McDonough County Newspapers
The Illinois Newspaper Project is charged with locating, cataloging, and preserving, on microfilm, newspapers published from the eighteenth century to the present.
For additional information about McDonough County newspapers, including links to those published today, please see the Obituary pages.
The information below is from the "History of McDonough County, Illinois", 1885, Continental Historical Co., Springfield, Illinois, and was transcribed by Karl A. Petersen for McDonough County ILGenWeb.
Such is the heading that appeared on the first page of a paper issued at Macomb, September 12, 1851. It was a six-column folio, edited by George W. Smith, and published by this gentleman and Theodore Terry, and was the pioneer paper of McDonough county. As its name would indicate, it was independent in politics, though leaning somewhat toward democracy. Mr. Terry was a practical printer and had charge of the mechanical department of the office. The paper was published Fridays, at a subscription price of two dollars per annum, the office being located over Ervin's store. The following salutatory appears in the first number:
"In presenting this, the first number of the Independent to our readers, custom, as well as inclination, leads us to define the course we mean to pursue and the position we propose to assume.
"We claim that our paper shall be what its name would indicate, independent in all things; reserving to ourselves the right to speak fearlessly, freely and candidly, upon any and every subject that may interest the public, or effect the general welfare of the people; eschewing at all times any interference with the religious, political or social opinions of others.
"To the farmer, mechanic and merchant, we hope to make our paper acceptable, one and all, giving, as we shall, a weekly report of the produce markets, commercial and monetary affairs as they transpire; as well as much other information that shall be deemed interesting and instructive to the community at large. We shall, at the same time, by giving publicity to a well and carefully selected miscellany, aim to make the Independent a most welcome visitor at every fireside.
"In launching forth upon the sea of public life, and assuming the arduous duties we have undertaken, it has been done with full knowledge of the trials and difficulties we may expect to encounter; but with a determination to use our best efforts, and a firm reliance upon the kindness and encouragement of our friends, we have determined to stand the 'hazard of the die.'
"But as brevity is to be one of the chief merits of our articles, we will not weary our readers with promises, but will simply say we will do our best, and hoping that success and prosperity may attend our present and future patrons, as well as ourselves, we submit our sheet to the patronage of a generous and discerning public.
"In connection, we would state to our brethren of the press, that we solicit their aid and influence, and hope that at some future time we may reciprocate many past, as well as new, favors received at their hands."
The advertising columns of the first issue contained such firms as W. & H. Ervin, who "would inform our friends and the public generally, that we have just received direct from New York and Philadelphia, a large and desirable stock of fall and winter dry goods," etc.; R. R. Hampton & L. H. Waters, "attorneys at law and general agents for purchase and sale of real estate and collection of debts"; J. M. Major, botanic physician; D. & C. A. Lawson, general merchandise; Updegraff & Maury, booksellers and druggists. In the same issue wheat is quoted at 50 to 65 cents per bushel; flour, $3.50 to $4.00; corn 25 to 80 cents; butter, 10 cents per pound; eggs, 5 cents a dozen; potatoes, 25 cents per bushel; coal, 8 cents per bushel; chickens, 75 cents to 11 per dozen; and oats 16 to 25 cents per bushel.
As a criterion to the mode of getting news in those days, the following headed, "latest news from Cuba," may serve as a contrast to the many improvements undergone through the genius of man, during the past quarter of a century, and which appears in the first number of this paper. The dispatch is dated, New Orleans, September 5, 1851.
"By the arrival yesterday at New Orleans, of the Cherokee, we have positive and unquestionable intelligence of the capture and execution of Lopez, in Havana, on the 30th ult, and the probable total suppression of the revolt. Ninety odd Americans were also captured. This intelligence is reliable."
A second dispatch dated at the same place a day later, reads:
"The Cherokee has arrived from Havana. The passengers witnessed the execution of Lopez. The number on the Pampero, 565, have all been killed 436 are in prison and 100 are to be sent to Africa. Lopez declared himself deceived with regard to aid in Cuba. The passengers say he ended his life manfully. The failure of the expedition is attributed to delay from the preparation of Crittenden's command. The patriots have dispersed to the mountains. Only 30 remained with Lopez—they left him and without a friend, he wandered until run down and taken by blood hounds. His last words were—'Adieu, dear Cuba.'
A meeting was held on board the Cherokee, General Lane, of Oregon, presiding. The following resolution was passed:
"Resolved, that Mr. Owen, American consul, has forfeited every right and title of an American consul, outraged every sentiment of humanity, deserves the execration of every friend of liberty, and we request his recall by the government".
The latest news from China bears the date of June 23, 1851. What a contrast with the present system of the cable and daily newspaper, transmitting news to thousands but from 10 to 12 hours after its occurrence in some foreign country.
The following marriage notices also appear in the first issue of the Independent.
On Wednesday, the 27th ultimo, by the Rev. Mr. Bourne, Alexander V. Brooking, to Elizabeth H. Randolph, all of this city.
Underneath the notice appears the following comment by the editor: "The above was accompanied by a bountiful supply of cake, for which the fair bride has our sincere thanks, with the hope that the happiness known only to loving hearts and true, may always attend the happy couple through life." Other notices were as follows:
On Sunday, the 31st day of August, 1851, by J. S. Matthews, Esq., Isaac Massingill, to Sarah Groves, all of this county.
On Thursday, the 4th inst, by J. O. C. Wilson, David H. Lockett, of McDonough county, to Priscilla Sherman, of Hancock county.
On the 7th inst, by C. R. Hume, Esq., Alexander Dorothy, to Sarah Hurn, all of this county.
DIED—In this place, on Sunday evening, at her residence, Mrs. Jane S. Langwell, wife of Peter Langwell, aged about 60 years.
The paper was conducted under this management but a few months, and in the issue of February 13, 1852, appears the following valedictory of the junior member of the firm, Theodore Terry:
"To all my friends a sigh,
To all my foes a tear"
"Having disposed of my interest in the office of the McDonough Independent, the sad task devolves upon me of saying to its readers, one and all, word, farewell. My labors amongst you have been rendered most agreeable by the evidences of friendship exhibited on every side, and much of the prosperity of the paper can alone be attributed to the disinterested kindness of those who have so generously lent their aid in building up the enterprise, and to such friends, and to all friends, I return my thanks, and my enemies, if any, will accept my forgiveness in the spirit that it is offered, that of kindness.
The paper will hereafter be conducted by our former partner, G. W. Smith, Esq., whose experience, taste and talent will enable him to render the Independent a most welcome sheet, and that success and prosperity may attend him and for all time, is the earnest wish of the writer.
"And now once more farewell; A word that has been and must be—Farewell." At the close of the first year in the paper's career an announcement was made that with the new volume the paper would appear in an enlarged form. In order to accomplish this the issue was suspended one week, and on September 24, 1852, the Independent appeared as a seven column folio, neatly printed and well gotten up. Mr. Smith was a sharp and pointed writer, and his paper wielded considerable influence in this part of the state, and was particularly received with favor in McDonough county at that time. It afterward appeared for a while as the McDonoughIndependentandDemocraticReview, and in the issue of September 14, 1855, the name was changed to McDonoughDemocrat, at which time Mr. Smith associated with him R M. Royalty, as partner. The paper in the past leaned toward the democratic ranks, and after this change was made it was intensely democratic. It continued under this management until about the first of September, 1856, when Mr. Royalty retired. Mr. Smith continued the publication for some time, after which he removed to Blandinsville and started the Argus.
THE MACOMB ENTERPRISE
The Enterprise was the second paper established in Macomb, the first issue appearing June 19, 1855. The consequence of the expression of political views by the McDonough Independent many persons were desirous of establishing another paper for the propagation of their principles, and accordingly two young men, T. S. Clarke and D. G. Swan, were influenced to embark in the enterprise, engaging L. H. Waters as editor. The paper was a seven column folio in size, with a subscription price of $1.50 per annum. The following salutatory appears in the initial number of the Enterprise:
"It is generally believed that the interests of the press, that is properly conducted, are intimately connected with the interests that tend to benefit the mass and ennoble the mind; and whilst a properly conducted press is thus beneficial in its tendencies, it cannot be doubted for a moment that a low, ribald sheet is to the public what a tattler is in a community—a pest always.
"In the publication of the Enterprise we will but promise that we will advocate with what ability we possess, the men and measures of the Whig party.
"The measures for which a Clay, Webster, and a host of other great men have labored a lifetime, and whose results are in the unexampled prosperity of a common country, are surely worth the keeping in constant remembrance for the good they have done, and the still greater good they may yet do. In advocating those measures, and in holding up the hands of those who maintain them, we intend that our zeal shall not get the better of our judgment and lead us into a guerrilla warfare with our political opponents, that may result in a great deal of noise and the no great amusement of those whose feelings it is our duty to respect.
"We shall endeavor to make our paper reliably temperance, advocating the cause of temperance as it is when bereft of old fogyism. Chiefly through the efforts of political demagogues, the great mass of the people have been deceived upon the aims of the friends of prohibition, and we must now commence again in the cause where we were years ago, and carry temperance, as they once did "whisky," into politics. And whilst we would not have it known even in "death" that we have been defeated, we must "pick our flints," and with a fair understanding of the intentions of the prohibitionists, and with the sympathy that every true man feels for his fellow, we must again trust our life boat to the waves.
"In the literary department we hope to make such selections only as shall inform the mind and elevate the taste, discarding at all times any article, the moral tendency of which is in doubt.
"By the completion of our railroad we will be enabled to present our readers with at least readable news.
"Such are a few of our hopes and some of our promises. All those who are willing to lend us a hand and aid us by a liberal support, we will welcome their names to our books. It is correctly reported and generally believed that printers do eat And whilst we battle with our feeble abilities for the right, we ask at least the rations of a private. Let those to whom we write come, and let "those who hear, say come," and exchange a generous patronage for our promises, and trust to the future for the difference."
Mr. Clarke retired from the firm a couple of months after the paper's first appearance, the journal being continued by Mr. Swan as proprietor, and under the editorial management of L. H. Waters. As the patronage of the paper was not sufficient to sustain its publication, in the issue of November 22, 1855, the following explanatory article appeared in the columns of the Enterprise, headed "Going! Going!! Gone!!!"
"We are compelled this week to issue a half sheet; next week we promise nothing. Circumstances over which we have no control, compel us to say this. When we commenced the publication of the Enterprise, we did so with the assurance that we would be supported by the whigs of McDonough county. So far as patronizing our paper has been concerned, they have done well; but as to paying, that is quite another thing. We have now on our books accounts against men who have been good enough to patronize us, sufficient to relieve all our indebtedness and send us on our way rejoicing. We have tried to collect this money by dunning through the paper, and also by forwarding bills to our model patrons, but all will not do. We will have to strike out and confront them, and the consequence is, we can't print. We have done what we could since we have come into the proprietorship of the paper, to make it pay, but we are tired of trying now, when those who pretend to be our friends pay no attention to our wants, and leave us to the mercy of our creditors. Let every one who owes us for advertising or subscription, pay up to this time, and we will be enabled to go on; if not, we must stop!"
The paper was discontinued for a few weeks, when B. A. Hampton came to its relief, purchasing an interest and assuming editorial control, Mr. Waters, the former editor, retiring. In the first issue of the new series, December 26, 1855, the following salutatory appears, from the pen of Mr. Hampton:
"In taking charge of the editorial department of the Enterprise it becomes necessary for us to make the public acquainted with the course we expect to pursue as a public journalist.
"It is hardly necessary for us to say to the people of McDonough county that in politics we are a whig. Fifteen years residence here preclude any such necessity. But in these times of political distraction, it may be well enough for us to say to you that we still have strong attachments for those principles which were imbibed by us in our childhood and schoolboy days. Principles which we learned from the mouths of such men as J. Q. Adams, Clay and Webster, are neither forgotten nor forsaken by us. Believing as we do that the measures advocated by the whig party tend more to the welfare of the American people, than the measures of any other party that has been organized in our government, we therefore cling to those measures or principles as emphatically the principles of this government; and say, that notwithstanding we have many times been defeated by the endearing name and cry of democracy, yet amid all our defeats, we have seen that those principles have been steadily gaining ground in the minds of the people, and that some of them have been adopted by even the democratic party in the state of Illinois as their own. We believe the time is coming, and not very far distant, when the policy of the whig party will be the policy of this government. But it has been said by some politicians that the whig party is among the parties that have passed away. This we do not believe; but even should this be the case, that as a party it is dissolved, its principles will last as long as the government exists in its present form.
"There is at the present time an issue before the American people which seems as though it would swallow up all others, and so it probably will, for the present. We allude to the Kansas question, which has been thrown into the arena by the passage of the Kansas and Nebraska bill, and palmed off on the country by Douglas, Atchison and company. If this is to be made the only issue, and old parties and principles are to be laid aside until the question is settled, we shall be found to the utmost of our ability doing battle against this notorious swindle; ever contending for freedom in free territory. Believing as we do that the institution of slavery is a dark spot upon the free face of our country, we shall contend that it shall be confined to the present limits, and not be permitted to spread itself over the whole face of our country. We say, confine it where it is until the sovereign people of the states where it now exists shall be able to see the spot and apply the remedy for its removal. So long as the lovers of this peculiar institution did not choose to force the extension of its baleful influence, we did not feel disposed to meddle with it, but they have sought to plant its dark visage upon the fair face of freedom. We cannot, therefore, fail to raise our voice against it.
“But whilst to some extent ours will be a political paper, we shall not lose sight of other things necessary to make it instructive and interesting to our readers. Agriculture, commerce and the markets will not be neglected. Temperance and morality will receive a due share of attention. We shall also endeavor to keep our readers posted up in regard to transpiring events; flattering ourselves that we have such arrangements that we can give the latest news upon all the important matters of the day.
"In short, we expect to do our very best to make the Enterprise what a paper should be, intended for circulation in McDonough county. These are some of our promises, but in order that we may be enabled to fulfill them to the letter, it is absolutely necessary that we should receive a fair share of public patronage. If we get this, we have no fears of the result of our Enterprise; if we do not, we cannot, of course, publish a paper and live."
The Enterprise was started as a whig paper, by the original owners, and would have been continued as such had it not been for the Kansas-Nebraska legislation and the repeal of the Missouri compromise. Mr. Hampton, the new editor, was a great admirer of Fillmore and was strongly attached to the whig party, but was also, as will be seen by his salutatory, utterly opposed to slavery. In the issue of the paper of June 26, 1856, the names of Fremont and Dayton were placed at the head of the column and their election, as president and vice-president, advocated. To this many of the patrons and friends of the paper, who were favorable to the election of Fillmore, strongly objected. In answer to these objections there appeared in the issue of the paper of July 17th, a lengthy editorial, reviewing the platform upon which that gentleman stood, and also his speech of acceptance, delivered at Albany after his nomination. After reviewing the iniquity and fallacy of the position taken, the article concluded as follows: "This is their course of reasoning, and was it not for this we could have supported Fillmore with all our heart; but as it is we cannot now do so. Some of our friends may condemn our course, and we understand some are already doing so. To such we say, as Brutus once said to Rome: If there be any of our readers, any dear friend of Fillmore, we say to him that our love for Fillmore was no less than his. If, then, that friend demands why we rise against Fillmore, our answer is: Not that we love Fillmore less, but that we love our country more."
Under the management of Messrs. Hampton and Swan the paper prospered and it soon became evident that the Enterprise was a fixed factor in journalism of Macomb and McDonough county. January 28, 1857, Mr. Swan retired from the firm, after which Mr. Hampton took into partnership F. C. Fowler, continuing the publication under this management until about March, 1859, when Mr. Fowler disposed of his interest to J. W. Nichols. In 1860, Mr. Nichols purchased the interest of B. R. Hampton, assuming control of the entire office and changing the name of the paper to:
MILITARY TRACT JOURNAL
The paper was continued in this manner until the spring of 1861, when James K. Magie purchased a half interest when the name of the paper was changed to:
a title it has sustained ever since. Mr. Magie assumed editorial management, remaining in that capacity until the summer of 1862, when he enlisted as a private in the 78th regiment. After Mr. Magie went to the front, Mr. Nichols became editor and continued in the management of the paper until January, 1866, when he disposed of his interest to Mr. Magie, and T. S. Clarke leased the office, and became editor. The August of that year, Mr. Clarke associated with him, C. L. Sanders in editing the Journal, these gentlemen continuing the publication of the same until Mr. Magie returned from the army, in June, 1865, when that gentleman assumed full editorial charge in the publication of his paper. In November of that year, B. R. Hampton again purchased the office, continuing in control of the same until June 17, 1870, when W. H. Hainline purchased a half interest. In the issue of the Journal of the above date the following announcement appeared:
"With this week's paper we commence its publication under a new arrangement, W. H. Hainline coming into the office as a partner. The growing business of the office has, for a long time, been admonishing me that it was necessary to increase the facilities for doing the work, and also of the necessity of having some one to assist in the editorial duties and business management of the establishment. In the person of Mr. Hainline, who is not only a straight forward man of business, but also a ready writer, the Journal patrons will find the right man in the right place. I take this occasion to thank the many friends of the paper for what they have done in the past, and ask that they continue their favors toward it under the new management."
Following the above paragraph appears a few explanatory lines from the pen of Mr. Hainline:
"The above article of Mr. Hampton's, with due allowance for the flattering remarks, tells the whole story. As Mr. Hampton still remains at the head of the firm, I deem it unnecessary, at present, to burden the paper with a profusion of promises or apologies, trusting to time, which tries all, and a public who will decide rightly, whether I succeed or fail. With them I leave the verdict."
The Journal always appeared in folio form until February 8, 1880, when it was changed to a six column quarto, a style which it still sustains. Hampton & Hainline continued as publishers of the Journal until January 3, 1881, when Mr. Hampton disposed of his interest to the junior member of the firm. In assuming sole control and management, the following salutatory from the pen of Mr. Hainline appears in the paper of the above date:
"Mr. Hampton, who retires, has been the senior of the firm; be has been the known element of whatever course the paper took, or whatever force it exerted on the questions that came up. If the public approved, he generously divided the award; if the contrary, he was willing to take on his broad shoulders the lion's share of the blame.
"More than this: he has been my friend. One that has stood by me through evil as well as good report, and did I feel other than sadness at our separation, I should be ungrateful indeed. As stated by him, our business relations have been pleasant. Never to my knowledge has a harsh or unfriendly word characterized a single business arrangement of the firm, during the 11 years (almost) that I have been connected with the paper, and consequently with him in business.
"In his retirement that not alone am I the loser so far as the Journal is concerned. The reader will note his absence from the paper, and with all the efforts I may make, I fear I shall not (for sometime at least) supply the place made vacant when he resigned this editorial chair.
"And so it is that the partnership of the Journal firm dissolved. We separate with kindly feelings, and Mr. Hampton has my earnest wishes for prosperity in all his undertakings; and I sincerely believe he wishes me as well We are no longer associated in business, but we still remain friends.
"In closing, I will say a brief word in reference to the course of the Journal in the future. As when I started into the business 11 years ago, I made no promises, only that I would do my best and allow the public to judge; so do I now renew the statement in discussing questions, I shall aim to do by others as I would have them do by me. In politics, the Journal will continue to advocate the glorious principles of republicanism, the corner stone of which is 'equal and exact privileges of all before the law;' or in plainer, though homelier language, concede to every man in politics the same rights it claims for itself, and ask no duties or burdens placed upon another that it is not willing to also take upon itself.
"And now to the thousands of patrons of the Journal, I respectfully request a continuance of your former generous patronage; and to those who are not subscribers, would say there is room for all in 'The Journal family.' And to one and all, judge shortcomings leniently."
In the issue of January 3, 1884, the following announcement appears, in regard to the organization of the present management of the Journal:
"This week and after, the Journal is issued by a joint stock company, organized under the laws of the State of Illinois. The stockholders are W. H. Hainline, Mrs. W. H. Hainline, Walter L. Piper and A. J. Hainline. The editorial management will be under the control of the first named, as heretofore, and the mechanical department under the supervision of Walter L. Piper. The ownership of the office is the same as for the past year, but owing to unequal partnership it was deemed best to incorporate. The name of the incorporation is "The Macomb Journal Printing Company." Under this company name the paper will hereafter be published, and the business of the office conducted."
The Journal is the recognized leading republican organ of McDonough county, and in circulation ranks foremost. The paper is six columns, eight pages in size, neatly printed, and manifesting in its make-up the oversight of a practical printer of first-class ability; ably edited, and with a large amount of spicy locals and pungent editorial content.
William H. Hainline was born in Emmet township, McDonough county, July 29, 1841, and has been a continuous resident of the county from that date, and therefore may be classed as an old settler. His parents were John D. and Margaret A. Hainline, who immigrated from the state of Kentucky at an early day, the father yet residing upon the old homestead in Emmet township. The subject of this sketch spent his childhood and youth upon the farm, his life being varied by work in the summer and attendance upon the district school in the winter. With the exception of three months his entire schooling was received in one district. Until 18 years of age he continued to work for his father. At that time the country was excited by the discovery of gold in Pike's Peak, when he persuaded his father to let him seek his fortune in that new Eldorado. Going to the Peak he labored about three weeks in the mines, when not being satisfied with the prospects, he returned home, thoroughly cured of the "gold fever," and willing enough to take his place behind the plow, and turn gold out of the black soil of Illinois. In farm work he continued until the boom of the cannon was heard reverberating from Fort Sumpter, when, hastening to Macomb, on the 19th day of April, 1861, he enlisted in Captain Ralston's company, under the first call of the president for 75,000 men, but on account of the lack of transportation, the company could not leave Macomb in time, and therefore failed to be numbered with the first quota. A call of the state had in the meantime been made for ten regiments, and this company was sworn in for 30 days, and afterward, on the 24th of May, 1861, mustered into the United States service for three years, or during the war, becoming company H, 16th Illinois infantry.
During the war was taken literally by Mr. Hainline, and five months before the expiration of his three years' service, he re-enlisted as a veteran, and continued with his regiment until the proclamation of peace was issued, and the regiment mustered out on the 8th of July, 1865. In every campaign in which the regiment participated lie bore his part, and in the battle of Peach Tree creek, in front of Atlanta, on the 20th of July, 1864, he was taken prisoner, and five days thereafter was placed in the prison pen of Andersonville. For two months he was confined at that place, where the prisoners were dying at the rate of 100 each day, of starvation and exposure, the rebels refusing to take any measures to better their condition. On returning home, Mr. Hainline, the following fall, received from his party the nomination for the office of county treasurer, and, notwithstanding the objection raised against him on account of his youth, and that he ran against the most popular man in the ranks of the opposition, he was triumphantly elected. The amount of his bond was $650,000, owing to the heavy bounty tax, but had it been $2,000,000 it would have been given. In the discharge of his duties he gave perfect satisfaction to men of all parties, and in the two years of his service he handled more money than any treasurer in the county has ever done in the same length of time. Shortly after the expiration of his term of office he purchased an interest in the drug store of P. H. Delaney, continuing in that business until the fall of 1869. On the 12h day of June, 1866, he was united in marriage with Victoria S. Meich, of Fulton county. Three children were the result of this union, one of whom died in infancy; the other two are Maud S., born September 29, 1869: and Millie D., born June 1, 1872. Mrs. Hainline, who was a most excellent woman, departed this life February 24, 1874. In June, Mr. Hainline purchased a half interest in the Macomb Journal, the leading paper of the city, and became associate editor. As a local writer he ranks among the best in the state, and in the advocacy of his political views he never falls to make himself understood, and always takes advance ground upon all questions of the day. In February, 1881, he purchased the interest of his partner, since which time he has remained sole editor. On January 24, 1879, he was married to Catherine L. Voorhees. By this union there has been one child, Jean L., born June 30, 1883. In addition to the office of county treasurer, Mr. Hainline has held the office of alderman of the First ward, Macomb, for two years, and represented the city as a member of the board of supervisors for three years. In the discharge of all his official duties he labors faithfully to advance the best interests of his constituents, being alive to all questions of public good.
THE MACOMB EAGLE
The journal with the above name, the leading representative of the democratic press of McDonough county of the present day, was established in October, 1856, by R. M. Royalty and W. E. Avise, the former gentleman acting as editor. The first paper bears the date of October 18, and was a neat, sprightly, seven column folio, of new material and excellent dress. On presenting the paper to their patrons and friends, Mr. Royalty made the following remarks, by way of a salutatory:
"Our barque is on the tide! In launching out upon the troubled sea of public opinion, it may not be amiss to state briefly, what course we design pursuing, and what preparations we have made for the voyage.
"Impressed with the importance of establishing a permanent and reliable democratic newspaper at Macomb, for the dissemination of political and general intelligence, and yielding to the solicitations of a large number of our most respectable and influential fellow citizens, in different sections of the county, we were induced to embark in. the present undertaking, believing that the publication of a well-conducted county paper, would ultimately prove mutually beneficial to our patrons and ourselves. To this end, we have procured entirely new presses, types and fixture—sparing no pains or expense to render the establishment complete in all its departments. Relying solely upon our own exertions, and the intelligence and public spirit of the people of McDonough county, for remuneration, and urging no claim upon them for patronage, other than their own sense of the propriety of sustaining such an enterprise, as the readiest means of promoting public and private interests, we, this morning, lay the first number of the Macomb Eagle before them, for their approval or rejection—willing that this and succeeding numbers; however imperfect, shall speak for themselves.
"To those familiar with our political opinions and course heretofore, little need be said as to what policy we shall pursue in the publication of the Eagle. It is scarcely necessary to add that it will be unequivocally democratic in its proclivities, and will battle earnestly for that glorious political faith, handed down to us by Jefferson, Madison and Jackson, under the honest conviction that upon the success of democratic measures, depends the perpetuity of our civil and religious institutions. Regarding the democratic party as the only strictly national and conservative organization in the pale of the American union, and the democratic creed as the only one consistent with the letter and spirit of the federal constitution and laws, we shall scrupulously adhere to the cardinal principles of that party, and, to the extent of our humble abilities, use our best endeavors to insure its success. In doing this, however, we shall endeavor, on all occasions, to maintain a dignified tone, and treat our opponents with a deference and respect due to those who may honestly differ with us upon the great political and moral questions of the day, conceding to them an equal right to the undisturbed enjoyment of their opinions; and, under no circumstances, will we insult our readers, or compromise our claims to self-respect, by descending to the use of slang and low invective. While we respect an honorable, candid, and manly competitor, we cannot, and will not, stoop to the level of those rabid partisans, who are ever wallowing in the filthy and noisome cesspools of billingsgate and personal detraction.
"Upon the vexed and much abused slavery question—as upon all other important issues before the people it is needless to say that we stand firm and immutable upon the national democratic platform of 1856. Looking upon negro slavery, as it exists in the United States, as a domestic institution, exclusively local or sectional in its character, and deprecating every attempt to make it national, we are willing to leave it where the constitution places it, in the hands of the people themselves, to receive or reject as they may deem proper. This we regard as one of the especial prerogatives of the individual states, without which they cannot be free and independent sovereignties—congress, in our humble opinion, having no right to interfere with the domestic affairs of the states.
"Politics, however, will not receive exclusive attention. Literature, education, agriculture, improvements, the market, domestic and foreign news, etc., will be duly honored, our facilities being such that we expect to be able to furnish our readers with the latest and most reliable intelligence from all quarters; and no pains will be spared to render the Eagle acceptable to the reading public.
"Having thus hastily sketched the outlines, in part, of the course we intend to pursue, we send forth the Eagle upon its mission, trusting it may find a welcome reception at the hands of every good citizen.
"To the fraternity at large, we make our most profound salaam, and proffer our right --> in token of that amity and good feeling, which we earnestly hope may ever characterize our intercourse with the craft."
But the well laid plans so often made are apt to be broken by circumstances over which we have no control, for three weeks later the paper was obliged to suspend publication for lack of funds. January 3, 1857, however, the paper was revived, G. T. Mitchell entering into partnership with Mr. Avise in its publication, since which time the Eagle has appeared continuously. In the issue of March 7, 1857, Nelson Abbott appears as one of the editors and proprietors, Mr. Avise retiring, although no mention was made of the change. January 9, 1858, Mr. Mitchell retired and the paper was continued by Mr. Abbott until February 11, 1865, when he disposed of the office to J. H. Hungate, who secured the services of J. B. Naylor, as editor. In severing his connection with the paper, Mr. Abbott penned the following farewell, which appeared in the issue of the above date:
"With the issue of the present number, my connection with the Eagle establishment ceases. I have sold the concern to Mr. J. H. Hungate, of this city.
"It has been known to many of my friends for over a year past" I have desired to be released from the business. Failing health and the advice of physicians to seek another occupation, are the chief reasons that have caused this step.
"Eight years ago this month I took charge of this paper. It was then just straggling into existence, and from that hour to this it has been conducted under my sole supervision. What it has accomplished in this time needs no recounting now. That has become part of the history of this county.
"I may have committed errors. Few men do not. But I do not call to mind any instance in which, with present light, I should have acted differently. I may have given offense to corrupt, fanatical, or hypocritical men. If so, the only apology I have to offer is, the hope that they may live the life of better men in the future.
"To the many friends who have stood by me 'through evil as well as good report,' I can only return my warmest acknowledgments and pray for blessings on their heads. I shall ever cherish with a fond recollection the many acts of kindness and friendship which have been extended to me by the democrats of McDonough county. If they have not received that recompense which should have been rendered, I feel assured they will not charge the failure to lack of will or earnest effort.
"It is no small consolation, in retiring, to know that I leave the Eagle in faithful and able hands. Mr. Hungate will be found altogether worthy of the confidence of the democrats of this county. The high standard of the paper for democratic integrity will not be lowered, while in editorial ability it will be strengthened.
"With my best wishes for its prosperity, and warmest regards to its patrons, I bid one and all good-bye!"
Mr. Hungate continued the publication of the Eagle, with J. B. Naylor, editor, only about six months, when he sold the office to the present proprietor, Charles H. Whitaker. In the first issue under the new management, September 30, 1865, appeared the following valedictory of Mr. Naylor, and also the salutatory of the new editor and proprietor:
"With the last week's issue, my connection with the Eagle ceased. This fact would have been announced last week, had the purchaser, Mr. C. H. Whitaker arrived in time to have made it known. It has been but a little over six months since we took charge of the Eagle, during which time, the circulation of the paper has largely increased and we can safely say that no country paper in the state, has a better advertising and job patronage. We thank the good people of Macomb and McDonough county, who, without regard to party, have given us many encouraging words, and for their many generous acts of kindness and liberality. We shall ever cherish their names fondly in memory. We leave the office, we believe, with the good will of all; and on our part, certainly with no malice or ill-will toward any. We now transfer the Eagle to Mr. C. H. Whitaker, late of Missouri, who has had a number of years experience in the publishing business, and is a thorough printer and an able writer. The his hands, we have no doubt the Eagle will soon rank second to no paper in the state. In politics, the Eagle will still continue to be an advocate of democratic principles, Mr. Whitaker believing that upon them rests the stability and future happiness of the grand old republic.
"We bespeak for him the same hearty and cordial support, on the part of the democracy, which they have ever shown toward us. Mr. Whitaker has been, during the war, in Missouri, between two fires—that of the rebels on one hand, and the radicals on the other; having had an office destroyed in September, 1861, by the rebels, and another by the radicals, in September, 1863.
"To our neighbor of the Journal we bid adieu, and return of thanks for the many courtesies and favors shown us, and wish him abundant success in basket and store.
"And now to our friends, one and all, we say farewell."
"The above card of Mr. Naylor, explains the change which this week takes place in the management of the Eagle.
To those who have known us, it is necessary to say that we have been connected with the press in Missouri for the past ten years, during which time the trying ordeals of war have not only devastated that state, but the military power have exercised a despotic and tyrannical surveillance over the liberty of speech, and the sacred and estimable blessings of a free press. We have always and on all occasions, maintained the right to support that which is just and have always denounced that which we conceived to be unjust. For denouncing the unjust restrictions of southern rebels, and bitterly opposing the blue laws and orders of military tyrants and abolition subalterns, it has been our fortune to conduct our paper under the most perplexing and trying difficulties. Such has been the bad state of affairs where extremists and fanatics hold sway, that the press dare not criticize the actions of local military, without subjecting its editors to arrest and imprisonment, and when released upon bond, they are denied either a civil or military trial, showing clearly that where the military are unable to have the press conducted to snit their own individual sense of propriety, they assume the authority, because they have the power to put a surveillance over the press, and knowing that no disloyal act has been committed, or disloyal language published, they refuse even a trial, thus evading and skulking about like bushwhackers, because they know themselves to be the violators of military, as well as constitutional law.
"To the patrons of the Eagle we desire to say that we shall advocate the principles of the democratic party, believing those principles are better calculated to secure and maintain the liberty and freedom of the white man; while the principles of the republican party are only for the securing of liberty and freedom for the negro race, and bringing white down to the level of the black. We shall spare no pains or expense to give our patrons a live home paper, and one which will prove a welcome visitor to every fireside. The moral and literary tone of the Eagle will receive our careful attention, while the local and miscellaneous departments will contain the latest and choicest gleanings.
“Hoping to be able to make the Eagle every way worthy and deserving of the support and patronage of the good people of Macomb and McDonough county, and hoping that in future our acquaintance with our patrons and friends may be mutually pleasant and instructive, we shall buckle on our armor editorial and enter upon the discharge of the duties of the tripod.”
At that time the Eagle was published as a seven column folio, and made a very poor appearance, mechanically. But by the purchase of new type, enlargement, etc., under its present management, this journal occupies the foremost rank in typographical neatness. The Eagle has always rested solely upon its merits, and has always stood for its intrinsic worth. Charles H. Whitaker, the editor, is well fitted for the responsibility of the position, bringing to it a mind above the average, a keen, trenchant pen, and a journalistic courtesy rarely found in the craft. The paper has ever supported the principles of the democratic party, and has wielded considerable influence in moulding the course of local politics in this district.
Hon. Charles H. Whitaker was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, September 18, 1836. His parents, Irwin H. and Ann F. Whitaker, were both natives of Danville, Montour county, Pennsylvania. In 1838 his parents came west, locating in Canton, Illinois. Here the mother died, October 11, 1841, aged 27 years. In 1849 the cholera scourge swept across the country, and the father was its second victim in Canton, dying on July 17, at the age of 38 years.
By his father's death young Whitaker was left alone in the world at the age of 17 years. He began at the bottom rung of the ladder, entering the office of the Canton Register as errand boy and carrier, and one year afterward commenced his regular apprenticeship at the printer's trade. Two years afterward he went to Savannah, Mo., to live with his maternal grand-parents, and here he soon afterwards engaged in clerking for his uncle, H. T. Walker, the largest mercantile dealer in the place.
In 1855, at the age of 18 years, he first engaged in editorial work. Hon. Chas. F. Holly, proprietor of the Savannah Sentinel, the leading Benton democratic organ of Northwest Missouri, being detained in Nebraska City, Nebraska, much of the time by legal business, employed young Whitaker to take charge of his paper and edit.
In the fall of 1855, during the border ruffian excitement of Kansas, Mr. Whitaker was employed to conduct the Weston (Mo.) Reporter by the editor, Hon. Samuel J. Finch who was occupied by legislative duties in Jefferson City. Weston at that time was one of the most flourishing towns on the Missouri river, and as Hon. David R. Atchison, the anti-Benton leader, resided but a few miles from town, it was an important political point. Weston was also the borne of General Ben. F. Stringfellow, the reputed organizer and leader of the first raid on Lawrence, Kansas, and the Reporter, under Mr. Whitaker, denounced him and his border ruffian outlaws in scathing and unmeasured terms. For several months the Reporter conducted a single-handed fight against the Weston Argus, the Atchison Squatter Sovereign, and the Leavenworth Herald, all anti-Benton organs endorsing the border outrages—the latter paper being edited by H. Rives Pollard, since a noted editor at Richmond, Virginia. The Reporter, as an uncompromising Benton organ, and the unsparing foe of the border outlaws, quickly sprang into wide prominence over the whole state.
In March, 1856, he went to St. Louis and engaged as river and local reporter on Kennedy’s Commercial List, but in December of that year he returned to Savannah and assumed editorial charge of the North-West Democrat, then owned by L. D. Carter & Go., and in the fall of 1859 he commenced the publication of the Missouri Plaindealer, a democratic paper, at Savannah.
On the 14th of March, 1861, he was married to Miss M. F. Selecman, and on February 22,1862, their only son, Charles H. Whitaker, Jr., was born to them.
The Plaindealer vigorously espoused the cause of the Union. Because of objectionable and seditious articles, the office of the rival democratic paper, the North-West Democrat, was visited by Col. Peabody's force of the regular army, and the presses, type, etc., carried to their camp at St. Joseph. Col. Peabody being ordered to Lexington with his regiment to reinforce Mulligan, several weeks later, the rebels from Camp Highly, ten miles distant, undertook retaliatory measures, and by order of Col. Sanders, Mr. Whitaker was arrested, while the Plaindealer material, etc., was also loaded up and hauled away to the rebel camp. The rebels attempted to set the press up again in their camp, but several needful pieces were mysteriously missing, and the task was given over. Several days after Mr. Whitaker dodged through the rebel picket lines and escaped into Iowa, where he remained until the Federal troops under Cols. Kimball and Cranor moved down and occupied Camp Highly—the rebels having left a few days before. Mr. Whitaker regained a part of his printing material, the Confederates having moulded much of his type into bullets, and carried away the more valuable portions of his press. A few weeks later he purchased a new press and again commenced the publication of the Plaindealer. The Plaindealer fearlessly denounced the excesses committed by Federal soldiers, and the Savannah postmaster—who had suddenly turned loyal—refused to distribute the paper through the post office boxes. Mr. Whitaker wrote, stating the facts of the case to his friend, Gen. Frank P. Blair, then in front of Vicksburg. The latter referred the matter to his brother, Montgomery Blair, then postmaster-general under President Lincoln, who issued to Mr. Whitaker a commission as postmaster at Savannah. The obnoxious postmaster refusing to surrender the office, after being requested several times to do so, he was forcibly dispossessed by a company of Federal soldiers, and Mr. Whitaker entered upon the duties of the office.
In December, 1862, Mr. Whitaker was, elected sergeant-at-arms of the Missouri legislature, holding this position for a term of two years. On the last day of the session Speaker Marvin paid a glowing tribute to the efficiency of the sergeant, and commendatory resolutions were unanimously passed by the house.
In the fall of 1863 Mr. Whitaker recruited company M, of the 9th Missouri cavalry (known as Gen. Odon Guitar's old regiment), John F. Williams, colonel. Soon afterwards he was appointed adjutant of Col. H. B. Branch's regiment, which was enlisted under the special authority of Gov. Gamble, and though the regiment was assigned to local duty in Northwest Missouri, the United States government clothed and armed it for service. This regiment acted as a check upon the lawlessness and depredations which had heretofore been committed by the extremists of both Northern and Southern factions.
The September, 1865, Mr. Whitaker came to Macomb with his family, having purchased the Macomb Eagle, then the only democratic paper in McDonough county, of which paper he assumed editorial control the 25th of September. Under his management the Eagle has always been a fearless and ardent advocate of democratic principles. As such it has become widely known as an influential and ably conducted newspaper, and has prospered financially. During the years 1868 and 1869 Mr. Whitaker also owned and dictated the editorial policy of the Virginia, Cass county, (Ill.) Democrat.
In politics Mr. Whitaker has always been an uncompromising advocate of democratic principles, and has attained considerable prominence in state democratic councils. In 1872 he was selected to represent his congressional district on the state democratic central committee, a position which he has held continuously ever since. In 1876 he was a delegate to the national democratic convention at St. Louis, voting first for Thomas A. Hendricks for president, but afterwards for Samuel J. Tilden. In November of the same year he was elected to represent the 27th senatorial district in the lower house of the 30th general assembly, by the democracy of Warren and McDonough counties.
The venture in the journalistic field of the above name, made its first appearance September 19, 1866. It was a seven column folio, independent in politics, and edited and published by T. S. Clarke. It lived only about four weeks. It was a sprightly local sheet and had it been continued, it might have proven successful. B. R. Hampton purchased the material of the defunct paper, and shipped it to Havana, Mason county, where a brother established a newspaper. It was afterward disposed of to Havana parties.
THE WESTERN LIGHT
This paper was established by S. J. Clarke and Charles P. Whitten, in January, 1868. It was a large five column quarto, well printed from new type, and was devoted to literature, art, science, temperance and local news. Many warm words of commendation were passed upon it; but words are cheap and will not support any periodical. It lived just one year. Mr. Whitten was connected with the paper but about four months, when Mr. Clarke became sole proprietor. The office was disposed of to Reynolds and Garrison, in December, 1868, and was used in printing the Gospel Echo for about one year, when B. R. Hampton became proprietor. The material since has had a very migratory existence, and has been used in publishing several different papers in Missouri and in this state, and was afterward used in the publication of the Macomb Independent.
THE ILLINOIS BY-STANDER
The paper bearing the above name, was established by that pioneer journalist of McDonough county, B. R. Hampton. The first issue of this journal bears the date of April 13, 1881, and was a six column folio, all printed at home. In politics the paper was independent, which position it still sustains, having for a motto: "Independent in all things; neutral in nothing." In the first issue of the By-Stander, appears the following salutatory by its editor, Mr. Hampton:
"It has been the fashion, "so long that the memory of man runneth not to the contrary," when a newspaper undertakes to make a start in the world, and asks for public patronage, for the publisher to say something in relation to the objects and aims of the publication. In sending out among the people of McDonough county, this little paper, we do not feel at liberty to disregard this time honored custom. When, in the course of human events, one enters upon a new enterprise, the success of which depends upon the support and encouragement, which will be given it by the people, it is but fair, right and proper, that these same people should understand what they are called upon to support and assist in maintaining; and to this end we make the following statements in relation to the By-Stander.
"It is to be an independent newspaper, not a neutral one, because the latter it could not be while we have control of its columns. Some people have the faculty of occupying neutral ground on questions, which are being discussed by the public, but we are not of that number. So, when we say that the By-Stander will be independent in all things and neutral in nothing," we do not want any one to suppose that it will take no part in the discussion of all the questions of the day, whether they shall he of a political, moral, or religious nature, because it means to express its views on all these as it shall deem best from time to time. We do not mean that the By-Stander shall be the organ of, or amenable to, any organization, political or otherwise. It will be its aim to discuss all such questions as may come before the principle, fairly and candidly, expressing always the views of its editor upon all matters of public interest, ever keeping its columns open to those who may differ from it.
Primarily, the By-Stander will be a newspaper, giving all the local news of the day, at such a price as to place it within the reach of every citizen of McDonough county, and in this respect, we hope to supply a demand for a sort of journalism, which has long been needed in this part of the country. While we know that Macomb already has two very good local newspapers, we also know that the price at which they can be afforded is beyond the reach of many, who ought to have a home paper in their families. The By-Stander, at half the price of the other papers, giving all the news of a local character which they do, will no doubt meet with hearty welcome from all those who feel that they can not afford to pay two dollars for the Eagle or Journal. Then, again, every man in McDonough, in order to have a proper understanding of what is going on in the county, should have a paper published at the county seat; but there being papers published in the other towns, every one feels that he must first support his own town paper, and all do not feel they are able to pay for two county papers at two dollars per year; hence, there are thousands who do not take a Macomb paper, who will do so now that they can get one for half the old price.
"This undertaking to establish a cheap county newspaper, is no new thought of ours. On the contrary, we have been seriously thinking of the matter for more than a year past, and the more we have considered it, the stronger have been our convictions that in Macomb and McDonough county, there existed an open field for such an enterprise. Time, alone, can tell whether our convictions in this regard are well founded, and whether our undertaking shall prove a success or a failure. In talking with various persons on this matter, we have found a diversity of opinions, but for the most part it seems to be agreed that there exists a demand for a cheap home paper. Some of our good republican friends have insisted that the better plan would be to make it an out and out republican journal, and have told us that a non-partisan newspaper would not be sustained in Macomb. To this, we answer that the field of political newspaperdom is already in this city and county fully occupied. The Journal and the Eagle, in Macomb; the Record, at Bushnell; the Democrat, at Blandinsville, and the Independent, at Colchester, are fully as many papers as are needed for mere partisan political purposes. For this reason, as well as from a desire, which we have long had, to have a newspaper which should be entirely independent of all parties, we have chosen to make this paper "independent in all things, and neutral in nothing."
"We have not embarked in this business without first having counted the cost, nor yet without a large experience in the newspaper business, and flatter ourselves that we know something in regard to the wants of the people in this line; whether we shall be able to supply those wants, will be better known a year hence than it now is. If we succeed in making the By-Stander what we intend it to be, we have no fears about its success, because we know that the people of McDonough county are an appreciative people, and will give a generous support to any and all enterprises which have a tendency to promote the public good.
"To the newspaper brotherhood all over the state, and more especially to those of our own city and county, we say we have come back into your ranks "with malice toward none, and good will toward all," ever ready to take an humble part with you in what we hold to be one among the highest callings of the age. There is room and work enough for all of us in this great, big world, in which we are permitted to live. So let us work together, to the end that we may accomplish the most possible good.
"To the public, we say in conclusion, we have now launched our little bark upon the great ocean of newspaper life, and we only ask the people to give us that support which they feel that the little By-Stander, which has just made its appearance in their midst, deserves."
The terms of subscription is $1 per year. With No. 8, of volume III., the paper appeared in an enlarged form, being a seven column folio, which size it still retains. In commenting upon the enlargement Mr. Hampton said:
"With this number the By-Stander will go before the people with a larger paper than we contemplated when first starting out in its publication. Our object was to give the people a cheap medium of home news, which answers all the purposes of a home newspaper, at a price as low as to place it within reach of all who did not feel that they could afford to pay $2 a year for a local paper. While we feel we have succeeded measurably well in doing what we started out to do, we have found that a six column paper is too small to answer fully the purposes for which the By-Stander was brought before the public. So long as we were short of advertising we found room enough, but when these came we found it difficult to find room for the local news, and such comments as we felt disposed to make on questions of a local character, and on the passing events of the day. For these reasons we have concluded to make the enlargement, with the hope that it will prove beneficial to our readers and to ourselves.
This change will necessarily add a considerable sum to our weekly expenses, but we hope that an increased subscription list will more than pay us for the additional outlay. We know that we run some risk in making this enlargement, but, "nothing venture, nothing have" is as applicable to the newspaper business as to any other. With many thanks to the people for past favors and asking a continuance of the same, we strike out on this improvement of the paper, hopeful of success.
The By-Stander is circulated largely throughout the county and has met with good success, such as a thoroughly independent and good, spicy local county paper would warrant.
Hon. B. R. Hampton, the son of Van C. and Elizabeth Hampton, was born in Warren county, Ohio, April 12, 1821. At about three years of age he was taken by his parents to Miami county, Ohio, which was at that time a wilderness, and there his early days were spent working in a woolen factory. In 1840, he emigrated to Illinois, arriving in the embryonic city of Macomb in November of that year. The following year he entered the law office of Cyrus Walker as a student, and was duly admitted to the bar in 1843. In 1859, Mr. Hampton was elected a member of the hoard of supervisors of this county, which place he filled well and satisfactorily for 11 years, although not consecutively, the last being in the year 1882. In 1870, he was elected to the position of state senator, and was reelected in 1872 to the same. In the 27th general assembly he was appointed chairman of the committee on printing, and that of domestic relations, the last of which prepared the ''Dram Shop Act," now on the statute book of the state. He was, also, a member of the following committees: Corporations, appointment, and counties and townships organization. In the 28th assembly he was chairman of the committees on general expenses of the assembly and of miscellaneous business, and a member of the committees, on the revision of the state laws, appropriations, corporations, reformatory institutions, judicial department, fees and salaries, and on printing. Mr. Hampton has the honor of being the author of the bill authorizing the revised statute of 1874, to be published by the state, and sold to the people at the price of two dollars per copy, a praiseworthy and excellent measure. This bill was introduced March 7, and notwithstanding the strong opposition of certain interested parties, was passed by the senate on the 24th of the same month. Mr. Hampton was united in marriage with Angeline E., a daughter of D. Hail, of Franklin, Kentucky, April 2, 1845, and they are the parents of six children, three of whom are living—David H., William R., and Durham V. In politics he is a republican, but is not ultra radical on that subject. In the year 1855, Mr. Hampton became the editor and publisher of the Macomb Enterprise, since which time, with the exception of five years, from 1860 to 1865, he has been engaged in the newspaper business, and is at this time, in company with his eldest son D. H., publishing the Illinois By-Stander, one of the best and cheapest papers in this part of the state.
THE ILLINOIS GRANGER
This paper was started by H. H. Stevens, at present the editor of the Colchester News, and E. A. Hail, under the firm name of Stevens & Hail, the former gentleman acting as editor. The initial number appeared September 2, 1873, as a seven-column folio, in which appeared the following salutatory:
"It was the intention in the start to make this paper a semi-monthly and to get it published by Messrs. Hampton & Hainline. We knew it was not the thing we wanted, and only entered into this arrangement with the hope of being able soon to make it a weekly.
"Mr. Eugene A. Hail, a practical printer, has recently associated himself with me in this enterprise, we have purchased a press, and I am happy to state to my many friends and patrons that the Illinois Granger will be published weekly from this, its birthday.
"Mr. Hail will have charge of the office, and the exclusive control of the mechanical part of the paper, and with his experience and skill, no fears need be entertained as to its execution. I assume its editorial management and responsibilities with no such assurance, but will promise to do the best I can with the physical strength and begins with which I am endowed. I want the farmers generally, and the Patrons of Husbandry particularly, to realize that this is peculiarly their paper, and furnish us with local news, items, results experiments on the farm, and such other items as will be of interest to their neighbors.
"It is not our nature to be neutral and the Grainger therefore will therefore be independent in all things and neutral in nothing.
"While on the subject of independence, I cannot refrain from mentioning the fact that there exists but little of that article in the papers of this day, they are nearly all controlled by political party that supports them, and when they know of misdemeanors, malfeasance, and even crime committed by an office holder, if he be one of their party, instead of giving the public a true statement of the facts, they endeavor to cover up, keep it mum, and if possible deceive the public into the belief that he is an honest man; while if he should be of the opposite party, all the facts in the case are so exaggerated that it would appear that the gallows were too good for him, and his most intimate friends would not recognize him.
Unfortunately for our boasted freedom, this does not end with the press; but, on the contrary, is widely and too generally practiced in the churches, societies, and even among neighbors. We believe this whole system to be wrong; honesty is the basis of good government, good society, and is the only true scale by which individual worth can be estimated.
"The course of the Granger will, therefore, be to uphold what we conceive to be right and to expose and condemn that which we believe to be wrong, irrespective and independent of political party, church, society, friends or kindred.
"Hard fisted farmers, sun-burnt clod-hoppers, dirty blacksmiths, smutty-faced coal haulers, country jakes, and laboring men generally, understand that this is your paper, come and see us; come with some local news. come with $2; if you can’t come, send."
The paper was devoted to the interests of the laboring classes, and took strong ground against monopolies of all kinds, and advocated the organization of a new political party. It supported the anti-monopoly party, and contributes largely to the election of the candidates on that ticket in McDonough county that fall. The influence brought to bear against it was almost impossible to withstand, and men of less nerve and devotion to the cause would have given up the enterprise as utterly hopeless. Not knowing which of the two old parties were being injured most by the new organization, it was bitterly opposed by the party organs of both.
The secret order of the Patrons of Husbandry, or the Grange, was then attracting a great deal of attention in the county, and owing to a lack of knowledge on the part of the uninitiated as to the real object of the order, wrong impressions took deep root in the minds of the public, and more especially was this so with the various merchants, who had an idea that this order was hostile to their interests. The Granger defended this organization, and hence a prejudice among the merchants sprang up against it. The Granger, as before stated, took an active part in politics, and for this reason the belief that the order of Patrons of Husbandry was a political party becoming quite prevalent, a fact which was neither beneficial to the order, to the new party, or to the paper. The mistake in the selection of a name for the paper was discovered before it had completed its first volume, but it continued under that name until March, 1876, when it was discarded and that of:
Was assumed, under which it continued permanently. There were many trying times in its history, but the darkest days of its existence were during the unsettled political condition of the country which followed the presidential election of 1876. On the 13th of December of this year, during the darkest hours of its darkness, Mr. Stevens bought Mr. Hail's interest in the paper, books and accounts—the presses, type and material of the office being equitably divided.
Immediately after this a healthful change set in. The inactivity which pervaded the ranks of the independent greenback party during the month and a half immediately following the election was succeeded by activity, renewed life and vigor. "Organize for 1880" were the words of the national executive committee of the independent party, and it seemed to meet with a hearty response from the people. More money was paid on subscription to the Independent during the two first weeks in January, 1877, than had been received from the day of election up to the first of the month. New hopes and new energies were begotten, new names were enrolled, new advertisements came in, and the success of the paper was assured.
There being no newspaper published at Colchester, Mr. Stevens concluded to move his paper to that enterprising town in August, 1880. The first issue of the:
appeared September 7th, of that year. He continued its publication until August 22, 1883, when it was leased by him to V. L. Hampton, for a period of one year. A week before the expiration of the lease the paper was sold by Mr. Stevens to Lucien S. Reid, who, a few days later, sold it to Mr. Hampton, who continued its publication. Being a strong republican in politics, Mr. Hampton did not deal in politics during his lease, but upon becoming owner he brought the paper out August 27, 1884, as an advocate of the principles of the republican party, and during the exciting campaign of 1884 the paper was not slow in advocating these principles.
Beginning with Mr. Hampton's connection with the paper came a new era of prosperity for the Independent. The local news of Colchester and vicinity and the general news of the country were made the leading features of the paper, and at the end of the first year the subscription list showed a net gain of 212. Upon the paper endorsing the republican faith, a large number of democratic subscribers withdrew their support, but their places were taken with new names and the paper held its own until after the election in November, when it again began to gain. The Independent is the official paper of the city of Colchester. It receives a liberal support in advertising from the Colchester business men. It is a strong advocate of all enterprises, both public and private, which are a benefit to the town. As an illustration of what young men can do for themselves by their own individual exertions, we will call attention to the following sketch of Van L. Hampton, editor and proprietor of the Colchester Independent.
Van L. Hampton is a son of John and Leademia K. (Bowen) Hampton, both natives of Ohio, and was born in Macomb, December 29, 1861. His early life was spent in Macomb, where his father owned and operated a woolen factory. When our subject was 8 years old his father purchased and moved upon land adjoining Macomb, and engaged in farming. Here Van lived until 19 years old, attending the Macomb public schools, and working on the farm during vacations and on Saturdays, excepting two years of the time, when he worked steadily on the farm. From early boyhood he had possessed a strong desire to become a printer, and accordingly left home in 1880 and entered the Colchester Independent office, then owned by H. H. Stevens, for the purpose of learning the trade. He remained with the Independent almost two years, becoming in that time so adept at the craft that be was tendered and accepted the position of foreman on the Blandinsville Democrat. Here he remained until June, 1882, when he returned to his home, determined to remain there and assume the heavy farm work which was fast becoming too much for the advancing age and poor health of his father. For the next 13 months he remained on the farm. In August, 1883, he leased the Colchester Independent for one year, and at the end of the lease he continued his connection with it by becoming owner. Although young and inexperienced in the editorial management of a newspaper, Mr. Hampton's labors have proven successful. The Independent under his management has enjoyed a prosperity never before attained. In the first 18 months its subscription list increased over one-third, and other business in proportion. Being a practical printer he works 10 hours each day in the composing room, and attends to his editorial and business duties after regular hours. As a local writer he ranks with the best in the county. Politically he is an ardent republican, and is not slow in advocating his political beliefs. He is unmarried, and belongs to no church or secret organization, except the Knights of Labor. As a citizen he is public spirited and advocates publicly and privately everything having a tendency to advance the interests of the community.
Mr. H. H. Stevens, one of the founders of the Colchester Independent, in 1873, established a new journal at Colchester in 1885, which he christened:
In the first issue of the News appears the following salutatory:
"A custom dating back to the publication of the first newspaper in the United States, in 1704, seems to make it incumbent upon any one just beginning the publication of a newspaper, to briefly indicate in the first number and under the above heading what the new candidate for public patronage is going to be. I cheerfully conform to this time-honored custom. I shall endeavor to make this a valuable and desirable family newspaper; keeping its readers thoroughly well posted upon the current news of the day, and giving them a large amount of first-class reading matter, both original and selected.
"It will be independent in all things and neutral in nothing. It shall, at all times, advocate such principles, measures and policies as I believe best calculated to promote the good of the people and country generally, and the city and county in which it is printed, especially.
"Whatever it advocates, it will advocate with all its might, and whatever it opposes, it will oppose with the same energy and in the same unmistakable manner.
"I grew to manhood within a few miles of this city. Here I am known. Here, if anywhere, our abilities (if any we have) are known and appreciated. Here our faults and vices (if we have any) are known and charitably over-looked. Here, then, if anywhere in the world, we ought to succeed.
"Experience is a dear school, and it is said fools learn in no other. However, this maybe, is true that the most valuable lessons of our life were learned by experience. I think I know better how to conduct a newspaper now than I did when I gave up the Independent, which was founded by Mr. Hail and myself in 1873, and conducted by the writer for ten years. If this is really true, then The News will be a better paper than the Independent ever was under our management.
"To sum it up in a few words, this paper shall be as good and worthy a journal as it is possible for the writer hereof to make it. Hoping to have all our old time friends and patrons and the readers of newspapers, generally, throughout the city and county, to call in and see us and become regular sub-scribers and readers of The News.
"I am with respect, your obedient servant."
The initial numbers of the News appeared January 23, 1885. It is a five column, eight page paper, independent in politics, and on the first page of which appears the following characteristic motto: "Hew to the line; let the chips fall whither they may." The paper is well filled with advertisements, is edited in a crisp and able manner, and betokens a successful career, such as Mr. Stevens will undoubtedly attain from a long and varied experience in the journalistic field.
H. H. Stevens, the founder and editor of the News, is by birth a native of Indiana, having been born in Harrison county, that state, on the 1st day of April, 1836, but is almost a native of this county, his parents bringing him here in the fall of the same year in which he first saw the light. They settled on a farm on the banks of the Troublesome creek, about two miles south of Colchester. Here the young Stevens grew to manhood, receiving such instruction as the early schools afforded. In 1856, when but 20 years of age, he, in company with T. B. McCormick and J. H. Adkinson, engaged in the mercantile business in Colchester. Owing to the financial crisis that then shook the whole country, in the winter of 1857, the firm failed and closed up. In the spring following, Mr. Stevens went overland, via Salt Lake, to California, and was there engaged in gold mining in Plumas county, until the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion, in 1861, when he enlisted in company F, 5th California volunteer infantry. This company was commanded by Captain J. H. Whitlock. Mr. Stevens was made first or orderly sergeant, and in a few months was commissioned 2d lieutenant, and shortly afterwards promoted to the rank of 1st lieutenant. He was breveted captain for distinguished gallantry in a battle with a band of Apache Indians, at Stein's Peak, in New Mexico, in which he was the only commissioned officer engaged. At the expiration of the three years service, he was transferred to a veteran corps and retained in the service over two years longer, making his time of service in the army about five years and three months. In August, 1873, in company with E. H. Hail, he commenced the publication of the Illinois Granger, in the city of Macomb, but after a career of two years, Mr. Hail retired from the paper, and its name was changed to that of Macomb Independent, a history of which is given elsewhere. In 1880, Mr. Stevens removed the paper to Colchester and changed its name to suit the new locality, still keeping the name of Independent. In August, 1883, he leased this office to V. L. Hampton, for a year, and at the expiration of that time, sold it to L. G. Reid, who, in a few days thereafter, re-sold to Mr. Hampton. In January, 1885, he went to Chicago, and purchased an entire new outfit for an office, and on the 23d of the same month, issued the first number of the News.
This paper was established at Bushnell in the summer of 1884, by Charles C. Chain and W. L. Kay, the former gentleman acting as editor. In the first issue, which appeared July 3, is found the following pointed remarks by way of a salutatory:
"We make our bow and introduce ourselves as the McDonough Democrat.
"No apology is deemed necessary for our appearance. The field of journalism is well occupied, but we imagine there is a vacant spot that the Democrat can occupy without trespassing upon the claims of others. While the paper will strive to represent the whole field of journalism, its especial object is to supply the much needed addition to democratic literature in McDonough county. As its name implies, it is democratic in politics in the strictest sense. However, it disclaims the rabid and offensive style of presenting political issues so unfortunately prevalent in political journalism.
"The Democrat will be the only organ of democracy in Bushnell, and therefore asks the hearty support and cooperation of Bushnell democracy, and, while in a political sense, it will be a party organ, it will know no party in working for the moral, social and material advancement of Bushnell and the community at large; therefore, we feel free to ask the support of the entire community.
"The political tone of the Democrat will be more fully exemplified when our state and national conventions have placed the issues before us. Hoping to merit the best wishes and support of the public, we submit the paper with confidence.
"This is no experiment, we have come to stay."
The Democrat was first issued as a seven column folio, but December 11, 1884, was changed to its present form, that of a five column quarto, to accommodate increasing patronage. The proprietors are both young men of nerve and ability, and issue a neat paper, full of spicy local paragraphs and fluent editorial criticism.
Charles C. Chain was born in Lewis-town, Fulton county, Illinois, on the 11th of November, 1863. In April, 1871, he removed to Nebraska, but soon returned to his native state, locating near Cuba, Fulton county, on the 14th day of July, 1874. In June, 1880, he removed to Bushnell, in this county, where, in September of that year, he apprenticed himself to learn the "art preservative" in the office of the Gleaner, then under the editorial management and proprietorship of J. F. Cummings. Here he remained until in May, 1884, when the Gleaner office was destroyed by fire. On the 3d of July, 1885, he became editor of the Democrat. He is the son of W. H. and Amelia H. Chain. His father is a native of Ohio, but who, at the age of 21, came to Illinois, and located at Lewiston. His mother, although born in Delaware county, Ohio, can almost call Illinois her native state, having been brought here while quite young, and had been raised at Cuba, Illinois. Mr. Chain, although quite a young man, shows promise of reaching a high point in his avocation.
In August, 1879, Mr. H. H. Stevens commenced the publication of a five-column paper of the above name, in connection with his weekly, the first issue appearing August 18. It was run until November 15, when it was discontinued.
PRAIRIE CITY CHRONICLE
This was the name of the first paper published in the town of Prairie City, the first number of which bears date April 23, 1857. It was edited and published by R. W. Seaton, and was a seven-column folio, well printed, and an honor to the town, although its local news was very limited. The introductory shows that its editor was very sanguine of success. The speaking of it's then limited circulation, he says: "Our circle at present is small, like that of a pebble dropped in the ocean, but it will gradually and silently expand in every direction until it reaches the far-off boundaries of civilization." In about one year it ceased to exist, but its editor, like many more of the craft, had more grit than money, and determined on the establishment of another sheet on its ruins; and accordingly in May, 1858, appeared the first number of the:
A four-column quarto, and published in the interests of the Good Templars. It lived but a few weeks, the order not giving it sufficient patronage on which to exist, and having no local news of any kind, the people of the town in which it was published failed to render it any aid. Next appeared the:
Of the career of this paper, very little can be said, as no copy of it is accessible. However, it lived but a short time, and never amounted to much.
PRAIRIE CITY HERALD
The paper with the above name was instituted in 1870, by C. W. Taylor, in the town of Prairie City. It was a neat eight-column folio, and was noted for its excellent local columns, and spicy editorials. For many years it was run by the originator and his brother H. B. Taylor, who succeeded him. The 1882, it suspended and was not revived.
Before the publication of the Herald was suspended, a new newspaper was launched, with the name of the:
PRAIRIE CITY BUGLE
O. G. Maury had just returned from the west, and, as he was a practical printer and an editor of experience, his father, John W. Maury, one of the early settlers of Prairie City, was anxious to have his son established at home in the pursuit of his chosen profession. Accordingly, he made overtures to the proprietor of the Herald for the purchase of its good will and material. Being unable to obtain these at what he deemed a reasonable price, he decided to put in a new office for his son, and start another paper. A short time before, the publication of the Knoxville Review had been suspended, and as the press and material were then lying in that town unused, he bought the outfit, and soon had it again put in shape, and all ready for the launching of the new craft. After some study he decided to call the new paper the Bugle. On the 8th day of February, 1882, the first number appeared, being a seven-column folio, with patent outside, and inside well filled with local news, and the name of O. G. Maury appearing at the mast head as editor and publisher. This young man had learned his trade in the offices of the Prairie City Herald and Macomb Eagle, and had finally drifted into Nebraska. There, in company with J. H. Case (afterward a representative from Clay county in the Nebraska legislature), established the Nuckolls county Inter-Ocean, at Nelson, Nebraska. This paper existed for nearly a year and half, when its proprietors gave up the venture "having been convinced," as Mr. Maury aptly said "of the impossibility of publishing a seven-column newspaper in a one-column town." For the three succeeding years, the proprietors labored at Fairfield, Nebraska, in the publication of the News. At the expiration of that time, Mr. Maury went to St. Joe, Missouri, and was engaged there as reporter. After a short time, he went to Elmer, Colorado, and, to use his own words, "in the highest altitude of any paper in the world, the Eagle spread its wings;" but although he was successful he longed to return to his Illinois home, and as a consequence, we find Mr. Maury, as before stated, at the helm of the Bugle, in Prairie City. In his salutatory, Mr. Maury takes occasion to say:
“With charity for all, and malice toward none' and with our heart full of hope for the success and improvement of Prairie City, we enter upon the publication of the Bugle. When, in after years, a beautiful city shall be erected upon the present site of our town, when magnificent edifices shall be erected in the places of those now fast falling to decay, when the vast fields of coal and resources for manufacturing shall be fully developed, then we shall receive our reward, and the name of the Bugle and its editor be placed on the list of those who have lived to carve their names in the history of Prairie City."
The course of the paper was announced to be independent as regards politics.
With the issue of March 1, 1882, the name of W. E. Lewis, (present city attorney of Prairie City), appears at the head of the editorial column as a part proprietor with Mr. Maury, and the issue of that date contained the announcement of the addition to the firm, and the continued publication of the paper by Maury & Lewis. The paper, under this management, continued to boom Prairie City, and did much toward directing the improvement and development of the natural resources of the town. The last paper published by this firm was the issue of June 21, 1882, when Mr. C. D. Hendryx, a law associate of Mr. Lewis, leased the interest of Mr. Maury. The the following issue, the latter appeared in a card, in which he bade farewell to the paper and the people of Prairie City, and spoke words of kindness for the new proprietors of the paper. He soon took his departure from the scene of his boyhood days, and finally obtained a situation on the Chicago Times as a compositor, which he still holds. Mr. Hendryx also had a few words to say in this issue, over his signature, by way of introduction in his new field of labor. Mr. John W. Maury, who had all along owned the material, sold the outfit to Hendryx & Lewis. The issue of December 6, 1882, appeared with a change of the form of the paper, its new size and shape being those of a five-column quarto, which, like its predecessor, was neat and tidy in appearance. On the 24th of May, 1883, the paper was enlarged to a six-column quarto. In July, 1883, Gardner Bolles and Milton Scott, of Macomb, leased the material, and, without announcement of change, continued the publication of the Bugle, until September, 1883, when it reverted to Hendryx & Lewis.
The last issue of the Bugle appeared on the 28th of September, 1883. With the same material and press, Dr. C. H. Pearson took up the broken thread, and launched the Prairie City Transcript, the first number appearing on the 12th of October, 1883. It was a seven column folio, and appeared in its first number with 12 columns of displayed advertisements and several columns of local notices. The new publisher made very little display about the change in name or editor, having but one article in regard to new subscribers, and the following, which may be called a salutatory:
"Concerning the metamorphosis of Bugle to Transcript, the process was as easy and natural as from cocoon to butterfly. Not that we arrogate to ourselves the beauty and flight of that bright-winged object—although there is some butterfly to us bipeds of this office at meal time. A clean purchase, cash down, full possession, and the good wishes of the sellers. Isn't that nice? The last number issued by Mr. Pearson was that of November 24, 1884. At this time Henry L. N. Miller leased the material, and continued the publication of the paper, retaining the same name and form. The paper has always been independent in politics.
PRAIRIE CITY HERALD
A new venture in the journalistic field was initiated in Prairie City in the sprig of 1885, the first number making its appearance on the 30th of April with the following salutatory, from the pen of Charles E. Keith, the editor:
"It is a hard task to run a newspaper to please anybody, it is an utter impossibility to so conduct it as to please everybody; for one mayhaps it is too independent, and for another not independent enough; to try to please all would be to please none, and we sincerely hope the honest efforts of the publisher to run a newspaper as acceptable, as the average, will counterpoise all omissions and commission to which he is liable. The local paper is the criterion by which to judge of a city's prosperity. We have never yet seen a dead town with a live newspaper, nor a worthless newspaper in a live town. The one is inconsistent with the other.
"Where in all christendom is there a town so abounding in natural resources, made up and surrounded by that substantial industrious element which in itself is prosperity? Where is there a soil so fertile, a people so energetic, so deserving of a good newspaper, so capable of making it a good one, and so willing to lend their aid to that end, as that in Prairie City and the country tributary to it? It is with this knowledge, this feeling, that we are prompted to return to Prairie City.
"We do not come here to publish a newspaper individually and alone. It is not within the power of one individual to do so much, and rash to assume that he does. But we come to lend our feeble co-operation with the people in making for Prairie City and for the territory about it that which it has so long needed and which it so richly deserves a first-class newspaper.
"There is no need to outline a policy, issue a proclamation of promises or enunciate a platform of principles, as a paper published by and for the people can pursue but one course and that for the interest of the people, for the good of the city, for the advancement of the country and for the fuller extension and better development of the legitimate field of which Prairie City is the center.
"With this end in view, this object before us, we shall labor untiringly and unselfishly to perform our part of the task, feeling that with the increased prosperity of others comes our own reward.
"We have not come among you unsolicited nor unwillingly. We need no introduction, for it is the home of our childhood. We make no apology, for our business is legitimate. We come not as a last resort nor accept the field in a "this-or-nothing" desperation; but in the midst of editorial duties on the Burlington Hawkeye, we lay down the pencil of a salaried writer and pick up the burdens of a country publisher, because it brings us to the old haunts of younger days, to the scenes of that most joyous period of life, marked by the transition of childhood to youth, and because we know we are welcome and know we are wanted.
"More than a year since, a solicitation, unexpected and unsought, not of one but of many, found us out in tropical Florida. It was urgent and earnest, encouraging in its contents and complimentary by virtue of its request to "come back;" "come home." From then dates our negotiation for the only paper in Prairie City, which did not reach a conclusion until the first day of last April, when we bought the outfit and business, subject to a lease which was then upon the property. Had the conditions of this lease been fulfilled or had there been a disposition on the part of the lessee to fulfill them we would not have possession of the office to-day, we could not had we so wished. To say that the lease has been terminated is to admit that there have been violations of its conditions. Not technical but gross, as all acquainted with the details will attest.
"Now, that we are here, we are here for good; not for a day, nor a week, nor a year, but for life time; not as an adventurer nor a speculator who preys on the known liberality and leniency of the community, but as one who expects to remain while the brittle thread of life keeps whole, and who trusts for support and patronage on the grounds of merit alone, and who will work with you and for you.
"Friends, we rest our case."
The paper started as an extremely neat, well gotten-up, six-column folio, but was shortly afterwards changed to a seven-column quarto. It is well and ably edited, Mr. Keith being a sharp and racy writer.
A paper with the above title was started in the town of Blandinsville, by George W. Smith, the former editor of the Macomb Independent, in 1857. This was the pioneer journal in this town. It did not last but a short time, when it was compelled to suspend, on account of a lack of patronage. For several years the place was without a journal of any kind, but about 1874 or '75, William Brown established a newspaper, which he called:
THE BLANDINSVILLE ERA
which run but about two years, when it ceased its existence. Of neither of these papers are any files accessible, and but little data can be obtained from which to give any history of them or their editors.
In the fall of 1877, John G. Hammond established at Blandinsville:
THE MCDONOUGH DEMOCRAT
This sheet was, as its name implies, democratic in politics, and ably conducted. For about two years it was kept up, when Mr. Hammond, being about to remove, with the office, it was purchased by a company of the citizens of that place, under the name of the Blandinsville Publishing Company. The following notice appears in the columns of the paper, under date of November 13, 1879:
"With the present issue of this paper, begins the career of the McDonough Democrat, under the management of the Blandinsville Publishing Company—a corporation legally organized under the laws of the state of Illinois. When the fact became known that John G. Hammond, former editor of this paper, had formed a copartnership with the Macomb Independent, and intended removing the office, with its appurtenances, Macombward, negotiations were commenced at once, with a view to purchasing the entire outfit, and keeping the paper in this place. Terms were soon agreed upon, and Friday, the 7th day of November, the office became the property of the Blandinsville Publishing Company. The time was, probably, in the history of Blandinsville, when the need of a newspaper was not fully realized, but that time has passed and gone; a new and different state of things prevaiL The people now believe, and know, that the press is one of the important factors of human progress, that it exerts a wide influence in favor of morals and good society. We are aware that the people of Blandinsville, and vicinity, have been disappointed more than once in the newspaper enterprise, in the years that are gone. More than once have they lent their assistance to set on foot a plan that would give them a home paper, but for many reasons, that could be mentioned, the enterprise would die out, and leave the town without a paper. There is one thing that can not be said of Blandinsville, and that is, she will not support a paper. The last two years have demonstrated to the contrary. The Democrat has been patronized liberally by the business men and citizens, irrespective of party, and the ex-editor, had he shaped matters properly, could have established a business, remunerative to himself, and an honor to the town.
"It will the earnest endeavor of the managers of this paper to make it, in every way, worthy of the patronage it shall receive. While the paper will be democratic in its principles, it will, in politics (as in everything else), aim to pursue a straightforward course—promulgating nothing but sound doctrine, and advocating no principles, eicept those that will be for the best interest of the community, in which it circulates. In the first rank of progress, on the side of reform, law, and order, the Democrat will ever be found working zealously for the promotion of every cause that renders a community happy and prosperous. We make no prediction concerning the future of this paper. Its success will depend largely upon the support and encouragement it receives from an intelligent and liberal public. If you are interested in the growth and development of your town and community, in moral, intellectual, and material prosperity, you will maintain your home paper. In conclusion, we would say that if you wish to see Blandinsville advance in all her interests—moral, social, and educational, and keep abreast with the civilization and progress of the 19th century, you will foster and contribute to the enterprise, under the cognomen of the McDonough Democrat.
The office was run by George S. Fuhr, as editor, for a time, when he finally became proprietor. In the spring of 1882, Frauk Fuhr purchased an interest in the paper which was carried on under the firm name of Fuhr Bros., until October 1, 1883, when Gcorge retired from the firm, leaving Frank P., to continue at the helm. During the month of May or June, 1884, the editor saw fit to change the politics and name of the paper, making it:
THE BLANDINSVILLE REPUBLICAN
in name and republican in politics. Throughout the campaign of 1884, it advocated the principles of that party, and continued so to do until in March. 1885, when it passed into the hands of Lucien Reid, who changed its name to that of:
In the issue of March 6, appears the following explanation of the retiring editor:
"With this issue the Blandinsville Republican passes into democratic hands, who will change its name to Review and its politics to democratic. During the short administration of the Republican we have been fearless in the advocacy of the principles of the republican party and all other things that in our judgment we considered right and just; and while we lay down the Republican, as the separation of a dear and true friend, we feel it a duty we owe to ourselves; and we are confident it is with greater zeal and with a stronger desire to live and work in that party than ever before; for under its benign influence the nation awoke as from the dead and sprang forth into newness of life; and as the immortal Washington is regarded as the father of his country, so may the republican party be regarded as its great builder; and we feel proud that for such a party, we have given at least a feeble effort, and thankful that we still have the privilege to extol its virtues.
In conclusion we thank our democratic friends for their patronage during the time we were editing the Republican and shall ever regard them as true, manly men; especially do we thank our good republican friends for the noble manner in which they stood by us from the very birth of the Republican, and ask them to not deal with our successor as a portion of the democrats did with us, but in accordance with the great principles that have made and ever characterized the republican party."
Lucien Reid, although a young man possesses ability and will make the paper a success. In the opening number of the Review he says to his friends:
"With this issue we begin the publication of the Blandinsville Review. As has been the custom for more than a century, it devolves on an editor to state in the first issue of his paper what will be the policy of the journal, we will follow the beaten path in this one particular.
"It shall be our earnest endeavor to keep the people posted on the local and general news of the day, devoting especial attention to that of our village and vicinity. We believe a live local paper will be a benefit to the community, and to that end we shall devote most of our attention. We shall at all times advocate anything which will tend to build up and strengthen our business relations.
"Politically the Review is democratic, because we believe the party is today a party of progress and reform, and a party which is as free from corruption as is possible for any organization or body of men to become. We shall advocate these principles, asking all to give us a fair trial before condemning."
Lucien S. Reid, the present editor and publisher of the only paper in Blandinsville, is a McDonough county man, having been born in Lamoine township, November 12, 1860. Early in life he evinced an interest in newspaper work, and seems well adapted for that branch of business. His parents were native Kentuckians, and came to this county about 1857, settling on a farm in Lamoine township. Lucien remained on the farm with his parents, assisting his father in the various occupations incident thereto, and attending to some extent the common schools until 1876. He then went to Galesburg and spent two years in attendance at Knox college, returning home in the spring of 1878. His next move was to Hiawatha, Kansas, where he began to learn the printer's trade in the office of the Kansas Herald. He there remained 18 months, then went to Beatrice, Nebraska, and engaged in work on the Courier of that place. The paper was a failure, financially, and atter spending one year there he went to Omaha, and got employment in the job office of the Herald, where he remained for six months. Then returning to Plymouth, Illinois, which place was the home of his parents, he soon joined Woods' Western Theatrical Company. The season of that company closing in the September next following, he joined the Nelson Dramatic Company and with them continued about two months. In November, 1882, at Jefferson city, Wisconsin, he joined the McCready New York Theatre Company, and remained with them until the close of their season, in April. He then went to Chicago, and worked at his trade in the office of Rand, McNally & Company until November, 1883. He then came to Colchester, in this county, where his father resided, having moved from Plymouth. In March, 1884, he went to Geneva Lake, Wisconsin, and worked on the News, of that place until June, when a change having been made in the management of that paper, he returned to Colchester and was employed on the Independent, published by V. L. Hampton, under lease from H. H. Stevens. The following August he bought the paper from Mr. Stevens, and before the lease expired sold it to Mr. Hampton, and continued to work there until March 1, 1885, when he bought the Blandinsville Republican, changed its name to Review and its politics to democratic, and started out with the determination to make it a good newspaper. The historian of the future will chronicle his success, or failure. The auspices seem favorable, and a proper appreciation of his efforts well make the Reeiew one of the leading papers of the county.
THE GOOD HOPE INDEX
A paper with the above heading made its appearance in the village of Good Hope, on the 29th of January, 1885. It is edited and published by H. J. Herbertz, the subscription price being only one dollar per year. In the initial number, the editor makes the following remarks to his friends and the patrons of the paper:
"With this issue we begin the publication of the Good Hope Index and feel confident, at least, of financial success, which is one of the most essential features of the business. We shall endeavor, from time to time, to give our readers all the local happenings that occur in Good Hope and vicinity, and shall also endeavor, through able correspondents, to keep them posted on the local events that transpire in the neighboring towns.
"To the business men of Good Hope, we wish to say, we thank you for the liberal patronage you have extended to us, so far, in the way of advertisements, and the aid you have given us in getting subscribers, and sincerely trust you will reap a bountiful reward for your liberality. In closing, we will say to our patrons and readers, we shall use our most strenuous efforts to merit your patronage. In politics the Index will be neutraL"
H. J. Herberts, the editor of the Good Hope Index, is a son of William and Margaret Herberts, and was born June 10, 1857, at Keithsburg, Illinois. The following year his parents removed to Oquawka, Illinois, where his father soon after died. The subject of this sketch was educated in the public schools of Oquawka, and in the spring of 1872 entered the office of the Henderson County Journal, at Oquawka, to learn the printers' trade. He served about one year, then went to Monmouth and entered the employ of J. S. Clark & Son, publishers of the Index, with whom he remained about three years, after which he returned to Oquawka and commenced learning the cabinet makers' trade. He continued the latter about two years when he concluded to abandon it and resume his former occupation, and accordingly began the publication of the Sentinel, at Avon, Fulton county, Illinois, issuing the first number of that paper March 4, 1879. He continued editing the Index one year, then on account of failing health, was obliged to give up business. He sold out his paper and spent a year in regaining his health with relatives at Oquawka. In the spring of 1881 he went to Tarkio, Missouri. He was married July 12, 1881, to Miss Sadie Singleton, of Avon, and in January, 1882, removed to Avon, Fulton county. They have one daughter, born September 8, 1882. Mr. Herbertz moved to Bushnell in May, 1884, and was there employed as compositor on the Democrat, of that city. He came to Good Hope in January, 1885, and commenced the publication of the Good Hope Index. Mrs. Herbertz is a native of St.Augustine, Knox county, Illinois, born January 19, 1863.
This paper was established in 1865, at Bushnell, by D. G. Swan, one of the founders of the Macomb Enierprise. Mr. Swan continued its publication about two years, when he disposed of the office to Andrew Hageman, who changed the name of the sheet to its present cognomen:
The initial number of volume 1 of the Bushnell Weekly Record was issued February 29, 1868, by Andrew Hageman, its founder who remained its editor and publisher during the first three years of its existence.
The people of Bushnell had been without a local newspaper for about eight months. Previously Mr. D. G. Swan had been publishing the Union Press something over a year. The Record enterprise therefore, as soon as proposed, met with a hearty approbation and encouragement on the part of the citizens, and the neighboring farmers; and to their liberal patronage, supplemented by that of the nearest villages, is to be attributed the good success of the Record newspaper.
Mr. Hageman, a native of New Jersey, who had been several years engaged in agricultural and mercantile pursuits in that state, and at an earlier date had regretfully abandoned a thorough course of classical studies in Rutger's college on account of impaired health, immigrated to Illinois in 1856, and settled on the then open, uncultivated prairie, in the southern part of Henderson county, Illinois, where is now located the thriving village of Raritan. After a varied and enjoyable experience of 12 years in the making of a new home on a new prairie, he came to Bushnell early in February, 1868, in search of a favorable opening, which resulted in his complying with the wishes and accepting the counsel of several friends among the business men of the place, to commence the publication of a weekly newspaper.
An arrangement was soon made with Mr. Swan for the purchase of his printing press, type, and office material. A supply of paper, a heading, and other requisites were immediately ordered from Kellogg, Chicago; and a prospectus of the Bushnell Weekly Record was issued and circulated in the form of small posters, and also inserted in neighboring newspapers, announcing its prcposed objects, scope and characteristics in a general way; also indicating its commencement about the middle of a March next ensuing. Mr. Hageman had obtained several names as prospective patrons of a proposed paper to be commenced in case of a sufficient guaranty of support: but had no beginnings that really looked like business, till after Mr. H. had returned home to make preparations for moving to Bushnell. Thither, a few days later, comes a private letter from a friend in B., stating that the aforesaid would-be-editor was making separate efforts to start his proposed Bushnell Republican,and enclosing a copy of his prospectus, which promised that the said Republican would certainly appear March 1st.
Not proposing to be thus thwarted in his begun enterprise, the Record man, after first completing necessary arrangements at Raritan, proceeded without delay to invade the busy scene of newspaper rivalry at Bushnell, where he was gratified to find that friends of the Record enterprise had already secured a large list of subscribers. Three skillful compositors were forthwith employed and set to work,and the Record materialized; was a self-evident fact. Its No. 1 of volume first, bright, newsy, was delivered to city readers early on Saturday night of February 29.
The following is an extract from the salutatory:
"In the treatment of the various political questions of the times, the Record will stand firmly with the radical republican party, and will fearlessly advocate the adoption of those measures which we believe to be most conducive to the general welfare of the people; while at the same time its columns will be open for the free expression of any man's honest opinion though eversomuch different from our own, so long as truth, equity, and the best interests of the nation are the prime objects sought in the discussion. But let all controversalists bear in mind that this journal cannot and will not, be made a vehicle for any personal animadversions or disputings; or a tool for any sect or faction of any political party; or a mere echo of any one person's sentiments or teachings upon any subject. We decidedly prefer to do our own thinking, write our own editorials, and express our own honest convictions. And this same God-given right to obey the dictates of conscience and enlightened reason—which we claim for ourself, we freely concede to every other person.
"The Record will favor equality of rights as the natural heritage of every human being, abstractly considered, and irrespective of equality of condition, race, color, education, morality or intellect. We argue that no alleged superiority in any or all of these points can ever be a lawful pretext for the oppression of the inferior or less favored classes of men; and we claim for every man, made in the image and likeness of God, possessed of a heaven-born intellect and moral accountability, the "certain inalienable rights" spoken of by Jefferson, among which are "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
The Record will zealously approve of any and every institution which has for its end and aim the improvement of society by moral, mental, and physical culture; comprising the full and harmonious development of all the faculties of mind and body; and the dissemination of useful knowledge among all classes. This comprises education in its most exalted sense—education not only of the intellect, but of the moral sentiment in man's nature, wholesome restraint and government of the propensities, cherishing of the social affections, and bringing out all the ennobling qualities of man's nature. Preservation of health, by proper regard to diet, exercise, and regi men, is one of the highest duties we owe to ourselves and our Maker.
"With the aid and sympathy and encouragement of our readers, we sincerely intend to make the Record to be unmistakably a benefit to them, a source of profit as well as amusement, and a welcome visitor in every family to which it shall be introduced. And that the pleasant task of preparing for you an intellectual feast week after week may result in your enjoyment and profit is the sincere wish of your friend."
Opposition being promptly squelched, nothing further was attempted by way of rivalry; and subsequently a quasi arrangement in the semblance of a consolidation, was effected, for the sake of harmony, and in the interest of all those who were to be benefitted by a good local newspaper, and who recognized the importance of a united support.
The Record, thus well established continued to pursue the even tenor of its way, prosperously, with a small circulation abroad, but a good advertising and reading patronage at home. Both of which, as well as its job printing, increased wonderfully within the first three years of its history.
At the end of the third year of the Record, Mr. Hageman was compelled by a due regard to health, to retire from the newspaper business; a matter of necessity, and not at all from choice. The Record was a seven-column folio, 18x24 inches in size.
No ready printed sheets (except the one first issue to gain time) were used during the three years of Mr. Hageman's publishing it. The uniform price was $2 a year.
The Record in 1868, advocated the election of Grant and Colfax.—Mr. Hageman in March of that year accompanied the "Illinois Press Association." on the excursion to St. Paul; and to Mobile the following spring, 1869, with the association. In the year 1870, there was a lively contest between the Bushnell Record and the Macomb Journal relative to the alignment of the R., R. I. & St. L. railroad. In this matter, Bushnell was victorious, and secured the road.
A. W. Van Dyke, who had been connected with the Record from its first issue, and all along, consecutively as compositor, foreman, partner, and son-in-law, succeeded Mr. H., as its editor and proprietor in March, 1871, and continued its publication two years, with marked ability and success, and to the satisfaction of the patrons. The subscription list continued to enlarge, and business men liberally patronized its advertising columns. Additions of new and handsome type, both for the paper and for job work, were constantly made by him, whereby the attractiveness of both were much augmented. In his new heading, in style, the word "weekly" was eliminated. In the spring of 1873, Mr. Van Dyke sold out the Record to Epperson and Spencer, residents of Bushnell. They agreed to give him steady emloyment, with the proviso of his abstaining from the publication of any other paper in Bushnell, for and during the term of five years. In recognition of this implied prohibition from editorship, Mr. Van Dyke took the management (as foreman) of the Bushnell Gleaner, which was started a few months after his being relieved from employment at the Record office, without being an ostensible partner and proprietor with Mr. E. Cummings, whose name appeared as publisher, the first five years of its publication. It may be added here, that Mr. Van Dyke, a few years later, purchased and became sole proprietor of the Gleaner, and that he was from the first, its editor and business manager.
In 1874, Mr. Spencer retired from the firm of "Epperson & Spencer," and J. H. Epperson became the editor and sole proprietor of the Record. Several parties had control of the journal after this, the last of whom was Charles W. Taylor and T. H. B. Camp. At the close of the year 1882, arrangements were instituted, whereby John Camp purchased the interest of Mr. Taylor, and the firm name changed to its present one of Camp Brothers. In its issue of January 12, 1883, the following notice of the change in the ownership of the Record is given:
"The Record has changed hands, the senior editor, Chas. W. Taylor, having sold his interest in the establishment to John R. Camp, the foreman of the office. The new firm will collect all debts due the office, and assumes the liabilities of the late firm, which, we are happy to say, are quite small. In retiring from the Record office, the writer feels as if parting from an old friend. He can heartily commend the new managers to the grand army of its friends, if he has earned any right to their confidence, and predicts a career of success for Camp Brothers. They are talented and capable young business men, energetic, experienced, and full of faith in the future of Bushnell. The business of the Record office during the past year, has been greater than at any period in its history, the job work especially having outgrown all expectation; the subscription list also has largely increased and is equaled only by that of two papers in McDonough county. We bespeak for the incoming firm the same generous support that has been accorded in the past.
To explain the reason for this change —not that we suppose it to be a matter of interest to the public—but to save Camp Brothers the trouble of answering a good many questions: The writer will go to Peoria to take charge of the advertising business of the Saturday Evening Call, a position in which he hopes to find some rest from the ceaseless and monotonous grind of editorial work, such as he has been accustomed to for the past 10 years.
With sincere thanks for the kindness shown to me in my 21 months connection with this paper, by the good people of Bushnell, and with the heartiest wishes for their happiness and prosperity, I herewith sever my connections with the Record.
The Camp Brothers, on taking charge, in the same issue make their bow to the patrons of the paper, in the following words:
"We do not feel equal to the task of editing a salutatory, and so spare our readers that infliction. We do not expect the Record under its new management to be the prime mover in great reforms, or to lead the people in the onward march of civilization and progress, but we expect to fill our little niche as well as we can for ourselves and our patrons. The Record will be in the future much the same as it has been during the past year. In politics it will be republican, but not so radically so that it cannot denounce a republican evil, or give to democratic merit its due need of praise. We shall devote our attention chiefly to the happenings of Bushnell and vicinity, and of adjacent points, and if we are but considered a faithful chronicler of local events, we shall be satisfied.
On the 26th of February, 1883, the paper was changed to its present form, that of a six-column quarto. It is ably run, and is a credit to the city and to the young men who manage and edit it A biographical sketch of the Messrs. Camp will be given further on in connection with the history of the city of Bushnell.
This was an amateur journal issued monthly by E. J. Miller, of Macomb, and was initiated in October, 1884. It was but small at first, as befitted its slight pretention, but was quite creditable in getup to the young editor. In March, 1885, the name of the paper was changed to that of:
THE JUVENILES' JOURNAL
and the sheet enlarged. It is now a neat, three-column folio, well filled with stories, jokes, etc., for the delight of the rising generation, and is a source of considerable enjoyment to the young editor.
History of McDonough County, Illinois, 1885, Continental Historical Co., Springfield, Illinois
Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen for McDonough County ILGenWeb
Copyright 1999, 2000 Robin L. W. Petersen; all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright must appear with the information.
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