ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Emil Doerr

1879 - 1956

11 08 1956


Emil M. Doerr, 77, retired Watertown printer who was for many years associated with the Times Publishing Co. and the Watertown Daily Times, died November 8, 1956, in St. Mary's Hospital.  His death followed surgery which he underwent at the hospital recently.


Mr. Doerr was born in Watertown on February 10, 1879, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Julius Doerr and spent his entire life in the city.  His home was at 609 Jefferson Street.


On May 10, 1905 he married Miss Catherine Pimpl. She survives as do two brothers, Gustav J., and Robert Doerr, and one sister, Mrs. Clara Zillmer, all of Watertown.


Mr. Doerr was a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church.  Funeral will be held at the Schmutzler Funeral Home.  Interment will be in St. Henry’s Cemetery.


Mr. Doerr went to work as a boy in the shop of the Weltbuerger, weekly German newspaper here, located at 119 North Second Street, which at that time was published and edited by the late David Blumenfeld, father of Ralph D. Blumenfeld - who rose to the position of editor of The London Times.


The late Otto R. Krueger, who later became editor and publisher of the Weltbuerger, was foreman of the shop when Mr. Doerr started.


After nine years with Mr. Blumenfeld, Mr. Doerr got a job with the Daily Times which was then a few years old.  It was then located at the rear, second floor, of the present Krier's building, South First and Main Streets. The office of the Wisconsin Telephone Co. was then located in the front part of the building.


Mr. Doerr was later associated for a short time with Ward Swift in the printing and publishing business, located in the A & P store building on South Second Street on the second floor.


In April, 1917, Mr. Doerr helped organize the Watertown Leader, a tri-weekly newspaper, with the late J. P. Holland, Eugene Killian, Jack Kuenzi and Zeno Bruegger.


1916, 08 25  The Watertown Daily Leader suspended publication last Saturday Aug. 19th.  The increased cost of the paper and the departure of the former Editor H. H. Rogers for parts unknown, left Emil Doerr alone against a hard proposition.  So he suspended the daily.  He will continue to publish the Weekly Leader as usual.


In February, 1919, this group purchased the Daily Times in cooperation with the late John Clifford of Juneau.  The paper was reorganized with Mr. Clifford, father of the present editor, serving as editor, along with Mr. Holland as associate editor.  The reorganized company also included the late E. J. Schoolcraft. Mr. Doerr was vice president of the company.


Mr. Doerr was one of the city’s first two linotype operators along with the late Eugene Killian.  In its early days the paper had but one linotype when those machines were first being installed in small town printing establishments.


During the time that Mr. Doerr was with the paper it occupied various locations.  It was first located where the Mullen Dairy is now operated.  From there the paper moved to the basement quarters in the Masonic Temple.  After a fire which destroyed the temple, the paper occupied quarters for a time in the Buchheit building and from there moved into its present building in West Main Street.  The Daily Times was incorporated in February of 1919.


Mr. Doerr had been a member of the Typographical Union since 1903, being a charter member here.


He recalled that his first job work as a printer was in getting out some cheese wrappers for the Jossi-Habhegger firm. These were printed on tinfoil, which required special handing and which in those days was considered a special job. In his early years he also did a great deal of translating from German into English, for in those days practically all auction bills were printed in both English and German.


Later, when the Times gave up its job printing department and devoted its facilities exclusively to the publication of the daily newspaper Mr. Doerr devoted himself to his duties as a linotype and intertype operator.  He retired some years ago but paid occasional visits to the Times because, as he said, "once printer's ink gets in your blood it stays there and I like to see how the boys in the back shop are doing." 


Mr. Doerr was a man of many fine qualities and he was a good companion whose many years with the Times were shared pleasantly with many of the present staff members and the composing room force. He was always a welcome visitor around the shop.


The City Hall flag was flown at half staff today for Mr. Doerr.  In his earlier years, had been a member of the old Watertown Volunteer Fire Department.