Camp in the editor's chair.  Geo. Eads bought the paper in September 1876 and in July 1878, sold to F. B. Wagner, who in September 1879, sold to B. F.Wing and Dan Camp.  In January 1880, the Messenger (which name it retained as a sub-title until January 1882), was purchased by Fred E. Beach and the name changed to the Whitehall Times, Camp still being retained as editor.  In December 1880, J. B. Beach became a partner and in 1887 the sole owner.  On Nov. 5, 1891, the Blair department of the paper had developed to the extent that the paper appeared with the caption, "Whitehall Times and Blair Banner."  On Jan. 27, 1916, the title Whitehall Times-Banner was adopted.  After the death of J. B. Beach in 1915 the paper was leased by Fred E. and Z. T. Beach.

The Trempealeau Representative was founded in August 1859 and was conducted by Francis W. Newland and S. D. Hastings, until suspended in 1861.

The Galesville Journal was established in May 1870, by Geo. S. Luce, with J. H. Powers as a partner. Powers sold his interest to H. L. Bunn in May 1871, Bunn to H. F. Burt in February 1873, and Burt in June 1873, to his partner Luce, who thus became the sole owner.  Julius C. Chandler was employed as editor from January to April 1871, and Samuel S. Luce from April 1871 to May 1872.  In January 1873, upon the absorption of the Trempealeau County Record, the paper became the Journal and Record.

The Trempealeau County Republican which was established in March, 1873, by Charles Leith at Trempealeau.  In July, 1875, ? Hackston and C. E. Hollenbeck started the Arcadia Leader.  In April, 1876, Mr. Hackston sold to Noah D. Comstock and the firm became C. E. Hollenbeck and Co.  A year later Mr. Comstock assumed the entire ownership.  Later in 1877 the Trempealeau County Republican and the Arcadia Leader were combined and issued at Arcadia, Mr. Leith being the editor and Mr. Comstock the corresponding editor.  H. F. Pond had charge of the Trempealeau department.  During January 1881, the name was shortened to Republican Leader of Trempealeau County, and was next styled the Arcadia Republican and Leader.  Following Mr. Leith the editors were:  F. F. and E. A. Morgan, January to May, 1884; F. F. Morgan, May, 1884 to January, 1887; Morgan and Truman F. Ball, three months; Ball alone, March, 1887 to June, 1888; George Z. Heuston, six months; George and Leonard Mathys, 1889.  The Mathys Brothers changed the politics from Republican to Democratic, and in January, 1890 shortened the name to Arcadia Leader.  Then came George Mathys and J. G. Faulds, January, 1890, to July, 1891; Faulds and A. J. Cowie, July, 1891, to August, 1893; Faulds alone, August, until February, 1894; Peter J. and L. G. Barth till April, 1896; Peter Barth, April, 1896, to November, 1902 (except March to June, 1901, by W. G. Cameron); John Maloney and Henry F. Theuver, November, 1902, January, 1904, when it was sold to Albert Hess, who conducted it alone until Jan. 15, 1914, since when Christ Fuoter associated himself with Mr. Hess as business manager.

The Galesville Independent was established in October, 1874, by the Galesville Printing Association, and was edited by Cunningham and Luce till October, 1875; by W. M. Doty, November, 1875, to March, 1877, and by S. S. Luce till May 1881.  It was then purchased by Luce and his son, W. S.; Frank Huntley and then by H. L. Vandervort, who sold the paper to W. A. Tower in January, 1895.  Tower was publisher till 1898, when he sold to Bunsen Brothers, who conducted the paper until 1907, when it was sold to Richard E. Smith and Carl C. Gwynne.  In 1908 it was absorbed by the Galesville Republican.

Newton P. Tucker established a small paper called the Free Press in 1878 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.  A year later the Trempealeau County Democrat was removed to Arcadia, where it was suspended in the fall of 1880.

The Galesville Republican is the outgrowth of a small job printing plant established by Bert A. Gipple in February, 1897.  Mr. Gipple entered the office of the Galesville Independent as an apprentice in 1890 and was with that paper much of the time during the seven years following.  He sought to lease or purchase the Independent plant in 1896, but was unsuccessful, and the job shop was the outcome of the movement.  The first issue of The Republican appeared in September, 1897.  It was a four-column quarto, printed on a job press.  The little paper found favor from the start.  A few months later its form was changed to a five-column folio, all home print, and thus it continued until 1907, when larger quarters were secured and a cylinder press installed.  A year later The Republican Printing Company was organized and the Galesville Independent was merged with The Republican, which was then, as now, issued as a six-column weekly, with from eight to twelve pages.  From the beginning Mr. Gipple held a majority of shares of stock in the new company, and has continued as editor and manager.  The Republican was launched as a Republican newspaper, but with no political backing.  This was at a time before the split came in the Republican party in Wisconsin.  A few years later LaFolletteism spread and political lines were drawn on tis issue.  The Republican has always been known as anti-LaFollette.

The Independence Weekly News was established March 9, 1878, by Geo. E. Gilkey.  The Blair Bulletin was absorbed in April, 1879, and for a time the paper was called the Weekly News Bulletin, the original name, however, being soon resumed.  In December, 1879, Gilkey sold to W. R. Allison, who conducted it until April, 1880, followed by H. I. Turnbull for four months.  Then J. R. and W. P. Faulds at intervals, alone or in partnership owned the paper until 1888.  Then came George A. Markham, who in April, 1892, united it with the Independence Wave.  Since then it has been styled the Independence News-Wave.  It was conducted by George A. and Ada R. Markham until the former's death in July, 1909.  Since then Mrs. Markham has been the editor.

The Trempealeau Gazette was founded in 1890.  In that year Clarence S. Utter, who had been publishing the Sunday Morning Gazette in Winona, moved his printing outfit to Trempealeau, occupying the old Ford building, now known as the New Hotel.  He published the Sunday Morning Gazette, and during the winter F. C. Utter and C. S. Ford joined him in partnership.  "We had an old wooden reel press," said one of the firm, "and we used to fill the reel with sand for ballast, and when we run out the paper the machinery made as much noise as a bean thrasher."  The following spring the partnership was dissolved, and the editor paid F. C. Utter and C. S. Ford a five dollar gold piece each for their share of the dividend.  C. S. Utter then leased his equipment to Chas. Morrison, who ran the Gate City Review in La Crosse for a year, when Utter bought the lease and returned to Trempealeau with his outfit and revised the Gazette as a campaign sheet.  But in 1894 he sold out to A. A. Gibson and brother, and they remained a year in the newspaper field, when Utter bought them out and resumed the publication of the Trempealeau Gazette.  In June 1903, Thomas Bohen bought the Gazette and published it until 1909.  Then F. J. Pearson conducted the paper for a year, after which it was suspended.  Shortly after Bohen bought the Gazette he opened up with virile attacks on the former owner of the paper, and in self-defense Utter soon launched the Trempealeau Tribune, thus making three newspapers running in Trempealeau at one time.  The first few issues of the Tribune were type-set and printed at St. Paul and then sent here for mailing.  Later Utter ran the paper with a small outfit of his own.  It was suspended for a time and again picked up and run until the fall of 1904, when the outfit was destroyed by fire and the paper ceased.

The Trempealeau Herald was founded in December, 1884.  Jacob Tenney conducted it as a labor organ.  He sold to Cecil Stewart, a fireman on the steamboat Belle of Bellevue. Stewart knew nothing whatever about the newspaper business; moreover, lacking an education he appeared to be sadly equipped for the new undertaking.  But he secured competent assistants, and with their aid he began his career as a printer.  He was an apt pupil and by applying himself under a qualified tutor he soon was able with his type and printers' devil to turn out a good sheet.  Later he held cases on the Milwaukee Sentinel and was classed as a successful printer.  Elbert Newton Goodhue purchased the Trempealeau Herald in 1888 and edited the paper until October 1897, and then sold out to his sister, Aletta D. Goodhue, the present owner and publisher.

The Arcadian was established May 1895 by E. G. Farlin.  It was conducted by S. G. Wheeler from 1898 to 1900; by David Stevens from 1900 to 1907, and then moved to Beacher, Ill.

The Blair Press was started about March 1, 1878 by W. A. Asmues, who sold it to Henry Russell.  Simon Berseng, who was employed by Russell, next took over the paper and after conducting it for a while sold it to O. B. Borsheim and Earl F. Hensel.  The next owners were A. O. Likken and Sneider Stout.  Then the creditors took over the paper and subsequently it was conducted by Martin Amundson and his son, Omar Amundson. A. H. York was the next proprietor.  On Sept. 1, 1915, he sold to the last known owner, H. C. Kirkpatrick.

The Osseo Blade.  The railroad reached Osseo on June 20, 1887, and on July 4 Daniel A. Camp started the Osseo Blade.  Later it passed into the hands of W. C. Thomas.  Henry E. Browne became the editor in 1890.  The plant was burned in May, 1891, but within a few months resumed publication.

The Osseo Recorder was established about Dec. 29 1893.  In January, 1912, E. J. Matchett purchased an equity in the paper from E. E. Carpenter, who had bought it from W. S. Gilpin.  Mr. Matchett changed the name to the Trempealeau County Farmer.  On Jan. 21, 1915, the paper was consolidated with the Osseo News.

The Osseo News was established May 3, 1912, with W. S. Gilpin as editor, and with Mr. and Mrs. Gilpin as proprietors.  It absorbed the Trempealeau County Farmer, formerly the Osseo Recorder, on Jan. 21, 1915.

The Eleva Herald was published in 1915.

The International Good Templar, a sixty-page magazine devoted to the interests of Good Templary throughout the world, was founded at London, Canada, in 1888, was published at Independence from January, 1906, to January, 1909, with G. A. Markham as publisher and B. F. Parker of Milwaukee, supreme secretary of the order, as editor.  In 1909, because of a chance in secretary, it was moved to Glasgow, Scotland.

The Wisconsin Good Templar, a temperance paper devoted wholly to the interests of the Good Templar order in the State of Wisconsin, was established in November, 1891, and was published by George A. Markham, with Ada R. Markham as managing editor.  With the death of Mr. Markham in 1909, Mrs. Markham became publisher as well as editor.  The paper was suspended in 1912.

The Anzeiger was founded in December, 1899, by John Uttermoehl.  He sold to Napoleon Cramolini, who in turn sold to Emil Schulze.  The paper terminated with the sudden death of Mr. Schulze on February 8, 1916.

Der Nord Staed, a Norwegian paper, was published in Whitehall in 1877.

The Booster was established in 1908 by Dan P. Gibson, superintendent of schools for the county, the publication being authorized by the county board and the expense being met by the county.  Its purpose was educational and to furnish a better means of communication between the superintendent and the teachers and school boards.  With the change in county superintendent in 1917 it has been discontinued for a time at least.



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