Categories: Appleton, Minnesota | Journalists | Weekly Newspaper Publishers | State Representatives of Minnesota | Blue Earth, Minnesota | Saint Paul, Minnesota | Appleton Cemetery, Appleton, Minnesota | Ham Radio Operators.
Marty McGowan Jr. was the second of two children born to Martin and Olga Vieg McGowan. An older sister died shortly after birth. His mother died of tuberculosis before Marty was two years old. He was brought up by his grandmother, until his father remarried.
|Marty and his mother Olga.|
Marty attended Appleton public schools. During his school years, he was editor of the school paper, participated in class plays, declamation contests, and the tennis team, and sang bass in a men's quartet which went on to statewide music competition.
During World War II after being rejected for military service due to allergies, he returned to Appleton to help his father publish the Appleton Press and learned how to operate a linotype machine. He also served as a company clerk at the local National Guard Armory.
After the war, Marty took on greater news responsibility at the Appleton Press, so that his father could ease up on responsibilities as his health declined. Marty became editor and publisher upon his father's death.
|In his office at the Appleton Press.|
He was elected to the Minnesota State Legislature for four terms representing Swift County from 1959 to 1967.Legislators were elected on a non-partisan basis at the time, and Marty was a member of the Liberal Caucus. He worked unsuccessfully to pass a newspaper shield law to protect journalists from disclosing news sources, and attempted to stave off a state sales tax when he was a minority member of the Tax Committee.
In addition to the Appleton paper, Marty bought the newspapers in Benson, Minnesota, in 1960. After operating papers in two towns and spending several months each year in the legislature, he decided to ease up on his responsibilities and sell the Benson newspapers in 1962. About the same time, the Appleton Press was named the best small weekly newspaper in Minnesota by the Minnesota Newspaper Association under his editorship.
In 1966, Marty accepted a position with KTCA public television station in St. Paul, as a grants writer and government liaison.Among his projects was a program, "Seminars for Seniors," which he also moderated. After the family moved from Appleton to St. Paul, he was urged to run again for the state legislature from a district in that city, but was not elected.
Marty returned to newspaper work in 1970 invited as a partner in a weekly newspaper in New Richmond, Wisconsin. The partnership was unsuccessful, and Marty then purchased the newspaper in Blue Earth, Minnesota. Marty also bought two smaller papers in nearby communities, the Elmore Eye, and the Winnebago Enterprise. For a time, Marty's son Vince joined him on the paper with the title of managing editor. Betty also helped run the paper, selling advertising, collecting bills, and taking photographs.
Although many conservative residents of Blue Earth "did not take kindly to my more liberal ideas,"  the business prospered for several years.
Marty was also a long-time ham radio operator with the call sign W0UGV. He received the DX Century Club award given by the American Radio Relay League several times for connecting with hams in 100 different countries in one year.
In 1978, Marty sold the Blue Earth papers, and took a position as news director at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and later as an account representative for Volkmuth Printing in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
In retirement, Mary and Betty built a home on Pelican Lake, near Pequot Lakes, Minnesota. The property had been in Betty's family since her grandfather Henry Theviot had purchased it.
Marty served as chair of the Minnesota Ethical Practices board for two terms. The board supervised the reporting of campaign contributions and lobbying spending reports. He covered County Board meetings for the Lake Region Echo in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, until his health prevented him from working.
Marty and Betty later moved to the Lyngblomsten retirement community in Saint Paul. Marty died at age 88, and is buried in the McGowan family plot in Appleton Cemetery, Appleton, Minnesota.
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On 2 Apr 2015 at 03:36 GMT Ron Norman BSN, RN wrote:
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