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Shearer, B.H.



  • Existence: 1881-1970


Brainard Hayes Shearer (1881-1970) was born and raised in Ida Grove, Iowa. He graduated from high school in 1902 and attended Drake University for one year. He taught school in Ida County from 1904 to 1907, when he decided to become a printer and traveled to take jobs in South Dakota and Pennsylvania. In 1909, B.H. Shearer moved to Columbus Junction, Iowa, where he purchased the Columbus Gazette from Mrs. O.I. Jamison. In 1924, he purchased the Columbus Safeguard, which he then incorporated into the Gazette. During the 1920s, Shearer also published a small church newspaper, The Blessed Truth, which had a worldwide circulation of about 3,000 copies each month. B.F. Shearer was also the publisher of the Iowa Union Farmer and the Illinois Union Farmer. He worked closely with Milo Reno who acted as editor-in-chief of the Iowa Union Farmer. Reno was the president of the Farmers Union and the leader of the Farmers Holiday movement. The Iowa Union Farmer was also edited for a while by H.R. Gross, who later went on to be a longtime member of U.S. House of Representatives. Shearer was very active in community affairs. He was a member of the Columbus Junction school board for nearly twenty-five years, was president of the Columbus Junction chapter of the American Red Cross, was a member of the Masonic Lodge, and was the superintendent of the Columbus Junction Methodist Episcopal Church Sunday school for thirty-two years. In county matters he was a member of the Board of Social Welfare of Louisa County and was treasurer of the Louisa County chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. In 1941, the governor appointed him to the Louisa County Defense Council. As a Democrat, Shearer acted as the Louisa County Chairman during Woodrow Wilson's administration. B.H. Shearer was honored with many awards over the years. He was given a community-wide appreciation dinner by the Business and Professional Women's Club and the businessmen of Columbus Junction and he was honored by the Press Columnists of Iowa. In 1952, he received the Iowa Master Editor Publisher Award. At the time of his death in 1970, B.H. Shearer had had the distinction of being the editor-publisher of a weekly newspaper in Iowa under the same name and location for over sixty years.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

B.H. Shearer Papers

Identifier: MsC0242

Newspaperman in Columbus Junction, Iowa. Journals, correspondence, business records, and subject files relating to his life and career as the editor and publisher of the Columbus Gazette and as the publisher of the Iowa Union Farmer. Subject files include topics ranging from the Iowa Union Farmer to the Louisa County Fair.

Dates: 1901-1969