Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Willow Creek Farm, Waverly, Nebraska

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 1, n.d.; author apparently intended to publish more:  No. 1 ends a serialized story with “to be continued”

Size and Format:  Ledger paper, 7.5 x 12 inches; pen and ink; 2 cols., 2 pp.

Editor/Publisher:  Charles A. Pierce, “Editor and Proprietor”

Title Changes and Continuations:  Immediate continuation of the March 1873 (Vol. 1, No. 4) issue of The Experiment

General Description and Notes:

The Willow Creek Journal is an immediate continuation of The Experiment, which was published March 1873.

The Journal contains Chapters 7 and 8 of “Johnny’s Adventures or the life of a boy among the Indians,” a serial story whose first six chapters appeared in The Experiment.  Unlike The Experiment, The Journal‘s first number contains only this story.  A headline for an “Editorial” appears over a single seven inch blank column, but no other news, advertisements or stories appear in the issue.  Only the “Terms” are published on page one:  “One contribution for each number of the paper.”

The motto of the Journal is the same as The Experiment’s, “Progress and Perseverance.”  Both newspapers are self-described as “A family paper, devoted to Literature, Agriculture, News, Family affairs, and General Improvement.”

One of the student editors, Charles A. Pierce, was the son of Charles W. Pierce, a civil war veteran, who was transferred to Demopolis, Alabama in 1866 as a major with the Freedman’s Bureau and District commander of western Alabama.  The senior Pierce served one term in the 41st Congress from Alabama’s fourth district in 1867.  I was during this time that his son, Charles A., began his first handwritten newspaper, The Experiment, at Oakland Hall, Chunchula, Alabama.  In 1872 the family moved to Waverly, Nebraska, where The Experiment, and its successor, Willow Creek Journal were published by Charles A. in 1873.  The Casket appeared in Nebraska in 1875 as a school effort, no doubt with the help of Charles A.

Information Sources:

Bibliography: None

Locations: Charles W. Pierce Papers, Ms. 554, Nebraska State Historical Society, State Archives, Lincoln, NB,