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T. E. Booth
Born 11 February 1842


There are few men whose lives are crowned with the honor and respect which is uniformly accorded to T. E. Booth, for through more than a half century's connection with Anamosa's history his record has been characterized by all that makes for honorable manhood and progressive citizenship. With him success in life has been reached by his sterling qualities of mind and a heart true to every manly principle. The record is uneventful if judged by the standard of exciting experiences, et his influence has not been a latent factor in the life of the community but rather a steady moving force which has wrought for general progress and advancement. He is known in journalistic circles throughout the state as the proprietor of the Anamosa Eureka. He set his first line of type in the office of which he is now the owner.
His father, Edmund Booth, was at one time the owner of the Eureka, and when he passed away at the age of ninety-four years he was the oldest editor in America and the oldest teacher of the deaf, probably, in the world, He was himself a semi-mute, for though he could speak he could not hear, and his wife was both deaf and dumb. Their marriage license is the first one recorded in Jones county, Iowa, having been issued in 1840. Their son, T. E. Booth, was born February 11, 1842, in Fairview township, and has since lived within its borders save for a period of less than two years. His early education was acquired in common schools of the most ordinary kind, and even then his opportunities were limited because of the necessity for his labor on the farm. His ambition, however, was not in agricultural lines, but tended toward the printer's trade and he served a three years' apprenticeship in the office of the Eureka, which had been established in the fall of 1856 by John E. Lovejoy, a brother of the distinguished orator and Illinois congressman, Owen Lovejoy, and also of Elijah Lovejoy, who was killed at Alton, Illinois, because of his advocacy of anti-slavery sentiments. The new paper had little support and proved such a disheartening enterprise that Mr. Lovejoy sold it to C.L.D. Crockwell, a local druggist, a few weeks after it was started. In January, 1858, Matt Parrott, a job printer of Davenport, Iowa, purchased a half interest in the paper and was local editor and foreman when Mr. Booth began his apprenticeship. "The first thing he did on that day so eventful to us," writes Mr. Booth in the Eureka many years afterward, "was to bring forth a big box of nonpareil pi, probably a half peck of small legal matter type that some printer unluckily spilled out of a case. Mr. Parrott set a line to show which side up the nicks should be and turned the stick over to us. Another boy, Douglas, son of Mr. Crockwell, started at the same time. He soon tired of the job and quit."
The Eureka at that time had a circulation of four hundred, including exchanges, but it had little advertising patronage and its main source of support came from the sheriff sales, original and probate notices and the tax list after the county went republican in 1859. Not long after Mr. Booth became connected with the paper his father purchased a part of Mr. Crockwell's interest in the Eureka, of which practically he had been the editor from the first. The equipment of the plant included a Washington press but there was no job press, the hand press being used to print the few little "jobs" that were brought to them. For his apprenticeship Mr. Booth was to receive thirty dollars for the first year, forty-five dollars for the second year and sixty dollars for the third. but such was the financial outlook of the paper that during the three years he did not receive, perhaps, more than ten dollars in cash with the smallest possible allowance for clothing. During the second summer he and Mr. Parrott set up and printed the paper without any other help. His apprenticeship concluded, he spent twenty months in an eastern academy and then returned to take his place in the office of the Eureka. Since that time he has been continuously connected with the paper, doing every kind of work in the office, mechanical, business and editorial. He had thought in early youth to some day become connected with a metropolitan establishment, but fate decreed otherwise and he has remained in the Eureka office, which has been owned by the Booths for more than four decades. The Eureka has always been an example of clean journalism, characterized by progressiveness in keeping with the advancement that has characterized the country press. Its columns have been used to advocate all measures and movements which has had for their object the betterment of municipal or county interests and in the discussion of state and national policies its tone has been no uncertain one, yet with none of the bitter aggressiveness or partisanship that is too often seen in the local press. Mr. Booth is himself a fair-minded man, capable of looking at the question from an unprejudiced standpoint and his advocacy of any issue or principle has been sufficient to win for it other followers on account of the public confidence felt in his judgment.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 184.

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