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Cooper’s History of Jerseyville, pp. 48 – 55
Rev. Marshall M. Cooper, History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901, Jerseyville Republican Print, 1901, pp. 48-55. Not a complete transcription, there will be errors, typos.
Newspapers of Jerseyville, Ill., pp. 48-52
The first newspaper published in Jerseyville was call the “Backwoodsman.” It was first published in Grafton, Ill. in 1837, and was the first paper published in Jersey county. It was purchased by a joint stock company and moved to Jerseyville, and published by A. S. Tilden in the spring of 1840. Tilden subsequently retired, and Messrs. Fletcher and Parenteau secured control of the paper and changed its name to that the the “Newspaper.” After the publication of it for three months, the office burned and the paper was never again revived.
The second paper published in Jerseyville was called the “Prairie State” in 1848. It was also removed from Grafton; Mr. Conklin was editor and proprietor. It was an independent paper. In 1842 Augustus C. Smith, editor, and Abner C. Hinton were connected with it only a few months. The “Prairie State” was next purchased by a stock company, with A. C. Clayton as editor. In 1860 its politics was changed from an independent into a Republican paper, and in the presidential campaign of 1860, it warmly supported Abraham Lincoln. In 1862 Charles Williams became editor, and during his administration the office burned and the publicantion never resumed.
Jersey County Democrat
The first Democratic paper ever published in Jerseyville was the “Democrativ Union” in 1854, by Thos. Wright. He left Jerseyville in 1856, and the publication of the paper stopped, but in the following year, 1857, the publication was revived by H. H. Howard, who, in 1858, was succeeded by John C. Doblebower who continued the publication of the “Democratic Union” until early in the year 1865, when the office was bought by a stock company and the name of the paper was changed to “Jersey County Democrat,” with August Smith as editor. The paper remained under his management until the year 1866, when the stock company was dissolved, the Thomas J. Selby, editor and proprietor. In October 1869, Mr. Selby disposed of the paper to A. A. Wheelock and L. L. Burr. In September 1870, J. A. J. Birdsall and J. L. McGready became proprietors. Birdsall was connected with the paper for one year, while McGready continued its publication for about nine years.
In October 1880 J. M. Page bought the “Jersey County Democrat” of Jesse I. McGready, who had been its editor for about ten years, and on being elected circuit clerk, sold it. On November 11, 1880, appeared the first issue of the “Jersey County Democrat,” with J. M. Page as editor and proprietor. In September 1898, the “Daily Democrat” was first issued, and continues to be issued up to the present time, 1901.
In 1863 the “Jerseyville Republican” was established by a stock company, with E. V. Haughawaut as editor, who conducted the paper only through the presidential campaign of 1864. He was succeeded by George P. Smith, who had charge for only a brief time. Chapin and Glover had charge of the paper for only a short time, when it passed into the hands of Wm. H. Edgar. Mr. Edgar was an able and successful editor and his paper obtained a popular and influential position. It had been identified with every aggressive movement, having a devoted interest in the welfare of the country, and was widely read and circulated.
In 1891 Frank Ladd bought the “Jerseyville Republican” from Abe Locke, and in 1895 sold out to J. W. Becker, who up to the present time, 1901,has been its efficient editor.
The “Examiner” was established in Jerseyville in 1878, and the first issue appeared August 12, 1878. A stock company was formed, known as the “Jerseyville Publishing Company,” composted of Morris R. Locke, Wm. McBride, Horace N. Belt, James A. Barr and Wm. H. Pogue. The paper was a five column quarto, issued Wednesdays, with J. Sterling Harper as editor. The “Examiner” was an uncompromising advocate for the temperance cause, and continued so to the last.
With the issue of November 27, 1878, the “Examiner” was leased by the editor, Mr. Harper, who continued to issue the paper two weeks when he withdrew entirely. The Jerseyville Publishing Company continued the paper until its consolidation with the Republican, Sept. 10, 1880.
This paper was established in the early part of November 1865, by Frederick S. Haughawaut, editor and proprietor. It was a seven column folio, all printed in Jerseyville at $2.00 per year. Mr. Haughawaut continued the publication of the “Register” until the year 1867, when he disposed of it to L. Williams, familiarly known as “Yank,” who soon afterwards removed to Topeka, Kan., and his son Charles F., leased the office and became its editor and publisher.
In October 1868 the office was advertised for sale and was purchased by Col. G. P. Smith, of the Jacksonville Journal, who established the “Jerseyville Republican.”
The first issue of the Republican-Examiner was by Messrs. Wm. H. Edgar and Morris R. Locke, Sept. 10, 1880, in a five column quarto, in which form it continued under the firm name of Edgar & Locke. Mr. Edgar was former editor of the Republican, and Mr. Locke former editor of the Examiner. The firm of Edgar & Locke continued until Jan. 12, 1885, when Mr. Locke retired and was succeeded by Frank M. Robers.
In March following, 1885, another change occurred in the management of the “Republican-Examiner.” Wm. H. Edgar, who for 16 years of continual editorial labor, retired, giving place to Wm. H. Hedley. From March 27, 1885 the firm name was Roberts & Hedley, editors and proprietors.
Jerseyville Evening Times
The first issue of the “Evening Times” appeared May 25, 1885, in a five column folio. It was established by Messrs. J. A. Walker and J. A. Blennerhassett, both being practical printers, and are yet working at the trade. Their paper was devoted to the interests of Jerseyville and Jersey county. July 13, 1885 the paper was changed to a morning publication, being heretofore published in the evening. August 17, 1885 Mr. J. A. Blennerhassett retired from the firm, and Mr. Walker, after publishing it some time, sold the paper.
Daily and Weekly Journal
The Daily and Weekly Journal, a democratic paper, was established by John J. Smith in 1893. In the fall of 1895 he sold to W. E. Carlin and A. F. Ely, who sold the plant to J. M. Page in September 1896, who discontinued its publication.
Published daily and weekly by Adolphus H. Rue, in the interests of the Republican party. It was first issued during the campaign of Harrison and Cleveland in 1888, and continued about two years.
Issued by Frank Malott for about a year, afterwards ceased publication.
This paper was removed from Grafton to Jerseyville in November 1880, by R. R. Claridge, who sold it to L. T. Waggoner and A. M. Slaten in 1882. During that year it was purchased by Chas. H. Kelly, of Elsah, who continued its publication till 1885, when it was succeeded by the “Free Press,” with E. T. Lurton and R. E. Smith as publishers.
The Present Editors, pp. 53-55
Joseph M. Page
Was born in Stoughton, Mass., May 20, 1845. His father died when he was only three years of age, which made the responsibilities of life rest heavily on mother and children. He received a good education in the public schools of Stoughton, graduating at the age of 16 years. At the breaking out of the Civil War he offered his life a sacrifice to his country by attemption to enlist int he 12th Massachusetts Inf. Vol., and also in the 35th Massachusetts Inf. Vol., but on account of extreme youth he was rejected, to his bitter disappointment.
At the age of 18 years, in the spring of 1863, he turned his face westward, where we soon find him working on a farm near Greenville, Bond county, Ill. Finding farming a little too slow for the young man, we soon find him in St. Louis, employed in a large wholesale grocery store, where he hustled for some time.
The third time, Aug. 1864, he offered his services to his country and was accepted, and enlisted in the 40th Missouri Reg. Vol., where he served until the close of the war and was honorably discharged in August 1865.
In the spring of 1866 we find him in Jerseyville, a penniless stranger, 25 cents being his finincial capital. He immediately apprenticed himself to Wm. Embly for three years for $100 per year and board, and at the end of six months, Mr. Embly discontinued the carpenter trade, and following architecture only, hired out Mr. Page to “Nick” Smith for $15.00 per week, while young Page resolutely kept his original contract with Mr. Embly for $2.00 per week for the remaining two and one-half years. At the expiration of the three years’ engagement with Mr. Embly, Mr. Smith employed Mr. Page at $18.00 per week, and made him his foreman, and he continued carpentering till the summer of 1877, when he was appointed city marshal, which office he held four years, resigning in October 1880, when he purchased the Jersey County Democrat.
In 1881 he was elected city clerk and treasurer, which office he held five years, and in 1887 was elected mayor and re-elected three times, refusing to serve more than 4 years, the term of office of mayor at that time being but one year. While he was mayor the waterworks system was inaugurated and completed, also the electric light system, and on his retiring from the mayoralty he organized and pushed to completion the Jerseyville Telephone Company, which now covers the entire county.
In 1880 he purchased the Jersey County Democrat, of which he is still the editor and proprietor.
For the past 13 years he has been secretary of the Illinois Press Association, and for 12 years corresponding secretary of the National Editorial Association, both of which positions he still fills. He is master in chancery, having held the office for 14 years.
In 1897 he organized “The Cold Spring Gold Mining and Tunnel Company,” with a paid up capital of $2,500,000, and which owns 420 acres of mineral lands in Boulder Co., Col. These properties are now being developed and are producing rich outputs. Mr. Page is secretary and manager of the Company, with office in Jerseyville.
On March 17, 1871, he was married to Miss Sadie Remer, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Abram Remer, of Jerseyville. They have one son, Theodore S., a practicing physician in St. Louis, Mo.
Joseph W. Becker
Born on a farm, near Silver Creek post-office, Calhoun county, Illinois, January 6, 1865. Worked on his father’s farm, attending school during the winter months, until he commenced teaching in 1884. In 1883-84 he attended the Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton, Mo., borrowing the money necessary from an older brother. He also attended the Illinois State Normal, at Normal, for a short time in 1886.
After teaching for seven years he established a Republican newspaper, “The Leader,” at Hardin, Ill., in April 1891, Calhoun county being without a Republican paper at that time. While in the newspaper work, he was solicited to become principal of the Hardin school, which position he filled for two years, ending with the spring of 1895. In December 1894 he sold the “Leader,” and in April 1895 became editor and publisher of the “Jerseyville Republican.”
In 1889 he was married to Miss Maggie Cloninger, of Summit Grove, Calhoun county. They have two daughters, Grace and Nellie.