The Dawson Herald was established in 1921. The town had been without a newspaper for a couple years. M.W. Pat Handley was the editor to come in and start the press to rolling again. In May, 1925 Charles M. “Pat” Ross and his wife Gertrude, bought the paper from Mr. Hadley and published their first edition in June 1925, located in what was then the property of Leo. S. Tiehen. Two years later the Ross’s moved to the building on the corner of Ridge and 5th Street. They made many improvements from time to time and were doing a great deal of commercial printing for businessmen of other areas as well as putting out a very excellent weekly newspaper for the town and community.
Country correspondents sent in the news from their areas. In 1936 these were Mrs. A.H. Utermohlen, (north of town), Mrs. Claude Whitney, (east of town), Mrs. H.O. Layson, (Honey Creek), Mrs Ardie French, “Zion Community”, Mrs. Geo. Funk, (Christian Ridge”), Mrs. Virgil Arington, (west of town) and Miss Vera Knickbocker, (Verdon).
Mr. And Mrs. Ross had worked in the newspaper business in the south and Gertrude had been “born to the trade” as her family was a newspaper family, in Hiawatha, Kansas. Both were real newspaper people, knowing all the necessary work for a successful publication. The Dawson Herald continued to thrive under their hands until November 1947 when the newspaper was discontinued and they went into Commercial Printing for the Dawson Commercial Club and others. The local club had “The Trade News” for the local area and it was very good for its size. Eventually there came the day when “Pat” had to quit entirely and they sold the whole plant November1, 1956 to Charles and Betty McLaughlin. The following year the McLaughlin’s moved it to Falls City.
But Gertrude and Pat stayed on with Dawson where they had been so many years. They were a part of the town, for they knew each one of us so very well. Pat had been born in 1884 and Gertrude in 1889 so this was home to both of them after such a long time. Pat passed away in March 1965. He had spent a lifetime in the printing business. Gertrude continued to live where they both lived during their working years. She passed away in 1984 and both are buried in the Heim Cemetery. She continued after her husbands death to put together the articles for the booklet, “Dawson’s History for the Bicentennial 1976” edited by Elma Heim Griffiths.
A book, with pictures of early days of Dawson is being reprinted by the Penn Colony of Nebraska Historical Society and will be for sale at the 1970 Dawson-Verdon Alumni get together in Humboldt at the Ag Building. That meeting will be, Sunday, May 27.