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Ashland Historical Society * Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society

Preserving the rich history of the Ashland NE community & area
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   ASHLAND GAZETTE HISTORY
The Ashland Gazette newspaper is the oldest
continually operated business in Ashland, dating back to 1879
 
            *
 
The 'Gazette's' Facebook image & link
*  Today's "Gazette" header & link that appears each week
This page will detail the long & storied history
of Ashland's newspaper The Ashland Gazette.
The paper was begun in 1879, and as stated earlier,
is the oldest continually operated business in Ashland.
We will be detailing that history, the various ownership stories,
the legends documented by the "Gazette", etc.
 
The Webservices Editors wish to note, before our mailboxes fill up, that we are aware
that the Farmers and Merchants Bank is the 'oldest continually operating
FAMILY business' in Ashland, dating back to 1883
when it was founded by Ernest A. Wiggenhorn.
 
Robert C. Fricke, current President is the Great-Great-Grandson of the Founder
"The story of printing in Ashland began when Addison Carr hauled a printing press from Plattsmouth in 1867.
Whether a newspaper was ever produced on this particular press we do not know;
however, Ashland's first newspaper,
the Ashland Times, began its existence April 8, 1870. Its publisher was Orin H Matthews.
The next newspaper in Ashland was the Saunders County Republican, which began in 1873.
It was run for a few months by E. W. Deer, and from November 1873 until 1876
by J. S. Zerbe and E. Andrews.
 
We can only surmise, but it is at least possible, that the hard times of the
middle 1870s made a newspaper of the Republican persuasion unpopular and unprofitable,
for the next newspaper of which any record remains was a Greenback organ,
the Saunders County Reporter. It began sometime in 1878 or early 1879 and probably used
printing equipment left over from the Republican. The Reporter's publisher was John Richhart.
 
T. J. Pickett arrived in Ashland from Nebraska City late in 1879 and bought the Reporter,
launching a new Republican newspaper, the Ashland Gazette, probably in December of that year.
Mr. Pickett sold the Gazette in 1893.
The new editor, W. N. Becker, owned the Gazette until August 1, 1911,
when it was bought by F. L. Carroll of Peoria IL.
 
Glenn Howard, who operated the newspaper at Hooper
for a few years until 1913, purchased the Gazette in June, 1914.
The Gazette remained in the Howard family until Nov. 15, 1945, when M. C. Howe bought it.
After nearly 10 years, Mr. Howe sold the newspaper to Arthur J. Riedesel on Oct. 1, 1955.
 
We are very grateful to Dennis & MJ for their recent donation
of their entire photo collection of history in Ashland to the AHS
Contact >  Photos By MJ  for archival prints of these photos
 
In the early days Ashland often had two newspapers at a time, in common with other Nebraska towns.
The Populist unrest produced the Sunday Leader and the Saunders County Leader,
which were printed from about 1887 until they suspended in September, 1891.
 
 
Other papers were the Globe, founded in June, 1892; the Ashland News,
published by George B. Pickett between January, 1894 and Sept. 25, 1896;
and finally the Saunders County Journal.
 
Joseph B. La Chapelle began publishing the Saunders County Journal on Jan. 14, 1897.
He changed the name to the Ashland Journal on Nov. 10, 1905.
A fire destroyed his plant in February, 1907.
He never resumed publication but lived on in Ashland for years.
 
Harry Graves Shedd tried an interesting experiment in the summers of 1895 and 1896.
While teachers institute was being held in Ashland for instructors from many miles around,
he published a small-sized, four-page daily called the Summer Breeze for a few weeks each summer,
using the job presses for the Ashland Gazette for his project.
 
Since the Ashland Journal went up in flames in 1907, the Ashland Gazette has served
the Ashland community for more than 50 years as its "newspaper voice."
 
The article above, appeared in the publication entitled
 The First 100 Years - Ashland Nebraska - 1857-1957
The publication was produced by the Centennial Committee and the Ashland Chamber of Commerce.
 
 
Forrest L. Raikes, General Chairman, Centennial Committee,
Al Preuss, President, Ashland Chamber of Commerce,
Don Schank, President, Ashland Community Council
 
The Ashand community is very grateful to Arthur "Art" J. Riedesel,
former publisher of the Ashland Gazette
for his tireless work in the preparatation of the 100 year centennial publication of Ashland.
 
 
Art's passion & persistence in the gathering of information, accuracy in editing and publishing
of the 1st 100 years & 1st 150 years history of Ashland NE have been & were truly heroic.
 
 
We wish to acknowledge & honor the tireless efforts of Art Riedesel,
former Owner & Publisher of the Ashland Gazette.
 
 
Art was born October 6, 1921, passed away February 23, 2010,
a memorial service was held March 1, 2010 in Ashland NE
and Art was laid to rest March 2, 2010 in his hometown of Ogallala NE
 
The Ashland Historical Society and the community of  Ashland NE expressed
our heartfelt condolences & sympathies to Ruth, Art's wife of 63 years,
as well as their three children and spouses, and their families.
 
 
February 12, 2012 we learned that Ruth, 90, had passed away
Following services for Ruth on the 16th of February, 2012, she was laid to rest
along side her husband Art in the Ogallala (NE) Cemetery;  their hometown
 
 
 
 
The advertisement, shown above, was one of many local business 'ads'
that were purchased in support of the Ashland Centennial publication:
 The First 100 Years - Ashland Nebraska - 1857-1957
 
The publication is out or print, however,
the AHS will be creating a CD reproduction soon.
The CD reproduction will be available for sale
please watch for our announcement

In 2007, Ashland celebrated its 150th anniversary.
A publication was produced & entitled;
THE FIRST 150 YEARS
ASHLAND, NEBRASKA: 1857 - 2007
 
Currently, copies of the " . . First 150 Years . . . " publication are available
at the Ashland Gazette offices, Willow Point Gallery
& several other locations in the business community.
 
An article (page 66) that updates the history and ownership of the Ashland Gazette states;
" Riedesel (Arthur J.) brought the news to the community for 30 years,
until he sold the Gazette to Zean and Marilyn Carney on Dec. 26, 1985.
 
The Carneys owned The News in Waverly and Arbor Printing in Lincoln.
They went on to purchase the Wahoo Newspaper in 1989,
marking the first time in history that the county's (Saunders)
two major newspapers were owned by the same family.
 
During their tenure at the Gazette, the Carneys changed the newspaper significantly.
News reporting and design were modernized and the addition of spot color in the mid-1980s
and full color in 1990 created an attractive package for local news.
 
On May 1, 2004, the Carneys sold the Gazette to Midlands Newspapers, Inc.,
a wholly owned subsidiary of the Omaha World-Herald Company.
 
The Ashland Gazette is the longest-running business in the Ashland community. "
 

BREAKING NEWS ! ! !
The Ashland Gazette has MOVED ! !
 
they have a "new adress" AND a new website !
link to the NEW >Ashland Gazette wesbite
 
The Ashland Gazette  < < 'link' to their Facebook page
 
" This picture is in our new office at 1438 Silver Street. Stop in and say hi! "
above is a message from Suzi, Teresa & staff
[ located in the Ashland Chamber of Commerce Building, donated by Lee & Helene Sapp ]
 
 
you can also join them as a FRIEND on Facebook
You may contact the Webservices Editors
 
 
We look forward to your messages, input and suggestions !
 

 
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