Newspapers in Seward County

Nebraska newspapers have been the subject of a number of reminiscences published in Nebraska History by the State Historical Society over the years. The September 1951 issue included the experiences of William H. Smith (1873-1954). His "Fifty Years a Country Publisher" included his newspaper experiences in Seward:

"That fall [1896] I felt I had served my apprenticeship in a printing office, so I began looking around for a newspaper of my own. Quite naturally my attention was directed to Nebraska, and a want ad in the Omaha World-Herald brought replies from three communities where newspaper outfits were for sale-Harrison, Falls City, and Seward. And so, in the spring of 1897 I resurrected a paper in Seward [Seward County Independent] that had been suspended for the lack of patronage some four or five months before.

"In those days nearly every county seat town had from two to four newspapers. Seward had four, including the one I purchased. The field as viewed from this distance, was anything but inviting. . . .

"But the first years in Seward were rather tough. Back in Iowa the editors used to receive cordwood in payment of subscriptions. Out in this section of Nebraska there was no surplus cordwood, but in 1896 there had been a big crop of corn, and there were a lot of cobs on the farms. I advertised to accept cobs in lieu of cash for subscriptions, having first arranged with a newly organized co-operative creamery to take them off my hands at a dollar a load. The money thus received helped pay accumulating bills."

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