With this issue, the Tribune Press Reporter is starting its 127th year of continuous publication. Over those 126 years the name of the paper has been changed a number of times.
This newspaper was started by a firm called Hunting and Cone in 1889. They called the newspaper the “Glenwood Gleaner”. A couple of years later, C. J. Augustine purchased the newspaper and changed the name to the Glenwood Tribune and when Glenwood become a city, the name of this newspaper was changed to Glenwood City Tribune. In 1984 the Tribune merged with the Boyceville Press Reporter and the name was changed to Tribune Press Reporter.
For most of the 20th century the Tribune Press Reporter was located in a building in the two-hundred block of East Oak Street, about where the Parking lot of the Mayo Clinic is now located. When the clinic purchased the property in 2000, a new building was constructed on Misty Court and has been the home of the Tribune Press Reporter since.
The way the newspaper was printed has changed several times over the past 126 years. First, all the printed matter of the newspaper was done by hand set letters. One letter at a time was assembled and placed into a frame and printed with a hand press.
A cylinder press was installed in the early years that allowed the Glenwood City Tribune to print a four-page paper.
An invention in 1884, by Ottmar Mergenthaler, called the Linotype, changed all that. His invention was to that time what the invention of the computer is in today’s world. Setting material for a newspaper was speeded up by at least seven times and improvement in presses made for the larger press runs with many pages on a daily basis.
It was not until 1929 that the Tribune received its first Linotype and it was used until 1976 in the publication of the Tribune. A Linotype used molten lead to cast a line of type that was used in the printing of a newspaper. That first Linotype is on display and producing type during the annual run of the Minnesota State Fair. It is at the Minnesota Newspaper Museum in the 4-H building.
That all changed in 1976, when the newspaper changed from what is called letterpress printing to offset printing. The term offset is in reference to the way the printing press works. A thin medal plate is made with an image that is right reading and the image is inked and then it is transferred to a rubber blanket on a cylinder and offset onto the sheet of paper.
The way this newspaper was composed has changed in many ways over the years. From hand set type to Linotype to right reading material on photographic paper that was pasted on the layout sheet and a photo was taken and the negative of that page was exposed onto a plate. Now, all the material is done on a computer and electronically sent to the printing press.
Ross DeWitt and his wife Lucille, purchased the Tribune in 1952 and it has been a family enterprise ever since. In 1997 the DeWitt family purchased the Colfax Messenger and operate that as a separate newspaper.