Newspaper and the Valley
the United States a constant interest in political or social
affairs, complete freedom from censorship or restriction, except
that provided by the liberal laws, have given five per cent of
the population of the world forty per cent of its newspapers.--Investigator.
PRESS was set up at an early date in our Valley, and from the very first
has it been one of the most potent factors in our development. The early
newspaper became the mouthpiece of the pioneers, calling upon the older
settlements to send their quota to re-inforce the small bands upon the
frontier. It rallied the settlers when they were discouraged. It held
them together and molded sentiment and public opinion. In the later day
it has this power still. It advertises us abroad and interests the world
in our possibilities; at home it chronicles our common history and
speaks our sentiments in social and political affairs.
The Valley County Herald was the first
newspaper published in the county. It was established at Calamus in the
fall of 1875 by W. H. Mitchell, a lawyer, and was published there for
two years, when it was removed to Ord. Calamus proved in the days of its
boom a very profitable newspaper town, but when the first signs of the
early decadence of Fort Hartsuff appeared and the county seat began to
take form, Mr. Mitchell decided to take time by the forelock and get out
while there was yet time. Thus the Herald became an Ord paper. Meanwhile
a competitor had entered the field. This was the Valley County Courier,
established at Vinton early in 1877 by Henry W. Nelson and L. P.
Granger, who hoped through the medium of their paper to draw investors
to the new townsite. However, after printing the Courier for six long
months in a lone dugout on the prairie, the partners despaired of making
the venture a success. Mr. Granger sold his interest to Mr. Nelson, who
now as sole owner moved to Ord and re-established the Courier there as
the first newspaper at the county seat. In a very short time the Herald
was also in the field. But as both papers were republican the picking
became mighty slim and Mr. Mitchell was glad to sell the Herald to J. C.
Lee, who changed the paper to a Greenback sheet, in accord with the
greenback sentiment of the times. But unfortunately for the new venture,
our people did not fancy the Greenback doctrines, accordingly the Herald
failed. This was just after election. (212)
Later, we are told, the
plant was removed to Grand Island where it became the the nucleus of the
Grand Island Democrat.
On February 3, 1879, Henry W. Nelson sold the
Courier to Joe H. Capron who changed its name to the Valley County
Journal. Mr. Capron had learned the printing trade at Freeport,
Illinois, but through the solicitation of his brother, Lieutenant
Capron, became Quartermaster's clerk at Fort Hartsuff. As was natural,
however, he was glad to get back to his chosen profession. No sooner had
the new paper got into good working order than misfortune overtook it.
On the night of March 23, its printing office was burned to the ground,
entailing an almost total loss. But the new editor did not despair. A
new outfit was immediately ordered from Chicago and arrived after much
tedious waiting. For those were times of slow transportation, as the
last sixty-five miles of the route were overland. Meanwhile, as there
was no other printing office in the Valley where the paper might be
published temporarily, the Journal suspended publication till the new
office could be put into shape. On May 7, the rehabilitated paper was
again in the field, better and brighter than ever. August 5, 1881,
Charles C. Wolf associated himself with Mr. Capron in the management of
the paper. The Journal was published by the firm of Capron and Wolf till
Dec. 31, 1883, when Mr. Wolf retired to become postmaster of Ord.
On July 14, 1881, another lawyer by the name of
C. S. Copp established the Independent. This paper also was Republican
in politics and found the field already pretty well taken up. After less
than three months the management of the paper was changed. It now
appeared with Wininger and Clayton as publishers and R. H. Clayton as
editor. The latter was an able newspaper man and in almost any other
newspaper field than in that of Republican Valley county would have made
a marked success. He made the Independent a fiery opposition sheet and
throughout the campaign of 1881 and for some months thereafter put up a
plucky fight against "Republican corruption." But this paper
weakened for want of support. On January 16, 1882, it met its fate and
The Ord Quiz was established April 6,1882, by
W. W. Haskell as a Republican paper, and will soon be able to celebrate
its quarter centennial anniversary under its original founder. Mr.
Haskell has this to say about the founding of the paper: "On the
day after election in 1881, I appeared on the scene with an eye to the
newspaper business. There seemed to be no room for three papers so I
awaited the death of the Independent, which seemed inevitable. The
expected occurred and the first Quiz outfit was ordered. This arrived
during March, 1882, and April 6, the same year, the first issue
appeared. " During the twenty-four years of the Quiz's publication
it has been known as a staunch Republican paper. Through foul report and
fair, it has been loyal to its party; never for an instance has it
hesitated in its allegiance to the principles that it represented. And
as a reward the Quiz finds itself today the strongest and Most Popular
newspaper in our part of the Loup Valley. (213)
Meanwhile, the county grew in population and
the Democrats came to feel the lack of an organ of their own persuasion.
To make amends for this M. Randall and other Democrats circulated a
subscription paper to aid in the establishment of such a paper. In the
fall of 1884, Evans Brothers arrived from Iowa and started The Standard.
After a few months John Evans retired from the firm and his brother Jack
pegged away till February, 1885, and then turned the plant over to Provins and McDonough. The new management evidently not wishing the
public to be left in doubt as to the politics of their paper, re-dubbed
it The Ord Democrat. Mr. Provins, taking sick, sold his interest to
Byron Griffith, who in turn sold out to J. L McDonough. December 10,
1886, J. R. Clayton, of the defunct Independent, began to edit the
Democrat on a salary and got along very
The Elms Home
of J. R. Wiiliams, Ord.
nicely till the paper
was sold to the true-blue Jeffersonian Democrat, A. W. Jackson. This was
April 16, 1888.
Between 1886 and '88 a remarkable prohibition
sentiment manifested itself in Valley county. July 7, 1887, C. C. Wolf
bought the Valley County Journal and changed its name to The Prohibition
Star. Mr. Wolf unfortunately found the new venture a losing one. Shortly
after election The Star was merged with The Quiz. The printing plant was
used in the new Willow Springs Gazette, established by Rogers and
Haskell at Willow Springs in Garfield county. Less than a month after
the appearance of the Star, O. S. Haskell and Rev. B. F. Hilton embarked
upon a new prohibition venture called The Blizzard. Rev. Hilton soon
tired of the paper and withdrew, leaving O. S. Haskell as sole
proprietor. Early in 1890 Mr. Haskell was carried away on the populist
tide and changed his politics. The Blizzard now became a populist organ.
O. S. Haskell soon sold out to Dr. (214) J. M. Klinker who changed the
Blizzard to The Ord Journal. The latter published the paper till October
16, 1893, and then sold out to B. A. Brewster. He, in turn, relinquished
his paper to the experienced, old newspaper man, J. L. Claflin, of St.
Paul. This was February 13, 1894. Some six weeks after this, March 30,
Mr. Claflin also bought the Democrat from A. W. Jackson and merged the
two under the name of the Ord Journal. But the pioneer populist newspaper in Valley county was The Independent,
Street Scene, Burwell.
by Leonard Brothers in December, 1890. They barely made ends meet and were glad to dispose of their plant to D. J. Martz, who in turn changed the paper's name to The People's Advocate. But this paper never prospered; and after barely existing for some time, Mr. Martz moved the entire outfit to Oklahoma.
The passing of the Advocate left but two papers in the field, the Quiz
(215) and The Journal. Of these the Journal was destined to go through still further changes. Thus in October, 1894, and just before election, Mr. Claflin for some reason sold out to A. W. Jackson. But this
Simon-pure Democrat did not relish writing populist editorials and again, in January 1894, the paper was re-sold to Mr. Claflin. From this time on till January 1890, the Ord Journal remained under his management. Then Mr. Claflin sold out to Charles Smith, expecting to leave the newspaper work
for a new field of
Public School Building of Burwell.
activity. But for various reasons the Journal once more passed into Mr. Claffin's hands. Since that time it has been published variously by Horace M. Davis, Miles Brothers, Davis and Parks, and now, in 1905, again by Horace M. Davis who is making it one of the newsiest and strongest papers in our Valley.
Ord In 1887
January 27, 1887, L. J. Harris founded the Real Estate Register at
Ord. (216) It lasted only a few months and then died a peaceful death. In May, 1897, The Valley County Times was founded by Harris and Leggett. But in November of the same year Harris retired from the firm leaving H. D.
Leggett the sole proprietor. The paper was Republican in politics. It was well edited and enterprising; but there was hardly field enough to
support two republican newspapers at the county seat. In November, 1901, Mr. Leggett therefore sold his paper to the Quiz. As things now stand Ord has but two papers the Quiz and the Journal.
The press was first represented in North Loup by the
Mirror, established by R. S. Buchanan in June, 1882. Mr. Buchanan emphasized that "the Mirror shall be pure in tone, enterprising in business and news, lucid and strong in editorials and staunch in favor of the Republican doctrine."
Home of A. M. Daniels, Ord
Judge N. H. Parks soon after this entered the field with The Herald, a Democratic paper of much merit. The Mirror suspended publication and The Herald was succeeded by The Farmers' Advocate, an independent paper. It was first edited by one F. C. Beeman and later by E. E. Chamberlain. It too suspended publication on the approach of the hard years.
The only newspaper in North Loup to show much vitality is The Loyalist which has quite an interesting history. When the Burwell Bell was burned out and forced to give up the
ghost its press, practically all that was saved from the fire, was purchased by E. W. Black, who moved it to North Loup to become the substantial part of the Loyalist plant there. The first, issue was printed October 13, 1885. That there should be no mistake. about its politics, Mr. Black
gave his paper this motto: "For the party that saved the nation and remembered the veteran, the widow, and
(217) the orphan." Mr. Black who was quite a naturalist and had many and varied interests did
not devote much of his time to local affairs. This naturally did not suit his subscribers. When the irrigation boom was on at North Loup, the Loyalist was the mouthpiece for
those interests. R. R. Thorngate edited the paper for a couple of years as Mr. Black
had other irons in the fire. Finally, November 14, 1895, it breathed its last in a very caustic editorial, in which Mr. Black took occasion to charge North Loup and North Loupers with things, which would look anything but complimentary should they be repeated here. For two years and a half the Loyalist lay dormant. Then, April 15, 1898, it was resurrected by E. S. Eves who published it for six months only. In turn H. L. Rood and Horace Davis took charge of the plant and promised to issue the poor old Loyalist as a "non-partisan" paper. Now the former of the two editors was an ardent Populist while the latter has been a life long Democrat. No wonder then that the
Loyalist, in spite of promises to the contrary, came to have certain "demo-pop" proclivities. However, it was a good paper. In May, I899, Walter G. Rood, the present editor, purchased the plant and re-established it as a Republican paper.
The Arcadia Courier was the first paper established in Arcadia. This
was in April, 1886, and its owner and editor was O. D. Crane. The paper,
like its successor, The Champion, was Republican in politics. The paper continued publication till late in 1890, when it suspended. At that time
Arcadia's future looked anything but bright--the drought had killed the
crops and fire had burned out the heart of the business quarter of the town.
No wonder then that the editor got discouraged and quit. For five years Arcadia had to get along as best she could without a newspaper. Then in 1895 the Champion was started by C. L. Day. The first five years it eked out a precarious existence under an ever-changing management. In March, 1900, the present, bustling editor, Harold
O. Cooley, got control of the paper and under his management a new future is opening up before it.
The Willow Springs Gazette was the first newspaper in Garfield county. It was established in 1884 by W. W. Haskell of the Ord Quiz. The paper was Republican in politics and was placed under the management of a Mr. Rogers. When Willow Springs lost the county seat the Gazette was moved to Burwell where it continued publication under the old management till it was sold to Jack Evans and backers in 1887. It now became a Democratic sheet and was rechristened The Lever. But Garfield county was getting more papers than it could well support, accordingly The Lever was suppressed in 1889.
The first newspaper actually established on Burwell townsite was The Burwell Bell, which first appeared Friday, March 6, 1885 with L. M. Hart as editor and publisher. Of the paper's politics the editor had this to say in this first issue; "Some would call us a Republican because we favor a tariff;
others would say we are Greenbacker because we oppose the national banking system; and still others would insist that we are a Democrat."
Mr. Hart. evidently intended to run an independent Paper, a thing pretty
(218) hard to do, especially in a small country town. He said: "We have come to stay if we can make it pay." Evidently he did not make it pay for after a few short weeks the Bell tolled its last and was no more.
When the Gazette removed its printing plant from Willow Springs the business men there induced William Z. Todd to establish a new paper. This he called the Willow Springs Enterprise. It was first published in
1888. But its career here was destined to be a brief one. The warring business interests of the rival towns came to a final understanding in 1889, whereby the remaining Willow Springs business houses were removed to Burwell. This general exodus forced
Mr. Todd to follow suit and re-establish himself as best be could in that town. His paper now became the Garfield
Enterprise. Meanwhile W. T. Harriman had founded a second Burwell paper. The Quaver, in 1887. Mr. Todd purchased this paper and
merged it with his Enterprise in 1891. Three years after
A Modern Farm Home on the Loup; Beautiful "Cedar Lawn Farm," owned by A. J. Firkins. Ord.
this he sold his newspaper interests and went to Colorado. But he soon longed for the flesh-pots of the Loup and came back in 1896, and leased his old paper, now, for sake of variety, called The Progress. The name evidently did not suit Mr. Todd who speedily redubbed it The Mascot.
Back in 1888 the Taylor Republican and Loup Valley Alliance were bought by a stock company and moved to Burwell. The new sheet was issued to promote the interests of the Independent party just springing into being. Its editorial staff changed rather frequently. Thus in the course of its very brief career
Wm. Evans, Adolph Alderman, Tom Day and Van Mathews all took turn about running it. Then R. L. Miller got control of it, changing its name to The Eve. The Mascott in turn absorbed The Eye in 1898. S. Hoyt assumed charge of The Mascot in 1899 and changed its
(219) politics to the Populist faith and the county was without a Republican organ. Now Todd founded such a paper and named it The Tribune. But the end of changes was not to be here. In 1902 Guy Laverty got control of both papers and merged them under the name of the Mascot. For a little over a year this gentleman published it as a Populist paper. In October, 1903, the last change took place. Then Mr. Todd bought the Mascot and changed it to The Tribune, making it at the same time a good Republican paper. The Blade, lately started by S. Hoyt, as a Republican organ, became superfluous and was soon merged with The Tribune, which is the only newspaper in Burwell today.
Loup county's newspaper history is not so varied as that of Garfield county. The Loup County Clarion was established by H. A. Phillips at Kent in 1883, and was subsequently moved to Taylor. It changed editors from time to time but politics only once. Thus William Croughwell and later J. B. Lashbrook, had charge of it. Then came
Wm. Evans who ran it for a couple of years as a Populist paper It was again re-established as a Republican paper by E. Andrews, who edits it at the present time under the name of the Taylor Clarion.
The Loup County News, another Populist, paper was founded by R. S. Schoffield in 1902. Within the last few months it was sold to J. G. Wirzig who says he will make it non partisan.
Scotia had one of the earliest newspapers in the entire valley--the Greeely Tribune, established by R. S. Buchanan in 1878. For three years the paper was issued as the Republican organ of Greeley county. Then Mr. Buchanan moved his plant to
North Loup and founded the Mirror. A. B. Lewis immediately purchased a
new outfit and re-established the Tribune. Next appeared the Democratic paper, The Index, edited by R. F. Clayton, who bobs up from time to time in our newspaper history. But his sheet died young and may be passed without further comment. The history of the Tribune is anything but thrilling. Continuous change in the editorial head and even name will just about tell the whole story. Thus in the fall of 1885 Hamlin W. Sawyer came into possession of the plant and changed the name to Loup Valley Gazette. In a brief time again it became the property of George McAnulty who saw fit to re-dub it the Greeley County Graphic. Late in 1888 Mr. McAnulty sold out to W. T. Faucett, who called his paper the Scotia Republican. The latter editor actually stayed by the
Paper two whole years and then sold to Henry Alnut, who renamed it The Independent. In 1893 W. E. Morgan got possession of it and played a bad trick on Scotia by moving paper and all to Greeley Center. Here
he merged the Independent with the old Greeley Leader under the name Leader--Independent. This paper is
yet published at Greeley Center by Tom Hardesty. For almost a year Scotia
had to get along without a paper. Then, in 1894, Henry C. Waldrip commenced publishing The Scotia Register, a Republican paper, which has since been the only paper in the town. Away back in 1884 Judge N. H. Parks established the Scotia Herald, a strong, well-edited Democratic paper, which continued till 1891 when it also was moved to Greeley Center.