By Mike Whittlesey
It is somewhat fitting that this issue of The Progress Review brings to an end its long and distinguished service to the community as its preeminent source for news and information, as it was on this very day 127 years ago that this publication first used the masthead as reproduced above. On September 30, 1893, Publisher E. Duke Naven introduced the “new” publication to the La Porte City community with the following words:
With the present issue the La Porte City Register ceases to exist, and in its stead we ask our readers to welcome back two old and well known names, freighted with many memories of the past, the Progress Review.
These two names taken in connection with La Porte, possess a district individuality which is part of the history of our town.
For twenty-two years the Progress was a weekly visitor to most of our homes. Established as it was by Dr. Jesse Wasson the founder of our town, its pages truthfully reflected the material progress and advancement, the social and religious life of the community.
The name “Progress” belongs to La Porte. It has about it a suggestion and a flavor of old pioneer days and pleasant memories, from which many of our citizens are loth to depart.
As much, almost, might be said of the “Review.”
It seems to us therefore that as the present publication is a successor to the old ones, its logical name should be, “Progress-Review.” And thus we christen it.
The world of publishing has changed considerably, from the tedious work Mr. Naven and his staff had to endure, painstakingly designing the newspaper letter by letter, to modern-day computers that can change type size and layouts with the click of a mouse. While advances in technology have made the process of producing a newspaper easier and faster, for small, family-owned newspapers, the responsibilities associated with publishing a weekly newspaper very much remains a lifestyle choice. Each week, the news, feature stories, photos and advertisements are gathered and assembled into a document that is compiled, then typically revised and sent to the printer on Sunday. The next day, the process begins all over.
As we conclude an 18 year run as publishers of The Progress Review, there are many people to thank who have helped us along the way. Our friends at Cedar Valley Bank and the La Porte City Post Office, as well as printing partners at the Times-Republican in Marshalltown, have been most helpful in allowing us deliver 890 consecutive weeks worth of issues to our readers.
We’d like to thank our families for their support and encouragement over the years, as well as the employees we’ve hired along the way, including Julie Schmitz, Carmen Miller, Catherine Wigg, Kirsten Rokke, Amy Nelsestuen and, of course, Mary Bauer.
As the newspaper industry continues to rapidly change, our tenure as publishers of The Progress Review ends as it began- deeply appreciative of the support we have received from the La Porte City community and grateful for the opportunity to share meaningful stories about the people and events in the place we call home.