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Early Newspapers

  1. The earliest known newspaper was the FRONTIER GUARDIAN established by Orson Hyde, in Kanesville (Council Bluffs) in 1849, and mainly served the then Mormon population. The first issue was printed February 7, 1849, and consisted mainly of Church news. Apostle Orson Hyde presided over the approximately 40 Church branches in the area from 1848 to 1852, after the main body of the Mormons had moved on to Salt Lake. The Guardian was absorbed by the Bugle (see item 2) in 1852, with the departure of Apostle Hyde and more devoted Mormons to Salt Lake.

  2. In 1850, Almon W. Babbitt, an elder of the Mormon Church, and a Democrat, formed the WEEKLY WESTERN BUGLE in opposition to the Frontier Guardian. The motto of the Bugle was "Truth, tho' crushed, shall rise again." In 1852, the Bugle absorbed the Frontier Guardian and became the WEEKLY WESTERN BUGLE AND FRONTIER GUARDIAN. About 1870, the paper changed ownership to Joseph E. Johnson (an elder in the Mormon church) and L.O. Littlefield (a layman printer) and became the WEEKLY COUNCIL BLUFFS BUGLE.

  3. W.W. Maynard established the COUNCIL BLUFFS CHRONOTYPE in 1854, which was later discontinued.

  4. In 1855, A.P. Bentley opened the DEMOCRAT CLARION, which was later discontinued.

  5. The WEEKLY NONPAREIL was established in 1857 by Maynard and Long. During the Civil War, the paper was changed to a daily publication and continues to the present day in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

  6. The HERALD was established in 1868 and offered daily and weekly publications; it was still operating in 1888. During the early 1880's, the EVENING HERALD was launched by S.T. Walker (President), F.E. Spencer (secretary/editor), and R.E. Ingram (treasurer). This was a prohibition paper, and after a short run, was succeeded by the INDEPENDENT REPUBLICAN from 1885-88, edited by H.W. Linchard. This was then succeeded by the EAGLE, with W.R. Vaughan, proprietor, who, after a short trial here, took it to Omaha, where it was finally closed out by the sheriff.

  7. The COUNCIL BLUFFS TIMES was started in 1870 and lasted only about one year, apparently closing down due to competition from the Nonpareil.

  8. In 1871, the Globe was established by S.W. Morehead, and the following year, Jacob Williams became editor. The COUNCIL BLUFFS GLOBE was printed daily and weekly and was operating in 1888 as a Democratic organ.

  9. Also operating in 1888 in Council Bluffs was the FREI PRESSE, published by F.G. Pfeiffer which was apparently a German language newspaper. The paper was started by W.T. Giles and it was eventually purchased by F.S. Pfeiffer, who came from Oregon with his family in 1879. He continued to publish the paper until his death July 16, 1899. Alise Becker was the editor/proprietor in 1907.

  10. The INLAND CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE was published by Rev. Joseph Knotts in Council Bluffs for a short time. This was a Methodist paper.

  11. In Crescent City, Iowa, a newspaper was started about 1857 called the ROCK BOTTOM. It was short-lived and was mainly a tool to encourage the building of a railroad route through Crescent City. When that failed, the newspaper was disbanded.

  12. Also in Crescent City, Joseph E. Johnson started the CRESCENT CITY ORACLE. When the prosperity of Crescent waned and the railroad was routed through Council Bluffs, the newspaper was discontinued.

  13. At Big Grove (now Oakland), a newspaper, THE ACORN, was started by John C. McMannima and John G. Julian on May 1, 1881. The first issue was dated May 5 of the same year; and in August following, A.M. Lewis became editor and proprietor, and on the 1st of March 1882, A.M. Lewis sold to A.T. Cox. This has been an independent newspaper, working for the interest of the town and surrounding country.

  14. At Avoca, Knox Township, THE AVOCA DELTA, a republican weekly, was established by Thomas Ledwick and C.V. Gardner, the first paper appearing January 1, 1870. One side was printed in Chicago and the other at the office of the Harlan Herald at Harlan, Iowa. August 1, 1870, the paper became the property of J.C. Adams. In 1873, the office was destroyed by fire, but the citzens of Avoca raised $550 and donated it to Mr. Adams to resume publication. The paper was enlarged from a six to a seven column folio and in 14 days from the day of the fire, it reappeared.

  15. At Avoca, THE AVOCA HERALD, a democratic weekly, was established by A.P. Cramer in August 1880.

  16. At Carson, the CARSON CRITIC was formed about 1885. It was a weekly newspaper, with F.G. Week editor and publisher.

  17. The WALNUT NEWS was established in the town of Walnut in 1878 by A.O. Cramer and edited by Dan Cramer, brother of the proprietor.

  18. In Minden, Iowa, the MINDEN TIMES HERALD, a weekly paper, was operating in 1907.

  19. In Neola, Iowa, the newspaper, NEOLA TRIBUNE, was edited by E.P. Innes and was operating in 1883 not long after the town received its charter. As of 1907, the only paper operating in Neola was the NEOLA GAZETTE-REPORTER, L.G. Merrill, editor.

"Early Days at Council Bluffs," by Charles H. Babbitt, copyright 1916; 1891 "Biographical History of Pottawattamie County Iowa" by the Lewis Publishing Company; and 1885 Atlas of Pottawattamie County, Iowa.

Compiled and transcribed by and copyright Mona Sarratt Knight. All rights reserved except permission granted to reproduce or distribute to not-for-profit individuals or organizations.