Newspaper Page Text
VOL. LI. NO. 101.
ROCK ISLAND, LLIj., SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 1902.
PAGES 9 TO 1(5.
v THE AMGUS AMD ITS STORY
5 An 5 Evenifvil 5 Newspaper 'S Career. ?
Va.ried Experiences That Have Entered into
a Hevlf Cervtviry of Existence a.s a.
CHronicler of Time.
int. story ir a newspiipcr.s
II fari'tr. like that of :mj
I institution. p a rticularly
I I one whose existence dates
I hack into pioneer limes
m,r I n,,,!sf ol necessity IK- il
'W I narrative of success ami
Clt I reverses, of good fortune
111 1 ' ami ill fortune. These are
the elements ami experiences that
enter into the life nml character of
t lie average institution, just as they
shape and influence man s own exis
The Argus, in a word, has hail its
us a nil dow ns, ami w hile it is not.
ami cannot Im iiiiunmlfiii of tlie sacl-
dcr ineiihuts that shallow the
ret respective iew, its contempla
tion of having reaeheil the happy
!!-ii meridian is attemleil hy the
fullest sense f gratification ami
jrat it ude.
l'he" A rgus looks Into Ihe future
with Iioh' ami contentment while it
renews its pledge of fealty to the city
which is its home, an I its devotion
to every cause ami principle for
which it may lift its toice or exert
The First Issue.
The first issue of the paper which
afterwards liecanie The Argus was
gotten onr in a rear room on the
sc.. ni ill .or of what was ;!ei known
as ihe Whittaker & Kverts building
located just east of the present
Argus building. Oct. 1. 1S.1. Al
though it liegan as the Rock Island
Republican it was democratic in
politics then as now and the adoption
of the present, name was brought
about in ls.1.1 by the formation of an
opposing MiIitieul party which took
the one the paper bore. At the time
it was established, as- has been the
case with the publication for the
most part since. The Republican was
the only democratic paper within a
radius of KiO miles,. Its publication
wa liegur. by Fred S. Nichols 'anil
.loh it W. Dunham and the outfit they
used was a second hand one purchas-
cd in SI. Louis. Roth partner- had
had considerable ex'ieiience in news
paper work previous to th-ir coining
t. Rock Island and thci acuai:i
ti.nce was formed while they w?re
working together on the Sr. Louis
ut eHisvncer. .Nichols was a north
ern Mini and Dunham a southerner.
The latter soon liecanie tired of the
inidi-r L.-iking ami after 'iv v. ecks he
.ni,; oi-t t- his jiartner and i.eti:rned
1o the south. Nichols continued
al.me till November. ls.'.L. when he
sold a half interest to .1. IS. Dan
forth, dr.. whose connection with the
paper continued to a more or less ex
tint from that time till lsii'..
Having ncipiired the interest of
NichoU in the spring of 1 -.1.'! Mr. Dan
forth continued as soh? proprietor
three years, when a share was pur
chased by Robert. V. Shurley. 'I he
r.uford block at the northeast corner
of Second avenue and Seventeenth
street, the first four-story building
in the city, was completed in 'S"4 an.!
The Republican took tip quarters
there which it retained 17 years.
July 13 of that year the first daily
was issued. At that time thrc- wan
no other daily nearer than D-ibuo.ne.
Sept. 10, IS.", IVrshing Connelly,
the latter Maj. II. C. Connelly, then
publishers of the Rock Islander,
bought the interest;; not ovred by
Mr. Shurley and the title of the paper
was changed to 'Hie Rock Islander
Mid Argus. A week.after thi 'n-i's-action
Mr. Shurley sold, out to Mil
ton Jones, who held an editorial po
sition on the pajier till 1S.H1. Set t.
10. 1S.19, J. II. Da n forth again secured
an interest, buying out Pershing Xr
foiinelly. and the paper once more
liecaine The Argus. In the meantime.
July 18. 1S.19, the daily was suspended
ami a tri-weekly begun. Thi-. was
continued till Sept. 1. isl. when 1e
oaily was resumed.
In 1H09 Robert F. McXeal bought
out Mr. Danforth. but Jan. 1. 1S70, he
in turn parted with his interests to
J. S. Drake and -three years later
The Argus company was formed and
incorporated with a capital Ktix-k of
$:.00O. In 1S71 the F.uford heirs
erected The Argus block next the
alley on the east side of Fast Seven
teenth street and the paper went into
its lirst exclusive quarters. Ten
years later Richardson & Powers ac
quired a controlling interest in the
company. For a brief year they
waged a struggle against adversity:
At the end of that time, in ISfll, fi
nancial reverses necessitated a sus
jiension of the paper. .This tinder all
ordinary circumstances wo'i!-1 have
lieen the end of The Argus. But a
different fate was in store for it. J.
AV. Potter, publisher of the Freeport
Rulletin, came upon Ihe scene at this
critical juncture, and bought the
wrecked newspajier, sending his son.
the late J. W. Potter. Jr.. here if
na.iage it. The hrst issue under tin
new ma nngement came out Align.;!
. iss-.'. In May. lsS.1. the eider Mr.
Potter died and the sou became sole
owner. When Mr, Potter took charge
of The Argus there was little but
the name left and the task of build
ing up a successful publication was
one which required a great aim-nut
of persistent effort and enterprise,
to say nothing of journalistic ability.
For a time the paer was issued in
abbreviated form, but as it made a
place for itself in the community it
was enlarged till it became an ciyht
and even a nine-column folio. The
size was reduced in the standard
seven column quarto upon the instal
lation of a Cox perfecting press in
IS'.M. Since that time the regular is
sue has licen of six ami eight
pages, but secial editions of 12.
10 and even more 'pages have
been issued from time to time as oc
casion has warranted.
In lSsS the old quarters on Fast
Seventeenth street were out-grown
and during that season the building
now occupied was purchased by Mr.
Potter, remodeled and became the
paper's home, the removal taking
place in June. Last year its present
quarters were increased by the addi
tion of a third story and completely
remodeled and refurnished with mod
ern machinery ami ail conveniences
for the conducting of nn up-to-date
paper, at a cost r .ys.oou.
The tirst Daily Argus, which was
issued July I !. 1 ."!. was an evening
paier. December li, is. u w.is
changed to a morning jiaper and
published as such till November 1.
1S01. when evening publication was
m:ilnrtsinied. and has been eon t
tinned up to the present. A weekly
has been published continuously
since the founding of the paper in
Mr. Iotter Management.
During the years since The Argus
was revived by Mr. Potter its sphere
of influence has mom than kept pace
with the development . of the com
munity. In a very short t'me it as
sumed rank among the first papers
t t its class in the state and it has
kept that position up to the present,
meeting promptly each of the many
improvements that have become
known to the newspaper world, be
sides being the oldest paper -in the
county, it has been published Antler
its present name longer than any oiber
paper in the three cities. That it Jias
endeavored to keep strictly 'in the
line of advancement is shown in the
fact that it. was the first. paer
in the three cities to use u steam
power press, the first to substitute
therefor an electric motor and the
first to abandon the old cylinder
press for one of the erfecting va
riety. Into The Argus, its late lamented
proprietor. Mr. Potter, put his high
est and best efforts; continually mak
ing it ft stronger and lietter publica
tion np'to the time of his death, which
occurred Jan. 11. 1898. Then the J.
W. Potter Publishing company .by
which the paper is now issued was in
eorpora,tpd in his memory and honor
withthe following officers:
President Mrs. J. W. Totter. -
Vice' President 'II. P. Simpson.
n-vA 'f Vr)hi - -:,:--
V V X-v is X : S.'ttt ff -K ill, .
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.,-' . I , .''-"'
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Y--.- ' VV
THE LATE J. W. POTTER.
Up The Argils and After Whom
pomtioti CtunUietinjjr It is Named.
GROUP OF ARGUS FACES.
Secretary and treasurer J. J. I.a
This corporation continues as orig
inally officered and controlled in the
conduct of The Argus publication.
The Argus Force.
The present Argus force is compos
ed as follows:
1-Mitor H. P. Simpson.
Manager J. J. I-i Yelle. ,
Fditorial staff J. M. Colligan. city
editor; K. K. P.uffum. II. Mattausch,
John A. Louders. C. K. Gordon.
I'nsiness staff F. J. Mueller, ad
vertising manager; Miss-Mary L. Far
ker, bookkeeper; Alfred Christensen,
city circulator; Miss Selma Samuel
Composing roomy 11 X. I.ienhard.
foreman; V. II. 'Doughty, Ed. A.
llauptmann. linotype operators: Mrs.
Relle Herbert. It. Tallman. I.eo A.
Wilson, head and advertisement com
positors. Press room V. II. Helnier, super
intendent; James Ilroderiek. assis
tant. Carriers Charles v Rleiier. Ernest
Quayle. Madara Fezler, Roy Snndean,
Will Franck. Otto Fra nek. Earl Fras
er,' filen Kincaid, Herbert Jensen,
George McCarthy. August Mueller,
George Mueller, Peter Clark, Hugh
Clark, Herman Olson. Philip Olson,
Roy Moore, CharIes Moore. Robert
Eraser. Tom Rrennan. Dick Carnes. C.
Kail. Will Holer. Harry Hofer, Wil
liam P.ertelson, Eddie Pertelson. Lnw-
Cor.t.nueU on Page Ten.
The Press in Genera.1 of Rock Island Var
ious Ventures That Have Been Made
in the Local Field.
The Argus is the
per in the city
and has survived longer
without a change of name
Ih.-in any other paper in
the three cities, it was not
Ihe first paper established
i" Rock Island. Four
others preceded it. The
paper was a weekly called the
Island Runner and Stephenson
begun in ::; by Henry I'.
It survived till 141, when
t he puhlishi
became more alluring to
r and he discontinued the
In the spring of 1S4U .two young
ineu.d. (ioul.l and .1. Y. Jenks, came
to the conclusion that, a journal de
voted to the allied subjects of agri
culture and education would be a
winner here, probably on the ground
that thre was an unlimited field for
both. They established the Illinois
Cultivator. The fond hopes of the
promoters were destined to be blast
ed, hoivner, and after a few months
Ihe Cultivator ceased to scour.
Some Old Timers.
Oct. Is40. appeared the first
number of the l"per Mississippian.'
a sheet suited to the needs of the
times, as was afterward demonstrat
ed. Daniel Crist was the publisher.
He was also a brick maker and the
possessor of other accomplishments
that- enabled him to make a living
when others would have been driven
out of business. If the paper's sup
port proved weak and it was im
possible to get paper or ink an is
sue or two was missed till the nec
essary materials were forthcoming.
At "one time, it is said. Crist enter
tained a. proposition for the purchas
ing of muslin sheets the size of the
paper to be printed upon one week
and washed out and returned by the
subscribers after the news had been
read. The publisher did not carry
his desire to furnish the public with
the news to this length, however.
In November, 1844. Harmon G. Rey
nolds bought the paper and changed
the name to the ITpjier Mississippian
and Rock Island Republican.' Jonas
II. Case later became the owner and
a- change in political complexion
which was made proved fatal, publi
cation Wing suspended in 1847.
In 1S45 Dr. Horatio P. C.atchell
and Miles W. Conway started the
Northwestern Advertiser, a whig
weekly. Conway died a few weeks
after putting the paper in the field
and his partner, liecoming discour
aged, sold out. to William Yandever.
The. latter in a short time parted
with tlie sheet to Sanders & Davis,
of the Davenport Gazette. A fevv
months later F. R. Dennett became
the owner ami changed the name to
the Rock Island Advertiser. A. G.
Ilrackett liecanie an associate in
l!.l. retiring within a year. Pennett
dropped out. in Ifd.'! and Thomas R.
Raymond ami Oliver P. Watson be
came the proprietors. The. next
year Watson became the sole owner.
Mr. Raymond and Dr. S. A. Paddock
were afterwards associated with Mr.
Watson, but Ihe paper came to a
natural death in ls.'.S. The Tri
Weekly Advertiser was started in
is.j:t and in IS. 15 a dailv was launch
ed. The l.ilx rty Rainier was the first
sheet 10 be published in ihe city for
the upholding of a principle and as
with others that have succeeded it.
the way proved to be a rough one.
The founder of the paper was C. IS.
Waite and he was an abolitionist.
The ma iorit v of the residents of ihis
locality were not in sympathy with
his views at that lime. The paer
lived and died in iH4". The editor
afterward became chief justice of
the territory of I'tah ami a man, of
First to Follow The Argus.
The Rock- Islander wr.s the first
paper to. follow The Argus, having'
been published for the first time
Sept. m. ls.14. It was started as an
anti-Nebraska democratic weekly by
Emanuel J. IVrshing. a young east
ern, lawyer, who came west, to bene
fit his health. Maj. 11. C. Connelly,
of this city, in a short time became
associated in the ownership of the
paper aim in Is." the partners
bought The Argus and effected the
consolidat fon of the two papers. This
was virtually the end of the original
Rock Islander. Twenty years later
J. R. Danforth wished to publish a
paper to espouse ihe cause of the
w orkingmen's part v. later known as
the greenback party, anil he revived,
the name for the weekly he estab
lished. In 191 Mr. Danforth retir
ed, disposing of his intersts to W. P.
Quayle. who continued the weekly
till lS!)ti. In 1SI4 the publication of
a ihiily was begun, but continued only
about two weeks.
After the Rock Islander began the
Daily News was the next publica
tion to make its bow to the public.
It came into being March 10. 1S.1.1. un
der the ownership of James Howie
and for a time promised to be a suc
cess. After being published for 1-S
consecutive days, however, it went
the way of the great majority.
The Commercial, daily and weekly,
published hy C. W. Kirkland. was the
nevt periodical begun in ihe city.
It was republican in polities and
survived only a few issues. The first
number appeared July 17. ls.ls".
Convinced that there was a field
for a republican paper in the ehy.
T. J. Pickett Feb. it. 1S.VJ. liegan the
publication of the Rock Island Reg
ister, ii yeekly and tri-weekly. The
proprietor was ehcted state senator
soon after the. pajier was launched
and Campbell W. Waite. C. W. Kirk
land and M. S. Rarnes were there
after successively connected with the.
sheet, in an editorial capacity. The
tri-weekly was suspended in lsfil and
in August of the next year the week
ly ceased to exist.
The Rock Island Union was
brouirht into being Nov. .1. Isii2. by J.
A. Kuek. A number of changes in
the ownership of the paper were
made before the Union Printing
company was organized early m
1S74. Walter Johnson, ihe present
editor, became connected with the
publication soon after the forming
of the joint stock company.
Eighteen weeks was the allotted
existence of Ihe American J.aw J.e
porter begun in November. 1S72. by
I.. G. Johnson for the purpose of re
cording legal proceedings 111 the
courts of Iowa and Illinois.
pajier carrying tlie patriotic
name of 1 lie i.ioeny league, ano
seemingly originated for the pur
pose of furthering certain liquor in
terests, was published three consecu
tive weeks in 1S7.T by Robert Tomp
kins and Isaac N. Kirkpatrick.
Some Letter Day Venture.
For a period of nearly forty years
the field in Rock Island was consid
ered fairly well tilled, so far as
periodicals for the dispensing of the
news were concerned, for no new
journalistic enterprise was launched
after the birth of the Register, till
1807. Then the Post Publishing
company was lormeo ior me. iu
pose of getting out-an evening inde
pendent sheet and the Daily Post
made its appearance under the man-
Continued on Page Ten.