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About Hermanner Volksblatt. [volume] (Hermann, Mo.) 1856-187?
Hermann, Mo. (1856-187?)
- Hermanner Volksblatt. [volume] : (Hermann, Mo.) 1856-187?
- Place of publication:
- Hermann, Mo.
- Geographic coverage:
- Jacob Graf
- Dates of publication:
- Began in 1856?
- German Americans--Missouri--Newspapers.
- German Americans.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00941308
- Hermann (Mo.)--Newspapers.
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- Description based on: Jahrg. 5, Nr. 33 (1. Jan. 1860).
- sn 86054053
- Succeeding Titles:
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- First Issue Last Issue
Hermanner Volksblatt, Hermanner Volksblatt, Hermanner Volksblatt u and Die Gasconade Zeitung
Eduard Mühl with his family and brother-in-law Karl Strehly were among the many German emigrants to settle in Hermann, Missouri. Mühl and Strehly brought a printing press with them and in 1843 started the first German newspaper in the new town titled the Licht-Freund ("Friend of Light"). Earlier editions of this paper were printed in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mühl published this paper for two short years.
In September of 1845 Mühl and Strehly began publishing the Hermanner Wochenblatt ("Hermann Weekly"). Mühl was a freethinker and his editorials expressed views that sometimes caused controversy among his readers. He was an early and outspoken critic of slavery, a position that took courage as many of his neighbors were slaveholders. Mühl also advocated for the cultivation of grapes and the production of quality wines when the town was facing economic hardships. Education was another of his passions. In his editorials, Mühl spoke out against an attempt to amend the state constitution requiring the exclusive use of English in public schools. In Hermann, school was conducted in both English and German as it furthered the preservation of the town's identity as a community of German immigrants.
Jacob Graf bought the Hermanner Wochenblatt after Mühl passed away from cholera in 1854. Graf, like Mühl, was an abolitionist and advocated that policy in the paper despite the dangers it entailed. Graf changed the name of the newspaper to the Hermanner Volksblatt ("Hermann's People's Paper"). Jacob Graf passed away in 1870, but his widow took up his work and published the paper until 1873 when she sold it to Charles Eberhardt, but bought it back in less than a year. At the same time that she assumed ownership of the Hermanner Volksblatt, Mrs. Graf became owner of the Hermann Advertiser, the first English paper in the area. For a short while, the Volksblatt was published by Carl Eberhardt, who changed its name to the Hermanner Volksblatt u. Gasconade Zeitung until 1873 when it was returned to the Graf family and its name reverted to Hermanner Volksblatt. Eberhardt also went on to publish Die Gasconade Zeitung ("Gasconade Newspaper"), a second German-language newspaper in the area.
Under the Graf family's guidance, the Hermanner Volksblatt was a weekly, four-page newspaper published on Saturdays. The first page often contained serialized novels, but the highlight was the editorial column on the second page, where Graf would discuss political issues and events. The second half of the paper was taken up with local news, advertising, and miscellaneous items. For nearly a decade, Mrs. Graf and Joseph Leising published both the leading German- and English-language newspapers in the area.
Mrs. Graf's sons, Julius and Theodore, began a firm known as Graf Brothers, and succeeded to the ownership of both papers in 1882. Theodore Graf took over as editor of both the Hermanner Volksblatt and Die Gasconade Zeitung and joined the Missouri Press Association in 1882. His brother Julius was the printer for both papers. In 1915, Alfred Graf succeeded his father, Julius as printer. A cousin, Leander Graf, succeeded his father Theodore Graf as editor in 1924.
The Hermanner Volksblatt was one of the few German-language papers with sustained readership that survived and thrived during World War I. It did so by adopting the national war rhetoric, filing translations, passing increased costs to its subscribers, and donating a certain percentage of space to government organizations leading the war effort-the Council of National Defense, Food Administration, and Committee on Public Information. The Hermanner Volksblatt would last until 1928, and despite public pressure, it continued to publish in German until the end.
Provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO