On the 30th of August, 1875, the first number of a handsome semi-weekly, entitled Neue Volks Zeitung, was issued from Zeis’ Building on the northeast corner of Eighteenth Street and Second Avenue. It was started by Charles C. Winter, one of the editors of the Westliche Post, of St. Louis, who had come here during the April previous to inspect the prospects for such an enterprise. The paper was a success from the start. In politics it was thoroughly independent, and it maintained that position admirably through out, until its name was changed. Mr. Winter’s paper flourished until March 1, 1882, when he sold the same to George S. Lechner, who came here from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Mr. Winter moving from here to Danville, Illinois, where he published successfully the Deutsche Zeitung until five years ago when he died in London, England, on a journey to the fatherland. Mr. Lechner after a few months sold the Neue Volks Zeitung to F. Protar, through whose efforts the paper was brought to a flourishing condition. He changed the name to Volks Zeitung. After a prosperous ten years’ career Mr. Protar, on April 1, 1893, sold his journal to the Rock Island-Moline Volks Zeitung Publishing Company, consisting of prominent German citizens of Rock Island and Moline. The paper was managed by Messrs. Paul Kersch and August Hansgen. These men were less successful than their predecessor, and July 1, 1897, John P. Kieffer, of Remsen, Iowa, undertook the’ publication of the paper, which he continued for exactly two years. Gustav Donald, of Davenport, bought the Volks Zeitung July 1, 1899, and published the same until July 1, 1901, when it came into the hands of Val. J. Peter, of Peoria, Illinois. Mr. Peter began his newspaper career seventeen years ago as a compositor for the Volks Zeitung. He has always considered this City his home. He went from here to Peoria, where he was engaged until his return to this City as city editor of the Daily Peoria Sonne, one of the largest and most influential German newspapers in the west. During the period of Mr. Peter’s management of the Volks Zeitung, which is issued every Tuesday and Friday, was brought to a degree of excellence beyond that of any previous time in its history. On October 3, 1903, Mr. Peter bought the two-story brick building, at 1906 Third Avenue, of Henry Frick, where his thriving business is now comfortably enconsed. He also purchased a Hoe newspaper press, and on October 23, 1903, the Volks Zeitung was for the first time in its existence, printed on its own press. Mr. Peter has added a job printing department to his newspaper interests and has now a model plant. To commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the Volks Zeitung in a fitting manner, Mr. Peter issued on August 30, 1905, an elaborate forty-four page anniversary edition, artistically illustrated and teaming with interesting matter, containing a complete history of this locality in general’ and of the German element and its achievements in particular. which is recognized as a publication of historic merits and one that has won honors for the enterprising young publisher.
Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908