The historical plaque for Victor Hugo Lovejoy was installed recently in downtown Jefferson near the Bee & Herald building on the corner of State and Wilson. The Promotion Team has taken on this project with this plaque being the last of those nominated by those involved in the Historical Plaque Walk in the fall of 2016. The public is invited to take a walk around the Square and enjoy reading about the historical figures of Greene County. Many have QR codes that can be scanned for further information.
From an article written by Chuck Offenburger for The Perry News in October, 2015 about Victor Hugo Lovejoy.
Offenburger talked about Victor Hugo Lovejoy, who was editor of the Jefferson Bee from 1909 to 1942. A sharp-penned and rock-ribbed Republican, Lovejoy also served as mayor of Jefferson from 1915-1917.
He was a teetotaler Presbyterian, Offenburger said, who once threatened to publish the names of all his fellow townspeople who entered or left the new state-owned liquor store in Jefferson, the front door of which was visible from his desk at the Bee.
He never carried through on his threat, but Lovejoy is a striking example of the strong abolitionist urges that roiled other small Iowa towns, such as Perry, during those wicked times.
At the same time, Lovejoy was ardent in support of women’s right to vote. Offenburger read a satirical portion from one of Lovejoy’s weekly columns, which he called his “Seasonable Sermons.” After detailing the boundless depths of his dear mother’s love and extolling her wisdom and professing the eternal gratitude filling his breast toward her, Lovejoy wrote, “But mother, you haven’t brains enough to vote.”
“And, of course, he means just the opposite,” Offenburger said, wisely leaving no doubts in any literal-minded listeners about Lovejoy’s intent in using the very dangerous weapon of satire.