Since 1885, the Rowe family was involved in the ownership and operation of the Free Lance-Star publishing company and its predecessors. In 2014, the Free Lance-Star Publishing Company was sold. In 1926, Josiah P. Rowe, Jr. merged two local newspapers, the Free Lance and the Fredericksburg Daily Star into a single newspaper. His sons, Charles and Josiah III (Joe), assumed leadership of the family business upon their father's death in 1949. Charles took over as editor and co-publisher, and Joe became general manager and co-publisher. Joe purchased total ownership of the business in 1997. When Joe retired in 2011, his son-in-law, Nick Cadwallender, became President and Publisher and his daughter, Florence Barnick, served as Associate Publisher. Through the years, numerous Mary Washington journalism students received their career start through internships provided by The Free Lance-Star.
Photo: Joe Rowe III