~ January 1, 1891 • Deadwood Daily Pioneer-Times ~

The Pioneer.

Not Only in Name, But a Paper That Was In at the Beginning.

    Something of the Labor and Cost of Publishing a Daily Newspaper.

Past and Present.

The PIONEER has been one of the permanent institutions of our city from the beginning. Its fortunes have been somewhat fluctuating, it has had diverse and sundry homes, and has had its clouds and sunshine, but has always been here to stay; no unknown quantity in our formative influences, but a positive factor in all matters pertaining to our growth and development.

The first number was issued June 12th, 1876, Messrs. Merrick & Laughlin, editors, publishers and proprietors. Deadwood was then a wild, howling mining camp, composed of mostly saloons, gambling houses, restaurants, groceries, lodgings, etc. The nights were then more lively than the days, the streets were constantly thronged; people continuously going, all in quest of fortunes, either in the placers, or in the more uncertain channels of speculation or games of chance. The were no courts of justice, except such as the miners established, and no laws except those they enacted; no churches or school houses, no U. S. mails, and no certain connection with the outside world. In fact, it was a sort of primitive condition of affairs. With strange and novel conditions, the PIONEER made its first appearance, first finding a resting place on Main Street, and afterwards moving into quarters of its own on the alley near the locality of the present Scott building. Early in the spring of 1877, the experiment of a daily was entered upon, and with lively competition, and through many adversities, for more than thirteen years has contained the births and deaths, the failures and fortunes, the hopes and fears, the joys and sorrows, of our struggling, but constantly growing and thriving young city.

For several years it was published on Sherman Street, where, under the exclusive management of Mr. Merrick, it fought bravely to make that street a thoroughfare of trade and commerce equal to Main Street, but the fates were against it, and it finally gave up the contest.

In April 1885, it passed to the control of Willis H. Bonham, with whom were associated for a while, J. C. Moody and Chas. A. Maskrey. Later on the latter two were succeeded by that genial friend of all, and excellent newspaperman, Robert Dawson Kelly, now leading a pleasant and prosperous life at Fremont, Nebraska. A year later it passed into the hands of the PIONEER Publishing Company, with Hon. Edwin Van Cise, president; Hon. Eben W. Martin, secretary and W. H. Bonham, manager, and immediately entered upon a new life and career of prosperity. Today it is an 8-page paper, with the largest advertising patronage of any paper published in the state of South Dakota, and the largest circulation of any daily paper in the state, except it may be the Sioux Falls Press.

While the PIONEER has always been avowedly republican in politics, it has never been an “organ” nor the tool of any ring or clique, but has been independent and free from dictation. It has counted among its editors, reporters and contributors the best and brightest writers of the Hills, some of whom have gone to their long home, while others remain to help make the PIONEER in the future what it has been in the past, the leading paper.

Now looking out on the coming year, so full of hope and promise, with railroads, reduction works, smelters and kindred promoters of prosperity, we can assure our readers and patrons that no pains nor expense shall be spared to make the PIONEER better, if possible, a welcome visitant in every household, the fearless defender of what is right and best in politics and government, and in all ways the promoter of the welfare of society and the advancement of the best interests of Deadwood and the Hills. So, now and here, we make our bow and wish each and all a most “Happy New Year.”

Presses, Machinery and Type.

A description, in detail, of all the presses and machinery, their workings and uses would require several columns of descriptive matter and then it would be imperfectly understood by a majority of the readers. Most of the machines used in the PIONEER office are very intricate in mechanism, costly, and the best of the kind made. Perhaps the simplest are the tableting and proof presses — very primitive but from their simplicity cannot be improved upon for the uses to which they are designed. Next in simplicity is a paper cutter and the Old Washington Hand Press on which the paper was printed until after the first of September, 1879. The “forms,” or type from which the paper is printed, is placed on the “bed” of the press which is run out on the tracks, as shown in the engraving, by turning the small crank; the frisket — a light frame large enough to enclose the forms, and over which canvass is stretched, the bottom end fastened with hinges — is thrown back to beyond the perpendicular to an angle of forty-five degrees, the paper placed on it and deftly swung over onto the type, and the pressman turns the crank, slides the bed under the platen, pulls the big hand lever which presses the platen on the sheet of paper covering the type, lets go the lever, the heavy side springs raise the platen; the bed is then run out, the frisket or tympum raised and the printed sheet carefully removed and piled on a table. A boy inks the type and the same unvarying process is kept up for hours. Progress is slow and laborious. One man and a boy can only print about 150 sheets per hour. But this old press was superseded by a magnificent Cottrell and Babcock Air Spring Cylinder Press which is propelled, as all the presses in the office are, by a water motor. The cylinder press has a capacity of 2,000 sheets per hour and it only requires the services of a small boy to “feed” it.

In Platen or job presses the Gordon and Peerless are used, the best manufactured. For printing large sheets, or for making several impressions of the same kind at one time, the Gordon is used on account of its strength. For smaller work the Peerless is used on account of its greater speed.

~ January 7, 1891 • Queen City Mail ~

The Normal School.

A Brief Description of the State Normal School Located at Spearfish.

The Branches of Instruction and Those Who Teach the Rising Generation.

Below is an excerpt from the Deadwood Times’ boom edition of Jan. 1. While there is little in the article, which has not already appeared in this paper at various periods during the past year, yet it will bear repeating once more, inasmuch as the most interesting facts concerning the school are here collated in concise form:

During the past year this school has enjoyed greater prosperity than ever before in its history. Not only has the enrollment been larger, but the new students have, as a rule, been more mature, scholarly and zealous than in any preceding year. It has in consequence been possible to give increased attention to the professional departments of training and to abolish the preparatory class. The school catalogue speaks of the advantages of having a preparatory department in a new country, and gives an outline of work to be done in it, but there has nevertheless been no such department in the school for more than a year. The requirements for admission are now fully equal to those of the ten state normal schools of New York, which are doubtless the best training schools for teachers on the continent. During a portion of the year (reference is made to the regular school year ending last June) the seating capacity of the building was severely taxed. The total enrollment in the normal department was 159, and the average daily attendance for the year was 104. For this school year, beginning in September, the enrollment is 136, with an average daily attendance of 123. This is about thirty more than for the corresponding weeks of last year. It seems quite certain that next term it will be difficult to seat all that will apply for admission.

The teachers now connected with the school and the subjects taught by each are as follows:

Fayette L. Cook; principal: school economy, bookkeeping, physics and chemistry.

Margaret A. Thompson: grammar, rhetoric and botany.

Chestine Gowdy: mathematics and English literature.

Martha M. Williams: geology, physiology, psychology and German.

Nona Culbertson: arithmetic, penmanship and drawing.

Myra E. Call: Latin, history and geography.

Josephine Swain: music and reading.

Louise Preece: elocution and physical culture.

Carrie Williams: secretary, librarian and teacher of typewriting.

Model School — E. F. Snell, May M. Clemens, Bertha Youmans, Kate Kemper.

It is the unanimous testimony of those who have visited the school that the building is the most conveniently arranged and best kept school building that they ever saw. From one end to the other it is as neat and attractive as a parlor. No scratched or marks are to be found anywhere, and desks that have been in use five years can not be distinguished from the new ones near by. There is not an unfurnished room in the building, and the furniture is the most convenient and substantial made. The halls and passages are covered with matting, so that the movements of students are noiseless. An electric programmed clock connected with a bell in each recitation room automatically regulates the length of the recitations. The chemical laboratory was fully completed and equipped last summer from plans and specifications furnished by the principal after a visit to some of the best laboratories in the east. It is a model of convenience, and enables twenty-four students to work at the same experiments at the same time, each having a complete set of apparatus for a full course in chemistry. The laboratory and all parts of the building have been connected with the city waterworks, and thorough drainage for the wastewater has been provided. Among the apparatus may be mentioned a powerful compound microscope, a stereopticon with the heliostat and microscope attachment, an air pump, and an electrical machine. The reference library is a valuable one. Among the books are nearly all the late cyclopedias, as Johnston’s, Appleton’s, Alden’s and the Britannica; also the leading dictionaries, as Stormouth, Worcester, the International and the Imperial. The whole number of books in the library is nearly 4,000.

In addition to the regular course of study a large number of elective studies are offered to students qualified to take them. Among the studies are solid geometry, trigonometry, German, Latin, Greek, typewriting, shorthand and advanced bookkeeping. Special attention is called to this feature of the school.

The primary and intermediate departments of the Spearfish public schools are the model and practice schools for the normal. These practice or model schools are unquestionably the best public schools in the state.

Persons fitting themselves for entrance to this school should, if they wish their course to be profitable and satisfactory, aim at proficiency in reading, spelling and composition. In arithmetic the entrance examinations will hereafter be almost wholly upon common fractions, because fractions are the key to all that follows in arithmetic.

The expense of attending the school is very small. The latest and best textbooks and all stationery needed, except scratch books and lead pencils, are furnished at the nominal price of $2 per term to students that are fitting themselves for teaching, and $5 per term to others. There is no other charge for anything whatever. Even blank books in bookkeeping, instruction and textbooks in typewriting and shorthand are furnished free. In the drawing course, drawing books and instruments are furnished free. In the course in chemistry there is no charge for chemicals, not even for breakage. In geology and botany each pupil has the use of a simple microscope free, and the class has access to a very fine compound microscope. Board at private houses costs from $3.50 to $4 per week, but most of the students rent rooms and board themselves.


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