Printing Office

(This is for all the history buffs that enjoy reading history of early Dawson, Nebraska.  Through its early history Dawson had an operating newspaper office for many years.  The following history is of those publishers and the years they printed a paper.)

   The building on the south corner of Ridge and Fourth Streets was the home of the Dawson Newsboy in 1909. The paper remained here until 1920 when R. E. Summers went out of business.  Later the building was owned by Dr. W. S. Wood, who had a practice in Dawson from the fall of 1927 until April 1929, when Dr. C. E. Leisure took over.  Dr. Leisure was in the town until 1933 and may have occupied this building the entire time. The exact age of the building is unknown.  It is unknown what business may have been located here between 1933 and 1939.

   The building became a printing office again in 1939.  Pat and Gertrude Ross had purchased the printing business in May 1925. They moved the printing operation from the Porter building to the Riley building on the north corner of this block in 1927, and then to this building in 1939.  Items sold, in addition to the newspaper, were desk blotters, cardboard, shipping tags, typewriter paper, printed stationery, colored cardboard, and “anything you require in printed matter at prices we are not ashamed to quote.”

   The Rosses published The Dawson Herald newspaper until November 1947, when they changed to commercial printing.  This new format was one sheet, printed on both sides and called the Dawson Trade News, published between May 24, 1947 and 1957, with business news and short articles of local interest.  On November 1, 1956, Ross sold to Charles and Betty McLaughlin who continued the trade paper. In the June 27, 1957 issue of the Dawson Trade News, readers were informed that when the first issue of the Trade News (1947) came out there were 15 paid advertisers, but at present (1957), there were only half that number, and the paper was in danger of closing. Mr. and Mrs. McLaughlin ran the business for about one year and then moved it to Falls City.  There has not been a newspaper in Dawson since 1957; news about Dawson is published regularly in the Humboldt paper.  Although not used for a business, the building which housed the “printing office” is still standing.
Editors note: Now that more than 50 years has passed issues of those papers are prized and the Pennsylvania Colony Historical Museum has been given some issues which readers kept.  The Museum would accept any donations in this regard for display and future museum visitors.  In the new museum building there is a library area where visitors can sit down in comfortable chairs and read newspapers, books, high school annuals, and other printed artifacts. 

The museum thanks Carol S. Anadale for her contribution of her recent book, “Dawson, the business life of a small Nebraska town”.  She is a descendent of the Irish who settled the Dawson area before the Germans.  It is from her hard work and dedication the information for this article was taken. In the book there are 49 pictures of early buildings of businesses, 17 bibliographic references, and a complete list of Dawson businesses from 1872 through 2007, listed from south to north.  Carol has given the Colony Museum permission to reprint and sell copies of this work.  We thank her for this great donation of time and historic information.
(Article prepared by Museum Director, Bob Williamson)