This week’s edition of the Bloomer Advance marks the start of the 136th year for the paper.
According to the Annotated Catalogue Of Newspaper Files In The Library Of The State Historical Society Of Wisconsin printed in 1898, in July 1880 George L. Jones published the first newspaper in Bloomer. He called the paper the Bloomer Workman and his wife Jenny did most of the editing.
Jones ran the paper until May 1886 when, “outfit then sold to Cook & Schultz to establish Bloomer Advance. Jones moved to Chippewa Falls and restyled the Workman to the Chippewa Falls Workman.
The Advance has been continuously published to this day under a successive number of publishers. From June–Oct. 1886 by HC Schultz with WH Cook, then by a man named Rotch until July 1887.
From July1887 to 1897 the weekly was published by F.O. Wesner, H.A. VanDlsem, E.N. Bowers and, in 1897, F.E. Andrews took the reins and held that position until 1946 when the paper was sold to Wm. Ender of Durand. Ender owned and operated it until June 1, 1947 when Alfred Bauer, Sr. and Gerald “Tib” Rassbach purchased it.
In January of 1948, Alfred C. and William T. Bauer joined the firm along with their parents. Al and Bill purchased the newspaper from their parents later and it was managed by them until the late 1960’s when Al purchased it on his own.
Al and his wife, Alice owned the paper until December 1, 1986 when they sold their interests to Don Bell of Ladysmith. Al stayed on at his post of publisher, managing the plant for Bell until 2001 when publishing duties were transitioned to Bell’s daughter Mary Sarno who had joined the Advance staff in 1999. Sarno purchased the paper in 2002.
In 2006 the Bloomer Advance went through another transition when Sarno, who was interested in pursuing other ambitions, sold the paper to her brother Jim Bell, of Barron, who also owns the Barron News-Shield, Ladysmith News and Chetek Alert. Bell named News-Shield employee, Barry Hoff, to the position of editor and general manger.