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THE XENIA GAZETTE.
The publication of the Xenia Gazette was commenced in the year 1868. For several years previous to this date, there had been but e paper published in the county. Indeed, it might almost be said, ere never had been but one paper in Xenia. Several attempts been made at different times to establish a second one, but, for want of patronage, or some other sufficient reason, they had all been abandoned. In the meantime, the village, or town of Xenia had advanced to a city of some six thousand population ; the county, also, had increased largely in population and wealth; and it was believed the business interests of the city and county, would be promoted by the publication of another paper, and that the prospects were sufficiently encouraging to warrant the investment. Accordingly, during the spring and early summer of 1868, several conferees in regard to the matter were held, in which a number of eminent and leading citizens participated. Different plans were rested and discussed, among which was that of a joint stock company; but it. was considered more advisable by the friends of the enterprise, that it should be undertaken by some one individual, or an association of two or three members as partners.
Proceeding upon this council, a partnership was entered into between J. F. Patton, Thomas L. Tiffany, and Warren Anderson, under the firm name of Patton, Tiffany & Anderson ; and the publication commenced, the first number being issued on the 15th of August, 1868. The press and office were purchased from the Cincinnati Type Foundry, by Mr. Tiffany, the only practical printer in firm ; the press being the "Wells Power Press," the first cylinder ever used in the county. The first issue of the paper consisted of eight hundred copies, and this was considerably more than the number of names then on the subscription list. New names were, however, rapidly added, and by the end of the first month an edition
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of twelve hundred copies was required. Patronage, in the form of job-work and advertising, was also obtained far beyond the most sanguine expectations of the friends and patrons of the paper; and the Xenia Gazette at once started apparently upon a prosperous and successful career.
The original proprietors, Patton, Tiffany .& Anderson, continued the publication two years, and at the end of the second volume, Mr. Anderson having a desire to try his fortune in the far west, disposed of his interest to Colonel R. P. Findley, and retired from the firm.
This was the first interruption in the proprietorship of the Gazette, but it was soon followed by another, and one of a sadder character. On the 28th of September, 1870, the firm of Patton, Tiffany & Findlay was suddenly terminated by the death of Mr. Tiffany; and a short time after his death, his interest was purchased from his widow by the surviving partners, Patton and Findlay, who published the paper until May 25,1875, when Col. Findley, by the purchase of Patton's interest became sole proprietor, and continued so till November, 1877, when he sold out to the present, owner J. P. Chew, whose son, W. B. Chew, is now associated with him.
In the fall of 1873, the business of the Gazette having outgrown the room, and accommodations in the building occupied up to that time, on Main Street, opposite the Ewing House, it became necessary to remove to larger and more commodious quarters. Accordingly, the office was removed to new rooms on Greene Street, near the Post Office, and directly opposite the court house. At the time of this removal, an engine was purchased, and steam introduced to run the presses. On January 1, 1878, the proprietors removed the office to the commodious room over the Post Office, on Greene Street, which had been formerly used by the Young Men's Christian Association, and added a large engine and press room in the rear; thus making a model office for newspaper and job printing. The circulation is over 2,000. With all the the advertising they can carry; also, several hands constantly employed in job work; all of which is successfully operated. Republican in politics ; it is active and fearless in advocating the principles of the party, and the country at large.
THE XENIA TORCHLIGHT.
The Xenia Torchlight newspaper was founded in 1838, the first
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number having made its appearance on the 18th of. September of that year. It was started as a Whig newspaper, at a time when the Democratic party was in the ascendancy in the county, and the want of a Whig organ severely felt.. Accordingly, the names of sixty-nine of the most, prominent citizens of the county were subscribed to a paper drawn up by Hon. E. F. Drake, and which set forth that the subscribers "agree to pay the amount opposite their names, the money to be applied to the purchase of a printing press and material, and the procuring necessary apparatus to put in operation a Whig newspaper at Xenia." The names are as follows E. F. Drake, Charles L. Merrick, John Sexton, T. Marshall, Daniel Martin, James A. Scott, Samuel Puterbaugh, John Walton, Jacob Bechtell, Joshua Martin, Robert D. Poague, Nay C. Baker, A. G. Zimmerman, Alexander Connor, G. C. Lauman, Samuel Newcoms, John Kendall, John Ewing, John Harbison, Albert Galloway, Samuel Lanne, James Bratton, Bazil Keiler, Alfred Trader, Ebenezer Steele, George W. Wright, Nathan Nesbitt, Thomas C. Wright, John Keiler, John B. Allen, A. Harlan, T. M. Perkins, Robert Stevenson, John McBride, James Galloway, James Collier, Jonathan Fallis, Jeremiah Gest, A. Hivling, jr., J. H. McPherson, H. G. Beatty, C. F. Beall, Alexander B. Beall, John Hivling, Brinton Baker, L. Wright, Sampel Powell, B. Newkirk, Samuel Crumbaugh, Smith Persinger, Walter King, John Ankeny, Isaac S. Perkins, Samuel Galloway, David Manes, Moses Collier, John S. Perkins, James McMillan, Silas Roberts, R. F. Howard, Tinsley Heath, William Lewis, Aaron Collett, Andrew Galloway, Conwell & Co., Pugh Sterrett, Benjamin Towler, John Stevenson, Cummings & Conwell.
The first editor and publisher of the Torchlight was Pazzi Lapham, who came from Champaign County, and commenced operations in a frame building, that stood on the corner of Market and Detroit streets, the site of the present German Reformed Church. Shortly afterward E. S. Nichols arrived from Columbus, and took charge of the business management of the paper, Mr. Lapham being still retained as editor.
In the fall of 1840, W. B. Fairchild, a practical printer, and a gentleman of considerable literary culture, became the editor and publisher of the paper, which position he continued to fill for nearly three years, dissolving his connection in a valedictory, dated June 15, 1843, which breathes a spirit of great satisfaction over the po-
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litical situation, and predicts that " no power, but that to which we all must bow, can prevent the election of Henry Clay to the presidency in 1844."
Mr. Fairchild was succeeded by Otway Curry and Robert McBratney, who continued associated together in conducting the paper until the issue of June 10, 1845, when the valedictory of Mr. Curry appears, leaving the entire control of the paper to Mr. McBratney. Both these gentlemen were from Union County. Mr. Curry had achieved a wide celebrity as a poet, and had brought himself politically into notice in the state by his famous song, written for the occasion of the great state convention held at Columbus, in February, 1840, entitled, "The Log Cabin." In Mr. Curry's valedictory we have the assurance that, though " the Whig party has been defeated, it has not been destroyed." He sees hope in the future, and its members are exhorted to adopt the motto, Nil desperandum.
Mr. McBratney continued as sole editor and proprietor of the Torchlight until June 22, 1853, when W. E. Morris became associated in the publication for a short time. In 1854 the infamous Nebraska bill threw the country into a state of intense excitement, which was the beginning of a new era in American politics, and which rapidly culminated in the formation of the. Republican party, by the action of the Philadelphia convention, that assembled on the 15th of June, 1856, and put in nomination John C. Fremont for the presidency. The Torchlight, under the control of Mr. McBratney, took a leading part in. the political agitation upon the slavery question, which gave birth to the Republican party, and soon became conspicuous throughout the state as an uncompromising and able advocate of Republican principles.
Dr. H. R. McClellan and W. B. Fairchild purchased, in January, 1857, the Torchlight of Mr. McBratney, who retired from the position he had so ably filled for a period of fourteen years. Mr.. Fairchild's second advent to the editorship of the paper was marked by the same bold and unflinching opposition to the encroachments of the slave power that had characterized it before. Dr. McClellan continued a partner until June 10th, when Mr. Nichols purchased his interest, and again became one of the proprietors of the concern. The firm of Nichols & Fairchild continued until April 1, 1862, when W. T. Bascom, of Columbus, assumed editorial and proprietary control. In the issue of September 21, 1864, Mr. Bascom's valedictory appears, followed by the salutatory of Perry
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Hawes. Coates Kinney and J. M. Milburn succeeded Mr. Hawes December 6, 1865, who were in turn succeeded, January 1, 1869, by the Torchlight Company, of which Dr. R. S. Finley and C. W. Newton were the active members.
In 1870, Mr. J. D. Stine, for a number of years previous, editor of the Madison County Union, London, Ohio, purchased an interest in the paper, and for the next eight years it was conducted under the firm name of Stine & Marshall, the facilities of the office being greatly increased for business, while in every respect the paper was improved and the circulation largely increased. In 1878, Mr. Stine purchased the interest of Mr. Marshall, and in 1879 removed the office to the first floor of the Torchlight building, No. 12 West Main Street, establishing the Torchlight Company, with J. D. Stine editor and business manager of the paper, and John A. Beveridge local editor and manager of the job office, which ranks among the largest and most completely equipped of any outside the largest cities.
The Torchlight, as the unflinching and influential advocate of sound Republican principles, stands the peer of any weekly newspaper in the state. A part of the political development of the county for the last half century, it. will maintain its integrity as the "old reliable" chronicle of its history in the future.
THE XENIA WEEKLY SUNLIGHT.
Founded November 6, 1878, by Warren Anderson. January 1, 1880, O. W. Marshall purchased a one-half interest, the firm name being Anderson & Marshall. On May 18, 1880, J. M. Milburn became associated with the paper, Mr. Anderson retiring. The firm name is now Marshall & Milburn. It is a nine column folio, stalwart Republican in politics, and was the organ of the party during the campaign of 1880, and its office the headquarters of the same.