What's Historic About Brookville, Pennsylvania?

The Jeffersonian Democrat; The Pioneer Paper
By Jill Murmford

The first record of any newspaper in Jefferson County is that of the "Jeffersonian Democrat." The paper was established in 1832 by John J. Y. Thompson. The paper changed hands many times between the years of 1833 and 1878. Major John McMurray and Clark, bought the paper from A.A. Carlisle. It was then known as the "Brookville Democrat." On March19, 1879, it was consolidated with the "Graphic" and became "Graphic-Democrat."

Mr. Clark sold his interest to William Horn in 1180. Mr. Horn sold his share to William L. Samson. The first issue under the name of McMurray and Samson appeared on July 21, 1880 after which the name was changed back to the "Brookville Democrat."

The firm continued until June 18, 1884 when the "Brookville Jeffersonian" merged with the "Democrat." The "Jeffersonian - Democrat" was derived and the paper has been published under the name ever since.

Mr. Samson eventually moved to Clarion where he published "Clarion Democrat." Until Major McMurray's death in 1920, he and his sons Harry and Archie continued to produce the paper. After Harry's death in 1921, Archie sold his interest to Harry's sons, Harry Eugene and John J. McMurray. In 1939, John J. McMurray died and his widow, Mrs. Paula Fields McMurray, took an active interest in the paper for a short time. H. Eugene McMurray bought her and became owner and publisher of the paper.

In 1967, the firm reorganized as The McMurray Company.

In 1966, H.E. McMurray died and his son, Don, took control of the paper until March 1990 when he sold the Jeffersonian Democrat and the Brookville American to Independent Publications, Inc. of Bryn Mawr, PA. The Jeffersonian Democrat continues to be published each Thursday.

Don McMurray continued to operate the McMurray Co. as a commercial printing office until March 1995 when he sold the operation to Randy Mumford. The company still operates under the name of the McMurray Co. at 175 Main Street, Brookville.

Return to the What's Historic About Brookville, Pennsyvania

Return to the Jefferson County Genealogy Project

(c) Jefferson County Genealogy Project