Douglas "Doug" David Deal

Army Badge
  • Name: Douglas "Doug" David Deal
  • Location of Birth: Minong, Wisconsin
  • Date of Birth: December 13, 1920
  • Date of Death: November 2, 2002
  • Parents: Clarence Deal & Alma (Wethern) Deal
  • High School and Class: 1939 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: TEC 4 (Technical 4)
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: July 31, 1942
  • Place Sworn In: Fort Snelling, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Date of Discharge: December 21, 1945
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    August 1942 September 1942 Fort Washington
    September 1942 Camp Howze, Texas
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Douglas David Deal
    Race: White
    Age: 20
    Birth Date: December 13, 1920
    Birth Place: Minong, Wisconsin, USA
    Residence Place: Iron Range Township, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: 1940
    Employer: Star Carrier, U.S. Govvernment Rural Route Carrier, Bovey, Minnesota
    Weight: 125
    Height: 5-10
    Complexion: Ruddy
    Eye Color: Brown
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Clarence Deal, Rt. 2, Bovey, Minnesota

    Newspaper article – Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – January 1, 1943 – “Bovey Service Men’s Club: I know I have been slow in answering your letter. I hope you didn’t begin to think I don’t appreciate your friendly letters and gifts. This letter is to let you know that I find them very interesting. When I was carrying mail on Route 2, there wasn’t a Saturday that I didn’t listen to the football games between Minnesota and her opponents. If it hadn’t been for a letter from the Bovey Service Men’s Club, I may never have known how Minnesota fared this year. Although there were times when a radio was at hand, but in Texas, they only listen to Texas games. So far, I have been lucky in this man’s army. After leaving Fort Snelling on the seventh of August, I traveled by train (first class) to Washington, D.C. I stayed in Fort Washington about four weeks. Fort Washington is located about 14 miles from Washington D.C. Our best means of transportation from this camp was by a three-decker river steamer up the Potomac River to Washington. I believe I saw everything of importance there was to see in Washington. While at Fort Washington, I took a course in army postal service. When they classified me at Fort Snelling as a mail clerk, I wondered what use they would have for a mail clerk in the army. I found they have a lot of use for mail clerks in the army. Last Christmas I carried mail by the automobile load. This year it’s by the truck load. When they shipped me to Texas I thought, “here is where I spend a nice warm winter in the south.” I soon found out Texas is not so very far south; not the part of it I’m in anyhow. I would much rather be in Minnesota when it is 10 below than when it is 32 above in Texas. You have heard that song of the “Red River Valley”? Well, that’s where Camp Howze (the camp I’m stationed at) is located. I believe the song starts out something like “from this valley they say you are going”, and let me tell you I don’t blame the girl in the song a bit for going. Except for Texas, everything else is all right. I like my work, the food is O.K. and I can really put it away. I was the second one in this post office to get a Christmas present – thanks to the Bovey Service Men’s Club. I wish you all back home a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Sincerely yours, Pfc, Douglas D. Deal.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – November 26, 1943 – “Dear Bovey Service Men’s Club: It has been almost a year since I last sent a letter to the Club, although I have had good intentions. In the past year I have received quite a number of letters, and after reading each one I would say to myself, “I must write and answer, but before I got around to it, another letter from you would arrive. We are kept rather busy in the Army. I hope this one long letter will make up for my omissions for I sure do enjoy receiving your letters for their very chatty hometown town news, and the many interesting items about the other fellows in the service and the many, many items of interest. Many things are of interest to us now that we are away, than when we were home. One small piece of news starts a chain of thoughts of past memories. So far this year the army has treated me pretty good. It has given me two raises in pay, and one furlough, and another furlough is in sight. Lets hope it does not travel too fast and out of sight before I catch up with it, for I sure would like to swap yarns with whoever may be around at the time I am home. Since the first part of August I have been on a nice big and long camping trip, if you want to call it that. We call it “Maneuvers.” As you know, I am in the Postal Service of the 84th Infantry Division and we were kept very busy getting the mail and parcel post through to the boys to help keep their morale up. And most of it was handled under adverse weather conditions. In addition to our base post office, in a tent, in the piney woods of Louisiana, we also operated a rail head and a truck head. The rail head was where the mail came in to us on the train and we separated it; there was more than one division down here and gave out the sacks of mail to the different units that called there for it. Then keeping the rest of it that was for the 84th and its attached units, of which there were plenty, we took it back to the truck head where the various companies and regiments called for their mail and parcel post and registered mail and insured while they were getting their rations. It was fine during the breaks, but it was a job during the blackouts. For when the Army says a blackout, it meant a real blackout; no lights, except for shaded flashlights. My particular job just now is writing Money Orders and taking care of the financial end of the postal service. During the month we have plenty of money order business to do, but at the first of every month it is a nightmare. The first of the month, the various companies and regiments request that we go to their area and write money orders so the boys can send their money home. One trip I remember vividly for I was gone three days before getting back from the assignment. I will always remember it for I had sore knees for a week afterwards, for I was kneeling on the ground with my money box beside me, and using for a desk to write on a baking pan that I borrowed from the cook. But we believe that “The mail must go through”, regardless of the working conditions. The part of Louisiana we are in is not too bad, although I believe before we get through maneuvers we will have covered about every part of the State as we are moving around so often. It is neither too hot nor too cold as a rule. So I haven’t mentioned the rain for which Louisiana is noted. When we first arrived, I believed that was no more miserable place on earth than Louisiana, not even Texas, and you know my opinion of Texas. But, as time went by the sun did come out and it has been out a good deal since. Thank heavens, for when it does rain down here, it really does. It is a terrific down pour with a high wind with it. We never had a rain like it at home. At home you are lucky to be living in a good part of the country. This camping out isn’t too bad after you get used to sleeping on the ground. It is all in enduring the first few terrible nights of it when you lay awake wondering if the pretty little snakes you saw during the day time are going to crawl into bed with you, which is another good reason for sleeping in a hammock slung between two trees. But when the weather does get cold you do have to sleep in a pup tent on the ground and then you only remember to dig a trench around the tent for the rain water to run off, in case of a rain storm. The stars and moon can be shining very beautifully when you go to bed, but then you wake up thinking the whole of Reilly Lake has fallen in on you as it has started to rain. The storms do not start easy. One bang and you are wet. By this time you are a real soldier and don’t worry about the snakes, only the rain. There was only one time that I was really rained out though. That night I was sleeping in my hammock with my shelter half stretched across the top of it. It began to rain with a bang about midnight, and between the combined weight of myself and the water in the hammock, the hammock broke, and let me down into the nice soft muddy ground. So I had to find myself another bed, which turned out to be under a trailer. But the rain was falling so hard that I was soon flooded out from under the trailer. I wound up sleeping in the back end of a truck with eight other guys. You can imagine how much sleeping we did. I hope to be seeing good old Bovey pretty soon. Whatever anyone else may think – Bovey is still the best town in the U.S.A. As ever, Douglas D. Deal.”

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Douglas Deal married Ethel Gwin in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 1942. He served as a rural mail carrier for Bovey, Minnesota prior to entering service. After his discharge from service, he worked for his uncle at the local Bovey newspaper, The Scenic Range News. After a fire at the newspaper in November 1968, he purchased the business from his uncle, rebuilt it and had been owner, editor and publisher since. He was a member of the Scenic Highway Association, Bovey Moose Lodge 1061, the Grand Rapids Eagles Aerie, the Minnesota State Grange, the Bovey Farmers Day Association, the former Canisteo Masonic Lodge AF & AM of Coleraine, Itasca Lodge 208 AF & AM of Grand Rapids, a member of the Minnesota Newspaper Association and its 50-year club, the Greenway Alumni Association, American Legion Post 476, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4016, the Greenway Lions, the Bovey Civic Club and the Itasca County Finnish Club.

    Doug died in Duluth, Minnesota and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Coleraine, Minnesota (Block 140, Lot 1). He is survived by his wife, Ethel; a daughter, LaDonna (Larry) Singer; sons, Bradley K. (Candace) Deal and David D. (Tina) Deal; eleven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two brothers, Keith (Delores) Deal and Duane (Margaret) Deal; a sister, Donna Anwiler; two aunts; one uncle; and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his parents, Clarence and Alma Deal; a daughter, Laurie Lynn on March 6, 1984; and a grandson, Zachary Deal on May 26, 1996.

    Information from the Memorial Edition of the Scenic Range News, dated November 7, 2002:
    "Minnesota Newspaper Pioneer Douglas Deal dies of complications from cancer at age 81
    On Saturday, November 2, 2002 Northern Minnesota lost one of it's prominent members and dedicated businessman Douglas D. Deal, Editor and Publisher of the Scenic Range News in Bovey, lost his brave battle with Pancreatic Cancer.
    Douglas, or better known to his friends, family and readers, as Doug, became ill on October 11, 2002 and was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer on October 12, 2002. Doug bravely fought for 23 days before, with his business manager and wife of 60 years, Ethel and family by his side, with unspeakable peace slipped away. A true Minnesota newspaper pioneer was gone.
    Doug as born December 13, 1920 in Frog Creek Township, Wisconsin, and in his tender years moved to the Iron Range in what was called the "St. Paul Location" in Keewatin, Minnesota. At around the age of 4 his father and mother moved to the rural Bovey area where he would attend the local schools and meet his future wife Ethel while in High School. Doug graduated from Greenway High School in 1939 and worked for the Day Lake "CCCamp" after graduation. He served as US Rural Mail Carrier in 1941 and part of 1942. Later in 1942 Doug entered into military service and married Ethel Gwin in July 30, 1942, and was deployed on July 31, 1942 to serve with the US Army, 84th Infantry Division.
    After his military service Doug returned back to the Range and went to work, under the GI Bill for his uncle Horace Barnes at the Scenic Range News as a pressman and typesetter. Doug worked under the tutelage of his uncle and learned as much as he could about printing and the newspaper business. The Scenic Range News was formed when the Bovey Press bought out the Itasca Iron News. The new conglomerate wanted a new name for it's newspaper. They decided to hold a contest to rename the Bovey Press. There were many names suggested for the paper but the winner of the contest, Thelma Pecheck of Bovey. The new name? The Scenic Range News.
    In November 14, 1968, somewhere in the night, a fire broke out in the Scenic Range News building. By morning there was nothing left but the burned remains of a building and the loss of the local paper. After the fire the owner Horace Barnes and his wife made the decision not to rebuild. Doug wondered what to do now, go to work in the local mines? Move to a different area? It was a difficult time in his life until Doug made the decision that would change his life forever. "I have a dream" was once the idea of a great man in history but he wasn't the only man to have ever thought that. Doug approached his uncle for permission to restart the paper. His uncle agreed and sold Doug the rights for $ 1.00.
    Now Doug and Ethel were not independently wealthy by any means and they did not even have a credit rating in those times of "if you don't have the money for it, you don't need it" years. With his newly acquired rights to the Scenic Range News, the mortgage to his home and the ambition of a 43 year old man to continue something he felt important to the small communities around him, he made a visit to his local bank. Bill Priggie was the president of the First National Bank of Bovey and was a proud member of the Bovey area businessmen. When approached by Doug about a loan to re-establish the area newspaper could have very easily looked at Doug and said "sorry son, but you don't have any credit to do this". But Bill saw the determination in Doug and the importance of the newspaper to the area and gave the young man a small loan to get things going.
    Doug and Ethel purchased a small, unkept building in downtown Bovey for the price of $ 1,400 in back taxes with approximately $ 470 down and started to remove the rooms from the old doctors office at 314 2nd Street with the help of their eldest son accompanied with vision and a lot of hard work. Doug and his son Brad would remove the old plaster walls while Ethel would keep the younger children in the small office area kept warm by only an old hand-me-down hot plate from which she would warm up soup for her husband and son until they could finish for the day. There was only one main problem with the building. The roof leaked like a sieve. They would judge the rainfall by the number of buckets required to catch all the leaks. The highest reported rainstorm in Bovey that year was a 17 bucket rainfall.
    Doug purchased some of the necessary equipment for his dream and started production of the Scenic Range once again. Doug's first issue was printed on April 10, 1969. They even had a special law passed to keep the paper's legal status. It was a moment in an editor/publishers life that made all of the hard work worth while. Doug would work days at his paper and nights at the Nashwauk Paper to help pay off the loan and relieve the "business manager's" nerves.
    Through the years the paper and Doug went through many changes. When he first started out he was using the old hot type process using the linotype to set type. Doug hired the skills of Darrell Emerson from Deer River to set type and help with the production of the paper. It took approximately 30 hours of type setting plus many additional hours of composing, proof reading and hand setting headlines and ads to produce a twelve page paper. The paper was a family affair. The Deal children chipped in their share to the production of the paper. The youngest son David would come home from school and fold the newspapers on the old Lincoln folding machine which was the size of a modern pick-up truck. The youngest daughter Laurie Lynn would help with the mailing and bundling of the latest edition in between band practice or Aqua Sprites practice. The idea of Doug's family business was a reality.
    For many years the "News" would be produced in this manner. In the late 70's everything was going to offset printing. Doug kept with the hot type way until Darrell decided to retire. Doug knew he would have to change the way things had been done.
    On February 3, 1977 Doug made the change to offset production. He purchased his first brand new pieces of equipment, a Copygraphic 48 and the film processor for the bargain price of $13,000. Doug always referred to the two as his "pick-up and Camper". The Copygraphic 48 was considered the "modern" way to compose type. One could see what he was typing by looking at the 9" single line display. If one would make a mistake, you wouldn't know until the film was processed. If corrections were needed one would have to retype the line and paste it over the typo.
    In 1980 Doug purchased the newest "high tech" piece of equipment from Copygraphic, the 7400. Now the big number could tell one how big this machine was, as was the price, $7,000. It was the size of a entertainment center and weighed 3 lbs shy of the Queen Mary. The big improvement in the technology was the 9 x 12 black and white screen. Now Doug could set type and had more time to see if he made a mistake.
    In early 1992 the News was going to be vaulted into the computer age. Doug purchased the next generation of printing equipment, the Macintosh 2SI, a radius monitor, laser printer, and all the software needed to make copy for the newspaper. Doug paid over $ 12,000 for the new technology.
    Over the years Doug worked and lived for his business and family. Family events would revolve around the business hours. Many birthday parties, anniversaries, and family dinners where held at the building that held the business that Doug built that the family affectionately call "the shop".
    Family members were not the only ones to share time at the 1950's style kitchen table at "the shop". Many politicians and businessmen shared their dreams and convictions over a cup of coffee with the Editor and Business Manager. It was a special stop for many political hopefuls through out the years. Congressman Jim Oberstar and many other politicians such as Paul Wellstone, Roger Moe and Rudy Perpich are only a few who have shared in a cup of coffee, homemade cookies and heartfelt conversations at the Scenic Range News. Ethel even kept a stock of Mr. Oberstar's favorite tea hidden in the kitchen for his periodic stops.
    Doug was pretty much all business all week, that is until the weekend would come around. That was a time for dancing. On any chosen Friday or Saturday night you could almost set your clock by when the Deals would come into their favorite place for dancing. Doug would write weekly about how he and the "business manager" would dance the night away. One would always hear of the older couple who moved as one. Doug loved to dance with his wife and share it with others. Doug once quoted, "The reason I write about dancing in my column is for those who can no longer dance."
    Doug was very active in his community and had a passion for northern Minnesota and the people who lived here. He was involved in local clubs such as the VFW, American Legion, Moose, Civic, Eagles, Masons and many others. He was proud of his American heritage and you could tell it by the way he wrote in his column of over 30 years, "Jig Rocks & Tailings". Some people may not have agreed with his opinions, but he felt a great amount of passion for what he believed in and wrote about.
    In 1997 Doug was inducted into the "Half Century Club" by the Minnesota Newspaper Association for his 50 plus years of dedicated contributions to the newspapers of Minnesota.
    In his life Doug had watched the change and modernization of the newspaper from it's infancy to modern production, never losing his sight of what was important to his readership. He will always be remembered as an honest person with high morals and integrity.
    One could only never imagine what would have happened if Doug would have taken a job in the mines back in 1969 after the Scenic Range News burnt to the ground. I guess we can be thankful for his dedication to what he loved.
    Doug will be sadly missed by the people of northern Minnesota, friends and family and the many people who's lives he touched.

    Douglas Deal dedicated over 50 years of his life to his love of working and owning one of Minnesota's independent newspapers. Through the years Doug had seen many changes in the newspaper industry. His independent thinking inspired others to take a look at the way we live and thought about life in Northern Minnesota. One of Minnesota's treasures may have been lost, but will never be forgotten.

    The Family and Staff of the Scenic Range News would like to thank all of you our readers, correspondents, and advertisers for your patience during this difficult time. We here at the SRN will carry on Doug's dream and do so with great pride and distinction. Ethel Deal, Family & Staff Scenic Range News."

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):