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 The Lathrop Optimist was founded in 1909 by publisher Tom W. Klepper. In 1911 the paper was merged with the Monitor-Herald under the title The Lathrop Optimist. In 1921 the paper changed hands twice. The Optimist was first sold to Mack Stanton and shortly thereafter purchased by Dwight Miller. Miller sold the paper to E.L. Fisher in 1925. E.L. Fisher served as publisher and editor until 1958, when he sold The Optimist and his printing company to Bob and Lucille Cole. The Coles operated the paper until 1973, when they sold The Optimist to J.W. “Skip” and Franc E. Tinnen. In 1990, The Lathrop Optimist was combined with The Plattsburg Leader to form The Clinton County Leader.

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