The church, the school house, and the local
press be justly termed the "holy trinity" under whose watchful eye
civilization is gradually lifted to a higher plane. While they are of equal
potency as civilizing agents, it is indeed strange that the country newspapers
should not be maintained by the public, the same as the public school system.
Instead of these twin offspring sharing the same patrimony, the press, like
Ishmael, is an outcast from the parental bosom.
While the country publisher should be, and invariably is, the best and smartest man in the community, he is permitted to exist merely through sufferance. Nobody loves him, and yet through his paper he is expected to love everybody. He is not regarded as a fellow creature, liable to error, or to the periodical demand for alimentary sustenance. He must be "without spot or wrinkle" in the eyes of the exacting public. He is not an individual, but an "institution." His real worth is never realized until his form is locked in the chaste form of death. Then his funeral is celebrated with great festivity and pomp. The funeral procession is as long as that of the wealthiest citizen in the village. His rival publisher writes a lengthy obituary notice, extolling his many virtues, praising his worth as a citizen, father, husband, and friend, and winds up with a peroration to the effect that the loss to the community, of the late lamented, is one which time cannot fully repair. To publish even a country newspaper requires a high degree of talent, which in any other public channel would command a handsome salary, but the unappreciative public is insensible of the sacrifice.
The first paper established in Monroe County was called the Albia Independent Press. It was edited and published by A. C. Barnes, the father of the present proprietor of the Albia Union. The paper, which first made its appearance October 10, 1854, was independent in its political views, as it so stated. Yet it now and then exhibited a decided leaning towards the new Abolitionist party, which had not yet begun to gather to itself much popularity. In the issue of the Independent Press of September 26, 1855, the publisher has this to say of slavery:
"We have never deemed it our calling or
duty to say much about slavery, though we have ever regarded it as an
unavoidable evil to both master and slave, in the original slave States. But if
slavery had not been extended and was not now being extended over the limits
where it was when the Union was formed, we would probably scarcely ever speak or
think of it, and we have hoped long since that its agitation would cease. When
it had nearly ceased, after the passage of the fugitive slave act, the patriots
who had abhorred some features of that act had smothered their feelings of
opposition and were quiet. Soon again pro slavery men opened afresh the
agitation by their efforts to extend the area of slavery. We did not object to
the slave owner with a posse from a slave State taking the fugitive slave back,
but we do object to being made a party to assist him by compulsory laws, and
then again a party to assist in procuring new slave territory, and not allowed
to desist nor not allowed to say one word on pain of being called an
abolitionist, and charged with endangering the Union. Nor will we consent to
being gagged on any account. We would check fanaticism on the subject of slavery
as we would on every other subject, and still preserve and defend the liberty of
speech and the rights of conscience."
In the same issue were the minutes of the Agricultural Society. Jas. B. Turner, E. P. Cone, and John Phillips were the committee to award premiums on ox bows made with in the county; Robt. Saunders, E. M. Moore, and Jas. B. Turner were the committee on jacks and mules; and Wm. Robinson, Hillah Hayes, and Andrew Trussell the committee on stallions and brood mares.
There was also a paragraph giving a statement of the electoral vote for President in the approaching election of 1856. The fifteen Southern States showed 120 votes, and the Northern States 176 votes in the electoral college.
The Press hoisted the standard of Fremont and Dayton, notwithstanding its former non partisan professions, and in the November election the county gave Fremont 622 votes and Buchanan 603.
In another issue is given the schedule rates for hauling, as fixed by the Teamsters' Association of Albia, as follows:
|River hauling, per hundred||
|Hauling by the day||
|Hauling by the load, in town||
|Hauling from Phelps' mill||
|Hauling from Babbs' mill||
|Hauling from Easley's mill||
|Hauling from Soap Creek mill||
|Hauling from Bremen mill||
|Hauling from Blakesburg mill||
|Hauling from Judson's||
Another interesting communication to the Press
of July 2, 1856, is the report of the Democratic convention of Urbana Township.
Following is the report, verbatim:
"The meeting was organized by calling Lewis Arnold to the chair, and R. B. Arnold acted as secretary. Our able and indefatigable prosecuting attorney, T. B. Perry, being present, addressed the meeting in defense of Democratic principles. He spoke warmly of the action of the Democracy at Cincinnati, and congratulated the Democratic party upon the nomination of such men as Buchanan and Breckinridge. His remarks were duly appreciated by all present.
"On motion, 15 delegates were appointed to attend the convention at Albia; viz., George Reading, M. S. McAlister, G. R. Halliday, C. O. Vancleve, Doster Noland, R. K. Stoops, Jas. Goodman, W. T. Barnhill, Nimrod Martin, Jas. McIntrye, Joseph Caldwell, John Hawk, Levi Herod, and Wm. Dale.
"Ordered, that where delegates fail to attend, any delegate of the township may act as a substitute, or the delegates present to cast the full vote.
"On motion of Geo. R. Robinson, Esq., a committee of five were appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting. The chair appointed Geo. R. Robinson, John Hawk, W. P. Wilson, R. B. Arnold, and Fountain Kennedy said committee.
"The committee reported the resolutions were appended, which were unanimously adopted.
"Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be published in the Keokuk Weekly Times and the Albia Independent Press.
"Whereas, The present political excitement and the threatened dismemberment of our glorious confederacy demand of every friend of constitutional liberty an open and outspoken expression of sentiments, expressive of the interest felt in the perpetuation and extension of our incomparable institutions, and thoroughly convinced as we are, and ever have been, of the truth and justice of the Democratic cause - cherishing, as we have ever done, an unwavering faith
in the honesty, integrity, and intelligence of the American
people - we have never entertained a doubt of the final triumph and ultimate
success of the principles of the party.
"Resolved, That we cordially endorse the action of the Democratic national convention at Cincinnati - that we will give 'a pull, a long pull, and a pull al together' for the nominees of that convention.
"Resolved, That in the persons of Jas. Buchanan and John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, we have statesmen of the highest order, tried and experienced in home and foreign policy, gentlemen whose character cannot be reached by the foul shafts of abolition calumny.
"Resolved, That we deprecate all attempts to agitate the slavery question or any other sectional issue which tends to alienate the affections of the people, and draw one section of the people against the other.
"Resolved, That we approve most heartily the course of our talented and energetic representatives in Congress, Messrs. Jones and Hall, for so nobly sustaining Democratic principles and securing Iowa the grant of land to aid the construction of her railroads; and we feel a sense of humiliation at the conduct, speeches, and sentiments of Messrs. Harlan and company - exponents alike of the principle of 'Sam' and 'Sambo.'
"Resolved, That we duly appreciate the motives of the patriotic Clay and Webster Whigs, who, like Preston and Marshall of Kentucky, Toombs and Stephens of Georgia, and Benjamin of Louisiana, and others, have joined the Democracy and are battling for those principles on which the fathers of the Republic based our social fabric.
"Resolved, That we have no feeling of respect for those who affiliate with that class of politicians who recognize a 'higher law' and who recommend as a code of morals, 'Sharp's rifles and the resistance of law unto a bloody issue.'
"Resolved, That we abide by the decision of the Albia convention to be holden on the 5th of July, and hereby pledge a hearty support to the nominees. Our motto is, 'Principles, not Men.' In the language of Buchanan, 'Men are but the creatures of a day. Principles are eternal.'
"The meeting adjourned, cherishing the belief that the country and State would give handsome majorities for the Democracy in August and November.
"Lewis Arnold, Chairman. R. B. Arnold, Secretary.
"Avery, Monroe Co., June 28, 1856.
The Independent Press then refutes a
prevalent rumor that John C. Fremont is a slave owner, by publishing some
correspondence between Daniel F. Miller, the Whig member of Congress from the
First District, of which Monroe County was then a part, and Horace Greeley.
Miller writes to Greeley stating that the Democrats were making the charge that
Fremont owned twenty three slaves held in servitude in the South. He requests
Greeley to ascertain from Fremont whether the charge is true or not; and Greeley
replies in part as follows:
"Well, Friend Miller, - What would you have us do in the premises? The report is false - an inexcusable, unmitigated lie - we have authority for so reporting it. * *
"Col. Fremont is not a slave holder; but suppose he were - what of it? Do not you and I recognize the right to hold slaves in slave States? Have we not repeatedly voted for slave holders whom we knew to be right on the great issues at stake? Is it not quite likely that we may do so again? Read the letter of Adam Beatty published in your last, and say whether you would not far sooner support him for President, avowed slave holder as he is, than any 'Dough face' in America? Would you not rather vote for Breckinridge than for Buchanan? * * * But suppose you run this particular lie into the ground, you will have accomplished nothing, while the spirit which prompted its fabrication remains in existence. Next day you will be told that Fremont is Catholic; and, though this is as false as the other, it will be easy for Hookem Snivey to assert that Peter Snooks told him that he heard Fremont tell him he was Roman Catholic, or saw him attending mass, or something to that effect. Will you waste a week running down this lie also, and then where are you?"
Among the display "ads" is one which reads:
"Beef Hides Wanted. - I will pay the highest price for any dry and green hides delivered to my shop on the south side of the Square, Albia. P. Morgan."
Morgan afterwards located in Des Moines, and built the Morgan Hotel, for a long time the largest hotel in the city.
Mr. Barnes, the publisher, was a most exemplary and pious gentleman, and had such a particular abhorrence to profanity that he states in a paragraph that it shocks him to hear boys swearing while playing on the streets. He
concludes the paragraph by stating that it had been intimated to
him that his own boys were beginning to swear. He assures the public that if
there is any truth in the rumor, he will be sincerely thankful for being
informed of it, and that he will not be offended. Evidently his friends were a
little derelict in reporting any appearing tendencies towards juvenile profanity
in the case of little Alpheus, or, at least it would appear that the proper
corrective had not been interposed soon enough.
Mr. Barnes, in the issue of the Press of October 17, 1855, administers a little fatherly advice to T. B. Perry touching the evil of the young attorney's ways. He reproves him on two counts: one was for Mr. Perry's presumption in aspiring to the county judgeship, and the other was for procuring whisky "at the doggery kept near Bremen, with which to promote his interests in the campaign just prior to the August election." The kind hearted editor states that Mr. Perry is still a young man, and that the opportunity is still open for him to live down his youthful errors. He pardons his offense, but expresses the fear that the young man is on the downward road. This thrust had been provoked by Mr. Perry having alluded to Mr. Barnes as a "Know Nothing" in a speech at a big Democratic rally at Albia.
Mr. Barnes conducted the Press until the 17th of June, 1857, when it suspended.
The Weekly Albia Republican made its appearance November 5, 1857, under the management of W. W. Barnes, a son of the pioneer journalist and a senior brother of A. R. Barnes, the present proprietor of the Albia Union, and C. E. Topping. After running four months, Topping went to Michigan to visit his relatives and obtain funds to pay for his interest in the paper. He never returned; and Stephen R. Barnes bought the interest of his brother W. W., and published the sheet until 1859, when he sold the paper to Josiah T. Young and T. B. Gray. Young called the paper the Monroe County Sentinel.
The Republican was uncompromising in its opposition to the extension of human slavery. It made vehement assaults on Buchanan and his tardiness or inaction with regard to checking the rapidly advancing crisis of 1860 61. In one issue the publisher calls upon Congress to impeach Buchanan.
The Sentinel, under the management of Messrs. Young
and Gray, was Democratic in politics. Mr. Young at that time was
a staunch supporter of Stephen A. Douglas.
The Sentinel, in criticizing Governor Kirkwood's inaugural address, makes some disparaging comments on the Governor's recommendation that a memorial be present to Congress praying for the enactment of a homestead law.
The editor of the Sentinel "touches up" his contemporary, the publisher of the Blade, and a Republican, by the caustic accusation that the latter openly and unblushingly denounces the fugitive slave law, and holds that a citizen of the North is under no moral or legal obligation to report or intercept runaway Negroes from the South. In speaking further of this startling propaganda, the Sentinel man tells his readers that it is whispered that there are several men in Monroe County who entertain similar views.
In the issue of the Sentinel of December 8, 1860, Eli De Tar gushes forth in poetic strain. The poem is entitled "Montgomery Taken at Last." At the end of the poem the poet somewhat mars the rapture of the song by a sordid allusion to himself and the "Big Brick":
"Remember the place in the Big Brick,
Where I'll sell cheap for cash,
But never on tick."
In the Sentinel of May 25, 1861, is
a leading editorial, called forth by threats of mobbing the Sentinel
office. The publisher protests his loyalty to the Union, and points out the
grave consequences liable to ensue in case the Sentinel office or its
publishers should be molested by a mob. Mr. Young by this time had retired from
the paper as editor, although he still owned it.
In another issue is published the proceedings of the Urbana Township Democracy in a meeting assembled to discuss the war question. The sense of the meeting was that the only feasible plan of settling the momentous question was by peaceful diplomacy; civil war was unjustifiable and inimical to constitutional liberty as established by our forefathers, etc. While the position taken by the Democracy of Urbana Township at the time may have been located on the extreme limit of the border line between pro and anti slavery, their public meetings and utterances do not indicate an approval or endorsement of the secession movement then assuming form in the Southern States. They
did not believe it was right for the South to withdraw from the
Union, and at the same time they felt that it was usurpation of power for the
North to hold the South in bonds of union against its wishes. In short, the
Democratic party of 1860 61 persisted in their entreaties to persuade the South
to stay in, if possible, but if not, then the Lincoln administration at
Washington should not hinder their withdrawal by force of arms.
Later on, the sentiments of the publishers of the Sentinel (J. T. Young and J. H. Denslow, the latter having taken Mr. Gray's place) seem to gradually modify in behalf of the expedient of suppressing the Rebellion by force of arms. In the issue of the Sentinel of September 28, 1861, the paper says, in an editorial:
It is necessary to fight for the country, and the hotter the war the sooner peace. We have been, and are yet, in favor of using all proper means for the restoration of the Union and preservation of all our rights under the Constitution, but would much rather that we could get along without a bloody war. But the fortunes of war are upon us, and fight we must!"
The Sentinel, however, in commenting on a prevalent rumor that the President and Cabinet had taken under advisement the question of acknowledging the Southern Confederacy, makes this remark: "Under existing circumstances, this is the best thing the new Administration can do towards settling our difficulties peaceably."
The columns of the Sentinel from 1860 to 1861 are largely taken up with reports of meetings called to discuss the war topic. They are termed "Union meetings," and were participated in by men of all parties. Fort Sumter had been fired upon. Most of those in the North who had hitherto hoped for a peaceful adjustment of the dispute, and who had bitterly censured the President and his Cabinet, now united on common grounds with those who had espoused the cause of the North from the start. At one of these meetings, April 27, 1861, the following resolutions were adopted:
"Resolved, That it becomes all good and loyal citizens to stand by the stars and stripes and defend our glorious Union against internal rebellion or other invasion.
"Resolved, That any man in our midst who in any way
encourages or supports secession or rebellion, or gives aid and comforts thereto, is a traitor and should be dealt with as such.
"T. B. Perry,
"T. B. Gray."
Hon. Josiah T. Young, Ex-Secretary of State of Iowa.
It was during Mr. Young's connections with the Sentinel that an editorial appeared in its columns assuring Governor Pickens, of South Carolina, whose State had lately adopted
a secession ordinance, that if the North attempted to apply
coercive measures towards the Southern States threatening secession, a fire in
the rear would roll up from the North to harass the invading Northern army on
its march down to the scene of conflict. This utterance became known as his
"fire in the rear speech," and in later years, when his political
views had become completely changed by his experience and observation as a Union
soldier, the allusion to the expression bore with it a touch of humor.
This "fire in the rear" utterance is commonly confounded with a letter which he wrote to Governor Pickens, of South Carolina, at about the time that State was deliberating on the question of going out of the Union; but, as will be seen from a perusal of the letter itself, no such expression occurs.
Mr. Young was a Democrat, and the tenor of his letter to Governor Pickens was not unlike that of hundreds of other Democrats within the county at that time.
Not long after, Mr. Young enlisted in the Union army; he made a good soldier, and endured the hardships of a squalid prison pen at Tyler, Texas. Whatever may have been his position at one time concerning the issues of the war, there was no ampler testimony of a citizen's loyalty and devotion to the cause of human liberty than that shown by the Union soldier who carried his musket at his side by day and slept upon it at night.
The following is Mr. Young's letter to Governor Pickens, copied verbatim:
"Albia, Iowa, Jan. 14, 1861.
"To His Excellency, Gov. Pickens, Charleston, S. C.:
"Sir, - It is with feelings that I cannot describe, that impress me at the present moment, that I undertake to pen an epistle to you.
"Pardon me for addressing you, but I feel such an anxiety for the safety and perpetuity of our common country and her institutions that I cannot keep silent. The first thing I wish to mention is, that not all the men in the North who voted for Mr. Lincoln are abolitionists. Quite a number of persons within my own knowledge voted the Republican ticket because of their great dislike to the Administration at Washington. They wished a change of men at the head of affairs, at the same time never dreaming that by so voting they were helping to precipitate the nation into evil
commotion and confusion. Others voted for Mr. Lincoln because of
the free farm plank in his platform, not caring whether slavery was voted up or
"So far, I have been talking only of those who have voted the Republican ticket. It is proper to say than in the young and thriving state of Iowa there were at the last election nearly sixty thousand votes cast in opposition to the sectional views and narrow, contracted ideas of the Lincoln party. In my opinion, there are at present more than six thousand men in the State who, if the election should be held tomorrow, would vote a conservative ticket as opposed to fanaticism.
"The above statements being facts, is it fair for South Carolina and other States to break up the Union? Is it fair for us to pass ordinances of secession - destroy this government, the best ever made by human hands, and leave thousands of true and loyal citizens in the old deserted edifice - citizens always true to the Union, and all the rights of every section of the country, who have stood by the old ship of State through sunshine and through storm?
"You are, my dear sir, taking the right tack to make enemies of those who were your friends. You do not offer the poor boon offered by the angels to Lot in Sodom. You do not give us a chance to escape from the thralldom of Abolition, for you desert us in Congress, at a time when the presence of your representatives is absolutely necessary to prevent our enemies from carrying on their measure of destruction to the peace, happiness, and future well being of the whole country. Thousands and tens of thousands of the people of the North are the friends of the South - have contended for their rights in the common territories; for the execution of the fugitive slave law as it is; for the right of the slave holders to hold their negroes as property in the slave States; for the right of the owner to carry his slave from one State to another, passing through a free State with danger of losing his property. Shall these friends of yours, who have adhered to your fortunes, and to the Constitution and laws, now be deserted by you and left to fight on amid the bewildering gloom that now enshrouds our erstwhile happy country? No! you will not leave us; you will seek redress of all grievances in the Union under the Constitution. There are more conservative men in the North, your friends, than there are of you, all told. Yet you propose to render us pow-
erless in action for good, by your secession movement. Secession!
Secession!! There is no such thing as peaceable secession, and the scenes already being
enacted by your State and by the Government at Washington prove the assertion.
If you persist in your course, you will destroy yourselves and us too. You will
engulf us in the terrible maelstrom of civil war; widen the breach now already
open; compel those who are otherwise your friends to take part against you.
"The wise master builder counts the cost of the edifice before building. The sage ruler, contemplating war with a neighboring nation, sits down and calculates the number of men and the amount of money necessary to carry it on. Have you estimated the value of the advantages you propose to enjoy out of the Union, over and above those which are in it? I entreat you, as you love your country and mankind, to consider well the course you are taking - a course that will plunge the nation into bloody war and destroy, for this age at least, the hopes of the friends of Christianity and Peace, also of Civilization and Progress, of Commerce and Agriculture.
"O that the Being who controls the destiny of nations would intervene and spare our people and prosper us as He has hitherto done!
Yours very respectfully,
"J. T. Young."
The Sentinel suspended on the 2d of
The Jeffersonian Blade was a contemporary of the Sentinel, and was Republican in politics. It was established January 26, 1860, by James Noffsinger. In May, 1861, Noffsinger retired, and Geo. Hickenlooper and Aaron Melick assumed the management.
The Blade of August 14, 1860, gives rather a graphic pen picture of Henry Clay Dean, who addressed the people of Monroe County that week:
"The first argument the speaker presented was his great toe, about the size and color of an old-fashioned toad. It stuck out of his sock about a foot, and was very much admired by the ladies. We should have stated that the speaker commenced his speech by preparing to go to bed - that is, hauled off all his duds - but his shirt and breeches.
"The next argument introduced by Mr. Dean was this: 'If you want a discussion, bring on your man; I will make
him feel as happy as he can be in the flesh. I will skin him and
hang him up to rot.' "
It would appear that pioneer life was not without its social festivities. The Blade publishes a card from A. C. Barnes, announcing that he would serve watermelons at his home two and one half miles east of Albia, on Friday afternoon of the 24th instant, at 4 o'clock. All who could not come on that date were requested to come on the following Tuesday afternoon.
The Blade of October 15, 1861, announces to its patrons that in consequence of one of its publishers (Mr. Melick) having gone to Iowa City for a few days' visit with friends and relatives, there would "be no paper next week."
The Blade ceased to exist October 15, 1861, and up from its ashes, phoenix like, rose the Albia Weekly Gazette, published by Melick and Young. In January, 1862, Melick retired and Mr. Young ran the paper until the following April, when he laid down his pen and took up his musket in defense of the Union, and in the years that followed his political sentiments were changed and his party faith rechristened by the "baptism of fire."
The Weekly Albia Union, the well known Republican organ of Monroe County of today, was established by Matthew A. Robb, May 20, 1862. The sheet then, as now, was Republican in politics.
The columns of the Union during the war period were filled chiefly with war news from the front. No other topic was of interest to the people. The soldier boys wrote letters home for publication, from the scenes of hostility. The telegraphic wires were charged day and night with reports of the movements of the armies. Mothers watched the papers eagerly for the list of "killed and wounded," or to read the "latest telegraphic news."
The Union of March 26, 1863, contains an editorial concerning an organization known as the "Golden Circle," an alleged organization composed of rebel sympathizers. Following is the article:
"Any society formed for the overthrow of this Government can have but a temporary existence. Such associations may do us much harm and materially embarrass the designs of government, but they never can permanently resist its power and effectually supplant it. The Knights of the Golden Circle exist here, and in most of the townships
throughout the county, but nobody fears them except as they do
the midnight assassin or the torch of the incendiary. Whatever of evil they will
ever accomplish, at most, cannot go far beyond the destination of a small amount
of private property and the secret assassination of a few individuals. Even this
would be a melancholy state of affairs, but no one would deem such disasters
equal to the great calamity which must befall us if this Government is destroyed.
The leaders of the Copperhead Democracy pretend to be ignorant of any such
associations, and deny that they have any knowledge of their existence, but they
cannot cover up and conceal the monster deformity and loathsome organization by
any such mild pretense."
While the name was familiar to every one, the existence in Monroe County of such an organization was probably a myth. In the first place, those identified with the movement would have been apprehended by the loyal citizens of the county, and, under the high tension of excitement existing at the time, would have been roughly dealt with. Public sentiment was so wrought up that it is quite probable that if any secret movement had been undertaken, to furnish aid and comfort to the South, the promoters of the movement would have been apprehended and lynched. The public brain was heated to madness, and in the blindness of intense partisan feeling many of these acrimonious charges made by the respective political parties against each other had no real foundation.
The "Golden Circle" was a real organization in some parts of the North and it may be true, and indeed quite likely, that it had its agents at work throughout the country, but in thinly settled localities like Monroe County, where most people were loyal to the Government, it would have been impossible for the emissaries of the "Golden Circle" to have established a working foothold. It is stated on reliable authority that an organization of this kind existed at Blakesburg, just over the county line in Wapello County. The term was used more as a malediction against the more active and partisan Democrats of the county than anything else, as nearly every noted Democrat was branded as a Knight of the Golden Circle.
The Union of March 3, 1864, contains a letter written by Rev. Jacob Wyrick, of Monroe County, to Jacob Hittle, a soldier of the Thirty Sixth Iowa Infantry, stationed with his
regiment near Little Rock. As the letter discusses the subject of human slavery from a scriptural standpoint, we copy it just as it appeared in the Union. The reverend gentleman's orthography is decidedly unique, and we forbear to attempt to reconstruct it.
"Monroe County Iowa, Dec. 13, 1863.
"Dear brother, - I take my pen in hand
to let you now that I am well at the present and all of my family and yours was
also well last Monday. I was thare and saw all of them, and we talked of you,
and I red the speach that you sent home, part of that speach is good when he
gives it to all the high officers, I think that he tells the truth but when he
attempts to justify the linkion prolamation and amansipation then he leaves the
truth and the law of god for him and all the mansipations cant read in gods word
and justify it, if they can I want them to turn down a lief and gave me the
chapter and verse so that I may read it too for I say it cant Be found only by
them that says that Sprinklinge of Baybies is baptism will you please read the
13 and 14 chapters of pauls letter to the romans here You see he commands no man
to be a Judge of another mans servants of his own master and now we thousands
put themselves up as Judges of another mans servants of his own master O may god
help me to turn from disobedience to serve the only and true god by obedience to
"Thence turn with me to the 6 chapter of effisians and 5 verse and hear you finde that thay are commanded to obey thare masters and if these abolishen can sho me that it is the word of god that telles us that it is rong to rule over them we will be Able to show them that the lord conterdicts himself but I as a man say that no man can do it, thence turn with me to the 4 chapter of Collassians and first verse and here you sea that the lord through the apostle commanded the masters to give thare servants that wich was just and equal now if it was rong as the abolishens say then the lord would have sed set him free but remember wel that no man can sho that and turn down the liefs whare the spirits sed so. thence turn with me and read the sixth chapter of the first timothy and hear the lord speak to many servants to count thare own masters worthy of all oner so if god sayes thay are worthy of all oner why do Gault and all other abolishen say that it is no oner may god spare them for denying his word is my prayer for them all.
makel and debby and all the family is well I want you Both to receive my love and remember me until death I pray that you may get back home safe Brother it does seam strange to me to read your solem letters and read in them that you desire the struggle to go on and hear that you voted for stone when he is aposed to peace on any termes untill the last visage of slavery is wiped out. o brother why will men vote for the cuse that will keep them from thare wives and children and vote for the dagger to be pushed on that pearces ther one hartes. I want you to show this letter to all the abolishen and tell them to anser me I pray for you and I want you to pray for me I am yours truly
On the 7th of August, 1862, Mr. Robb retired
from the Union, he enlisted in the Twenty Second Iowa Infantry, and was
killed at Vicksburg. M. V. Brown bought the sheet, and Geo. W. Yocum did the
editorial work. In 1863 G. W. and B. F. Yocum became editors and proprietors.
1865 Val Mendal purchased this plant, and five years later he took C. M. Clapp
in with him as editor and partner. When Mr. Clapp retired, in 1872, C. L. Nelson
took editorial charge and did all of the editorial work, Mr. Mendal being the
sole owner of the paper.
In 1882 Tom Hutchinson succeeded Mr. Nelson as editor for a short time, and on October 5th of the same year Mr. Mendal sold the paper to Hon. J. T. Young and son. These gentlemen conducted the paper until April 17, 1884, when ex Lieutenant Governor M. M. Walden bought the concern. Mr. Walden had Congressional aspirations at the time, and did not assume active management of the paper. Mr. Young continued as the editorial writer, and Frank Hickenlooper acted as local editor for a time.
On March 4, 1886, Walden sold the paper to Alpheus R. Barnes, who has been the sole editor and proprietor up to the present time. Mr. Barnes has been at the helm for the greatest length of time of any of the Union's former proprietors. He is assisted quite efficiently by his son Horace, a young man of strict integrity and of considerable promise, well calculated to take up the cudgel in behalf of the public welfare and good government whenever age shall require the senior member to lay it down.
Mr. Barnes has his paper located in a handsome and well equipped brick building on the southeast corner of the
Square, and owns the block as well as the newspaper plant.
a veteran in journalism, and will doubtless die in the harness, a natural death.
His bold and aggressive methods of conducting a paper have won for him some
enemies, which would be an inevitable consequence with anyone conducting a high
sheet for so long a time. Whatever may be said of Mr. Barne's qualifications as
a journalist, he has a wide circle of staunch supporters, and is a high minded
gentleman, was a brave and loyal soldier, and is the head of one of the best and
most highly esteemed families in the State.
The Albia Republic was a Democratic paper, started by A. C. Bailey in August, 1868. It existed for about a year, when the plant was purchased by Messrs. Ragsdale and Hills. The Republic was a fair and faithful exponent of the Democratic doctrine, and might have established itself permanently had it not been that the Democratic support within the county at that time was very meager.
Ragsdale and Hills converted the concern into a Republican paper, under the name of The Spirit of the West. The sheet made its first appearance December 1, 1869. In 1870 Hills withdrew, and one E. B. Woodward took his place. In June of the same year Woodward was succeeded by C. McConnell, and in October of the same year a man named Brown succeeded McConnell. In April, 1871, I. S. Carpenter and C. C. Berger bought the paper, and in the same year B. F. Yocum succeeded Mr. Berger. In 1872 Yocum retired and left the concern solely to Carpenter. In 1872 Ben F. Elbert identified himself with Carpenter, and James Haynes became editor. January 16, 1874, J. C. Peacock & Company bought the plant and ran it six weeks, and then sold it to W. H. McConnell & Company, who removed it to Kearney, Nebraska. The publication led a checkered existence from first to last; not so much from incapacity on the part of its managers as from the fact that the local field could not support two Republican papers, and it was impossible for The Spirit of the West to gain a permanent foothold where the Albia Union held the patronage.
In 1874 the Reform Weekly Leader made its appearance under the management of Porte Welsh. The sheet was very rambling in its political tenets, and did not espouse any party cause in particular while under the management of Mr. Welsh. It was one of that class of so called independent
newspapers which float around in a sea of ethereal thought, and
exalted but impracticable social theories, yet ready, like the barnacle, to
attach itself to whatever it may come in contact with. It was published
simultaneously at Albia and Oskaloosa. On April 18, 1874, R. Tell Coffman bought
the Albia concern, and J. M. Humphrey acted as associate editor. It finally, in
1874, espoused the cause of the Democratic party, but early in 1875 it
The Albia Reporter was the next newcomer in Monroe County journalism. It was established by G. N. Udell and G. C. Miller. April 10, 1875, and professed to be independent in politics, but soon enlisted under the banner of Horace Greeley and the Liberal Democrat movement of that year. It did not run longer than a few months.
The next paper to attempt to attain the "north pole" of journalistic success in Monroe County was the Industrial Era, which made its appearance in 1875. F. A. Mann leased the plant from Geo. C. Fry, of Batavia, Jefferson County, Iowa, who had conducted it as a Grange organ. Mann converted it into a Greenback paper, and ran it until August 14, 1879, when he retired and his place was taken by Geo. Tucker, of Albia, who ran it for four months in the interest of the Greenback party. D. M. Clark, of Wayne County, was running for State senator that fall, on the fusion ticket, and Monroe County was carried by that gentleman, largely through Mr. Tucker's efforts.
In the latter part of 1879 Geo. Stamm leased the Era and continued it as a Greenback organ until May, 1882, when he retired. His paper made a strong fight to secure the enactment of the Iowa prohibitory amendment, which was voted upon by the people of the State on June 27, 1882.
The Albia Era, as it had been named by Stamm, was now leased from its owner, Mr. Fry, by Henry J. Bell, a brilliant young student and ardent advocate of Federal fiat money. Mr. Bell conducted the paper a year, and was succeeded by H. E. Davis, of Bloomfield. Davis staid with the Era a short time, and finally Mr. Foster, the well known weather prophet, succeeded as publisher. The paper expired and was never resurrected when Foster let go of it. The Era was never a success financially.
E. O. Davis, at about this time, established The Opinion, a sheet in the interest of the Union Labor party, but it died down in a few months. Wallace Miner had charge of it for a short time. The paper was a failure financially.
In 1876 O. H. Wood established The
Plaindealer at Melrose. The following year it was transferred to Albia and
conducted as a temperance paper. It finally became a Democratic organ, but in
1878 it collapsed. A short time afterwards Tom Leonard revived the sheet as a
John Doner, in 1879, took charge of the plant and started the Albia Democrat, running it about three years. Some time later, after the paper had become defunct, Hon. T. B. Perry, and perhaps other leading Democrats in the county, bought the plant, and placed its management in the hands of Messrs. Weber and Howard. These gentlemen built the concern up into a thrifty party organ. Mr. Weber was the most adroit and active party manager the Democrats have ever had in Monroe County. He proved to be a Moses to lead them out of political bondage. By his efforts the county was carried by his party; and under Mr. Cleveland's first term of the Presidency he was given the Albia office. Mr. Howard, his partner, attended to the local and mechanical departments, and besides being a first rate printer, was a talented writer, especially in a light, humorous vein. Both gentlemen are now located in Utah.
In 1890 they sold out to W. E. Cherry, a gamey young newspaper man from the western part of the State. Mr. Cherry conducted the paper as a Democratic organ until 1894, when it was purchased by D. R. Michener, who in 1895 sold it to Campbell Brothers. These gentlemen did not succeed with it, and later in the year Frank Morris acquired an interest in the Democrat.
Early in the spring of the present year (1896) H. M. Belvel and H. H. Crenshaw, both of Des Moines, bought the Democrat, and are now publishing it. Mr. Belvel is a newspaper man of more than ordinary literary ability, and spends part of his time in Des Moines editing a syndicate letter, which is supplied to about seventy five Democratic weeklies throughout Iowa. He is high strung and aggressive in the enunciation of his party creed. He is the newspaper correspondent whom Senator Finn, of Bedford, chastised some years ago at the Capitol at Des Moines for publishing some malodorous statement concerning the latter.
In 1889 Messrs. Mendel and Nelson, both well known veterans in local journalism, launched the Albia Herald, a
Republican paper. They ran it a few weeks and then sold it to a
Mr. Crider, who continued it for about a year as a Republican sheet, when it
succumbed through a lack of patronage.
The concern was well managed, but it was impossible for it to establish itself in the territory of so formidable a rival as the Union, whose right of priority seemed to be so well recognized by the public that it felt indifferent to the welfare of the newcomer.
When Mr. Crider abandoned the Herald, Hal Holesclaw and Mark Sylvester took hold of the plant and started a small independent daily, called the Albia News. It lived only about three weeks, and then collapsed.
In 1890 M. M. Hinton established the Monroe County Progress in the town of Lovilia. It was conducted as an independent paper, but disclosed a slight tendency towards the Populist party.
In 1891 Messrs. Gass and Swayne started a Populist organ at Albia, called The People's Defender, and in 1892 Mr. Hinton brought his plant to Albia and consolidated it with the Defender, the organ thus united taking the name of The Progress Defender. It is the official organ of the Populists of the county. Mr. Hinton is its sole publisher and proprietor.
The Albia Republican was launched at Albia, October 24, 1894, by the Whittaker Brothers, a pair of journalistic hustlers from Oklahoma Territory. It started as a Republican paper, but was an advocate of the free an unlimited coinage of silver, a position which the Populists and major portion of the Democratic party espoused in 1895 and 1896. Finding that these views did not meet the endorsement of the Republican party, the manager soon ceased the championship of free silver, apparently without any qualms of conscience.
In July, 1896, the Whittakers sold the paper to Val Mendel and a gentleman named Sebille, from Bedford, Iowa. These gentlemen are now managing the sheet, endeavoring to place it on a paying basis. It is issued both daily and weekly, and is a nice, clean sheet.
When the Whittakers sold the sheet, Charles, one of the firm, located in California, and is now publishing a small paper, called The Olive Branch, at the town of Cucamonga. Harry, the other brother, remained at Albia
a few weeks, and, becoming involved in a social scandal, left
for parts unknown, leaving his wife behind.
While the Whittakers had control of the Republican, they made a vigorous effort to secure the county printing. Wagons and bicycles were awarded to the person securing the greatest number of subscribers to their paper. The Board of Supervisors, on the face of the sworn subscription list of the three local papers, awarded the county printing to be placed with the Progress Defender and Republican. The Albia Union contested the award, and carried it into the District Court for trial. The jury failed to agree, and a new trial is now pending.
The Union alleged that several hundred of the Republican's certified yearly subscribers were not bona fide, as they were 25 cent subscribers. The Republican's list exceed that of the Union by several hundred, and this excess, the Union alleged, was made up of 25 cent subscribers. The Union also alleges fraud. There was but little doubt that the Republican's subscription list was made up largely of 25 cent subscriptions, and whether these should be recognized as bona fide yearly subscriptions is a problem for the courts to decide.
In addition to the secular press of the county, the Messenger Publishing Company of Albia have lately started a small weekly in quarto form, going by the name of The Messenger. Its staff of publishers consists of L. J. Harrington, office editor; E. G. Powers, associate editor; and F. K. Morris, business manager. The publication is devoted exclusively to religious topics, and is an exponent of the modern doctrine of "holiness," or entire sanctification.