Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


May 31, 2007

Local newspapers after 1870


By about 1882, after Barrows had been in charge of the Times for a year, the pressure came from the businessmen of the town to consolidate the Citizen and the Times in the interest of economy. The Times was closed and Mr. Barrows was induced to take the management of the Citizen. The Citizen continued under J.C. Barrows for five years but was not getting out of debt. Finally, in 1887, Citizen was transferred to George W. Needles, who paid off the indebtedness and eventually made the Citizen the first successful daily in Centerville.

The Greenback party was at its height in the 1870’s and 80’s and wanted a party organ. “Greenbacks” were promissory notes of the Federal Government, originally issued to help the Union cause in the Civil War. Business leaders after the war had agitated for retirement of the greenbacks and a resumption of specie (hard money) for payments of public debts of the U.S. Agrarian interests wanted to retain the paper money. But the Greenbacks had no man capable of running a newspaper and no money to support one. C. Elliott Vrooman was induced to leave the Peoples Sentinel which he had published in Lancaster, Mo. and come to Centerville to publish a Greenback newspaper devoted to the interest of the industrial classes.

On April 7, 1883 the first issue of the Industrial Iowegian appeared with 1000 copies printed in the first issue. Charles E. Vrooman was owner and editorial manager with Mrs. Julia F. Vrooman, associate editor, who named the paper the Iowegian, consistent with the way Missourians spelled the term for native Iowans. After three issues, the name was changed to the Appanoose Iowegian. It was a straight greenback and labor paper. Mr. Vooman’s own descriptions are the basis for some of the material below.

The material for the Iowegian was shipped from Lancaster, Mo., where it was previously used in publishing the Peoples Sentinel. The Iowegian hung out a large square sign on 2-inch board, 2 by 3 feet, hung on a frame, on one side of which was painted a bee hive and, on the other, an anvil, with the arm of a muscular man, in whose hand was a sledge hammer.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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