The Denison Bulletin & Review
Welcome to our website. The Denison Bulletin & Review is one of Crawford County's oldest businesses and will continue to be the county's largest, best-read and trusted media. Throughout the history of the newspaper the tradition of informing the public of community and county news is our mainstay.
You will not find Associated Press or national news, but you will find who won the local game and who is running for the school board. Our coverage of five area schools is unmatched. Our commitment to worthwhile projects is resolute. We are your newspaper, and will continue to be the vehicle to inform and promote the heart and soul of the area with the finest local news and photos.
We've now taken a step to provide you with a new way to receive the local news when you want it. Some items on this site have not yet been printed in the newspaper, and many items will be published only in the printed version and cannot be found on this website. Please take time to thoroughly browse our website. Please send us an email to let us know what you think. Your input will help make this website better for everyone.
Greg Wehle, Publisher
Our Newspaper's History
Soon after the founding of Denison, Jesse Denison decided that the community needed a newspaper, so he purchased a printing outfit in Cincinnati, Ohio. The equipment, including a hand press and a supply of type and paper, was sent to Iowa City by railroad, then freighted across the prairie.
He began publishing the Boyer Valley Record soon after the arrival of the equipment and hired H. H. Crowell, an experienced printer and editor, to run it. A Deloit resident, Newton Brogden, helped in the office, which was on the north side of Broadway in the middle of the block.
After a year and a half, Crowell was in a fight with another man, who was killed during the argument. Crowell was taken to Sioux City, tried and acquitted. But the incident ended the Boyer Valley Record, and Denison stored the machinery and type.
In 1867, George W. Stephens leased Denison's stored equipment and published the first Denison Review on May 2 in an abandoned log schoolhouse on the site of the W. A. McHenry residence.
Stephens struggled for two years and was forced to suspend publication. In 1869, J. D. Ainsworth purchased the newspaper and reestablished the Denison Review with the help of H. C. Laub. The first publication was on July 16 of that year.
Another eight-column newspaper appeared in Denison four years later. The Crawford County Bulletin, edited by Stephens (the same person who started the Denison Review) and Truman G. Daniels, was first published on November 14, 1873.
In 1884, at least 40 copies of the Denison Review were being sent to Germany and England on a regular basis, which helped contribute to the influx of German and English immigrants into the community.
The Review had a circulation of 1,200 at that time, all printed in Denison on a steam press. Previously, the newspaper had used "filler" sent from larger city newspapers.
By 1889, four newspapers were being published in Denison - two in English (Denison Bulletin by H. A. Cook and Denison Review by J. Fred Meyers and C. K. Meyers) and two in German (Der Democrat by Frank Faul and Der Zeitung by H. F. Harthun).
Since the late 1800's the Bulletin and Review have changed hands many times. By 1954, the Denison Bulletin and Denison Review were being published under the umbrella of one publishing company.
The owners of the company at that time, Jack DeGard and Mark Kramer, were killed in an airplane crash in 1954. Dick Knowles was asked in 1954 to run the newspaper by Mary DeGard and J. Alan Kramer. After first purchasing one-third of the newspaper, then one-half, an employee share-purchasing program was implemented in 1993 to buy out Knowles' remaining partner. The company became employee-owned.
In 1985, Today's Action was first published and is now distributed free in nine newspapers throughout western Iowa.
Mrs. B. R. Lyon launched the Denison AdVisor on January 22, 1934. The shopper began as a mimeographed sheet published four days each week and distributed free to homes in Denison. She used a World War I era mimeograph - a mimeoscope - stencil-cutting tools and a Royal typewriter. It was housed in the National Bank Building in Denison. Lyon employed eight carriers: Verl Bartlett, Archie Mahoney, Judd Lowman, Hubert Lind, Bill Shipley, Bill Carlyle, Norman Luvaas and Mearl Luvaas. After several weeks of publication, Norman Luvaas' art ability took him off the delivery route to type stencils and draw the illustrations for advertisements.
In 1936, Albert Hogan of Vail purchased the company and Clair Hogan became the manager. Two years later, he sold the business to Norman Luvaas. The paper became a family enterprise, as Mearl Luvaas became a jack-of-all-trades, selling advertising, cutting stencils and cranking off the papers from the hand fed and hand cranked Mimeograph.
When paper, ink and supplies became a problem during World War II and the Korean War, the paper was interrupted. During WWII, Mearl joined the Army Air Corps, and Norman closed the office and joined the Army as an aviation cadet.
Following WWII, an offset press was installed in the AdVisor's print shop, allowing for better quality printing and illustrations.
The Korean War brought back supply issues. Norman and Mearl had remained with the Air Force Reserves following WWII, and both were recalled to active duty for 18 months. In 1952, the AdVisor resumed publication.
Denison Newspapers purchased the AdVisor name from Norman Luvaas in 1988 and began printing the publication in the Denison Newspapers’ facilities.
Mearl worked for the Denison Bulletin & Review, selling advertising for the AdVisor and other publications, from 1988 to 2002. Although retired, Mearl continues to write a column, "Thoughts by the old guy" for the Denison Bulletin and Denison Review.
Throughout the years, the various mergers and buyouts produced the current company, which now publishes the Denison Bulletin, Today's Action, Crawford County AdVisor, each Tuesday; and the Denison Review each Friday, Iowa Farm & Ranch each month and two websites called Agnet and Midlands Auctions.
In 1998, a Colorado firm purchased the Denison Newspapers. Midlands Newspapers Inc., a subsidiary of the Omaha World-Herald, purchased the company in November 1999.
In 2005, our newspapers began to be printed at a Southwest Iowa Newspaper press in Papillion, Nebraska, affording greater color and page capabilities.
And in 2011, Midlands Newspapers and the Omaha World-Herald were purchased by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., owned by Warren Buffett, and have become a part of the BH Media Group. The group now contains 29 daily and more than 60 weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida - and is continuing to grow.
Iowa Farm & Ranch
In the fall of 2007, our newspaper began publishing Iowa Farm & Ranch, an exciting monthly publication targeting Iowa's strong agriculture base. Each monthly issue of Iowa Farm & Ranch has timely articles about issues important to Iowa's farmers.
Iowa Farm & Ranch is distributed monthly to more than 23,500 of the largest farmers in all 47 western Iowa counties from Interstate I-35 west to the Missouri River, from the Minnesota border south to the Missouri border. A quarterly statewide issue is distributed to all of the top farmers in Iowa. For more information, go to www.IowaFarmAndRanch.com.