Among the foremost newspaper enterprises in Allamakee county and, in fact one which has a large influence in
four counties and throughout the state, is the Iowa Volksblatt, a weekly journal printed in the German language
at Postville. This paper is a great favorite with the sons of the fatherland located in this section and the citizens
of German descent and is Loused in a finely equipped office, having a wide circulation, including a large number
of readers in Germany. The Volksblatt was established in 1892, by the Rev. John Gass, and later was edited by Dietsch
& Lechler, Mr. Dietsch becoming the sole proprietor in 1895. In 1908 it was purchased by the present owners,
Paul Ronneburger and Samuel Hoesly, under whose management the paper has enjoyed a history of uninterrupted success
and prosperity. Although an important factor in promoting public progress and advancing the interests of the section
in which it circulates, it is independent in politics and devotes its attention largely to the news of Postville
and the four counties in which its readers are located.
The senior member of the firm, Paul Ronneburger, is a German born and bred, having first seen the light of day
in the capital of the empire, Berlin. He enjoyed the splendid and thorough educational advantages of the German
public schools, attended the printers' trade school and became an expert in the printers' art in the fatherland.
The year 1892 marks his advent in America, where he worked at his trade in Milwaukee, being for a time employed
in the office of the Vorwaerts, the well known paper edited by ex-Congressman Victor Berger. After seven years
in Milwaukee, Mr. Ronneburger worked for one year with the Bellville (Texas) Wochenblatt and then became connected
with the Banner at Mayville, Wisconsin, and subsequently with the Green County Herold of Monroe, that state. It
was here that he met his future partner, Samuel Hoesly, and the two young men then decided to strike out for themselves,
purchasing the Iowa Tolksblatt.
In 1903 Mr. Ronneburger paid a visit to the old country and on October 26, 1910, he was married to Miss Margarete
Versinger, of Berlin, Germany. Mr. Ronneburger is an ideal newspaper man, a forceful writer, an excellent business
man and a strong factor in his community.
Samuel Hoesly, the junior partner in the concern, is of Swiss descent, his father having come to America in 1848,
and via New Orleans and up the Mississippi, went to New Glarus, Wisconsin, where he made his home. It was in Clarno,
Wisconsin, on December 4, 1876, that Samuel Hoesly was born. He received an excellent public school education and
at the age of fifteen entered the office of the Green County Herold of Monroe, Wisconsin, where he learned every
branch of the printer's art, remaining with the one office from 1892 to 1908 with the exception of the time he
served with the First Wisconsin Volunteers during the Spanish-American war. At that time he was stationed at Jacksonville,
Florida, under the command of General Lee, and, in all he served eight years with the Wisconsin National Guard.
Mr. Hoesly was married March 9, 1912, to Miss Edna Brouillet, a young lady of French parentage. Mr. Hoesly is highly
accomplished in printer's work and has a decided talent for the artistic, the elements in the characters of both
partners and their accomplishments giving promise of a most successful future for the firm.
Past and Present of Allamakee County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievemant
By: Ellery M. Hancock
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Allamakee County, IA
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