Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


June 7, 2007

Newspapers into the 20th century

Last week I related how the Iowegian was started by Charles E. Vrooman as a Greenback newspaper in 1883 and became a republican paper in 1884. At that time the J. C. Barrows was still the manager of the Citizen.

In 1884 the second story of the Iowegian collapsed, partly due to the heavy equipment, and fell all the way into the bottom of the cellar, office material, brick, mortar and all. Charles E. Vrooman, the manager, telegraphed a firm in Chicago to extricate all that was left of the greenback party. An entire new outfit was purchased including a Campbell power press, which was run by hand. The new plant was installed in the basement of the Bradley National Bank on the north side of the square. In 1887 the Iowegian was moved to the Wooden store on the northwest corner of the square.

In 1889 J.C. Barrows bought the Iowegian for $3,500. He had previously worked for both the Citizen and the Times. As Editor, he converted the newspaper into a sound business operation and a solid, well-respected republican publication.

In 1892 the Weekly Journal, a democratic paper, passed into the hands of P.G. Swigart of Chicago. In the same year, they relinquished control to J.W. and D.H. Rinehart, who conducted the publication until 1911. The Journal then went to Walter Dewey and William Currie, the latter having charge of the business and editorial interests.

On Dec. 22, 1894 Mr. Needles converted the Citizen into a daily paper. C.D. Reimers and Joe Day were on hand to assist in the process. Previously, various attempts had been made to publish a daily in Centerville but they usually could not be sustained.

As a daily, the Citizen was in a struggle for self-preservation, but slowly and surely, the enterprise built up.

The Citizen had been started as an independent in politics, but in 1896, when the soundness of the nation’s money was threatened, a stand was taken for republican principles. In 1898, J.K. Huston succeeded Mr. Reimers as a partner in the business, and the paper gained much prestige.

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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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