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Local - Business - Newspaper History - Index

Two births of Sussex Sun

Written by unknown Sussex Sun Staffer

It's flattering, really. Fred says some nice things about me in this column, and I have no way of knowing if the current editor will be big enough to let it go through, considering his name's not on the list. 

I don't think I would, just so you know, if I was still editing the Sussex Sun.  

Its bad marketing. 

But regardless, I've always liked Fred. He's an honest guy-- what you see is what you get. And, he's as friendly as any human being as any reason to be. 

One of my favorite Fred Stories:

I was going into the Village Hall in Sussex, and I saw Fred's red truck parked along side the building. 

He was sitting in it and giggling quietly to himself. I went over. Sitting next to him on the seat was a big box of matchbooks that he informed me he'd got from a local junk dealer for $6. 

Then, he handed me a cardboard toilet paper tube. A matchbook was tucked in one end of the tube and he'd written across the length of the tube: "Illinois FlashLight."

In the fog of time exact dates are not known, just approximate times can be figured out. According to Jim McLoone, the former owner and founder of the Sussex Sun coming into existence in the early 1960s. 

In talking with McLoone the year of 1964 seems to be the best available.

The original Sussex Sun was a free shopper-newspaper of four to eight pages. Early contributions were Don Curtis and Mrs. Ray Ehlers.

The earliest known Sussex Sun in existence today is a Feb. 4, 1965, copy that is displayed at the Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society. The big notable events in this keepsake is the charter meeting of the Sussex Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) receiving their charter (disbanded in 1986).

Other news items were the Sussex Sun offered classified ads for 50 cents per 10 words. The Lannon suburban SuperValue grocery store sold six cans of Campbell’s soup for $1 and 2 pounds of Saltines for 45 cents.

Also, Sussex Lumber offered double garages on a slab for $795. this included a double overhead door.

Art Manke was chairman of the Town of Lisbon. He lived where Bristol Court is today. The president of Sussex was John Karner and president of the new Jaycees was Glen Pugh.

Hughitt Hinderach was the owner of the old Hartland News and was responsible for taking over the Pewaukee Post, Delafield Gazette and combining them into what later became the Lake Country Reporter in 1954. He in turn sold out in the late 1950s to Marcus Hauck, who owned for six months then sold it to McLoone.

McLoone a Korean War veteran, with a background in small local newspapers in Iowa and Minnesota, grabbed a tiger and worked 60 hours a week to get it going. He added shoppers and other community newspapers with the Sussex Sun being one of his creations.

The Sussex Sun as a free shopper-small newspaper went on for a dozen years, until January 1976. At this point in time Hamilton High School was in the early part of the Ludka era of outstanding basketball teams. McLoone and his sports editor, Chuck Delsman, thought that the championship-bound Hamilton teams needed coverage.

According to a Oct. 12, 1993, feature by Jim Stevens: “Those familiar with the Sussex Sun know that Fred Keller has been involved in the publication for many years.

Keller broke into the Sun when Lake Country Reporter Sports Editor Chuck Delsman could not attend a Hamilton High School basketball game.

Delsman suggested they call Keller, who attended all the Hamilton games. Keller stayed on. Not only to do sports, but also features and his popular column, Bald Facts.”

In s short time he became a news reported photographer and sports editor.

Keller quickly asked McLoone, because it was 1976, the bicentennial year of the United States, if could he could publish local Sussex, Lisbon and Lannon historical features. McLoone asked where he would get the historical information and pictures. Keller said that he had been collecting local history since he was 14 years old, starting in 1946. McLoone said go ahead. Thus in April 1976 the very first Yesteryear in Sussex feature appeared, a 10-year anniversary piece on the April 26, 1966 “Instant Urban Renewal” story of the burning of the old, massive Sussex downtown general store.

Keller has now continued his Yesteryear (now labeled Retrospect column to this day, 30 years later, plus adding 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 years ago Memories column. He remained as sports editor until the 1990s.

In 1977 McLoone decided to go from a free shopper-newspaper to a paid circulation weekly. He made a deal with new subscribers that if they signed up for a subscription, they would get it for $2 a year and continue to get it for $2 a year for the next 10 years. There are still original subscribers that continued to get this deal as late 1987.

As a paid subscriber newspaper the Sussex Sun could now compete for the official advertising of the Hamilton School District and Sussex, Lisbon and Lannon. All four came on board in short order, adopting the Sussex Sun as their “official paper.”

The first paid Sussex Sun was printed Oct. 4, 1977, with a cost of 15 cents. The month of September 1977 was the last of the free Sussex Sun.

Just as the Sussex Sun was becoming an official newspaper Scott Peterson became the overall editor of the multi Lake Country Reporter combination of newspapers and is still in the honcho position today.

Keller who has put in 30 years with the Sun has worked under about 15-16 different Sun editors below Peterson. He rates Gabe Wollenberg, Erin Mellone, Sharon Korbeck and John Zebell as the best of the lot.

The Milwaukee Journal bought the Lake Country Reporter-Sussex Sun in 1990 when McLoone was given an offer he couldn’t refuse. The Milwaukee Journal put up a state-of-the-art printing plant and newspaper Reporter office in the Hartland Industrial lot a few years later.

Keller once gave this definition in his Bald Facts for a weekly newspaper, “A weekly newspaper is a weekly because it takes a whole week to get enough news to print a paper. Now the only reason subscribers buy it is to make sure the paper has it right.”

2006 finds that Pauline Haass Public Library has a complete collection of a bound-in hardcover set of Sussex Sun papers from 1976 to this past January, with a new book coming for the current 66 months being available in August.

Meanwhile, the Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society also has a complete set of hardbound books of copies from 1976 to present to back up the library inventory. Recently, library director Kathy Klager said that these back issues are often reviewed by library visitors.

Submitted for publication to the Sussex Sun for May 3, 2006.


A new look, a new name, a new approach - Same great content, but in improved package

Your favorite local newspaper has arrived with a new face, a new name and a new approach starting today.

Posted: December 16, 2008 Living Sussex Sun

 
Your favorite local newspaper has arrived with a new face, a new name and a new approach starting today.

Although you'll notice the biggest change on our front page, there are other changes throughout the paper that we hope will make your reading experience better than ever.

First, let's start with our approach. Starting today, the Lake Country Reporter and Oconomowoc Focus are sharing an edition on Tuesday. The new regional edition on Tuesday will include a mix of stories, but will especially feature content that has a broad range of interest. Each issue, a cover story will focus on a trend or topic that has interest across Lake Country, from Oconomowoc to Pewaukee and points in between.

"It's not uncommon for a reader in Oconomowoc to have grown up in Town of Delafield or for someone from Ixonia to work in Pewaukee. Our new edition breaks those walls down and the artificial barrier that once separated Oconomowoc and Lake Country have been displaced," said Editor-in-Chief Scott Peterson. "Our more regional focus will allow us to share some of the best features with both audiences and to look at issues and stories that shape and interest all of Lake Country."

We have also changed the titles of all of our publications so they share the same first name: Living. So, readers of the Lake Country Reporter will now be reading Living Lake Country Reporter. Oconomowoc Focus readers will now be reading Living Oconomowoc Focus. Those of you familiar with our Web site will notice that the new nameplates borrow the name and look of LivingLakeCountry.com and help make it clear to all that we are all part of the same media family.

All of the other newspapers in our group, with the exception of Waukesha Now, will also bear the new first name starting this week, including: Living Sussex Sun, Living Mukwonago Chief, Living Kettle Moraine Index and the two products that are included in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Living Lake Country Sunday and Living Kettle Moraine Sunday.

Here's a quick rundown of some of the other changes you might notice:

Digest look: The front page on Tuesdays will in many ways resemble an expanded table of contents. Some stories will appear on the cover with only a brief synopsis, directing you to the best stories on the interior pages of the paper, from news to sports. The tinted box above the address window will also promote items inside the paper, but for the first time will allow us to feature a recommended event in the community. Also in this left rail, pithy or insightful quotes will also be featured, directing readers to stories they might have overlooked.

Mailing label window: The front page window in the lower left corner is there for a reason, intended to meet new postal regulations restricting placement of the mailing label location in periodicals starting in spring. This label slot will also speed addressing in our mailing department and help ensure a prompter delivery.

Key pages keep local flavor: Although many of the interior pages on Tuesdays will be shared, the front page and a few other key pages will be unique to the Reporter and Focus readership area. This will allow us to customize our approach to spotlight stories of particular interest to readers in each community within the shared edition.

Hyperlocal Thursdays: As much as we have embraced a regional focus on Tuesdays, we remain committed to hyperlocal coverage with our Thursday editions. Community news columns, letters and other popular departments have been moved to Thursdays. In coming weeks, police coverage will also be tailored to this hyperlocal format.

Sports organization: Our readers have grown accustomed to bolder layouts on the front page of sports, but starting today, after the front page, readers will notice that for the first time coverage is grouped by high schools to help make it easier to find stories and photos of interest. In addition, emphasis in other sports areas will change to offer readers more concise coverage. Freshman and junior-varsity coverage will be presented in a format that should make it easier for readers to grasp key content at a glance.

Color throughout: In the Tuesday edition, readers should notice that color is now available on every page. Heads have been redesigned to take advantage of this color, and color photos and advertising will be more numerous.

Cleaner nameplate: Our new nameplates have a crisper, more modern look that also incorporate the sailboat from our recently recreated Lake Country Publications logo. The cleaner look will also allow for more dynamic front-page layouts in which art and photography will no longer be confined to the area under the nameplate, but can now rise up behind the nameplate when the design calls for it.

New magazines: In the weeks ahead, two national feature magazines will also be included in our paid newspapers once a month, Relish and Spry. Relish will focus on food, cooking and nutrition, while Spry will concentrate on health and fitness. Spry will appear the first week of the month. Relish will appear the third week.


 

Advertising illustrates historic difference of Sussex Sun from 1973 to paper today

Recently Sussex resident Paul Jushka donated a dog-eared, 20-page copy of the April 11, 1973 Sussex Sun to the Sussex Lisbon Area Historical Society (SLAHS). The SLAHS has a complete collection of Sussex Suns from 1976 through today all bound in hard covers and ready for research. The Sussex Sun was initiated in the mid-1960s as a free newspaper/advertiser. It became more of a newspaper in 1976 and by 1977 it was the official newspaper of Hamilton, Sussex and Lisbon as it became a paid paper for 5 cents a copy or $2 for a year's subscription with home delivery.

Notable about the April 11, 1977 Sussex Sun was its front page cartoon that showed a supposed boxing match between the Sussex Village President and the Town of Lisbon Chairman. It referred to the recent 705-acre annexation by the village.

At the time, the Sussex Village President was Paul Fleischmann while the Lisbon Chairman was Marvin E. Burg. In the cartoon Lisbon is represented by the Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev while the Village of Sussex boxer is Mr. Everyman/or Nobody. It was the continuation of the village verses the town that actually goes back to 1842 and then was intensified by the incorporation of Sussex in 1924.

Now back to the April 11, 1973 Sussex Sun. Sussex-Lisbon was just recovering from a 16 ½ inch snowfall on April 9. There was a feature on the Sussex Fire Department under then-new Chief Norman "Peper" Steffen being on duty in the fire house during the snow storm. The fire/rescue had multiple calls with several people conveyed to the Menomonee Falls Hospital for snowmobile injuries. There was also a pregnant woman taken to the hospital. Snowmobilers assisted the fire department as there was a mutual aid call for a big tavern fire on the south end of Pewaukee Lake that saw the crew and truck respond and put in three hours on the fire scene. Steffen stated, "We had a lot of snowmobilers on standby for us all night and they were a great help. They picked up a lot of (snow) stranded motorists and brought them to town."

The 20-page Sussex Sun had 17 pages of advertising. Some of the advertising is notable. Miller's Grocery Store in Lannon had these bargains. A dozen oranges for 49 cents, celery for 29 cents for a bunch, sliced bacon for 79 cents a pound and a three-pound Hills Bros. can of coffee for $2.66.

Meanwhile the Haerle-Cullen Village Shoe Shop in Sussex was being run by Orval and Marion Cullen. They carried shoes made in Theinsville and La Crosse but their specialty was shoe repair. The Farmers & Merchants Bank in Lannon and Sussex (today Associated Bank) had free checking if you carried a $50 checking account balance. Then they went on to advertise what $50 would buy in April of 1973. "50 hours of baby sitting, 55 pounds of ground beef, a night on the town (for a couple), 50 gallons of milk, 10 cartons of cigarettes, 5,000 pieces of bubble gum, a lady's wig, two pair of fine men's shoes, 125 gallons of gasoline, 50 pounds of coffee, 625, 8 cent first class postage stamps and 10 tickets to the Buck's games.

Cars were advertised at Russ Darrow in Waukesha. A 1973 Chrysler Newport was $3,498, a '73 Plymouth Stationwagon was $3,488, '73 Plymouth Satellite Coup $2,998 and a 1973 Gold Duster $2,488.

Then there was an ad for the Peter Sparrow historic cream brick at 239th Lisbon Road for $46,900. It included the 1 ½ acres of land, a 40-by-40-foot barn and even an outhouse. Schroeder Implement had ads for the new, 12 horsepower Simplicity tractor for $750 while a 72-inch riding lawnmower went for $335. A step-up would have been a Simplicity 515 rider that could also have a snow blower mounted on it for winter, cost was $350.

A small feature on the front page reported that Waukesha County's Sheriff's Department was opening up to hiring women for deputies for the first time. A side comment in the feature was, "Waukesha County may be the first in the state to hire women deputies."

There was no sports section in the '73 Sun, that would not come out until 1976.

This 1973 Sussex Sun donated by Jushka will become a keepsake at the Sussex-Lisbon museum. Jushka is a former teacher at Hamilton High School, longtime Sussex resident who served from 1972-79 on the Sussex Fire Department. His two sons with his wife Carol were outstanding Hamilton sports participants most notably in football and basketball. Today he lives in retirement on Elmwood Avenue.

The Sussex Sun was founded by James McLoone. In 2010 the Sun is approximately 45 years old. The two longest employees of the Sun are Editor in Chief Scott Peterson and this feature's writer, Fred Keller, for 34 ½ years.

 

 

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