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CHAPTER VI.
JOURNALISM- SCHOOLS.

Journalism St. Mary's Republican—The Elk County Advocate—The

Elk Democrat—The Daily Democrat—The Elk County GazetteOther Journals.

Schools First School In Elk County, And Eauly Teaching—Township

Schools—First Public School—Statistics, 1B88-89—School SuperintendEnts—County Institutes.

^journalism.

THE first newspaper printed and published in Elk county was called the St. Mary'8 Republican. It was born in the town of St. Mary's in the latter days of the year 1849. After a struggle of a few weeks, it died of starvation; this, too, in the thriving borough which now supports two sprightly Jefferson. ian-Deuiocratic journals, One of them a semi-weekly. What a change to be wrought in only thirty-eight short years!

The Elk County Advocate first saw the light of day on March 9, 1850. It was in size 22x28, and in appearance ranked fairly with the county papers of that day. The press and types were bought with money subscribed mainly by citizens here, but with some assistance from non-resident laild owners. Prac tical printers were gathered in from Jefferson, Clearfield and Warren counties. After an all-night effort, the paper was got in readiness for the weekly horseback mail, then carried by the late ex sheriff, David Thayer, through the almost unbroken forest to Warren. The second number was also issued without definite arrangement, with the name of Henry Souther, now a prominent citizen of Virginia, as editor. In the meantime a contest was going on among the imported printers for the job of running the Advocate. Arrangements were finally made with Jerome Powell, one of the importation, to edit and publish the paper for one year—the sum of $600 being guaranteed him for the service.

The editor of the Advocate noticing the organization of the "Know-nothings." in April, 1854, says: "The patriots of the Revolution fought not only for their liberties and firesides, but also to build up a country here, where the oppressed of all nations could find a refuge and home throughout all future time. But the Know-nothings are out for a different order of things."

The result was that the Advocate was published and edited by Mr. Powell, assisted for a short time in the editorial department by Mr. Souther, for about five and a half years, or till September 8, 1855. The paper was then sold to our now prominent citizen, J. L. Brown, of Wilcox, who changed the name, we believe, to the Elk County Reporter. From that point the paper changed hands frequently. Maj. J. A. Boyle succeeded Mr. Brown, followed in turn by P. W. Barrett, H. A. Pattison, Dr. J. S. Bardwell, in 1870, and others. John G. Hall finally bought it, and carried it on for a while in the interest of pure and unselfish Democracy.

The Advocate came into possession of the Republican party by purchase about December 1, 1868. An organization was formed called "The Elk County Advocate Association," and certificates of stock issued to the amount of about $1,300. We are indebted to J. H. Hagerty for one of the original certificates of stock. .In size it is 4£x8J inches. It is printed in two colors, red and green, and reads as follows:

No Ridgway, Elk County, Pa., $

Iiidgway, Pa., December 1st. 1868.

This certifies that has paid to

THE ELK COUNTY ADVOCATE ASSOCIATION, The sum of Two Dollars, which entitles him, or the bearer hereof, to One Share of Stock, at two dollars per Share, in the said Elk County Advocate Association.

John R. Baird, ) J. S. Bardwell, -Trustees. . J. H. Hagerty. )

On March 2, 1871, Henry A Parsons, Jr., became owner of the Advocate, vice Mr. Souther, and, abolishing the old numerals, commenced with Vol. I. No. 1, and introduced steam power presses. On September 19, 1872, H. A. Pattison became publisher. In 1884 the office was sold to the Ridgway Publishing Company, limited, the present proprietors, who purchased and added to the plant the Schoening series of law blanks, and some new machinery and type. Just when the name of the paper was again changed from the Reporter to the original name Ridgicay Advocate, we have been unable to learn.*

The Elk Democrat^ was started August 26, 1869, by the Elk Democrat Association. The stockholders were William A. Wallace, of Clearfield: John G. Hall, George Dickinson, J. S. Hyde, W. H. Hyde, G. D. Messenger, Sr., Nelson Gardner, G. G. Messenger, G. F. Dickinson, David Thaver, C. V. Gillis, W. C. Healy, C. H. McCauley, H. S. Thayer and Fred w'ilmarth, of Ridgway; and J. K. P. Hall and Louis Vollmer, of St. Mary's. The paper was started for the purpose of advocating the cause of John G. Hall, the Democratic nominee for assembly, the St. Mary's Gazette, the only Democratic paper in the county, having espoused the cause of C. R. Earley, who ran as an independent candidate against Mr. Hall. John F. Moore, of Clearfield, had mechanical charge of the paper until October 30, 18fi9. A German printer was imported from Philadelphia, and, during the exciting campaign of that year, each issue contained several columns of German editorials for the special benefit of the German voters in Benzinger, St. Mary's, Fox and Jones. The contest having resulted in the election of Mr. Hall, it was decided to continue the publication of the paper, and on November 1, 1869, Eugene J. Miller, "of Harrisburg, assumed editorial and mechanical charge of the office. In 1870 the paper was enlarged from seven to eight columns to the page. After a service of two years, Mr. Miller resigned, and the office was leased to C. W. Barrett. In the latter part of March, 1873, Mr. Miller purchased the establishment from the Elk Democrat Association. Up to that time the office was located on the second floor of J. S. Hyde's building, afterward used as a, boarding-houso. As soon as Mr. Miller had obtained possession, he removed the office to the second floor of the new building of W. S. Service, opposite the court-house, where it remained until the early morning of September 29, 1882, when it went up in smoke in the disastrous fire which reduced to ashes the business heart of Ridgway, having in December, 1874, absorbed by purchase the job printing office of Fred Schoening, making it at that time the most complete printing establishment in the country. Only one line of type from

* From Jerome Powell's sketch and file.

tBy Eugene J. Miller, who for fourteen years was the editor and proprietor of the Elk Democrat, and who subsequently owned and published the Columbia Herald, Erie Omervcr and the Kane Leader. He left Ridgway In April, 1886, with his family, for Southern Pines, N. C, to engage in business then-.

the entire outfit escaped the flames, and that was not in the office, having been borrowed by Mr. Parsons. This line Mr. Miller still has, carefully laid away, and prizes it highly as a relic of the old Democrat outfit. Thanks to the courtesy of H. A. Parsons, Jr., proprietor of the Advocate, not an issue of the paper was missed. The week following the fire a small sheet was issued, and from that time until the 2d of November following, the paper appeared regularly from the Advocate office as a half-sheet, when a shanty having been built on Court street, opposite Mercer's meat market, and a new outfit procured, it was again issued as a full-sheet, being printed on a Prouty press, which was the first cylinder press ever brought into the county. In August, 1883, the office was moved from the shanty.to the second floor of R. I. Campbell's new brick building. In the spring of 1884 a Bookwalter engine was put in, and the newspaper and job presses nm by steam. On December 1, 1884, Mr. Miller sold the office to George R. Dixon, A. M., the present proprietor. The Daily Democrat was issued in November, 1887, and continued during the meeting of the institute. Mr. Dixon is a trenchant writer. In 1875-70 he wrote a valuable history of the county schools, much of which is incorporated in this work.

The Elk County Railroad & Mining Gazette Company was incorporated in August, 1807, with C. R. Earley, H. Kietz, W. James Blakely, C. McVean, Fred Schoening, L. J. Blakely, E. C. Schultz, and George A. Rathbun, members. The object was to publish a journal showing forth the resources of the county. The first issue of the Gazette is dated September 24, 1808, with Edward F. Hodges, editor. He was followed by L. J. Blakely. Capt. G. C. Brandon, who died at Mount Pleasant, Mich., in 1889, was, for a number of years editor of the Gazette. His daughter, Mrs. E. B. Wilmarth, is now editor of the Democrat at that place. Volume V, No. 30 of the Elk County Gazette was issued January 9,1873, by G. C. Brandon, and he continued regular publication for over fourteen years, until March 11, 1880, when C. W. Barrett succeeded him. In the salutatory of Mr. Barrett, March 18, 1880, this sentence finds a place: "Financially we expect to pay our liabilities and collect our bills, or vice versa, and upon this last declaration hangs all the law and the profits." In April, 1887, the vice versa part of the program seems to have been accomplished, for the office passed from the possession of the sheriff into the hands of D. R. Wilmarth & Co. There was no paper issued on April 14, but on April 21 D. R. Wilmarth & Co. appear as publishers, with H. A. Hall, editor and G. A. Westcott, superintendent. In January, J 890, Harry A. Hall disposed of his interest in the Gazette to the Wilmarth Bros., preparatory to the establishment of his law office at Ridgway.

The Grace Church Record, a monthly sheet, was published at Ridgway in June, 1870, with Rev. William James Miller, editor, by Charles R. Earley and W. F. Geary.

The Herald was issued semi-weekly, at St. Mary's, June 11, 1887, by C. W. Barrett, formerly of the St. Mary's Gazette. He sold the office, January 19, 1888, to F. J. Wimmer and T. A. Jacob, the latter being now sole owner.

The Clarion Breeze, No. 1, Vol. I, was issued at Johnsonburg July 18, 1889, by A. J. Quimby, formerly of Coudersport. This journal, like the town it represents so well, started pretentiously, and continues to carry out its pretensions.

SCHOOLS.

The first school in Elk county was opened in 1821, two years after the establishment of a school in Cameron county. It was presided over by Cephas County Advocate Association," and certificates of stock issued to the amount of about $1,300. We are indebted to J. H. Hagerty for one of the original certificates of stock. ,In size it is 4Jx8J inches. It is printed in two colors, red and green, and reads as follows:

No Ridgway, Elk County, Pa., S

Ridgway, Pa., December 1st, 1868.

This certifies that has paid to

THE ELK COUNTY ADVOCATE ASSOCIATION, The sum of Two Dollars, which entitles him, or the bearer hereof, to One Share of Stock, at two dollars per Share, in the said Elk County Advocate Association.

John R. Baird, ) J. S. Bardwell, --Trustees. . J. H. Hagerty. )

On March 2, 1871, Henry A Parsons, Jr., became owner of the Advocate, vice Mr. Souther, and, abolishing the old numerals, commenced with Vol. I. No. 1, and introduced steam power presses. On September 19, 1872, H. A. Patter son became publisher. In 1884 the office was sold to the Ridgway Publishing Company, limited, the present proprietors, who purchased and added to the plant the Schoening series of law blanks, and some new machinery and type. Just when the name of the paper was again changed from the Reporter to the original name Ridgway Advocate, we have been unable to learn.*

The Elk Democrat^ was started August 20, 1809, by the Elk Democrat Association. The stockholders were William A. Wallace, of Clearfield; John G. Hall, George Dickinson, J. S. Hyde, W. H. Hyde, G. D. Messenger, Sr., Nelson Gardner, G. G. Messenger, G. F. Dickinson, David Thayer, C. V. Gillis, W. C. Healy, C. H. McCauley, H. S. Thayer and Fred WUmarth, of Ridgway; and J. K. P. Hall and Louis Vollmer, of St. Mary's. The paper was started for the purpose of advocating the cause of John G. Hall, the Democratic nominee for assembly, the St. Mary's Gazette, the only Democratic paper in the county, having espoused the cause of C. R. Earley, who ran as an independent candidate against Mr. Hall. John F. Moore, of Clearfield, had mechanical charge of the paper until October 30, 1809. A German printer was imported from Philadelphia, and, during the exciting campaign of that year, each issue contained several columns of German editorials for the special benefit of the German voters in Benzinger, St. Mary's, Fox and Jones. The contest having resulted in the election of Mr. Hall, it was decided to continue the publication of the paper, and on November 1, 1809, Eugene J. Miller, of Harrisburg, assumed editorial and mechanical charge of the office. In 1870 the paper was enlarged from seven to eight columns to the page. After a service of two years, Mr. Miller resigned, and the office was leased to C. W. Barrett. In the latter part of March, 1873, Mr. Miller purchased the establishment from the Elk Democrat Association. Up to that time the office was located on the second floor of J. S. Hyde's building, afterward used as a, boarding-house. As soon as Mr. Miller had obtained possession, he removed the office to the second floor of the new building of W. S. Service, opposite the court-house, where it remained until the early morning of September 29, 1882, when it went up in smoke in the disastrous fire which reduced to ashes the business heart of Ridgway, having in December, 1874, absorbed by purchase the job printing office of Fred Schoening, making it at that time the most complete printing establishment in the country. Only one line of type from

* From Jerome Powell's sketch ami file.

t By Eugene J. Miller, who for fourteen years was the editor and proprietor of the Elk Democrat, and who subsequently owned and published the Columbia Herald, Erie Observer and the Kane Leader. He left Kldgway lu April, 1886. with his family, for Southern Pines, N. G, to engage In business there.

the entire outfit escaped the flames, and that was not in the office, having been borrowed by Mr. Parsons. This line Mr. Miller still has, carefully laid away, and prizes it highly as a relic of the old Democrat outfit. Thanks to the courtesy of H. A. Parsons, Jr., proprietor of the Advocate, not an issue of the paper was missed. The week following the fire a small sheet was issued, and from that time until the 2d of November following, the paper appeared regularly from the Advocate office as a half-sheet, when a shanty having been built on Court street, opposite Mercer's meat market, and a new outfit procured, it was again issued as a full-sheet, being printed on a Prouty press, which was the first cylinder press ever brought into the county. In August, 1883, the office was moved from the shanty to the second floor of R. I. Campbell's new brick building. In the spring of 1884 a Bookwalter engine was put in, and the newspaper and job presses run by steam. On December 1, 1884, Mr. Miller sold the office to George R. Dixon, A. M., the present proprietor. The Daily Democrat was issued in November, 1887, and continued during the meeting of the institute. Mr. Dixon is a trenchant writer. In 1875-70 he wrote a valuable history of the county schools, much of which is incorporated in this work.

The Elk County Railroad & Mining Gazette Company was incorporated in August, 1867, with C. R. Earley, H. Kietz, W. James Blakely, C. McVean, Fred Schoening, L. J. Blakely, E. C. Schultz, and George A. Rathbun, members. The object was to publish a journal showing forth the resources of the county. The first issue of the Gazette is dated September 24, 1868, with Edward F. Hodges, editor. He was followed by L. J. Blakely. Capt. G. C. Brandon, who died at Mount Pleasant, Mich., in 1889, was, for a number of years editor of the Gazette. His daughter, Mrs. E. B. Wilmarth, is now editor of the Democrat at that place. Volume V, No. 3f) of the Elk County Gazette was issued January 9,1873, by G. C. Brandon, and he continued regular publication for over fourteen years, until March 11, 1886, when C. W. Barrett succeeded him. In the salutatory of Mr. Barrett, March 18, 1886, this sentence finds a place: "Financially we expect to pay our liabilities and collect our bills, or vice versa, and upon this last declaration hangs all the law and the profits." In April, 1887, the vice versa part of the program seems to have been accomplished, for the office passed from the possession of the sheriff into the hands of D. R. Wilmarth & Co. There was no paper issued on April 14, but on April 21 D. R. Wilmarth & Co. appear as publishers, with H. A. Hall, editor and G. A. Westcott, superintendent. In January, 1890, Harry A. Hall disposed of his interest in the Gazette to the Wilmarth Bros., preparatory to the establishment of his law office at Ridgway.

The Grace Church Record, a monthly sheet, was published at Ridgway in June, 1876, with Rev. William James Miller, editor, by Charles R. Earlev and W. F. Geary.

The Herald was issued semi-weekly, at St. Mary's, June 11, 1887, by C. W. Barrett, formerly of the St. Mary's Gazette. He sold the office, January 19, 1888, to F. J. Wimmer and T. A. Jacob, the latter being now sole owner.

The Clarion Breeze, No. 1, Vol. I, was issued at Johnsonburg July 18, 1889, by A. J. Quimby, formerly of Coudersport. This journal, like the town it represents so well, started pretentiously, and continues to carry out its pretensions.

SCHOOLS.

The first school in Elk county was opened in 1821, two years after the establishment of a school in Cameron county. It was presided over by Cephas

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