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20th Century History of Steubenville & Jefferson Co., Ohio
by Joseph B. Doyle -
Publ Richmond-Arnold Publ. Co. - Chicago -

Chapter XVIII.
The Press

A Long and Honorable History - Close Relation to National Events - Numerous Array of Publications.

       If the spirit and intelligence of a community is to be gauged by the character of its newspapers, Jefferson County will not suffer by any comparison which can not suffer by any comparison which can be brought.  It not only claims to have the oldest newspaper in the state in the order of continuous publication, but its journals generally have had an influence considerably beyond its own borders.  The difficulties attendant upon starting and conduction a newspaper west of the mountains at the beginning of the nineteenth century, can hardly be overestimated.  The expense of the long cartage made the first cost of the plant out of proportion to its value as a revenue producer, and the price of paper and other necessary stock was calculated to absorb pretty much all the current receipts.  Facilities for news gathering did not exist, local matters were not regarded as of special importance, and foreign intelligence was weeks old when it arrived by the slow process of mail.  The population of Steubenville in 1806 probably did not exceed 500, and the rural population was exceedingly sparse.  Undeterred by these drawbacks there came to Steubenville at the beginning of the century William Lowry and John Miller from Berkely County, Virginia.  They were brothers-in-law, Lowry having married Miller’s sister, and both were men of considerable prominence, possessing more than average ability and force of character.  Miller inherited a little one-story frame building on the east side of Third street above Washington where Turner Hall now stands, from where in January, 1806, the first number of the Western Herald was issued.  Miller did not remain long with the paper and when the conflict of 1812, which had been so long portending, broke out, he joined the volunteer forces against the British, and afterwards forces against the British, and afterwards became a member of the regular army.  For distinguished services at Fort Meigs he was promoted to the colonelcy.  After the war he received the appointment of register of land in the territory of Missouri and became the second governor of that territory.  Many years after, when it was decided to place two statues of Missouri’s prominent men in the capitol at Washington, a factor in determining the choice of a sculptor was that one of the competitors was a great nephew of Governor Miller, Alexander Doyle, of New York, to whom the work was awarded.
     In the meantime, the paper was conducted by Lowry at the old location, he occupying the brick dwelling on the south, still standing, as a residence until the sale of the establishment to James Wilson
in 1815.  During his career he filled other positions, having been elected a justice of the peace during the War of 1812, and was a member of the lower house of the legislature in 1823-24, and of the state senate in 1825-26.
      Mr. Lowry was also a civil engineer, and surveyed the first road from Steubenville to Alikana, then known as Speakersburg, a regularly platted hamlet with a hotel.  He died in 1843, leaving among his daughters, Mrs. Alexander Doyle, and the second Mrs. John Copeland, descendants of whom, William Wilkin, Mrs. J. W. Evans and Mrs. M. J. Urquhart, still reside here.  His other children removed from Steubenville at an early date.
     The little office building which has become historic, was occupied as a school house by Delle Hunt in 1828, and subsequently by John Dudley, whom some of our old citizens will remember, not only as a thoroughly teacher but a strict disciplinarian.  The house was demolished to make way for Turner Hall in 1881, and the view herewith published was photographed at that time.
     Mr. Lowry retired from the Herald in 1815, and was succeeded by James Wilson, of Philadelphia, who seems to have been influenced by John Wright to come out here.  The paper remained in his family for 30 years, during which it was declared to have “flopped” from the Democratic to the Whig party, afterwards the Republican.  The fact was it simply followed its old traditions in favor of the Adams wing of the party against the high-handed proceedings of Andrew Jackson, in which it had the authority of Jefferson and other Democratic leaders.  A full review of this period by the present writer will be found in the Centennial number of the Herald, from which we take the following:
     The first daily newspaper published in this country was the American Advertiser, issued in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin Bache, a nephew of Benjamin Franklin, who afterwards conducted the Aurora.  Although Washington was chosen president for two terms practically without opposition, yet a new political party was fully organized during his term of office under the lead of Thomas Jefferson.  This party called itself Democratic-Republican, acting more generally, however, under the latter name.  The fact that Washington appointed Jefferson his first Secretary of State did not prevent him conspiring against his chief.  And cabinet differences became so marked that on Dec. 31, 1793, he resigned his position and his succeeded by Edmund Randolph.  The National Gazette of Philadelphia, having expired in October of that year, its place as Jefferson’s personal organ was taken by the Aurora, which attacked federalism and Federalists from Washington down, with a virulence unknown at the present day, if we except certain phases of New York journalism.  When Washington left Philadelphia for his home at Mt. Vernon on Mar. 5, 1797, the Aurora published a lengthy diatribe, rejoicing that “the man who is the source of all the misfortunes of our country is this day reduced to a level with his fellow citizens, and is no longer possessed of power to multiply evils upon the United States.  If ever there was a period of rejoicing, this is the moment.  Every heart in unison with the freedom and happiness of the people ought to beat high with adulation that the name of Washington from this day ceased to give a currency to political iniquity and legalized corruption.  *  *  *  Nafarious projects can no longer be supported by a name.  It is a subject of the greatest astonishment that a single individual should have carried his designs against public liberty so far as to have put in jeopardy its very existence.”
     Bache died of yellow fever in 1798, and his widow placed the paper under the management of William Duane, and its partisanship was as bitter as ever, even more so if that were possible.  Duane was born in this country, but both his parents were Irish.  He went to Ireland and learned the printing trade, and from thence went to India where he made a fortune.  There he came in conflict with the East India Company, a trust that makes Standard Oil appear sickly in comparison, and was immediately hustled out of the country without a dollar, all redness denied, and he came back to Philadelphia as poor as when he left.  He naturally needed no probing to make the paper as anti-British as possible, and as pro-English was one of the favorite charges which the Republicans were constantly bringing against their antagonists, the Federalists, he had plenty of opportunity for gratifying his natural predilections.  His office was mobbed, he was brutally beaten, and had it not been for the arrival of political friends there would have been an end of him if not of the Aurora, and the Herald might have had a different editor.  On Nov. 6, 1799, the New York Argus published a letter from Philadelphia to the effect that Alexander Hamilton was at the bottom of an effort to suppress the Aurora, and that Mrs. Bache had been offered $6,000 down in part payment, the remainder to be paid on delivery of the property but she declared she would never dishonor her husband’s memory or her children’s future fame by such baseness, when she parted with the paper it would be to Republicans only.  This statement would not be considered specially libelous in these days, but the spirit of the alien and sedition laws was still in full force, and back of the statements was the innuendo that the government secret service fund was to be used in this purchase.  Suit was brought by Hamilton, and the Argus editor being convicted, he was fined $100 and sentenced to four months’ imprisonment.  Duane died in 1835.
     Such was the preceptor of James Wilson, who had emigrated from Londonderry, Ireland, for Philadelphia, and when Judge Wright wrote for him to come and take charge of the Herald he probably had little, if any, doubt as to the future political course of the paper.  But times and men both changed, John Adams was the last Federal president, and the election of 1800 resulting in a tie in the Electoral College between Jefferson and Burr, the choice fell to the house of Representatives, where, by the advice of Hamilton, the Federals mainly refrained from voting, allowing Jefferson to be chosen, regarding him as a lesser evil than Burr.  The second war with Great Britain had come and gone; almost the only creditable work outside of Harrison’s victory at the Thames and the battle of New Orleans had been accomplished by the little navy created by Adams and the Federalists at the very time they were charged with being British sympathizers, just as at a later period the Whigs saved the honor of the Nation in the war with Mexico forced on the country by their political opponents.  So when Mr. Wilson took charge of the Herald there was peace at home and abroad, and he had been here but a short time until he was elected a member of the legislature in 1816, where he served one term.  The Herald establishment was moved to upper Market street, nearly opposite the present site of the Imperial hotel.  Mr. Wilson had a beautiful and spacious home, bounded by what is now Logan and Clinton streets and Alley C.  Here he reared a large family but previous to disposing of his homestead to Col. James Collier, after the latter’s return from California in 1849, he built a one-story brick cottage on the east side of his lot where he lived until his death by cholera in 1852.  Very little of the original home is left, and the land is occupied by numerous dwellings but the little cottage still stands intact.
     James Monroe was elected President in 1816, receiving 183 electoral votes to 34 for King, the Federal candidate, and in 1820 he was re-elected candidate, and in 1820 he was re-elected without opposition, the period being characterized as the “era of good feeling.”
     It was not a time for savage partisan editorials, as there seemed to be but one political party in the country, and a copy of the paper before us whose full name at this time was Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette, seems to partake of the general calm, as there is not a single editorial utterance in it, if we except a mild dissent at the head of a long communication from Cincinnati to the effect that they were getting along fairly well with wildcate money, and arguing that if they could buy foreign goods to better advantage than the home product there was no reason why they should not do so.  The paper before as is a little five-column folio, with an absolute dearth of local news, unless a lengthy poem on the Wells mansion, quoted below, can be considered such.  There are over two columns of sheriff’s sales which would be equivalent to more than a page of the present day, which does not argue strongly in favor of good times.  The list of local advertisers is interesting, including B. Wells & Co., Robert Thompson, Dike & Raguet, M. Johnson, Steubenville Brewery, by William Shiras, Jr., James Turnbull, Adams & Hutchinson, David Larimore, James Means, John M. Goodenow, Humphrey Leavitt, Samuel Stokely, Wright & Collier, P. Wilson, Robert Hales, Steam Paper Mill by J. C. Bayless, Jacob Nessley, Sr., J. G. Nening, John Clark and Daniel Thomas.  Thomas Orr is sheriff, John Milligan auditor and John Patterson clerk.  David Larimore is postmaster at Steubenville, and Henry Crew at Richmond.  Magistrates’ blanks were then as now “for sale at this office.”  Advertising rates were for the first three insertions $1 per square (little under an inch), and each subsequent insertion 25¢; by the year $10, not differing widely from present rates.  A paragraph about that time indicates that search for silver and lead ore in Jefferson County is not a modern freak exclusively.
     The political calm existing from 1816 to 1820 could not last.  The growth of the country and the advent of a new generation could not but make new issues.  There was a little cloud, no larger than a man’s hand, but it existed.  Five states came into the Union during the first four years of Monroe’s administration, but it was not the number alone which was significant.  When the Union was first organized the existence of slavery in the southern section was accepted as a necessary evil.  Nobody thought of its extension,
and many of those interested in the matter believed that it would gradually become extinct.  When Missouri, on Mar. 6, 1818, asked admission to the Union as a slave state, it startled even Mr. Jefferson “like a fire bell in the night.”  The ordinance of 1787 forbade slavery forever in all that part of the United Staes north and west of the Ohio River, but Missouri came in with the Louisiana purchase, and was not covered by this act.  After two years’ discussion the matter was settled by the famous Missouri compromise by which the territory was admitted with its slaves, but providing that all the rest of the Louisiana purchase north of latitude 36:30, or north of the mouth of the Ohio River, should be free.  The repeal of this compromise led to the Kansas-Nebraska troubles.  Then there was the tariff, the North favoring and the South opposing.  The latter section was still agricultural and stationary, while other parts of the country were manufacturing and progressive.  A report of the Fourth of July celebration in 1822 at Jenkinson’s Arbor contains some significant intimations that the people were sitting up and doing some thinking.  Outside the usual patriotic toasts there were advocates of home industry, internal improvements, the sovereign people (not states),  “Our next President, no slaveholder, no doughface, a friend of domestic manufacturers, an enemy to aristocratic monied institutions,” etc.  One toast was for state rights but that was evidently understood very differently from the southern idea of state sovereignty.
     The issue of the Herald of Nov. 16, 1822, contains the announcement that Mr. Wilson had proposed to purchase the Philadelphia Aurora, but being unable to dispose of this Steubenville property, the arrangement fell through.  This issue contains quite a long editorial on the Presidency, as it was apparent that 1824 would witness an animated contest.  The aspirants discussed were Clinton, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Jackson, Calhoun and William H. Crawford, of Georgia, then secretary of the treasury.  It will be remembered that there was still but one

[PICTURES OF:  St. Paul’s Church, Steubenville.  First Presbyterian Church, Steubenville, Second Presbyterian Church of Steubenville, Hamlins Church, Steubenville. Congregational Church, Steubenville.  First M. E. Church, Steubenville]

dominating political party, the Federalists having ceased to be a power, and no other organization having sufficient crystallization to take their place.  The proper takes decided ground against the nomination of any southerner, or any man has aided in the extension of slavery, or who is an enemy to domestic industries and internal improvements.  Clinton and Adams are considered the only available candidates so far as this section is concerned.  In another issue the editor urges that New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio act together, whereby they can oppose united influence to southern combinations.  The Missouri case is still fresh, and it rankles.  It is seen that the line of cleavage between the two sections of the party is already pretty clearly marked.  There was no doubt of the position of the Herald, and those “Democratic-Republicans” who supported it.  The meeting in 1822 reported above was along precisely the same lines, and that is all there was in the reported “flop” from Democracy” to “Whigism.”  There was never any flop in the ordinary sense of that term, there was simply a parting of the ways.  The election of 1824 resulted in Jackson receiving 90 electoral votes.  Adams 84, Crawford 41 and Clay 37.  None having a majority, the election was thrown into the House of Representatives, which not being inclined to choose the man whom Jefferson had declared “one of the most unfit men I known for the place.”  Refused to select Jackson and chose Adams.   In 1828 the new tariff bill passed which brought out South Carolina’s nullification protests.  The campaign of that year was exceptionally bitter, the newly crystallizing Whig party supporting Adams while the “Democrats,” who took that name alone for the first time, supported Jackson, who was elected.   It is not necessary to, nor have we space, to enter into a history of the stirring political turmoil which follows.  Henry Clay, the Whig candidate and followed in 1836 by Martin Van Buren¸ whom (start at 2nd column page 311 and then)…………………..
skipping to page 316…..
ly) and Daily Messenger and the Steubenville Democrat previously.  He owned and published the Beaver Star for one year.  He with Dr. Reed and Charles A. Mantz founded the St. Louis Post, afterward consolidated with the Dispatch.
     R. Schnorrenberg established a weekly German paper on Aug. 1, 1876.  For awhile the firm was Schnorrenberg & Gescheider, but on Apr. 1, 1879, the former retired, leaving Max Gescheider the sole proprietor.  Joseph Niederhuber subsequently purchased the paper and conducts it in connection with his job office and book bindery on Court Street.
     After retiring from the Herald in 1874 John Palmer for about a year conducted a weekly paper under the name of Palmer’s News, but it was discontinued.  Subsequently in the same building another paper called the Steubenville News was operated between 1898 and 1900.  During the later seventies the Wool Growers’ Bulletin was issued from the Tri-State woolhouse, giving the latest information concerning that industry.
     Several efforts were made in the way of starting Sunday newspapers in Steubenville, the first being the Local by A. M. Matlack in 1876, which operated about three years, Chronicle by E. A. Elliott in 1879.  News by G. G. Nichols the same year, Life by G. B. Huff and A. F. Beach, and Leader by B. Hipsley and others.  The latest addition to the city press is the Union Leader, published in the interest of the labor organization.  A local Italian paper has also been published here.  Other enterprises of this character have been inaugurated from time to time, but they died and left no sign.  The community is well served in this respect at present by the regular publications and parish and other smaller periodicals, to which ahs been added the Saturday Evening Journal.
     Mount Pleasant having been settled by a class of people above the average in the way of education and refinement was naturally the first community in the county outside of Steubenville to publish a newspaper.  The first paper produced here was the Philanthropist, a small quarto of eight pages, issued every Saturday at $3 per year.  Charles Osborne was the printer, and the first number made its appearance on Sept. 8, 1817.  It printed the news of the day and discussed moral ethics.  On Oct. 8, 1818,
Elisha Bates purchased the paper an converted it into a sixteen-page octavo on Dec. 11.  Its last issue was Apr. 27, 1822.  Here also was conducted the first abolition paper published in the United States, The Genius of Universal Emancipation.  Benjamin Lunday was the editor.  He would set up his matter in his office at Mt. Pleasant and take the forms across the country to Steubenville, where the paper was printed at the Herald office.  On these visits to Steubenville he was a welcome visitor to the homes of those who sympathized with his cause, especially at the house of Dr. David Stanton, father of the great war secretary.  He subsequently removed with his paper to Jonesboro, Tenn., and then to Baltimore in 1824.  The Village Banner published in 1835, lasted one year.   Elisha Bates published a monthly periodical called the Miscellaneous Repository from July, 1827, to about 1832.  There were other publications of which there is no record.  There was also something doing in the book line, among the publications being Barton’s Poems, 12 mo. 1823; The Juvenile Expositor, or Child’s Dictionary, by Elisha Bates, square 12 mo., 1823; Sacred History, or the Historical Part of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, by Thomas Elwood, 2 vols., 8vo., sheep, 1854, with many others.
     C. M. Hayne started a job printing office in Smithfield in 1875, and on Feb. 14, 1876, inaugurated the Smithfield Independent.  It was published regularly until December, 1877, when it was discontinued.
     Several papers have been started at Irondale, under the names of Record, Courier, Eagle, etc., but they were short lived.
     In 1879 a little paper called The Banner of Zion was published at Knoxville by Stokes Bros., who had a small job office.  The same year T. M. Daniels started the Weekly Tribune at Toronto, and in 1880 Frank Stokes moved there and entered into partnership with him, under the firm name of Daniels & Stokes became sold proprietor, starting a daily on Aug. 17, 1890.  Mr. Stokes being elected county clerk in 1894 he leased the plant to C. H. Stoll, but at the expiration of his term again took charge.  The paper was recently sold to H. P. Boyer and John Bray, who are making a very successful publication.
     Richard A. Bryant conducted a paper at Mingo in the later nineties under the title of Mingo Advocate.  There was also the Mingo News, and a paper of the same title at Brilliant operated by W. J. Murphy.  At Richmond there were the Radiator and one or two others.



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