Early Subscribers


A letter written by T.R. Oldham, first newspaper editor in the city, for the 40th anniversary issue of the Sentinel in 1899 tells the names of many pioneers he remembered as being newspaper subscribers.

I still remember a good many names on our list of subscribers in Osceola, among whom were the county officers--the first I believe to appear on the list; Jerry Jenks, county judge, an official who was the mainspring in the machinery of the county government. C.R. Johnson, county clerk of the court, J.R. Campbell, county treasurer, the name of the register of deeds, I do not remember; Dr. E.M. Laws, George Howe, John Richards, Caleb Jeffrey, George Clapp, Solomon Clapp, Dr. Carter, Dr. Sherrick, R.B. Parrot, M. M. Ridgeway, David Wilson, Col. Dare, J.C. Nodeerfth (Snowdirft as the boys used to call him), H.C. Sigler, Archie Morrison, H.H. Hess, Judge J. Rice, P. J. Goss, Scoville and Clark, Mr. Beckett the harnessmaker whose shop was just west of the Johnson hotel.

Five Johnson Brothers

We had on our list, I think, five Johnsons, all brothers, Reuben, Wesley, Benjamin, Cord and Aaron--these are the names by which they were familiarly called about town. All of them living in Osceola except Reuben who lived on a frm near Green Bay six or seven miles south of Osceola.

Alphabet Scott

We also had prof. J.H.L. Scott, (Alphabet Scott as the devil used to call him) and Prof. L. W. Little, both of whom were rather unique characters in their way. Mr. Scott was proprietor of Scott's school, quite a noted institution of learning for that part of the state at that time, and the fame of Osceola as an educational center had spread throughout the surrounding counties. Mr. Little was assistant professor of mathematics and languages--I believe these were the distinctive branches that he taught. It was Mr. Little's wont, on summer evenings, to array himself in spotless white and call upon the young ladies of the town. Sometimes he would take them horseback riding, an exercise in which he appeared to take great delight. I do not remember if he parted his hair in thei mddle or not, but in these days he would have been called something of a dude.

We also had Rev. Zibe Brown, a Campbellite minister and prominent Republican politician; C.E. Millard, an attorney and his brother J.L. Millard who lived near Liberty, and shortly after was elected a member of the house of representatives. I must digress here, long enough to say that one of Mr. Millard's chief competitors was a man I would like to mention to your readers, but I cannot now recall it. This man's hobby was building a 'canawl' by the state. the 'canawl' was, I think, to extend clear across the state from the Missouri to the Mississippi. He made his canvass before the people entirely along that line.

I also remember the names of Jennings Burrows, Thos. A. Trent, Lloyd Bennett, Mr. Walt and J. Stewart.

Hopeville Largest List

Our largest mailing list of subscribers was from Hopeville, and was mainly secured by C.R. Johnson who had formerly been a resident of that place. On our Ottawa list was a Mr. Coppock, who had been a follower of 'Old John Brown of Kansas'.

Source: Osceola Centennial Issue 1851-1951, section 4, page 1.

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