Newspapers of Dodge County, Nebraska

The local newspaper was early in this field and aided the pioneer settler in developing the country. The first settlers were composed of men and women who had come in from old settled sections of other States, where the "home paper" was 'a household treasure, hence upon immigrating here they naturally took great interest in supporting the first newspapers published in this and adjoining counties. The Fremont Herald and Tribune were the forerunners of the various newspapers which have since been published in this county, and they still continue as the leading newspapers.

The County's First Newspaper

Outside of Omaha the Fremont Tribune was the first newspaper established in the Platte Valley. In the summer of 1868, J. N. Hays came to Fremont from Plattsmouth with a modern printing outfit, including good presses, type, etc., and founded the Fremont Weekly Tribune. The first issue pulled from the press was dated July 24, 1868, and the office was in a small, tucked-up attic over Usher & Sawtell's furniture store. The paper was a seven-column folio, well filled with advertising from the start and has been a great business medium ever since. The first office of publication was at the corner of Sixth and "F" streets. It may be of interest to read a part of the salutatory, as it shows the original policy of the paper:

"With this issue we commence the publication of the Fremont Tribune. The paper was started to supply a want existing in this place for some means of making known the advantages of this section of the country and offering a convenient organ for discussion of matters of local interest. It will not be indifferent to the great political contest now going on in this country and cheerfully enlists as a supporter of the great principles advocated by the National Republican party and the election of Grant and Colfax."

Mr. Hays conducted the paper until January, 1872, when Frank G. Parcell purchased an interest and became business manager, the firm name changing to J. N. Hays & Co. This continued until death overtook Mr. Hays m 1873:

Soon after his death a company purchased the plant and operated it as the "Tribune Printing Company" with Fred Nye as editor. In 1877 W. H. Michael purchased a half interest and thereafter it was conducted by Michael & Nye. In May, 1879. Browne & Hammond came into possession of the plant and the following autumn Mr. Browne sold his half interest to George Hammond & Son, Frank Hammond being editor. In 1882, Ross L. Hammond secured a half interest and the firm was known as Hammond Brothers, with Frank as business manager and Ross L. as editor. In March, 1891, Harry W. Hammond, a younger brother, came into the firm and later sold his interest to his brothers.

In May, 1883, the Tribune blossomed out into a daily edition. Later on the weekly edition was changed into a tri-weekly, which was discontinued in 1917 because of the inroads made on the tri-weekly subscription list by the establishment of rural routes, when the farmers were given a daily mail service.

In January of 1920, Ross L. Hammond, who held a half interest, sold most of his holdings to other stockholders and retired to a comfortable home in Southern California, after forty years' continuous service as editor. Mr. Hammond's retirement made an official change in the management which is as follows: Frank Hammond, president and editor:

Ray W. Hammond, vice-president and manager; Lucius R. Hammond, secretary and assistant manager: Walter B. Reynolds, treasurer and circulation manager. Harvey C. Kendall, who is advertising manager, with the foregoing officers constitute the board of directors.

In 1881 a two-story brick block was erected by the Tribune owners and partially occupied at that time. As the business grew, tenants moved out and the plant spread into the building until it now occupies the original building, with a 50 per cent addition erected in 1902. In that year the plant was visited by a destructive fire but not a single issue of the Daily Tribune was missed through the kindness of competitors granting use of their presses. The newspaper department is well equipped with linotype machines and a rapid press of the rotary type that will print 30,000 sixteen-page papers per hour. The news of the world comes direct to the editorial rooms over a leased wire. Twenty carrier boys deliver the papers in the city. Some of the best business men of the city have been carrier boys for the Daily Tribune.

A large job printing and manufacturing plant is operated in conjunction with the newspaper and equipped with all the latest machinery for rapid and efficient work. Traveling men cover several states soliciting for this department. A combined force of seventy people, besides the carrier boys, are required to take care of the volume of business that has been developed. The annual payroll is in excess of $100,000.

The burden of the present management rests in the hands of young men who are competent to maintain the growth and prosperity that has marked a history of the institution since its founding in 1868 and the Tribune will continue to be one of the leading factors in the development of the town and state.

The Fremont Weekly Herald

The Fremont Herald is a weekly paper published in the City of Fremont, each week on Friday. It was established in 1870 by W. T. Shaffer. Later it was owned and conducted by R. D. Kelly, who in 1873 established the Daily Herald, which was continued for some years.

In 1876 Nat W. Smails came into possession of this plant, when the weekly was issued each Thursday, and the daily each day except Monday. The Herald is among the oldest newspapers in Nebraska, the daily being the oldest of any paper in the state outside Omaha and Lincoln. In the nineties its editor was a Mr. Smith of Coldwater, Michigan. Today, the Weekly Herald is an independent Democratic paper. It is a six-column paper with from eight to fourteen pages, all home print. Its subscription rate is $2.00 per year in advance. Its circulation is largely in Fremont and Dodge County, with a fair list in adjoining counties.

In 1905 this newspaper was taken possession of by an incorporated company, of which Marc G. Perkins was made president; Frank S. Perkins, secretary, and Marion M. Perkins, vice president. It is published at present at' 229-233 East Fifth Street.

The printing plant is fully equipped with the latest improved machinery for both newspaper and commercial printing. The Herald is a clean, well-edited, handsomely printed newspaper and it always seeks to give the people the latest news in the best style, hence is appreciated by a large patronage.

The North Bend Eagle

This newspaper was established at North Bend November 1, 1897, by Charles S. Fowler and Joseph C. Newsom. It was owned and conducted by Messrs. Fowler & Newsom from November, 1897, to September 27, 1900, when Mr. Fowler's interest in the paper was purchased by Mr. Newsom who has retained the ownership and management ever since, except for one year during 1918-19 spent in France, when the paper was leased for that time to E. O. Holub.

Politically this is an independent paper. In size and form it is an eight-page, six-column paper and has a good circulation in North Bend and tributary country. It is published on Thursday each week. Subscription rate is $1.50 per year in advance.

The paper is published in a building owned by the proprietor of the paper and is valued at $2,500. As to its mechanical equipment it may be stated that it has a Prouty power press, two Gordon jobbers, Model "L". Standard linotype, paper cutter, stapling machine, etc.

The following abstract of the Eagle runs about as follows: The Eagle succeeded the North Bend Argus, founded April, 1890, by W. K. Fowler and C. S. Fowler, and the North Bend Republican, founded in November, 1892, by Anna L. Dowden, were merged or consolidated by C. S. Fowler and J. C. Newsom, Fowler having previously purchased his brother's interest in the Argus, and J. C. Newsom having purchased the Republican of Mrs. Dowden.

The first newspaper published in North Bend was the Independent, established by Doctor Etwood in 1879.

The Hooper Sentinel

This newspaper was established at Hooper. April 22, 1885, by W. A. Crandall. The owners of this property have included these: W. A. Crandall, E. W. Renkin, C. E. Bennett, J. I. Brorby, Shipley & Thompson, W. G. Thompson, Glen Howard, Sedgwick & Ring, H. T. Ring, the last named owning it since 1914.

Politically the Sentinel is independent. It circulates mostly in Hooper and surrounding country. It is a six-column eight-page paper, printed each week on Thursday, morning. It is $1.50 per year subscription rate in advance and has six pages "home print."

The office equipment includes these items: A 10 by 15 jobber, a paper press that prints four pages at one time ; and all necessary material for a country newspaper plant. Locally the Sentinel is a most excellent paper.

The Uehling Post

This newspaper is published at the new Village of Uehling in the northeastern part of Dodge County. It was established in 1919 by Gus H. Weber, who still owns and conducts it as a weekly local newspaper. It is a six-column folio paper, printed each Friday. It circulates throughout Logan Valley Township and its subscription rate is $1.50 per year. The proprietor is his own printer and is a hustler in all that this term has come to mean.

The first paper started in Uehling was the "Press" by R. S. Honey. R. D. Kelly started the Times which ran about five years and went down. Politically it was republican.

The Scribner Rustler

This local newspaper was established at Scribner in January, 1895. Just who the founder was is not known, but it is known that it was owned by Henry Kidder ten years; by Otto Metschke six years: R. R. Roberts one year and Charles E. Majers has owned and conducted it since December 1, 1918. Politically the Rustler is an independent paper, circulating in various parts of Dodge County; is a six-column, eight-page paper all home print. It is published each Thursday at a subscription price of $2.00 per year.

The Rustler and Scribner News, the other paper of the town, consolidated about 1912.

Five years ago (1915) a wood-cement block building was erected especially for newspaper business. The office equipment includes a six column quarto press, a folder, job press and a Cranston pony cylinder press for job and book work. In all the plant has in operation four presses and a linotype machine, stapler, perforator and all usual type found in such an office.

The present owner edits a clean local paper and has a large job printing patronage in first-class work. "If you see it in the Rustler it is true" would make a good motto for the Rustler.

Young Men's Christian Association

Fremont had the honor of being one of the first points in Nebraska where a Young Men's Christian Association was established. It was formed here even before the state was admitted into the Union. This did not flourish many years, but in May, 1881, it was reorganized with charter members as follows: A. C. Hopkins, M. G. McCoon, Rev. A. B. Byram, C. C. Birdsall, A. R. Wightman, R. E. Doran, Mark C. Sanderson, Robert Hewett, F. M. Smith, Rev. A. T. Swing, F. M. Griswold, G. King, E. T. Smith, W. A. Marlow and L. C. Sweet.

The first officers were: Robert Hewett, president; W. A. Marlow, vice president; D. A. Lumbard, secretary; L. C. Sweet, treasurer. The first active president was Prof. A. R. Wightman. Meetings were held in the churches, a lecture course was provided for, prayer meetings were instituted and continued until the fall of 1884 when the society disbanded. Again in 1888 the work was resumed and the ensuing November the association had a membership of fifty-three men and by 1892 it had increased to 175. They were legally incorporated in September, 1891, and purchased forty-four feet on the southwest corner of Broad and Fifth streets, and from that time on the "Y. M. C. A." became a permanent fixture among the religious societies in Fremont.

The present magnificent three-story modern brick block on the location last named was erected in 1907 at a cost of $80,000 and it has none of the best modern appointments lacking.

Women's Christian Temperance Union

This society has been for more than a generation a power for good in Fremont. It was formed by devoted Christian women who loved temperance and virtue more than money or even life itself. They organized in 1874 with only a half dozen members, including Mesdames Hitchcock, Bullock, Griswold and Rogers. The first president was Lucy Rogers. Up to 1888 they met at private houses, but that year erected the Women's Christian Temperance Union Temple at the corner of Broad and Military avenue, in which they had a library and reading room, as well as a fine audience chamber. All along down the years the devoted women of the city have battled against the rum traffic until their prayers have been answered and liquor is no longer master in the fair state and nation.

Dodge County | Nebraska AHGP

Source: History of Dodge and Washington Counties, Nebraska, Rev. William H. Buss and Thomas T. Osterman, Volume 1, The American Historical Society, Chicago, 1921.

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