THE PRESS

   Early in the Spring of 1857, through the efforts of Beriah Brown, at that time, and previous, Chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee, William C. Tompkins was persuaded to locate in Neillsville and establish the pioneer journal of the county. The paper, which was limited dimensions, was first issued on the 7th of March of the year in which its editor was persuaded to change his base from Weyauwega to Neillsville, under the name of the 'Clark County Advocate,' with a future that was regarded as promising. Politcal changes the year of its establishment, included the editor of the Advocate among those who experienced a change of heart so to speak, and upon his entrance into the Republican fold, a spirit of opposition to the paper he controlled began to manifest itself very sensibly. In a brief period after his political apostacy, Tompkins sold the 'Advocate' to J.S.Dore and S.W.Dickinson. This change of ownership was accomplished through the efforts of B.F.French and was regarded as a piece of strategy of unprecedented merit. The purchase was consummated, but upon demanding a transfer of the good-will and portables included in the bill of sale, a tart refusal was returned by A.J.Manley, employed in the office, when Dore & Dickenson departed whence they came, by another way, and reflected upon the situation of affairs amid surroundings the reverse of cheerful.
   Not to be defeated, however, the material of the Trempealeau "Times,' which had, in the meantime, had been utilized to the publication of the 'Treampealeau Pioneer', was purchased from the Utters of the latter place, and removed to Neillsville, where on the 14th of October, 1861, the 'Union and Flag', a new creation of Dore & Dickinson, was flung to the breeze and attracted considerable notice. In the Spring of 1863, Tompkins laid down the paste-brush and scissors to take his subscribers by the hand for a farewell shake, and left the county. The 'Advocate', though owned by A.J.Manley, being still continued by C.W.Carpenter who remained in charge until 1865. In February, 1864, the 'Flag' was furled, metaphorically speaking, and the county was with but one more paper until Jan 31, 1867, when J.S.Dore began the publication of the Clark County "'Journal" with himself and E.E.Merritt as editors.
   At this time there was considerable rivalry beteen the 'Journal' and the 'Advocate' which was decided in favor of the former, and Manley discontinuing the publication of the latter removed to Minnesota, Merritt at the same time dissolving his connection with the 'Journal' and locating in St.Louis. The 'Journal thenceforward until Oct. 25, 1867, enjoyed the field of 'solus' with all the profits, privileges, and appurtenances therunto belonging, when Merritt returned from St. Louis, and issued the first number of the Clark County 'Republican', being associated in its editorial management with H.H.Hand who retired after six weeks toil, and remained afar from Neillsville journalism until 1870.
    The election of 1868 was a triumph of the Republican party, and the new paper began to dwell in the green pastures that had previously been occupied by its rival, though the editorial control of the latter was held by Joseph Benedict a brillant writer who died in 1870. The 'Journal' labored hard to sustain itself; Hand returned to the editorship of the 'Republican' and the two papers were soon involved in a quarrel which was only abandoned when Hand resigned at the suggestion of the "Republican's' friends a short time prior to election. The result of that event precipitated the suspension of the 'Journal', and the "Republican' grew fat in the sunshine of official favor and local patonage, (becoming the property of C.J.Cooper, with D.T.Lindley editor, in March, 1873) until June, 1873, when the Clark County "Press' was started by H.J.Hoffman in the cause of Reform. These two papers continued to dwell together unawed by each other until April, 1876, when Hoffman purchased the 'Republican' and began the publication of the "Republican Press' which he still conducts, his brother, E.L.Hoffman, officiating as the associate editor.
   About the same time the 'Enterprise' was located at Colby in Colby Township, but succumbed in time, and the interior of the county remained without a paper until 1879, when the Colby 'Phonograph' was established at that place by Shafer Brothers with Samuel Shafer as editor. On July 7, of the same year, L.B.Ring started the 'True Republican' at Neillsville, and on Oct 8, 1880, N.Schultz began the publication of the 'German American' also at the latter place, the only journal in the county published in German.
   All these papers are doing a paying business, are well conducted, and conclusive evidences of the type of enterprise the inhabitants of Clark County illustrate.
   The Clark County Agricultural Society was organized on the 15th of March, 1873, with a large membership and the following officers: John s. Dore, president; L.J.Glass secretary, and W.T.Hutchisnon, treasurer, the vice-presidents, being selected, one fro each township. The same year the association purchased forty acres of ground in Section 23, paying therefor $1,200; and completed improvements at a cost of $2,500, whereon exhibitions have been annually given with profitable results. The present officers are J.F.Canon, president; F.J.Vine, secretary; Charles Stuntzky, assistant secretary; H.Schuster, treasurer, and I.B.Philpot, marshal.

Transcribed and Contributed to this site by Judy Groh

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Floral Bouquet © Copyright: All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator and/or contributor. They may be linked to but may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from Clark County Coordinator Judy Groh, the State Coordinator, Tina Vickery and/or their contributor. My very special thanks to Holly Timm for the creation of the WIGenWeb Clark County graphic. The use of the Penny Postcard in the title graphic is used with permission of the Penny Post Cards a USGenWeb Archives Web Site.


This page was last updated on -- Friday, 01-Apr-2011 21:28:06 EDT

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