About Manchester Democrat. (Manchester, Iowa) 1875-1930
Manchester, Iowa (1875-1930)
- Manchester Democrat. : (Manchester, Iowa) 1875-1930
- Place of publication:
- Manchester, Iowa
- Geographic coverage:
- Democrat Pub. Co.
- Dates of publication:
- -v. 56, no. 44 (Oct. 29, 1930).
- Began in Jan. 1875.
- Manchester (Iowa)--Newspapers.
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 26 (July 25, 1876).
- Editor: L.L. Ayers, <1876>.
- Publisher varies.
- sn 84038306
- Succeeding Titles:
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- First Issue Last Issue
The Manchester (Iowa) Democrat began weekly publication on January 20, 1875, and continued under a new title, the Manchester Democrat-Radio, from 1930 to 1988. As is evident from its masthead, the Democrat was sympathetic to the views of the Democratic Party and was a response to the Manchester Press, a Republican publication established in 1871.
The Democrat was established by two Manchester residents, about whom little is known: Frank B. Gregg was listed as proprietor and publisher and Lyman L. Ayers held the title of editor. Gregg left the paper within a few months of its first issue, and Ayers lasted a little more than three years as editor. In 1878, the ownership of the Democrat passed to the Democratic Publishing Company, and two Manchester attorneys, Charles E. Bronson and Edward Michael Carr, became editors and proprietors.
The Democrat evolved with Delaware County and the City of Manchester. Situated as a stop on the Illinois Central railroad, the city prospered in the last 25 years of the nineteenth century. It became the county seat in November 1880, as well as a locus of various commercial and manufacturing activities. During this time, the Democrat served about a thousand subscribers and faced stiff competition from a number of other papers in Manchester and its surrounding communities.
From 1890 to 1920, the Democrat reported on the contours of life in Delaware County, making particular note of improvements such as the new high school, public library, telephone exchange, and water system in the 1890s. Road grading became critical in the first decade of the new century as automobiles became increasingly common, and some streets were paved with bricks. In 1910 Manchester welcomed its first movie theater. Through these years, the Democrat was guided by Bronson and Carr, who were friends and law partners as well as owners of the paper. In 1905 the two men planned for the future of the paper by expanding the partnership to include their sons, Henry Bronson and Hubert Carr.
By 1910, the Democrat’s circulation was declining, with the two Carrs (Edward and Hubert) and Henry Bronson listed as editors and proprietors. In that year, the 35th anniversary of the paper, the Democrat was competing with three Republican weeklies that had larger circulations. Of particular note, the Delaware County News had more than twice as many subscribers as the Democrat. In spite of these challenges, the Democrat survived under the leadership of the Bronson and Carr families until November 1930, when the paper was merged with the Delaware County Radio and became the Manchester Democrat-Radio. The Democrat-Radio lasted until June 1988 when it was absorbed by the Manchester Press.
Provided by: State Historical Society of Iowa