On January 23, 1885, Wisconsin's 16th Governor, William Dempster Hoard, launched the very first edition of Hoard's Dairyman. In Hoard's own words, the masthead read, "Hoard's Dairyman is especially devoted to dairy and stock interests, being the official organ of the Wisconsin Dairyman's Association," W.D. Hoard Editor and Publisher
Back in those early days, Hoard's Dairyman took on more of a look of a newspaper than that of a magazine. In the first edition, Hoard explained the launch of his new venture: "PLEASE READ THIS," Hoard set in bold type. "Hoard's Dairyman, a dairy edition of the Jefferson County Union, will be issued weekly hereafter, in the form of a six column to the page folio sheet.
"We have entered upon this enterprise in response to the request of a great many dairymen in outside portions of this and other states, who want a cheap weekly, dairy paper.
"We shall give the choicest original and selected dairy literature to be obtained on the Continent, as well as a wide range of market reports. We have arranged with several of the most practical dairymen in the Northwest, for frequent contributions from their pens. Our weekly Elgin Letter will alone be worth the price of the paper to any butter maker that wants to keep posted. The leading dairymen of the Northwest are subscribers to this paper." - W.D. Hoard, January 23, 1885.
In those days, when Hoard said Northwest, he wasn't referring to Washington and Oregon, he was referencing what we now call the Midwest. At the time he launched Hoard's, Wisconsin had achieved statehood 37 years earlier.
If you wanted to order a copy 125 years ago, Hoard's Dairyman would set you back $1 for the year. For that price, you received 52 copies of the weekly publication. If you wanted both the Jefferson County Union and Hoard's Dairyman, the package deal was $1.75, paid strictly in advance, noted Editor Hoard.
As the year unfolds, we have more celebrations planned commemorating our 125th Anniversary. We look forward to sharing this special occasion with you throughout 2010.