Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


June 7, 2007

Newspapers into the 20th century


On March 1, 1903, Barrows sold the Iowegian to two young men, Jesse M. Beck of Muscatine and John R. Needham of Sigourney for $6,000. Beck had married Edna Pauline Needham of Sigourney, so the two men were brothers-in-law. In 1905 the business was moved to the present location on Main St., south of the square. Beck and Needham was a successful partnership. 1916 they finally purchased the Citizen from Mr. Needles, whereupon the Iowegian became a daily paper, known as the Daily Iowegian and Citizen..

In 1911, yet another newspaper joined the field, the Centerville Weekly Sun, published by T.W. Killion. However the Iowegian was gaining a dominant position and the Sun suspended publication in about 1917.

In 1924, the Journal equipment was purchased by sympathizers of the Ku Klux Klan and it became a daily named the Southern Iowa American. One of the new owners was J.Roy Wright, the Exalted Cyclops of the Appanoose Klan. The showdown between the American and the Iowegian swirled around the city election of March 1925. The American supported a pro-Klan ticket and the Iowegian against the Klan. The Klan ticket lost the vote and the Southern Iowa American ceased to exist in 1926.

In 1937, Robert K. Beck, a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College, joined his father and his uncle (Mr. Needham). World War II interrupted and he was gone three years serving in the Navy. Meanwhile his uncle, John R. Needham died in Oct., 1943. Within two month’s of Robert’s discharge from the Navy, his father, Jesse M. Beck suffered a mild stroke. He was 72, having worked hard during the trying war years and longer than he had planned.

Robert Beck was thrust into managerial responsibilities at age 30. Notable key people were Clyde Triebswetter in circulation, Bill Hayes in advertising and Gladys and Charlie De Puy in news. Jesse M. Beck and Robert K. Beck both received the highest professional award, the Master Editor Publisher.

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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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