The Press

The Bedford Gazette - The True American - The Bedford Inquirer - The Bedford Republican - The Everett Press - The School Register - The Independent - The Weekly Star.

THE initial number of the Bedford Gazette, Bedford county's first newspaper, was issued on Saturday morning, September 21, 1805. Its originator, printer and publisher was Charles McDowell, who was born of Irish parents, came here from Lancaster county. Originally, and for several years thereafter, it was a four-column folio (Bedford borough newspapers have always been folios), the printed matter occupying a space of ten by sixteen inches. The first column, first page, of the number mentioned (which was printed in Julian street, next door to the court-house), is occupied with proposals by Charles McDowell for publishing, in the borough of Bedford, a weekly newspaper, entitled the Bedford Gazette.

The editor informed his readers that the Gazette would  be published weekly, at two

dollars per annum, payable half yearly in advance those who reside at a distance, and receive their papers by mail, must pay two dollars at the time of subscribing. Any advertisement not exceeding eighteen lines will be inserted three times for one dollar, and twenty-five cents for every subsequent insertion ? longer ones in proportion. All publications of a personal or private nature will be charged as advertisements, and must be paid for before insertion.

With the exception of the following, not a single item of local news appeared in the first number of the Gazette:


We, the undersigned, conceiving it necessary that the Constitutional Republicans of Bedford, Huntingdon and Somerset counties should be united in choosing a Senator at the ensuing election; and believing that it is, in reason and justice, the right of Somerset county, at this time, to nominate a candidate to represent said district in the State Senate for the ensuing four years, and as ABRAHAM MORRISON, Esquire, of Somerset county, has been taken up as a candidate for said office, at an early period, and will receive general support in this county, and, as we are informed, in Bedford county, we do hereby earnestly recommend him to our fellow-citizens as a suitable person to fill said office as it is our sincere belief that the interest of said counties will be essentially promoted by his election. We do also hereby publicly declare that we highly disapprove of the nomination of Henry Wertz, Jun., at this late period, as a candidate for the said office.

Somerset, Sept. 11, 1805.

John Anewalt, George Schwartz, Jacob Keffer, Samuel King, Samuel Cremer, George Weimer, Daniel Stoy, Robert Smiley, James Hertzell, John Hoir, John Mong, Thomas Faith, John McMillen, John Collier, John P. Finkle, George Graham, Henry Stall, Cornelius Martenus, Jacob Pretts, John Wells, John Whysong, Alexander Linn, David Kimmel, Christian Reid, John Hays, William Tyshu, Jacob Glassner, John Tantlinger, Matthias Scott, George Evans, John Stiers, George Johnson, Jacob Hartzell, John McClean, Michael Hugas, John Weimer, John Sutton, Bernard Connelly, Thomas Spencer, Jacob Lutz, Henry Stauffer, John Kurtz, George Tedrow, John Musser, Christian Stoner, Adam Nigh, Frederick Neef, William G. Elder, Thomas Kennedy, Gordon Drrough, Alexander Cummins, Frederick Mayer, Jacob Swenk, Gabriel Forsyth.

Extract from a handbill printed at Somerset June 17, 1805:

We, the undersigned, approve of the nomination of ABRAHAM MORRISON, Esq., as a candidate for the Senate, and will support him as such at the next election. George Kimmel, senior, Abraham Miller, sheriff, Killian Lichtenberger, William Sibert, John Webster John Murphy, John Sullivan, James Clark, John Campbell, James Hanna, Otho Shrader, Jacob Saylor, William Fogle.


We, the subscribers, inhabitants of Bedford county, take this method of informing the citizens of Somerset and Huntingdon counties that we have agreed to support ABRAHAM MORRISON, ESQ., of Somerset, as Senator for the district composed of the counties of Somerset, Bedford and Huntingdon, at the ensuing election; and that we will use all legal and honorable means to promote his election.

Bedford, Sept. 9, 1805.

James Martin, Terrence Campbell, George Funk, John Kinton, John Reynolds, Jacob Bonnett, John Anderson, William Reynolds, Martin Reiley, David Reiley, Anthony Nawgel, John Scott, William Proctor, Jun., Elijah Adams, Solomon Adams, Anthony Smith, Christopher Reiley, Henry Woods, John Ewalt, Joseph Vickroy, John Lyon, Peter Arnolt, Joshua Johnson, John May.

With the exception of the printer, who wanted immediately, as an apprentice to the printing business, a smart, active boy, about fifteen or sixteen years of age, of good moral character and reputable connections, Hugh Barclay, as administrator of the estate of William Martin, deceased, was the first and only one to advertise in the first issue of this paper.

In the issue of December 16, 1806, the editor says:

So long as the stages remain in town over night, this paper will be published on Tuesday morning.

Postage was then an important item, as the printer says:

We again repeat, that persons writing to the Editor MUST pay the postage.

The Gazette was the organ of the federalists or constitutional republicans, as they sometimes styled themselves (a party which afterward became known as the loco foco, and finally the democratic of the present day), and although there were frequent intervals when it failed to appear regularly by reason of lack of printing paper, printer's ink, non-arrival of the weekly mail, or sickness in the printer's family, yet Mr. McDowell continued as owner, editor and publisher until September 1, 1832, when he sold out to George W. Bowman.

Regarding subsequent changes in the ownership of this paper we add that Mr. Bowman controlled it, striking lusty blows for democracy meanwhile, until August 1, 1857 when Benjamin F. Meyers and George W. Benford became its owners and publishers. The latter retired on July 29, 1859. Mr. Meyers then continued alone until August 1, 1865, when George H. Mengel became his partner Mr. Mengel retired August 1, 1872, having sold his interest to Edward F. Kerr, who sold an interest to John M. Reynolds. Mr. Meyers sold his interest August 1, 1873, to Edward F. Kerr and John M. Reynolds, and on April 1, 1874, retired from the paper after seventeen years' control and management of its columns. On August 1, 1880, Mr. Reynolds retired and was succeeded by Robert C. McNamara, thus establishing the present firm of Kerr & McNamara.

From time to time the paper has been enlarged to its present size a large eight-column folio and now under the control and management of editors Kerr & McNamara, business manager Capt. James F. Mickel, and local editor Nicholas L. McGirr, the Bedford Gazette is justly considered one of the leading journals of the commonwealth. Motto: A Journal for the Home Circle, the Farmer, the Mechanic and the Business Man. Terms, one dollar and fifty cents per annum in advance, or two dollars if not paid within six months.

The True American, Bedford's second newspaper, was established by Thomas R. Gettys. It has been our privilege to scan No. 16 of Vol. II (a diminutive three-column folio), dated November 9, 1814, which would indicate that the first number was issued in July, 1812. The American was the opposite of the Gazette in the discussion of political questions, and began by advocating the principles of the democratic-republicans, a party from which grew the old whig party and the republican party of today. Ultimately the paper was enlarged to the size of the original Gazette, and its publication was continued for a period of some fifteen years a man named Greer being associated with Mr. Gettys during the last years of its existence.

The Democratic Enquirer, the first number of which was issued on Friday, October 12, 1827, by Thomas B. Gettys, was the direct successor of the True American, as witness the remarks of editor Gettys found in No. 1, Vol. I, of the Enquirer.

At the solicitation of many of the Editor's old Republican friends in this county, he has been induced to issue proposals for the publication of a weekly newspaper in Bedford. It is known to the public generally that the TRUE AMERICAN has expired under its late proprietors, and so far as it was instrumental in honorably supporting the interests of the democratic party, the friends of that party must regret its discontinuance. The Editor therefore believes that there can be no impropriety in issuing a prospectus for another paper.

While Mr. Gettys was the proprietor and editor of the Enquirer, he lost the services of a strong, able-bodied apprentice. That he was much chagrined at the loss of so much cheap labor by apprenticeship, a perusal of the following sufficiently indicates:

ONE CENT REWARD. Ranaway from the subscriber on the 17th of October last an indented apprentice to the printing business * named, who is between 18 and 19 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches high, a stout built, impudent, pimple-faced, ill-looking fellow, of fair complexion, fair hair. Had on a fine blue cloth coat, blue pantaloons, new fur hat, and sundry other clothing not particularly recollected. Has been at the business about two years, during which time his honesty was not suspected. That he is fond of fighting, quarreling and we need not tell the public, let those who employ him discover for themselves. The above reward will be given for his delivery in Bedford, but neither thanks or charges need be expected indeed, I am very sorry that so much paper is necessarily soiled with the name T. R. Gettys.

Dec. 24, 1830.

Respecting the subsequent proprietors and editors of the journal now known as the Bedford Inquirer, ** it appears that Mr. Gettys continued in control for four or five years, and was succeeded by Senary Leader. The term of the later, as a publisher, was of but short duration, for about the year 1834 he sold out to Alexander King and John Mower, Esqs., who as proprietors and editors published the paper for four years. Their successor was Jacob L. Slentz. In November, 1842, the latter transferred the paper, fixtures, etc., to William T. Chapman, Jr., formerly the publisher of the Flemingsburg Kentuckian, who was known as the editor and proprietor of the Inquirer until January 1,1850. David Over, now of the Hollidaysburg Register, then owned and conducted the paper until April 1, 1862, when he disposed of his interest to Joseph R. Durborrow, who continued its publication until April 1, 1864. B.F. McNeal as publisher and editor then managed the paper until April 28, 1865, when it was purchased by Jos. B. Durborrow and John Lutz, who continued together until July 15, 1868. Mr. Lutz then became the owner, publisher and editor, and remained as such until January 1, 1870, when Samuel J. Jordan came in as his partner. The firm of Lutz & Jordan existed just five years, or until January 1, 1875, when Major D.W. Mullin acquired an interest. Under the firm name of Jordan & Mullin, the publication was continued until January 1, 1880, when Rev. N.S. Buckingham purchased the interest of S.J. Jordan and the firm name was changed to Mullin & Buckingham, and so continued until January 10,1883. At this time John H. Jordan acquired an interest in the paper and the firm name was changed to Mullin & Jordan, under which name it is edited and published at this date. The Inquirer is, and always has been, the leading republican newspaper of the county. It has a large circulation, and its present size is a large eight-column folio. Motto: A Local and General Newspaper, Devoted to Politics, Education, Literature and Morals. Its terms for subscription are one dollar and fifty- cents per year.

The Bedford Republican, Bedford's latest addition to the journalistic field, was established by John Lutz (formerly of the Inquirer, also of the Bedford County Press) and William C. Smith, who still continue as its editors and proprietors. The first number of their clean, newsy and, in every respect, ably conducted paper was issued April 14, 1881. Originally containing twenty-eight columns, it was enlarged to an eight-column folio, June 7, 1883. Its large circulation is steadily increasing. Motto: "An Untrammeled Press" A Free Country. Terms, one dollar and fifty cents a year in advance.

The Bedford County Press was established at Bloody Run (now Everett), March 4,1868, by Joseph C. Long, Esq., Mr. Emelius Hoffmier and Dr. P.H. Pensyl, and was published under the firm name of J.C. Long & Co. The paper was neutral in politics. In September, 1868, Messrs. Hoffmier and Pensyl withdrew from the business, and D. Stewart Elliott, of Bedford purchased one-half of the establishment. The firm was known as Long & Elliott, and the paper became radically republican in politics. In June, 1869, Mr. Elliott became sole proprietor, and edited and published the paper until February, 1873, when Mr. J.C. Long purchased the office, and became the editor. January 1, 1876, the business passed into the hands of Messrs. Jordan & Mullin, of Bedford, S.J. Jordan, Esq., becoming editor, and J.K.P. Lightcap assistant editor. Numerous changes occurred in the firm of Jordan & Mullin, and for five years the paper was alternately owned and controlled by Lutz & Jordan, John Lutz & Co., Maj. D.W. Mullin, John Lutz, Esq., etc.

January 1, 1881, the establishment was bought by the Press Publishing Company, and D. Stewart Elliott, a member of the new company, became the editor and business manager. The name of the paper was changed to the Everett Press, and the publication enlarged and greatly improved. The present management has made the Press a first-class weekly newspaper, and it enjoys a good patronage. In politics it is now conservative, but devotes its columns principally to a full record of local news, and the development and advancement of the moral and business interests of the growing town in which it is published.

The School Register, a small monthly journal of twelve three-column pages, devoted to educational interests, was published at Everett for a little over a year, commencing in March, 1881. J.E. Wolf was editor, and D. Stewart Elliott associate editor. The paper died a natural death.

The Independent, E.R. Holsinger, editor and. proprietor, is published every Saturday in the town of Saxton. No. 8, Vol. III, is dated February 24, 1883. It is a small five-column folio. Motto: "Justice to All - Death to Hypocrisy-Honesty and Truth." Terms, one dollar per year in advance.

At the foot of the Alleghenies, in the picturesque little town of New Paris, is published what might be termed a lusus naturoe in the way of journalism the Weekly Star. No. 10, Vol. II (each of its four pages occupying a space of four and one-half inches by nine inches) bears the date of March 21, 1883. The reader is likewise informed that the Star is published every Wednesday by C.S. Davis, editor and publisher. Terms, fifty cents per year in advance.


* We omit mention of name for the reason that the subject of Gettys' wrath afterward became a prominent lawyer in a neighboring county.

** For a number of years the word was printed Enquirer.

SOURCE:  Page(s) 226-228, History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties

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