The first newspaper in Iowa City was issued on June 10, 1841. The Iowa City Standard was this weekly’s name – leaning politically toward the Whig and Republican party. Six months later – December 6, 1841 – The Iowa Capitol Reporter was in print as well – a Democratic-slanted paper – just to make everything equal!
The editors of these two Iowa City papers – Thomas Hughes and William Crum – were hard-nosed newspaper men during the earliest days of Iowa City. Crum, who teamed up with W.D. Bailey from Bloomington, is credited with starting The Standard, and Hughes was quick to follow, teaming with V.P. Van Antwerp, to roll out The Capitol Reporter.
Sadly, very few copies of Crum’s first edition seem to have survived, but we do know that one of The Standard’s top stories during those first few months of publication happened only ten days later – June 20, 1841 – when Captain Dan Jones steered The Ripple up the Iowa River, becoming the very first steamboat to dock in Iowa City.
And of course, the biggest news story of all came in December 1841 when the Iowa State Legislature finally made the big move from Burlington to Iowa City. On December 6, Iowa City “officially” became the new Territorial capital and both The Standard and The Capitol Reporter were there to cover the story.
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