Apr 24 May 8 May 15
May 22 May 29 June 5
June 12 June 19 July 3


Banner and ad from the 1903 Fairwater Register


The Fairwater Register.
Village of Fairwater, Wisconsin


Every Friday from 1903 to 1905, Elmer L. Howe published Fairwater's only newspaper. Subscriptions at $1.00 for a full year; 5 cents per copy, began with the inaugural issue of April 24, in which Howe expressed his hopes for the paper and his reasons for launching it:

For the past year or more the enterprising business men of this village have, on various occasions, pointed out the necessities of a weekly newspaper at this place, till at last we concluded to risk the venture. The Register, we trust, has come to stay, though much of its success or failure lies with you, dear reader. There are two things essential in the publication of a newspaper. The leading one is the ability of the management to make the financial ends meet, which rests largely on the liberality of the business men of the city or village in which the paper is published. Therefore, we have placed confidence in the progressive people of this village and firmly believe they will, as we know they can, produce the patronage that will make this paper a financial success. On the other hand, we shall ever strive to so conduct the publication that every dollar paid in by our patrons will return to them in the channels of increased trade that will tell in unmistakable tones in the years to come. Trusting that all who are interested in the upbuilding and progression of Fairwater will co-operate with us in producing the very best local paper possible, and that we may ever merit your hearty approval by fair and honest methods in furthering interests, we remain
Yours truly,
E. L. Howe,

The paper used a 7-column format. Beginning with the second issue, the outer two columns along each edge of the front page were used for advertisements. Beginning with the third issue, when the paper assumed its regular format, the top of column three identified the paper, its editor, subscription rates, and the location of the newspaper office in the "Tinkham Block," as illustrated to the right. The first two of the middle columns were devoted to local news and social "observations," while the third predominantly offered smaller advertisements, including railroad announcements from "The NorthWestern Line."

The Register mixed local and area news items interchangeably with social news, announcements, state and national news, and a variety of filler. Little investigative reporting appeared in the paper, suggesting that the editor had other interests beyond his Fairwater publication (he was, in fact, also the editor of the Ripon paper). Howe mixed his social and political commentary freely with other items, often ending a news item with a brief editorial statement. Social news from the area's communities appeared under banners that included "Eldorado", "Green Lake", "Our Observations" (Fairwater), "Ripon Items", "Rosendale," and "West Rosendale."

A microfilm collection of The Fairwater Register is available in the Wisconsin State Historical Society library in Madison (Call No. P83-7525).

Last updated 3/8/1999 This site represents an ongoing effort to collect information related to the history of the town of Metomen and the village of Fairwater. If you have information to share about The Fairwater Register, please contact Bob Schuster by email at rmschust@facstaff.wisc.edu or at 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, Wisconsin 53716 (608) 221-1421.