Many interesting news items and advertisements were found while reading the 12 pages of each issue of the small tabloid style weekly newspaper, printed on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper that was subscribed to for $1.00 per year, published every Friday.
"Our Introductory Greeting" [in part]: "Our Souvenir is born in the newspaper field among the interesting daily and weekly publications of our county and Northern Indiana, which have given this sheet an inspiration of life and the association with which works an impetus that within a reasonable time will place our paper in the ranks of its fellows." Thought to have been written by Mr. Dwyer, the greeting also told about their politics, views, goals and purpose.
Schuyler Colfax Dwyer, orator, publisher, lawyer and politician (1869-1953) (his name and fame shown in over two dozen "Pioneer History" stories), son of John M. Dwyer and Cornelia A. (Clark) Dwyer, was well known for decades in south Lake County as well as in Hammond where he lived for some time. His father taught school in Lowell soon after the Civil War, where he served in the army and was wounded twice, losing a leg. Schuyler's mother, Cornelia, was the daughter of 1837 Lowell pioneer Jabez Clark, one of our early founders. Dwyer married Sylvia Bacon, daughter of Dr. E.R. Bacon. After the deaths of Doctor and Mrs. Bacon, Schuyler and Sylvia lived in the mansion on the northwest corner of Commercial Avenue and Fremont Street, now the site of the Cornerstone Restaurant.
Elmer E. Ragon (1862-1939), managing editor of the Souvenir was also editor of the Lowell Tribune from 1893 until 1897 when he sold out to H.H. and L.W. Ragon. He worked for many other newspapers in the area, including those in Hammond and Gary and also was a rural mail carrier near Lowell and partnered with Dwyer for a few years before selling out to E.E. Woodcock.
The subscriber of the little newspaper was Thomas Powell, the name hand-written on the top of the front pages. He was a grandfather of Carl Dorsey Ruley, long time well known Lowell resident, now deceased, and greatly missed.
While reading the interesting stories in the first issue of Volume One, the Old Timer had a great interest in a story about Dr. E.R. Bacon which gave us some more exact dates: "Within the springtime of 1865, Dr. E.R. Bacon, M.D., first flung his shingle to the public as a practicing physician and surgeon over Andrew Moore's furniture store on present site of Reiser and Nolan property in Lowell, then a small village of 300 population. In the spring of 1867 he opened a drug store on the site of G.W. Waters' block [now Colfax Lodge building], and moved his office into same. Four years later  he moved his stock into a [frame] building which was located on the Death Hardware site [the northwest corner of Commercial and Clark]. One year later  he sold one-half interest in drug store to William Sigler and about 1873 exchanged remaining interest to Elihu Griffin who removed stock to Crown Point. In 1874 he built his present residence [on the northwest corner of Commercial and Fremont] and established his office therein." These were the words of his son-in-law Mr. Dwyer.
About a cigar factory in Lowell: "Isaac Propp, Cigar Manufacturer" -- "Every up to date town must have a cigar factory and we are by no means behind the times in that respect. Mr. Propp is located over Burnham Hardware Store in the Hack Block [East Commercial Avenue] and is running as trim a factory as is found anywhere. He is making good five and ten cent cigars." The Burnham Hardware became the Fred W. Schmal Hardware in 1918 and was the site of the Lowell Post Office for several years (next door east of Methodist Resale Shop).
March 1, 1901 -- "Spindler & Pletcher, Merchants" -- "In the Opera House Block on Commercial Ave [northeast corner of Commercial and Mill] is established a large general department store. They have been in this business since March 14, 1898, at which time they succeeded J.H. Spindler on the burned site [the big fire of 1898] just adjoining the Opera House on the east. In the matter of prices they will defy competition." Many remember the opera house building as the Fry's store, demolished by fire in 1976.
March 1, 1901 -- M.A. Halsted's Trip -- "Melvin A. Halsted has returned from his extensive trip looking the picture of health. Not one mishap did he have, save losing his cane, but another was given him. Mr. Halsted went from here about three months ago, first to Topeka, where he visited his son, William and family. From there to Ogden, Utah visiting his brother's son and family. From thence to San Francisco where he visited Charlie Allman." [He then visited old friends at Los Angeles, traveled on to Texas, to old Mexico, then to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras, then was ready for a good rest at his Lowell home -- now the Halsted House Museum, where the Applefest will be held from 10 to 4 on Sat., October 6, 2007.]
The following advertisements appear on the back page of the first issue:
-- "Modern Mexico uses Studebaker Wagons -- The day of the Bullock cart is past -- for over fifty years the standard for quality and durability -- Emil Sirois, Lowell Indiana." [His shop was at the present site of the Superior Furniture Store.]
-- "COMING! FIFTY PEOPLE STRONG! THE GUS SUN MINSTRELS, -- Grand spectacular transformation. Fifty all star artists. Two great bands and symphony orchestra. Grand street parade. Lowell Opera House, March 9," .
-- "Subscribe for the Lowell Indiana Souvenir and the Weekly Inter Ocean. Both papers one year for only $1.25."
Many more interesting stories taken from the 1901 newspapers will appear in the October column.
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