Biographical / Historical
The Louisville Anzeiger (Advertiser), a German-language newspaper founded in 1848 by George Doern and Otto Scheeffer. It ceased publication in 1938. The Doern family came to Louisville in 1842 when George was twelve. Two years later, Doern learned to set type at a German newspaper office. The German Messenger and the Eugenspiegel were immediate predecessors of the Anzeiger; hence, one jubilee issue (March 1, 1928) carries the dates 1848-1928. When Mr. Doern and Mr. Scheeffer purchased the Eugenspiegel, the foundation for the ninety-year life of the Anzeiger was laid and the growing demand for news from their homeland by Louisville's German population was answered.The German-states experienced a series of revolutions against ecclesiastical and princely authority in the 1840s. Refugees from those conflicts immigrated to the United States, many settling in Louisville, Kentucky. Several of the Anzeiger's early staff, including Ludwig Stierlin, editor in 1851 and author of a history of Louisville's Germans in 1873, were in the group of failed revolutionaries.There had been German language newspapers in Louisville since 1841, but the Anzeiger soon became a daily newspaper and outlasted all its rivals. Its publishers explained that "the events in our old fatherland keep the feelings in constant agitation...therefore, each one will wish to read the latest reports every morning."Mr. Scheeffer retired as editor after three years, and Mr. Doern continued the newspaper by himself. In the beginning, the paper appeared semi-weekly, but on May 8, 1849, it changed to a daily. By 1855, the Anzeiger had daily, semi-weekly, and weekly editions to accommodate readers from across the state. The closing years brought it back to a weekly publication and the final issue was on March 4, 1938. At one time, the city boasted that there were at least four German language publications, but by 1857, the Anzeiger was the only one being published. The Anzeiger was Democratic in politics and frequently benefited from local government's legal advertising. For many years, the newspaper was housed in offices on the north side of Liberty Street between Third and Fourth. In its last decades, the Anzeiger was owned by Richard Schuhmann and edited by Sigmund Gottschalk. In 1938, Schuhmann announced that the ninety-year old newspaper was ending. "We'd rather not have a big funeral" for the Louisville Anzeiger, he explained. Readership had declined steadily because "...after all, we are all Americans."The Louisville Anzeiger was printed for a period of ninety years, and outlasted all other German-American newspapers in the Louisville area. Publication was suspended only during the 1937 flood.