Charles E Broughton

Charles E Broughton

Lamartine, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 31 Oct 1956 (aged 83)
Sheboygan, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, USA
Burial Sheboygan, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, USA
Memorial ID 8774385 · View Source
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Newspaper editor and zealous civic leader. His parents had very limited means; and as a boy he helped his mother husk corn on the shares, worked in a blacksmith shop, and painted wagons at the old La Belle Wagon Works in Fond du Lac. Formal schooling ended at the age of 11, when he began his newspaper association as a printer's devil and errand boy with the Fond du Lac Journal.

Broughton attended night school whenever he could, as his ambition was to become a reporter and editorial writer. At twenty he obtained employment in the composing room of the Milwaukee Sentinel, soon was reporting for the Waukesha Dispatch, then the Fond du Lac Reporter, and finally for the Fond du Lac Commonwealth. Due to his desire to express himself editorially, he purchased the Campbellsport News, a weekly paper, but soon was persuaded by Congressman Charles H. Weisse to become manager of the Sheboygan Press. On the death of Congressman Weisse, Broughton bought his interest, and become part owner and editor of the Press.

The Press became one of the most influential, liberal papers in the state, largely due to Broughton's own reputation as an editor. His pen and paper were at the service of countless worthwhile projects. He never hesitated to expose an injustice, and his editorials exhibited a fine understanding of human problems. It was written of him that "Through out the year we have observed how the editor of the Sheboygan Press is able to wield a powerful pen on almost any topic, courageously, and with uncanny accuracy." In 1947 he published a volume of his representative editorials called, "From an Editor's Pen."

Small city philanthropist, anti-prohibitionist, fund raiser, conservationist, champion of the Wisconsin cheese industry, and patron of state and local history, Broughton was obviously also a joiner of joiners. He was a member of half a dozen fraternal orders, several newspaper organizations, and many civic and state groups. The latter included service as a curator and Vice President of the Wisconsin State Historical Society. He was responsible for the founding of Sheboygan's Kiddies Camp for underprivileged children, the YMCA, and the Safe Rider's Club. He was a director of the Sheboygan Redskins basketball team, the Sheboygan Baseball Association, and the county Welfare Board. In 1952-1953, Broughton was a member of the Governor's Committee for the St. Lawrence Seaway. He financed conservation awards to 4-H club members and Boy Scouts, opposed stream pollution, and supported the development of Horicon Marsh for public use. Broughton Marsh Park was so named in recognition of his successful efforts to restore the Sheboygan Marsh, and Broughton Drive in Sheboygan honored him for his community service.

Although Charles E. Broughton was an important influence in a half century of Sheboygan's development, his reputation extended beyond his own community and even outside the state. As a very active Democrat, he was National Committeeman from Wisconsin from 1932-1941, and was often mentioned as a possible candidate for governor or senator. He was the speaker who seconded Franklin Roosevelt's nomination at the 1936 Democratic National Convention. As an Elk, he served as Grand Exalted Ruler in 1946. As a conservationist, he was a national director of the Izaak Walton League, 1946-1949. As an editor, he served as public interest director for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, 1936-1951.

In the course of his life, many honors came to Broughton, of which the most outstanding were: (1) First Honorable Mention by the Pulitzer Prize Committee for his editorial campaign against inhuman treatment of patients at Wisconsin's mental institutions, 1935, (2) One of the first seven in the world to receive the Salvation Army's Distinguished Service Award, and (3) The Honor Roll Award of the Izaak Walton League. He was also awarded the Silver Beaver Award by Boy Scounts of America.

In 1951, partly due to labor troubles, Broughton sold his interest in the Sheboygan Press and turned his interests to his radio station, WHBL. He died October 31, 1956, survived by his widow. One child, a son, had died in infancy. An interesting observation concerning a man such as Broughton is that though he was constantly giving time and money to Protestants, Catholics, Hebrews, and the Salvation Army, Broughton did not, himself, belong to a church.

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  • Created by: Fred Beisser
  • Added: 17 May 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8774385
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles E Broughton (22 Oct 1873–31 Oct 1956), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8774385, citing Wildwood Cemetery, Sheboygan, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Fred Beisser (contributor 46555840) .