"Whisky spoiled the whole plan," said Cole Younger years after the Northfield, Minnesota, bank robbery ended his career as a bandit and began his new one as a prison librarian and founder of the first prison newspaper west of the Mississippi. Many prisoners, like Younger, were hired out to private firms who held contracts to lease prison labor. Younger was reassigned to the prison library, his brother Jim Younger became the postmaster of the penitentiary, and his other brother became a clerk. After nearly ten years in the Stillwater prison, Cole was approached by Lew P. Shoonmaker, another inmate, with the idea of starting a newspaper inside the penitentiary. To launch the Mirror, Shoonmaker drew up a founding agreement and began soliciting funds from other inmates. Like many of the newspapers of the upper Midwest in the early 1900s, the Prison Mirror did so from a progressive, prolabor and prosuffrage viewpoint.