On January 11th, 1849, the first issue of the Zeitung was made. The paper was a five column quarto. On August 23, 1849, the paper was enlarged about one-third, and up to 1850 it dealt exclusively with national issues. In the spring of that year a local column was introduced.
The Zeitung was owned by Bartholomew Hauck. Theodore Englemann, former Circuit Clerk of Belleville, took charge of the paper editorially and continued until 1851, when he gave up journalism and retired to his farm in Mascoutah. Hon. Gustavus Koerner then became the editor and remained in charge for two years. In 1853 Dr. Wenzel, one of the oldest newspaper writers of the West, succeeded Koerner. He remained editor until the 23rd of February, 1856, when he retired to take charge of the Belleville Volksblat as editor and proprietor. The following month the Volksblat consolidated with the Zeitung.
On December 29, 1853, Mr. Hauck began the issue of a daily edition, but the undertaking failed.
On the 18th of March, 1858, Mr. Hauck sold the Zeitung to Frederick Rupp. On the same day, Franz Grimm, the editor and proprietor of the Volksblat, concluded an arrangement with Rupp by which the latter paper was consolidated with the Zeitung. By this arrangement, Rupp became the business manager and Grimm the editor. He continued as editor until Sept, 25th, 1861, when he laid down the pen to take up the sword. He enlisted in a company which became a part of the 43rd Regt. Ills. Vol. Infantry, and fell fighting for his country April 6th, 1862 in the desperate battle of Shiloh…
After Grimm came Ludwig Seybold as editor, who in turn was succeeded by Adelbert Loehr. Under the editorial guidance of these gentlemen, the Zeitung kept up its prestige, then renowned for true and genuine love of freedom and justice for all men. In December, 1863, Dr. Charles Neubert became the managing editor. He at first kept the paper on the well beaten political track marked out by his predecessors, but after awhile he deviated and ran into extremes. Mr. Rupp, then sole proprietor, not agreeing with him, the Doctor was asked to leave his position, which he did, after being editor for nearly eleven years.
In 1872 the Zeitung made a slight departure and espoused the cause of the anti-Grant liberal movement under the leadership of Horace Greeley. After Dr. Neubert’s withdrawal from the paper, Henry E. Miller became its editor. On the 3rd of January, 1873, Mr. Rupp died and soon after the press materials and business was sold to Sebastian Fietsam. June 24th, 1874, he sold half interest in the Zeitung to Mr. Semmelroth, who had been proprietor of the Stern Des Westens, but had sold that journal to Frederick E. Sheel. Mr. Miller was succeeded in the editorial chair by Bernard Hartmann, who remained until the 20th of June, 1875, when Eugene Seeger became editor.
On the 19th of August, 1876, was issued the first number of the Daily Zeitung, which was much more successful than the previous effort and gained large circulation in Belleville and the surrounding county. Mr. Seeger gave up editorial management of the paper February 5th, 1877, and L.W. Habercom took his place and continued therein until Oct. 9th, 1879, when he retired, and his place was most ably filled by Curt Heinfelden.
On the 20th of October, 1877, Messrs. Fietsam and Semmelroth purchased the office of the Stern Des Westens and Der Stern and consolidated them with the Zeitung, renaming the paper the Belleville Zeitung und Stern.
On the 24th of June, 1880, Mr. Heinfelden purchased Mr. Fietsam’s interest and became an equal partner with Mr. Semmelroth in the Zeitung. The firm of Heinfelden, Semmelroth & Metchan, which controlled the publication from 1881, was dissolved on March 15, 1886, owing to political differences. Mr. Heinfelden remained owner of the Zeitung.
On December 14, 1891, Fred W. Kraft and Fred J. Kern bought the Zeitung (the name "und Stern" having in the meantime been dropped). Just over one year later, on January 17, 1893, Gen. William C. Kueffner and George Semmelroth succeeded in completing a deal for the purchase of the Zeitung which was consolidated the day following with the Post under the name Belleviller Post und Zeitung.
(From the History of St. Clair County, Illinois by Brink, McDonough & Co. 1881).