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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory

Hannibal L. Rann





     Hannibal L. Rann, one of the pioneer editors of Delaware county and proprietor of The Manchester Press for a period of more than a quarter of a century, was born in Alexander, New York, January 24, 1824, and died at his home in Manchester, May 1, 1897, at the age of seventy-three years. He passed his early life in acquiring the rudiments of an education, studying by the light of a log fire and reading everything that he could find at a period when books were few and the few difficult of access. He learned the printing trade as an apprentice in the office of the Fredonia (N. Y.) Censor, and in 1853 was called to the editorship of a daily paper at Buffalo, that state.
     Mr. Rann's first newspaper venture was in 1855, when he purchased the Dansville (N. Y.) Herald. In 1857 he removed to Whitewater, Wisconsin, and established the Register, retaining the ownership of the paper for ten years and entering actively into the politics of the state, holding the office of postmaster for six years. In 1871 he came to Manchester and started The Press, which he owned until his death, with the exception of the years 1873 and 1874, when he was engaged in the job printing business in the city of St. Louis.
     On the 5th of May, 1851, Mr. Rann was married to Mary A. Leffingwell, at her home in Westfield, New York. His widow survives him, together with three children-Edith V. Rann, of Chicago; Mrs. Milly Clark of Webster City, Iowa; and Howard L., now in charge of The Press.
     Mr. Rann was one of the fast vanishing class of pioneer newspaper men who, though deprived of modern educational advantages, made up a lack of college training by profound industry, a discriminating taste in literature and devotion to the best in the world of letters. In his earlier days he enjoyed the friendship of such men as William Cullen Bryant and N. P. Willis, and had he chosen to follow a purely literary career there is every reason to believe that he would have established himself as a writer of the first class. This is shown by the vigor, dignity and splendid command of compact English which made the editorial page of his paper a model of its kind. But he was, in addition, a trained and skillful craftsman, familiar with every branch of his profession, and his paper was ideally perfect in typography and make up. He had a memory of almost marvelous retentiveness and an acquaintance with the best authors which made him a delightful companion and an inspiring conversationalist. His life was pure, his ideals high, his motives transparent, and he served his day and generation with a fidelity, a courage and an unselfish zeal that left its impress upon the community and upon the state. No man of higher character ever occupied the humble sanctum of a country newspaper office, and none regarded the dignity and usefulness of his profession more circumspectly than he.




~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 195-196. Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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