JOHN L. SHIELDS, owner and editor of the Mount Pleasant Journal, Was born near Salem, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, June 6, 1857, a son of Matthew and Sarah (Larimer) Shields. During his active working life Matthew Shields followed the occupation of farming, but is now living a retired life
John L. Shields obtained his education in the Chambersburg Academy and Princeton College, entering the latter institution in 1876, and retiring in his Junior year. In 1878 he returned to Westmoreland county and engaged in the newspaper business in Mount Pleasant. He associated himself with his brother-in-law, forming the firm of Kennedv & Shields, editors of the Mount Pleasant Journal, then a weekly paper. This publication was originally the Mount Pleasant Independent, and the first copy was issued Saturday October 19, 1872. The paper was then a four column, single sheet publication, and Mr. E. B. Halsinger was the editor and proprietor. However, the real founder of the paper was Mr. W. Fox, who owned the major part and assisted in the conduct of the paper until 1874, when Mr. A. C. Haverstick purchased it. Mr. Haverstick was succeeded by a Mr. Cooper, who in turn sold his interest to Mr. Job A. Stevenson and Mr. Joseph A. McCurdy, who conducted it successfully until it came into the hands of Mr. Shields and his brother-in-law, December.1, 1882. This arrangement existed until 1885, when Mr. Shields purchased the interest of his partner, thus becoming sole editor and owner of the Mount Pleasant Journal. In 1896 Mr. Shields enlarged the paper to eight pages. It is a well-edited publication, devoted mostly to local news, and in every respect is considered one of the best in the county .The plant is well equipped with the very best and most modern machinery, and it is operated with a first-class gasoline engine. The circulation is two thousand two hundred copies. The Mount Pleasant Journal is independent in politics, although its proprietor is a strong Republican. Mr. Shields is a member of the B. P. 0. E., and is a member of the Presbyterian church. In August, 1900, Mr. Shields married Hannah G. Ramsay, a daughter of Morris Ramsay, general superintendent of the coal and coke company. Two children, Matthew and James R. Shields were born to them.
Source: Page(s) 124 - 125, History of Westmoreland County, Volume 2, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed June 2001 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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