Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

145 W 2ND ST

Architecture and History Inventory
145 W 2ND ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:New Richmond News Building
Other Name:New Richmond News
Reference Number:47939
Location (Address):145 W 2ND ST
County:St. Croix
City:New Richmond
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1913
Survey Date:1983
Historic Use:small office building
Architectural Style:Commercial Vernacular
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: New Richmond News Building
National Register Listing Date:5/31/1988 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:Multiple Resources of New Richmond
Additional Information:The two story brick structure has a rectangular plan. It is 31' x 82'. The windows have been partially filled in or covered with energy efficient shutters. Window sills are stone as is a belt line and parapet top. There is corbel brickwork on the second story and 2 corner stones. One with the construction date and one with the date the paper was establiished. The building is substantially the same as when it was built. The window covering do no structurald or permanent disfigurement of the building. While the building retains its architectural integrity it is not significant because it has no outstanding styling or artistic values. It is simply a building built for newspaper publishing that has retained it basic character.

Abe Van Meter began the first paper in New Richmond "The St. Croix Republican" in September 1869. He was a printer from LaCrosse. Until his death in January 1899, he lived in New Richmond and was the papers editor. It was a 4 page paper with national and local news, gossip and front page ads. In 1899 there wer local papers, "The St. Croix Republican" and "The New Richmond Voice." The June 1899 tornado destroyed both of their offices and files for 100 years the Van Meter family owned and operated the paper. The conservative Republican outlook and editorials of the paper were consistant with those of New Richmond's. The papers development and editorial viewpoints parallel that of the city's. At the time the present structure was built the paper had bought out its competitors and was printing its own editions. Since then it has continued to grow and colsoslidate its hold on the local news market. The previous offices have been destroyed (& Van Meter's home was torn down).

This is the only building left that is associated with "The News", (its founding family) and the period when it was becoming the only source of printed information in the city. The building is significant because it reflects the period in the papers history when it was consolidating its position in the community as the single newspaper.

After this the papers merged and Franc AR Van Meter became the first editor. He was Abes son and had worked prior to this for "The St. Croix Republican" and the La Crosse Republican Leader. The new paper was called "The Republican Voice." A semi-weekly. Franc's brother C.H. VanMeter owned one quarter of the paper. The offices were on the NW corner of North Knowles Avenue and West First Steret. Space was shared with the New Richmond Roller Mills (now DoBoy and Domain, see SC31-8,9 & 25). The 2 story office building had clapboard exterior fabric and a parapet roofline. Windows were 2/2 with an entablature head. The paper was still 4 pages. It became more editorially conservative under Franc's leadership

In 1907 VanMeter - Welch printing was established to print the paper. Franc was President and also bought The New Richmond News at this time. The newspaper became known as the "New Richmond News and Republican Voice," a semi-weekly. A 1913 fire destroyed the Newspapers offices and for a time it was printed in Hudson, Wisconsin. A new two story brick building was begun in 1913. It was fireproof. More local reporting was done since national news could be read in Twin Cities papers. A magazine page with fashions, poems, etiquette and comics was begun. By 1922 Franc A.R. VanMeter was the sole owner (no Welch) and the paper had grown to 8 pages, with sports and farm news added. The depression years brought the papers size down to 4 pages. It was non-union and more state news was reported.

In 1942 Franc died and John A. VanMeter took over until his death in 1968. In 1942 the paepr became known as "The New Richmond News", now often called "The News." The conservative slant of the newspaper lessens at this point. The printing company ceased operation in 1957. From 1907-37 this was the only paper in New Richmond. The "St. Croix Leader" was published from 1937-51. In 1968 the paper was sold to R.L. Bradford. It is printed elsewhere.
Bibliographic References:Date of construction: on building. New Richmond Walking Tour brochure, 2000.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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