Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

Richard W. Lee


In 1913 a 14-year-old South Dakota native walked into the local weekly newspaper office and applied for the position of "printer's devil." The teenager was hired. Edward Hofer's career, which has spanned more than 70 years, touched four southeastern South Dakota communities and included the responsibilities of editor/publisher at The Lennox Independent for more than 50 years. The journalist worked through two world wars, the 1930s depression, periods of prosperity, and great changes and advances in technology. The focus of this paper will be on a journalist/businessman supplying a community service--newspaper and job printing--for more than half a century in the same community. This thesis should give a better understanding of the role of a South Dakota weekly newspaper editor in the 20th century. The story of Hofer's life and work in the field of printing and journalism is representative of a small-town editor's struggle to exist and succeed. His story shows the work of one editor maintaining the only formal channel of communication in the area and keeping a community informed about news and events for more than a half century. Thomas F. Barnhart described a typical weekly editor in his 1936 book, Weekly Newspaper Management. The description could have been Hofer. He concerns himself primarily with the constructive side of commun1ty activities, reporting significant and insignificant news reliably, fairly, and interestingly. His paper thrives because of the curiosity of its readers which may be explained as a desire to know more about the lives of neighbors and friends. Hofer was a publisher recording news when South Dakota was entering its 35th year of statehood. As South Dakota approached the centennial mark of statehood, Hofer was still active in the printing and news business. The study of Hofer's career will provide an historical overview of printing and journalism in rural mid-America. Hofer's story spans nearly three-fourths of a century. The paper will also provide the author with a better understanding of journalism in her hometown and will provide the historians in Lennox and Lincoln County with a carefully researched biography of a long-time resident and newspaper editor. This paper will provide a summary of the history of The Lennox Independent and a biography of Edward Hofer. The paper will examine Hofer's efforts to make the newspaper a profitable business through the supplement of income from the commercial printing business, especially the commercial carnival job business. The paper will also record how Edward Hofer used The Lennox Independent to promote the Lennox Municipal Band.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Hofer, Edward
Journalists -- South Dakota -- Biography
The Lennox Independent (S.D.)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State