Goodman Community Center | East Side News grew as the east side did…

East Side News grew as the east side did too

Browsing through early editions it’s easy to see how Marshall Browne’s East Side News grew along with the east side of Madison

March 7, 2024 |
The front page of the May 31, 1928, edition of East Side News.

By Dave Link, Eastside News

The 1920s were a period of growth for the east side of Madison and Marshall Browne’s East Side News mirrored that growth. Browne founded the weekly newspaper in 1924 as a staunch east side publication.

Browsing through these early editions, it’s easy to think Madison only existed on the east side. With the exception of a few ads for stores and businesses on State Street, there’s hardly a mention of downtown or the west side. East Madison was already a bustling community in itself and still growing.

Articles on the front page of the Aug. 19, 1926, East Side News tell of growth. One, “East Side Expansion Continues According To Building Permits,” informs readers how a permit was granted for 715 Sommers Ave. to build a residence estimated to cost $4,750 and for an elevator to be installed at the Lunder Furniture Company at 225 Atwood Ave. All told, eight permits were described in the article. Many were for garages, which shows east side residents had embraced the automobile.

Silo factory
May 31, 1928, East Side News

Another article informs that the Capital City Canning Company on East Johnson Street was about a week to 10 days away from beginning to can corn. Also, machinery would be installed during the winter so peas could be canned the following season.

The May 31, 1928, edition tells how a new building for the Madison Silo Company will begin construction once a railroad spur can be built to a site near the old sugar beet factory (Garver Feed Mill). Madison Silo already had a facility operation at 2196 Winnebago St.

Business was strong in these pre-Great Depression years. Leading the way was the East Side Businessmen’s Association, which dominated ESN’s headlines about its meetings and activities. Browne, being a member, made sure the group filled the newspaper’s columns.

New bread by Strand Co.
July 4, 1935, East Side News

By the early 1930s, the Great Depression slowed growth down. East Side News was down to a four-page weekly newspaper and many of the larger advertisements found in the previous decade’s pages were gone. But progress on the east side was occurring.

East Side News announced Feb. 22, 1934, that a new, modern fire truck was put into service at Fire Station No. 5, 2137 Atwood Ave., replacing a fire engine that was put into service in 1915. The headline proclaims, “East Side Breathes Easier.”

In the July 4, 1935, edition, a front-page article tells of a bread, the first to be baked in Wisconsin, by a bakery on Atwood Avenue.

“A vegetable-laxative bread containing 11 vegetables, honey, milk, and pulverized bran, is now being made by the Strand Baking company.”

The article claims it is an ideal food for children and especially suitable for summer diets. I’m not sure how long this bread stayed in production, but marketing a vegetable-laxative bread had to be tough.

By the end of the 1930s, East Side News page counts increased and large ads returned as residents became accustomed to life during the Great Depression.

See more vintage ads and local history

Advertisements and articles in East Side News reveal how residents lived and the types of businesses and services they used during the 1920s and ’30s. We compiled some of our favorites at the link below.

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