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Audubon County journal. : (Exira, Iowa) 1884-1993
Place of publication:
Exira, Iowa
Geographic coverage:
  • Exira, Audubon, Iowa  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
G.W. Guernsey
Dates of publication:
  • Began in Sept. 1884; ceased in 1993.
  • English
  • Exira (Iowa)--Newspapers.
  • Iowa--Exira.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01232086
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: June 29, 1893.
  • Issues lack numbering, <June 29, 1893-Dec. 25, 1919>.
  • Merged with: Audubon news-advocate; to form: Audubon County advocate journal.
  • Publisher varies.
sn 87057934
Succeeding Titles:
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Audubon County journal. January 28, 1897 , Image 1


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Audubon County Journal

Exira is the oldest town in Audubon County, Iowa, founded in 1857 along the East Nishnabotna River. The town was named after Exira Eckman, the daughter of Judge John Eckman, who agreed to purchase a significant amount of property in the new town on the condition that it was named after his daughter. Another of Exira's founders, Daniel M. Harris, was the first lawyer in Audubon County and was elected county judge in 1856, serving two terms. In 1859, Harris was elected to the Iowa State House of Representatives and served through 1861. Harris later gave up his career in law and politics for the newspaper business, establishing newspapers in several towns across western Iowa, including the Audubon County Defender in Exira, before eventually settling in Harrison County, where he managed the Missouri Valley Times from 1876 until his death in 1911.

George W. Guernsey established the Audubon County Journal in Exira in September 1884 as a weekly independent and non-partisan newspaper. Following Guernsey's death a few years later, his widow continued to publish the Journal for a short time before selling it to Chester A. Marlin in 1899. In 1905, William H. Lancelot purchased the paper and his son, William J. Lancelot, Jr. took over as editor.

William J. Lancelot, Jr. first came to Audubon County in 1876 and worked as a farmer until 1885. He then went into business as a merchant, while also acting as the county correspondent to the Iowa State Register of Des Moines until his father purchased the Audubon County Journal. As editor of the Journal, W.J. Lancelot, Jr. maintained the independent and progressive editorial voice the paper had held since its establishment. Throughout its history, the Journal provided an alternative to other nearby publications such as the Democratic Audubon County Defender and later the Audubon Republican. According to its masthead, the Audubon County Journal prided itself on being "A militant weekly devoted to truth and civic righteousness."

In the early 1900s, the Audubon County Journal focused mostly on local news and featured a number of correspondence columns from surrounding towns, including Hamlin, Oakfield, Brayton, Kimballton, Elkhorn, Ross, Gray, Viola, Melville, and Greeley. There was also a regular column of statewide news, and major national and international stories were often printed on the front page. The Journal covered extensively the United States' entry into World War I, providing lists of draft numbers drawn and a regular column of "Letters from Our Boys."

The paper continues to publish today as the Audubon County Advocate Journal after merging with the Audubon News-Advocate in 1993 and moving its offices to the nearby town of Audubon.

Provided by: State Historical Society of Iowa