Since 1847, the Daily Gate City has covered the news of the
Keokuk, Iowa area.
The daily newspaper's origins date back to Robert B. Ogden and
his brother, John, both of Ohio. When Iowa became a state in 1846,
John Ogden suggested they migrate to Iowa and establish a new
business. A friend suggested that they open a business in
On his way to Keosauqua, Robert Ogden saw the steamboat "Lucy
Bertram" bound for Keokuk. He had never heard of Keokuk, and the
officers on the boat recommended Ogden settle in Keokuk rather than
Keosauqua. When discussing his options of settling in Keosauqua or
Keokuk with an elderly passenger, Robert Ogden was advised to go
directly to Keosauqua. The passenger described Keokuk as "the
wickedest place in the United States." Robert Ogden, however,
decided to settle in Keokuk, but his first impressions of the city
left something to be desired.
"On reaching the Gate City of Iowa, I had a backset on my first
view of Rat Row--the entire front of Water Street--and no doubt
others have had the same experience," he wrote in his
Later, during a trip with a group of legislators from
Burlington, Ogden became convinced that his future was definitely
After arriving in Keokuk, Ogden had to wait for the ice on the
Mississippi River to break before he could take a steamboat to
Cincinnati, Ohio to buy type. Eventually, he reached St. Louis,
Missouri, took a boat to Cincinnati and spent a week buying the
type from the Cincinnati Type Foundry. There, he named the paper
"The Keokuk Register."
On May 26, 1847, the first issue of the Keokuk Register, the
predecessor of the Daily Gate City, was published. The Keokuk
Register was sold in 1849 to James B. Howell, owner of the Des
Moines Valley Whig. The Ogdens' decision to sell the Register was
based on two factors: the opening of a post office in Keokuk and
the arrival of competition in 1848 - the Keokuk Weekly Dispatch,
which was first published on May 20, 1848.
On March 3, 1854, the first issue of the daily paper bearing the
new name, Keokuk Daily Whig, was published. The Keokuk Daily Whig's
name changed to the Keokuk Daily Gate City on March 3, 1855.
The newspaper was incorporated for $75,000 on April 1, 1892, and
the corporation took over publishing the paper with Sam Clark
continuing as editor.
The Daily Gate City and Constitution Democrat were consolidated
in 1916 with C.F. Shirvin and Charles Warwick holding stock.
S.E. Carrell assumed controlling interest of the Daily Gate City
in 1925, becoming president and general manager. Dale Carrell
succeeded his father in 1927.
Richard Hoerner bought the paper from the Carrell family in the
mid-to-late 60s. McGiffin Newspapers (now known as Brehm
Communications) bought the Daily Gate City from Hoerner in
A remodeling project at the newspaper's 1016 Main location was
completed in 1997, with the Daily Gate City also taking on a whole
new look as a redesign was implemented, with a new flag, daily
process color and new headline type styles.