20 August 2010

Missouri Thalbote

Lafayette County, Missouri, Newspaper

The Missouri Thalbote was a German-language newspaper whose primary area of coverage was Lafayette County, Missouri. It began publication at Lexington, Missouri in 1871. From 1880-1892, it was published at Concordia, and thereafter, until it ceased operations in July 1818, at Higginsville, Missouri.

The newspaper's name rendered into English would be Missouri Valley Messenger or Missouri Valley Herald.

The Missouri Thalbote, a German newspaper, now published at Higginsville, was established in Lexington in April, 1871, by William P. Beck.  During the next years it frequently changed proprietors.  They were R. Willibald, John G. Fischer, Egid Kist and Daniel Schlegel, until, in 1878, Albert Althoff succeeded in the proprietorship.  He removed the paper to Concordia in October, 1880.  For a few years F. Bruening, one of the present owners, was associated with A. Althoff who, in May, 1886, sold the Thalbote to Henry C. Schwartz.  In 1888 Richard P. Sevin, who had been associate editor and manager of the paper, became its proprietor.  In September, 1893, the paper was removed to Higginsville, this town being the center of its circulation territory.  R. P. Sevin sold the plant, in September, 1894, to Graeff & Henkel, and in February, 1896, became again its owner in partnership with H. C. Schwartz.  The latter sold his interest in the publication in June, 1899, to Fred. Bruening, and since then Sevin & Bruening have been, and now are, the proprietors.  The Missouri Thalbote is an eight-page paper, fifteen by twenty-tow inches, with an "Agricultural Journal" as supplement.  The plant is housed in its own quarters, thirty-two by sixty feet, equipped with modern machinery.  A German family paper, it is read in almost every household of the members of the twenty-seven German churches in Lafayette and western Saline counties.  In politics the paper has always been Republican, but not radical in its views, and fair to all.  It is one of the best and most successful German weeklies in the West.

Source: William Young, Young's History of Lafayette County Missouri (Indianapolis, Indiana: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1910), Volume 1, page 298.

Albert Althoff,

editor of the Missouri Thalbote, P. O. Concordia; is a native of Germany, born April 18, 1845.  His early education was secured in the country of his birth.  In 1866, he came to the United States, locating at first in Stephenson county, Illinois.  During two years of the time he lived there he attended college at Cincinnati.  Afterwards he moved to St. Charles, Missouri, where he taught school for six years; the length of his engagement being itself a sufficient index to his ability as a teacher.  He then came to this county where he resided at Lexington for three and a half years, engaged in teaching a private school, and in editing the Missouri Thalbote, a paper which he took with him upon his removal to Concordia and of which he is still the editor and proprietor.  In 1870 he was married to Miss Mina Freitag, a native of Germany, by which union they have had five children, four of whom are now living:  Albert; Arthur, Paulina, and Lydia.  On October 11, 1880, he was appointed poormaster [sic] for Concordia, in which capacity he is still serving with credit to himself and the community.  He is a man of energy and enterprise, as shown by the multiplicity of his duties, in all of which he conduct himself with ability.

Source: History of Lafayette County, Mo., Carefully Written and Compiled From the Most Authentic Official and Private Sources, Including a History of Its Townships, Cities, Towns And Villages, Together With a Condensed History of Missouri; the Constitution Of The United States, And State of Missouri; a Military Record Of Volunteers In Either Army of the Great Civil War; General and Local Statistics; Miscellany; Reminesciences, Grave, Tragic and Humorous; Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Citizens Identified with the Interests of the County (St. Louis, Missouri: Missouri Historical Company, 1881) pages 573-574.

Henry C. Schwartz, the accommodating and efficient Postmaster at Higginsville, was born in Warren County, Mo., near Hopewell, October 10, 1855.  His father, Frederick, was born in Prussia, near Minden, and the grandfather was a wealthy farmer of Prussia, where he died.  The father was a farmer in his native land, and in 1835 came to America, proceeding via New Orleans and St. Louis to Warren County, Mo., where he became one of the early settlers of Smith's Creek, and improved a farm of several hundred acres.  At this place he died in 1862, in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which denomination he was a faithful member.  In politics he adhered to the principles of the Republican party.  His wife, Fredrecka Hasenjaeer [sic], was born in Prussia, and died in 1863 in Warren County, Mo.  Four children yet living were born of this union, of whom our subject is the second.  The others are:  Charles, a farmer of Davis Township, this county; Caroline, now Mrs. Schlecte, residing near Worden, Ill.; and William, a resident of Lowell, St. Louis.

Our subject was reared to farm life, and at the age of seven or eight was apprenticed to Adolphus Wehrmann, with whom he remained until the age of sixteen years.  He was among the first German settlers of Dover Township, this county.  In 1869 he came to this place and engaged on a farm.  His educational advantages had not satisfied him, and he continued working in this locality until he earned enough to pay his expenses at school.  In 1875 he entered the Central Wesleyan College, at Warrenton, Mo., where he remained for two years, taking the academic course.  During the summer he taught school, and in 1877 he entered the University of Missouri at Columbia and continued there in the classical course until the spring of 1880, which brought him to the senior year, and then he left the university to commence the study of law.  This study he pursued two years, but did not continue it, as he found it was not to his taste.

At this time Mr. Schwartz was made Principal of the Higginsville public schools.  In 1882 he entered the Bank of Higginsville as Assistant Cashier and continued there until August, 1884.  At that time he purchased the Missouri Thalbote at Concordia, which he published for three years.  In 1888 he returned to Higginsville and resumed the study of law, but in July, 1889, he was appointed Postmaster of the city by President Harrison and immediately took charge of the office.  He owns a one-half interest in the Higginsville Advance, a weekly Republican paper.  His residence is in North Higginsville.

At Concordia in 1888, Mr. Schwartz married Miss Charlotte Mueller, who was born in La Fayette [sic] County, and is a daughter of Adam Mueller, a prominent farmer.  Once child, Herbert, is the result of this union.  In political matters our subject is a true-blue Republican and has been very active in political affairs in the county.  For the past seven or eight years he has been Secretary of the Republican County Committee, both in county and State Conventions.  In 1888 he was Republican nominee for Representative from La Fayette [sic] County, and although he was not elected he ran considerably ahead of his ticket.  He has also been nominated for other county offices.  Since he became Postmaster the business of the office has increased to a large extent.  He is one of the most accommodating officials in the county and is well liked by all who know him.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Lafayette and Saline Counties, Missouri: Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Together with Biographies and Portraits of All the Presidents of the United States (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1893), pages 585-586.