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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 1. History
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
THE AVALON AURORA. Like many other country papers the Aurora had several "ups and downs" in its somewhat brief years of existence, the publisher playing a chance game for a subsistence out of the proceeds of the paper. W. H. Randolph, a gentleman of the old school and a native of Pennsylvania, suspended the publication a few years ago and now makes his home with his children in Chillicothe, Kansas City, and Little Rock, Arkansas.
THE MOORESVILLE MENTION did not "mention" many years. During the paper's brief existence the late Doctor Chaffee was editor and publisher. The paper was printed on a power press that the Doctor built himself, who was considerable of a genius along the lines of inventions. After the Mention suspended the Doctor moved to Breckinridge, where he died several years ago.
THE WHEELING NEWS was another newspaper venture that appeared semi-occasionally under the management of Charles Chaney, Mallory & Moran and Smiley & Smiley. Each of these publishers had faith and hope in the success of their respective ventures. The business, however, of the village and country surrounding was not large enough to defray expenses and being too proud to solicit charity, the publication was suspended indefinitely.
THE LUDLOW METEOR appeared in the western horizon some years ago, but the good people of Monroe township did not contribute liberally enough for the publisher to produce much of a "meteoric shower," so the Meteor went down in the golden west and in its place appeared a more healthy and more luminous planet which was christened the Herald. This publication has promise of a longevity due wholly to the excellent hustling qualities of the present publisher, and the people of Ludlow and Monroe townships are supporting it liberally.
THE DAWN CLIPPER was another newspaper experiment. For a time It appeared to live on "Easy Street," but shortly after the building of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway one mile and one-half north of this lively burg, and the building up of Ludlow a few miles west, the hustlers of the town lost courage and the "jaws" of the scissors refused longer to clip for the Clipper.
THE CHULA NEWS. This publication was a "hummer" under the tutorship of the inimitable Ed Smith, whose pen scintillates with a dry but visible humor. His write-up of the fastest and finest train on the Milwaukee road, known as the Southwest Limited, which passed through the village of Chula for the first time at the speed of almost a mile a minute, would produce a seven by eleven grin on the face of a chronic dyspeptic. One of the funny things that he said was that the three colored porters, one on the front platform of each of the three Pullman coaches, looked to him like "one big fat nigger." Later Ed sold the News to a Mr. Robinson, who conducted the paper a short time and he was succeeded by Dr. J. Ogan. The paper is now in a fair way to survive.
THE UTICA HERALD, a weekly publication, was originally established in 1873, some of the citizens of the town furnishing the capital with which to purchase the printing material. For one year Charles Hoyt was the lessee and editor when it passed into the hands of H. W. Sawyer. The following year Sawyer was succeeded by Frank Green, who was succeeded by a Mr. Risley and Risley by E. D. Green, the latter publisher "throwing up the sponge" after getting out one edition, The material was purchased by D. W. Webster in January, 1877. The following year his son, H. C. Webster, became one of the owners and the paper was regularly published thereafter. Later Ed Smith became the publisher, but after a time the publication of the paper ceased, the latter gentleman establishing the Chula News. October, 1911, Jerry Bosley revived the Herald and it is now one of the sprightliest country papers in North Missouri.
THE GRAND RIVER CHRONICLE, first started and published in 1843 by James H. Darlington, was the first paper ever issued in Chillicothe. The subscription price was $2.00 per year in advance. It was a hard fight for the publisher to make both ends meet, as his subscription list was small and advertisers few. To obtain enough money to purchase white paper Mr. Darlington kept a few "pills" and "powders" for sale in his office. Even with this "side issue" he was obliged to suspend publication temporarily several times. The paper was independent in politics.
Darlington remained owner of the Chronicle until 1853, in which year he died in Brunswick, Missouri, of cholera, on his way home by boat from St. Louis. The paper then became the property of his son, the late Ed S. Darlington. Some time later Ed disposed of the property to Easton & White and it was they who changed the name from the Grand River Chronicle to the Chillicothe Chronicle. Colonel Easton had been a soldier in the Mexican war, while his partner, Mr. White, had formerly published the Trenton Pioneer, a paper established by the late Elder D. T. Wright. White was a ferocious state rights pro-slavery advocate and when the presidential campaign of 1860 came on the paper was for Breckenridge and Lane. Referring to Lincoln, Douglas, or Bell and Everett, the paper did not "munch" matters. Easton and White both stood for the South; White joined the regular Confederate army and probably perished in the conflict. Colonel Easton attached himself to a small force that was operating in the south part of Livingston county, and after one engagement he thought better of the matter and came home and resumed the publication of the paper, but eliminated the features that made it objectionable to the Union men. He was a splendid old fellow and had hosts of friends, but he was outspoken in his faith for the Southern cause. He published the Chronicle during the progress of the war with the assistance of his wife and boys. At the close of the Civil war the democratic leaders felt they needed a different man at the head of the party paper. The Constitution, a paper previously established and owned by Howard S. Harbaugh, was a thorn in the flesh of the democrats during the war, but he had the nerve to later undertake the publication of a republican paper in the town of Lexington, Missouri. When he learned of the victory of the republican ticket he could hardly contain himself. His joy, however, was of short duration, for the rebels and rebel sympathizers entered his office and taking his press and type dumped it into the Missouri river. His treatment in Lexington drove him back to Chillicothe, where he soon after became the publisher of the Constitution, accepting the overtures of the progressive democrats, together with $2,500 tendered him and he began to "swing around the circle" in the Andy Johnson "biplane."
The wholesale desertion of his friends almost broke Colonel Easton's heart and in a brief period the Chronicle was suspended and the plant sold to the republicans on money borrowed from the school fund and in its place was established the Spectator, managed by Glassop, Worthington & Co., and edited by the late Col. Joel F. Asper, who subsequently became a member of Congress from this district.
In 1867 the Spectator became the property of E. J. Marsh, D. B. Dorsey, B. F. Beazell and John DeSha, who changed the name of the paper to Tribune, under which title it is now published by the Tribune Printing and Publishing Company, with John P. Sailor, president and Hal. D. McHolland, secretary and business manager. The Tribune under the present management is one of the most prosperous daily and weekly papers in North Missouri.
The first daily paper issued in Chillicothe was under the management of the late Col. Jesse Hitt, the title being The Standard Dollar Daily Democrat. Soon after the appearance of this publication R. W. Reynolds, the proprietor of the Constitution, launched the Daily News. Then followed a host of publications, including The Daily Star, Morning Times, The Weekly Crisis and World, and perhaps others, but none of these survived the adverse storms At the present time the publication of a newspaper in Chillicothe has settled down to a business proposition.
After R. W. Reynolds' ownership of the Constitution plant for twenty years, it passed through many hands, including Bouton & Detweiler, Frank Leonard, James G. Wynne, Sherm Smith, Jones & Leeper, Mike Gilchrist, Newland & Watkins, the last named gentleman purchasing his partner's interest and editing the paper until his death on July 6, 1912, at which time it came into possession of his brother James E. Watkins, the present editor' and proprietor.