Dr. F. Wenzel established the Volksblatt, a German paper, Feb. 23, 1856. In his salutatory, he set forth the mission of the paper: that the interests of the farming population would have his first and principal attention. “The farmer is truly the free man in this Republic. Free from corruption and unacquainted with political wire-pulling and bar room diplomacy, he preserves in the midst of demoralizing influences a free and independent position. The farmers are the healthy heart of the nation; on them rests the hope of progress. If the farming population did not form a barrier against the tide of unexampled corruption and demoralization of the great American cities, one would nearly despair the future of the United States.”
In another article he protested against the further extension of slavery, and stated that Germans as a class were opposed to that peculiar institution. Dr. Wenzel continued [as] editor and publisher from Feb. 23, 1856, to Sept. 12, 1857, when he sold the paper to Franz Grimm, who in March, 1858, consolidated it with the Zeitung.
After Bartholomew Hauck sold the Zeitung to Mr. Rupp, his son Louis, who was a printer, [re]started the Volksblatt in the summer of 1860. It was both a daily and weekly publication. It was continued until 1865, when it was sold out to Messrs. Fischer and Schmall of Mascoutah, who were then proprietors of the Stern Des Westens. Schmall removed the consolidated offices of the two papers to Belleville, where, soon after, he sold to Messrs. Semmelroth & Kircher, both practical printers, who took charge May 15, 1866, and continued for four weeks. Then Kircher sold his interest to Daniel Hertle, who in turn sold to Semmelroth, who continued the paper until 1872, when it became the property of Frederick E. Scheel.
After the removal of the Volksblatt office to Belleville, the paper was merged with the Stern Des Westens.
(From the History of St. Clair County, Illinois by Brink, McDonough & Co. 1881).