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About Muscatine journal. (Bloomington, Iowa) 1849-185?
Bloomington, Iowa (1849-185?)
- Muscatine journal. : (Bloomington, Iowa) 1849-185?
- Alternative Titles:
- Weekly journal
- Place of publication:
- Bloomington, Iowa
- Geographic coverage:
- N.M. McCormick
- Dates of publication:
- Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 9, 1849)-
- Muscatine, Iowa, formerly called Bloomington, Iowa.
- Publisher varies.
- sn 88059754
- Preceding Titles:
- Succeeding Titles:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Bloomington Herald, Muscatine Journal and Muscatine Weekly Journal
Thomas Hughes and John B. Russell published the first issue of the Bloomington [Iowa] Herald on October 27, 1840. The Herald was a Democratic paper "devoted to the dissemination of correct moral and political principles and the early transmission of foreign and domestic news." Despite financial instability and frequent changes in ownership throughout its first decade, the Herald became an important part of one of the most successful publishing ventures in Iowa, largely due to the efforts of long-time editor John Mahin.
Mahin had shown an interest in the newspaper business from an early age. His father secured an apprenticeship for him at the Herald in 1847 when he was just 14. Under the paper's proprietors Nelson L. Stout and W.P. Israel, Mahin's duties included sweeping the offices, carrying wood and water, and tending the fires; in the remaining time he was allowed to assist in setting the type. On Saturdays, Mahin served as delivery boy. After just over a year, Stout and Israel were forced to sell the paper due to financial difficulties. The Herald was taken over by F.A.C. Foreman, but it lasted only a few months before suspending publication again.
Noah H. McCormick purchased the Herald in 1849, changing the title to the Muscatine Journal to reflect the recent renaming of the town. John Mahin had remained with the paper throughout this period, and in 1852 he and his father, Jacob Mahin, purchased the Muscatine Journal from McCormick. Under Stout and Israel, the paper had shifted its political orientation from Democratic to Whig, and the Mahins continued this perspective.
In 1853, Orion Clemens purchased an interest in the Muscatine Journal and joined the Mahin partnership. His brother, Samuel Clemens, not yet known by the pen name of Mark Twain, lived in Muscatine and contributed to the Journal's correspondence columns from 1853 to 1855. The Journal changed hands a number of times over the next few years, but John Mahin continued as editor. In August 1857, he purchased the Muscatine Journal and remained its sole owner through the Civil War years.
In 1864, Mahin married Anna Lee of Johnson County, Iowa. He formed the Journal Printing Company in 1878, with his father-in-law, John B. Lee, and his brother-in-law, Alfred W. Lee. In 1886, Alfred Lee moved to Chicago to further his publishing career, while Mahin and his sons continued to publish the Journal. Alfred Lee returned to Iowa in the 1890s, first purchasing the Ottumwa Courier and later the Davenport Times. When Mahin retired in 1903, Lee and his publishing group purchased the Muscatine Journal.
The Journal continues to publish today and is still owned by Lee Enterprises, which has become the fourth largest newspaper group in the United States. John Mahin's contributions as editor for nearly half a century ensured the longevity of the Muscatine Journal and shaped the beginning of the Lee family's publishing legacy.
Provided by: State Historical Society of Iowa