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Grant County herald independent. [volume] : (Lancaster, Wis.) 1968-current
Alternative Titles:
  • Grant County independent
Place of publication:
Lancaster, Wis.
Geographic coverage:
  • Lancaster, Grant, Wisconsin  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Lancaster Pub. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 125, no. 26 (July 4, 1968)-
  • English
  • Lancaster (Wis.)--Newspapers.
  • Wisconsin--Lancaster.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01307511
  • Publisher varies.
sn 86086572
Preceding Titles:
View complete holdings information

Grant County Herald, Wisconsin Herald, and Grant County Advertiser, Wisconsin Herald, Grant County Herald, and Grant County Herald Independent

The Grant County Herald is said to be the oldest still operating newspaper in Wisconsin. It was founded in 1843 by L. O. Shrader and Charles Mallett with the intent "to enlighten the Farmer, Miner and Mechanic." The publishing office was located in Lancaster, the county seat of Grant County, the most south-western part of the state bordering Iowa across the Mississippi River, as well as Illinois to the south. The area's easily accessible lead resources first attracted settlers as early as 1828. Later, the land was primarily used for farming.

Shrader retired from the business shortly after he started it and was superseded by H. A. Wiltse. In October 1843, J. D. Spalding became the sole proprietor who was joined and soon superseded by James Madison Goodhue in 1845. Goodhue, an attorney from Lancaster who had previously been a contributor to the Herald under the pen name "G." Goodhue, would later start The Minnesota Pioneer, the first newspaper published in the Minnesota Territory.

Architecturally, Lancaster prides itself on  the octagonal glass and copper-clad dome of its courthouse, which was designed by Armand D. Koch a significant Wisconsin Architect. When it was built, a drawing of the building was featured on the front page of the February 9, 1902 issue of Herald. As its title suggests, however, the newspaper did not only cover news from the town but the entire county. Among other small towns, Grant County was home to Pleasant Ridge, a community of African American farmers founded in 1850 by Charles Shepard, a formerly enslaved man from Virginia. In 1873, Pleasant Ridge opened one of the first integrated schools in the nation.

Throughout the many years of publication, the newspaper's title changed four times: Wisconsin Herald, and Grant County Advertiser (1844-1845), Wisconsin Herald (1846-1848), Grant County Herald (1850-1968), and finally Grant County Herald Independent (1968-current). Politically, it started out non-partisan but became more Whig-leaning under Goodhue. Editor Joseph Carmen Cover, who was a member of the Liberty Party and later the Republican Party and ran the Herald between 1851 and 1877, utilized the publication in support of the abolitionist movement. As antislavery sentiment grew in the Northwest, his abolitionism became more acceptable, even in the predominantly Democratic lead-mining area, and the newspaper's circulation increased. In the 1860s, he became the recognized Republican leader of Grant County. In 1869, the Herald was taken over by his son, John, and Cover accepted an appointment as U.S. consul at Fayal, Azores (1870-1872).

Provided by: Wisconsin Historical Society