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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin

Chapter XVI: The press of Menomonie,   pp. 124-133

Page 125

oned in that pioneer period upon the wooded northern frontier. And so the little
city's newspaper partook of, and to a degree led in, the metropolitan spirit, and in
a few years became ill content to be known by a designation that told of but one
field of business effort.
"Therefore, after a few years' publication, in which it had proven its right to
stand before the world as the printed spokesman of a vigorous and cosmopolitan
body of people, it one day in 1866 came out with its title changed from that of a
class or trade publication, and has been known from that time to the present by a
title which more accurately indicated its character as a public journal covering the
broad field of human effort. But although the name was changed, the paper con-
tinued to be the same, its growth continued from the same beginning, its utterances
were along the same lines of policies as before, and today a retrospect of the life
of the paper carries one back to that Thursday in April, 1860, when from the second
story of the tinshop building at the "Company's" plant the first printed sheet run
from the press in Dunn County saw the sunlight.
"Unfortunately, no copy of that original issue, so far as diligent search can
reveal the fact, is now extant. There is at the Memorial Library a bound copy of
Volume 3 of the Dunn County Lumberman. The third series of 52 issues begins.
with the edition of April 19, 1862. As a complete volume of a weekly publication
embraces 364 days, one day being gained in each volume as compared with the
calendar year, the natural inference would be that the second volume began on,
April 20, 1861, and the first on April 21, 1860. But local history has it otherwise.
Chronicles based upon information obtained from early settlers insist that the
original publication day was April 1. If this be true, a discrepancy exists that is
not explained. Some light is shed upon the interesting point by the records in the
probate office of Dunn County. It appears that the first probate notice filed is
that pertaining to the estate of S. W. Sherburn, and the affidavit of publication.
signed by C. W. Wheaton, foreman in the office of the Dunn County Lumberman.
attests the fact that the first publication of the notice was given Thursday, June
7, 1860, in the tenth issue of that year. If the tenth issue was on June 7, running
back from that date it would be easy to ascertain that the first was on April 5 of
that year. Affidavits relating to subsequent notices would lead to the same con-
clusion. Just wherein the discrepancy occurs between that date and that which
is indicated by the beginning of the third volume will probably never be absolutely
established, in the absence of the first two years' files. But certain it is that in
the month of April, 1860, the paper was established and has been issued continu-
ously ever since. Its original day of publication was Thursday and continued so
for a considerable time, though in the interim before the beginning of the preserved
files it was changed to Saturday.
"Going back to the beginning, it is found that Knapp, Stout & Co. exer-
cised the same careful and judicious choice with reference to the first editorship of
The Lumberman as was manifested by them in selecting material for other impor-
tant posts in the great business scheme which they had created and directed. The
man selected for the management of the newspaper was Charles S. Bundy, then a
young attorney of Menomonie, and now (1910) one of the municipal judges of the
District of Columbia. He was the first of the line of strong men who successively
had charge of the paper, either as editor or proprietor, each carrying it forward
consistently with its traditions and its never-changing purpose to stand for the
best in the community and for the highest ideals of citizenship.
"Three years ago, in response to a request made at that time by R. J. Flint,
then one of the proprietors of The News, Mr. Bundy wrote at Washington his
account of the founding of the paper."
In that account, after reminding his prospective readers that Dunn County
originally extended south to the mouth of the Chippewa River and included what
was finally set off as Pepin County, he went on to say:
'That change of boundaries moved the center of Dunn County several miles
northward and made I~unnville no longer geographically suitable to remain the
.county seat, and insured its removal n~orthwest to Knapp, Stout & Co. 's mills on

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