The Boller family owes a big round of applause to The Daily Iowan – the student newspaper at The University of Iowa. It was The Daily Iowan that offered my dad, George Boller, his opportunity to return to Iowa City, making it our Boller home from 1966 until the time my parents passed in 1991 and 1994. Read more here.
The University Reporter (1868 – 1880) was the University of Iowa’s first publication. It began as a 16-page monthly paper in October of 1868.
In 1879, The Vidette (1879 – 1880) emerged as a rival paper. The two publications merged in September 1881 into The Vidette-Reporter (1881- 1901), a triweekly paper. The Vidette-Reporter eventually combined with The SUI Quill (1891 – 1901), a weekly literary publication, to form The Daily Iowan in 1901.
The Daily Iowan was owned by the student editors and was passed along each year to the next year’s student editor. This ended in 1916, when the student-faculty board formed The Daily Iowan Publishing Company. Along with the new ownership, The Daily Iowan moved to 28 South Clinton Street, (across street from Schaeffer Hall) and one year later (1917) moved again to offices in Close Hall at the intersection of Dubuque Street and Iowa Avenue.
In 1924, The Daily Iowan became a part of the Associated Press, and the School of Journalism was established and housed in Close Hall as well. Click here to read more about Close Hall.
George Gallup, creator of the Gallup poll, served as editor of The Daily Iowan in the early 1920’s. In 1984, Gallup was given the famed Iowa Award. Read more here.
On December 11, 1924, as University Hall (Jessup Hall) was opening, The Daily Iowan served as the initiator of the new name for the central campus, known then as University Square or The Five Spot. Here the DI announces a contest for students to rename their home. The winner? The Pentacrest. Click here to read more about the Pentacrest.
There was a period in the 1940’s when the paper was moved temporarily to East Hall (which was also known as Seashore Hall) because the second floor of Close Hall caught fire and was deemed too hazardous for occupation. During that time, printing was done on the presses of the Iowa City Press-Citizen. After Close Hall was renovated, printing returned to Close Hall, while The Daily Iowan newsroom and the School of Journalism remained in East Hall in a newly-added wing.
On March 23, 1953, the offices of The Daily Iowan moved with the School of Journalism to the Communications Center on Madison Street, while the printing operation remained in the basement of Close Hall until 1968. My dad, George Boller, came to Iowa City during those early days (1954) to switch careers, learning the fine art of printing from SUI. Read more here.
George’s new printing job with The Daily Iowan was in the basement of old Close Hall until 1968. I got my first job here (custodian) when I was a sophomore at City High.
In the summer of ’68, the D.I. combined all of its printing operations into a newer building near the corner of Madison & Burlington Street, where The Lindquist Center stands today. All of the staff – including the custodian – had the fun job of helping move all of the heavy-duty printing equipment onto moving trucks. A big job, indeed. Read more about George Boller’s Daily Iowan adventure here.
(M-0098) Letterpress Printers Plate – The Great Seal of the State of Iowa. Here’s a great example of the type of work my dad did in the newspaper business. As a printer, preparing a page for The Daily Iowan, he’d bring together lines of type that made up each story, and then also insert pictures and graphics as well. Every piece, back in the day, was cast in lead and reversed, of course, so a good printer had to be very efficient in reading everything backwards. This small Great Seal of Iowa letterpress plate is a good example of the literally dozens of separate pieces that needed to come together in assembling just one page of a newspaper like you see below.
Certainly, a lost art now that the printed page has pretty much been replaced with on-line communications. Yet today, when one gathers graphics (i.e. jpgs, gifs, etc.) and pulls together a webpage, the assembly concept is pretty much the same . . . except now-a-days you don’t have to read things d-r-a-w-k-c-a-b! Click here to read more about the history of newspapers in Iowa.
Here’s a tip of the old hat to The Daily Iowan – may you continue “serving the University of Iowa and the People of Iowa City” for many more decades!
Kudos to the amazing resources below for the many quotes, photographs, etc. used on this page.
Bidding farewell to The Daily Iowan’s old home in the Communications Center, Marissa Payne, The Daily Iowan, September 19, 2019
Johnson Announces He Won’t Run, The Daily Iowan, April 1, 1968
Visit the University of Iowa School of Journalism’s timeline of student journalism.
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