Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Friday, May 27, 2016

Daily Press

Menasha Press Office, 1898
February 11, 1974, Neenah-Menasha Daily Northwestern
I know I've mentioned it before but there is a lot of great historical information out there just free for the taking.  Case in point, this wonderful "souvenir" edition of the June 1898 Menasha Press which gives a terrific snapshot of the city in that year.  As the article above states, it was part promotional tool as well as descriptive in nature.  There are many period illustrations and photographs as well.  This newspaper pre-dates George Banta's publishing business and touts him as a local insurance man, with only a mere mention of the side printing business he utilized for his insurance company needs.  City benefactor Elisha D. Smith would, later that year, donate the public library to the city in October.  And the Spanish-American War was in full swing, so patriotic fervor for that crisis was evident. 

All in all, it is a nice primer of the city in 1898 and is available at the following link:


  1. Growing up in Menasha, the city always had a reputation for its large Polish population. Yet, as I perused the half centennial book, there was hardly a Polish name to be found. Do you know when the Poles arrived in Menasha?

  2. The Poles started coming to Wisconsin in the 1870's as farmers. And later, with the rise of the industries, they moved into the cities and entered the paper mill work force and in other plants in the 1880's. As of the date of this document, 1898, more than likely they weren't mentioned because they were still at the lower end of the social and economic ladder and would not have had stores, businesses, etc. until sometime later.