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Rosewater, Edward

Edward Rosewater (1841-1906) is best remembered in Nebraska as the editor and publisher of the Omaha Bee. Always aggressive and controversial, he was also influential in politics as one of the leaders of the state Republican Party. His associate editor, William E. Annin, described Rosewater's hard-driving personality in the June 19, 1889, issue of the Bee:

"Mr. Rosewater was par excellence the all-around man of the [Bee] establishment. He seemed to have obtained the secret of two of the attributes of Deity, he was omnipresent and apparently omniscient. He wrote heavy editorials and pungent editorial paragraphs; contributed local political news to the city page, clipped selections for the news columns, selected items for those startling chestnuts dubbed 'Connubial Bliss,' 'Peppermint Drops' and 'Honey for the Ladies,' regulated the business office a dozen times a day, and took subscriptions on the streets and advertising contracts from the merchants. I used to think his only sorrow was that he had not in addition been born a steam engine so that he could run the presses. . . .

"In addition to his ordinary duties above named, he constantly developed strong interest in local politics, and always had a dozen fights and twice that number of ward politicians on his hands. On city or county election days, The Bee office was usually depopulated and every man, from editor down, after rushing in copy, early took a whirl at the polls. After a hard day's work on election day, followed by an all night session in collecting returns, the editor would bob up serenely at 9 o'clock the next morning with his arm full of exchanges and his mouth full of suggestions about the paper, . . .

"His indomitable energy, his uncompromising persistency and his invincible pluck were at once the wonder and admiration of the office. . . . Overworked himself, he took his own high tension as the norm of work, and found it difficult to understand why all of his employees could not endure cheerfully the same racking. This made him often very unpleasant as an employer, but it disciplined his employees, who found no difficulty elsewhere in more than attaining the level of work of other offices."

(September 2001)

 

 

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