LYON COUNTY GENEALOGY
EARLY NEWSPAPERS OF LYON COUNTY
The newspaper goes hand in hand with civilization and advancement and Lyon County has never been lacking for well-edited local and political organs. The first newspaper launched forth its printed pages of pioneer news with plenty of "legals," and was called the Rock Rapids Journal, edited by C.E. Bristol, in 1871. The first papers in Lyon County were pressless, and depended upon the LeMars Sentinel, forty miles distant, to do their printing, but this was soon remedied.
Concerning the establishing of the first newspaper in the county it may be recorded that Rev. C.E. Bristol took a homestead on section 24, in Grant Township, and preached the gospel during the summer of 1871, delivering the Fourth of July oration and was in every respect a fine and truly noble gentleman. He founded the Rock Rapids Journal, July 25, 1871. The paper was at first printed in LeMars at the Sentinel office, by J.C. Buchanan. In the first issue of his paper Rev. Bristol discoursed thus: We have just been out over our forty acres broken last season and in such a soil and such a season and such a genial climate, cannot help but return bountiful harvests, and we propose to "hold the plow or drive." We cannot give our friends all of our time in the sanctum, or palpit, for we came out here to make a home, and we are, under the blessing of heaven, going to do it, and do it ourselves, too."
In the several numbers of his paper he said: "Thanks to the genial editor of the Le Mars Sentinel, for his kindly words concerning us in his columns last week, before we were born (literally). We cannot be insensible to kindly welcome to the editorial ring."
The next issue of the Journal, Rev. Bristol, the editor, remarked: "We have to apologize to our eastern friends for so frequently saying, "so we are told." We beg them to remember that we only came here a month ago and don't know it all yet! Bear with us, then, if we don't know all there is. We move softly at first-til we get the Lyon County step!"
The Journal did not live long. Bristol had serious troubles of his own, with old "Buck" of the Le Mars Sentinel, and somebody jumped his claim in Lyon County and the Journal was no more.
There are now eight newspapers in the county. Several others survived for a time, but have long since been numbered on the defunct list. Among these were the Beloit Times, Lester News, Rock Rapids Tribune, Lyon County Press, and the West, by L.C. Rene, of Beloit.
The following weekly papers supply the people of Lyon County with news today: The Rock Rapids Review, E.L. Partsch, proprietor; the Rock Rapids Reporter, Junkin & Smith, proprietors; Inwood Herald, Miss Jennie Skewis, editor; Doon Press, Hazlett Bros., proprietors; the George Courier, T. Isebrand, proprietor; Alvord Register, P.H. McCarty, proprietor; Larchwood Leader, L.C. McGilvra, proprietor; Little Rock Free Lance, C.E. Davison, proprietor.
Some of the earlier papers had spicy, suggestive sub-head mottoes. The Rock Rapids Journal had "With malice toward none, with charity toward all," from Lincoln's famous speech. Ira C. Edwards, who had the same paper in 1876 had for a motto "Invincible, though not infallible." The Rock Rapids Review, in 1877, had under J.M. Webb's management, "The people's interest must and shall be preserved."
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