John Symes was born in Ohio in 1842. His family moved
to La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1853. He worked with M. M. Pomeroy on the La
Crosse Democrat and when Pomeroy moved to New York, Symes along with
George Peck became the owners of that newspaper.
In 1877 Symes became a partner with W. C. Swain in a publishing office
in MIlwaukee. This firm was succeeded by Swain and Tate Company in
William Swain originally learned the printer's trade in
Vermont. In the 1850's he was employed by the New York Post. After
working in the trade in Albany, New York, he enlisted in the army and
fought heroically in the war. After the war he farmed for several years
in Sauk County, Wisconsin. He subsequently worked in Milwaukee editing
a newspaper until forming his partnership with John Symes in 1877.
This firm published only one Peck book- Peck's Fun. Peck's Fun
consists of extracts from the writings of George Peck that were found
in the La Crosse Sun and Peck's Sun. The vignettes were compiled by
V.W. Richardson and published first this Milwaukee printer.