The Democrat/Democrat Printing Company

Carroll & Doty Streets.
June 15, 1852
  • Simeon Mills merges his Argus with the Democrat to create Madison's first daily newspaper.
  • A.E. Gordon the first publisher.
  • The city's morning paper from 1868 to 1921.
  • Was against extending civil rights to African Americans, against women's suffrage, and even against compulsory school attendance for children under 14.
  • Merges with the Wisconsin State Journal.
  • The company continued as a printer and stayed in its building at 114 S. Carroll St., across the street from its former rival, the Wisconsin State Journal. Frederick "Heggie" Brandenburg, the son of the Democrat's last publisher, and that paper's business manager, was the printing company's president from 1931 until his death in 1959. In 1953, the Democrat Printing Co. moved to new quarters on Fordem Avenue. It created a subsidiary, Webcrafters Inc., to explore web-offset printing. A company salesman, Walter Frautschi, worked his way up and eventually came to own the company with his sons, John and Jerome. Jerome Frautschi sold his interest in the family company , and today is probably best known to Madisonians as the $100 million benefactor of the Overture arts district project. "Then in 1965, the Webcrafters corporation was merged into the Democrat, "recalls John Frautschi, chairman of the board of Webcrafters today. The new Webcrafters name was taken up by its parent, though the surviving corporation was the Democrat's. In 1972 the company printed "Story of the Democrat," a history of the paper written as a master's thesis in 1948 by Roland Strand.