|Early Newspaper Days
Thursday, February 27, 1964
According to a printed story in The Record and dated February 1, 1929, this newspape r has had its 82nd birthday. The article states that The Record was founded in March, 1882, by J.M. (Matt) Hall. In 1889 Hall sold the publication to J.T. Johnson and his son, L.B. Johnson, who published it until 1890, when J.L. Johnson sold his interest to Hon. A.N. Woodruff of Watervliet. A few months later L.B. Johnson sold his interest to A.M. Hulson, who was connected with the paper for a few months when Mr. Woodruff became sole owner. Then in September of 1891 the late Eugene F. Case came from Ellsworth, Wis., and bought The Record, which for 24 years was under his leadership. He passed away Feb. 14, 1915, and the two sons, the late Leon D. and Francis B. Case, took over the business, making more than 67 years that the newspaper was in the Case family.
In the course of the story of 35 years ago, the writer commented: “For nearly half a century each of the 52 weeks this newspaper has been printed. In the newspaper field whether it be a great metropolitan daily or a humble small town weekly, if the publisher regards his venture seriously, nothing is permitted to interfere with getting the paper out regularly and on time. Regardless of the various situations that may arise, sickness, or even death, adverse conditions in the business, accidents or breakdowns in the plant the paper must be printed on time—and in so far as we have any records this newspaper has never missed a single issue in the 46 years of its existence. And I can truthfully say that this is true, even though sometimes it was early morning when the last paper was printed.”
Of course The Record was all hand set and it was a tiresome and tedious job but the paper was always out on time.
States the story: “With the first issue of this newspaper kerosene lamps were regarded as a wonderful step in artificial lighting; lumbering was still the most important industry, aside from farming; homes and business places used wood for fuel; the automobile, iceless refrigerators, the gasoline motor were unknown, not to mention the airplane, radio and numerous other more recent discoveries and inventions.”
Even in the weekly newspaper field there have been radical changes from the early days of country newspaper printing. Handset type has been replaced by the casting machines and the linotype. The linotype at The Record office was purchased in 1918, and is still doing duty. For a number of years it set type for both The Record and the Coloma Courier.
In 1898 says the story, “the old Washington hand press was operated at first by hand power, but soon a Lambert gasoline engine was installed, which, by the way, was the first gasoline engine to be brought to Watervliet and placed in operation. It was an object of general interest at the time. The old Lambert was replaced with an electric motor and this was the first electric motor to be used for the conversion of power in this city. New presses were added and in 1918 a Model were purchased about the time the linotype was added."