Typical of county histories of this era, this publication is billed as a clear and impartial history of the county and its representative citizens. In fact, these citizens are mostly middle-aged white settlers who, by 1904, are merchants or professionals. The book’s publisher was also the publisher of the Waterloo Courier newspaper. And Isaiah Van Metre, who is given credit as the main compiler for the history, was part-owner of the Cedar Falls Recorder and Cedar Valley Tribune newspapers. This influence can be seen in two of the entries for Cedar Falls: "The Ideal Residence City" and "Business Advantages."