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From "Four Weekly Newspapers Serving County," Caldwell's 1877 Atlas of Clarion County, reprinted 1964 with update.  Note that "present-day" information is nearly 40-years-old.  It is included here because of its historical value.

Since Clarion became a county in 1840, it has been served by a number of newspapers.  More than 40 publications are on record.  All of them have been weeklies, with one exception.  A daily paper was published for a short time during the oil excitement in the Knox-St. Petersburg vicinity.  This was in the latter part of the last century.

Today, only four papers remain in existence, all of them weeklies.  Two are the Clarion Republican and the Clarion Democrat, with William C. Hurst as the publisher.  The other two, published by Tom T. Andrews, Jr., of New Bethlehem, are the Leader-Vindicator which serves New Bethlehem and its surrounding communities, and The Record, a combination of three older weeklies:  the Rimersburg Record, the East Brady Review, and the Parker Phoenix.

The oldest publication in the county is the Clarion Democrat, which was founded in 1840.  It was originally known as the Clarion Republican, but it was founded before the Republicans were recognized as a political party.  The other existing party at that time was the Whigs, and the then Republican supported all Democratic political policies and candidates.  The Democrat was published for many years, from the early 1900's, by William L. Samson, whose son continued as publisher.  His widow sold it to its present owner.

The present Republican stems from the Democrat Register, the first Whig organ, which was founded by D. W. Foster in April, 1843.  When it was purchased by Col. Samuel Young in 1856, it was renamed the Independent Banner.  In 1869, C. W. Gilfillan, Congressional candidate of the new Republican party, bought the paper to silence its opposition and renamed it the Clarion Republican.  Other Clarion newspapers were the Independent Democrat, which closed in about six months, and the Clarion Jacksonian, which later merged with the Republican.

In 1879, Editor W. R. Johns left the Republican to start the Foxburg Gazette, which later merged with the Republican; Johns was again Editor.

The history of early papers in New Bethlehem is woefully inadequate.  However, the following papers have appeared at various times:  the New Bethlehem Press, the New Bethlehem Vindicator, and the New Bethlehem Leader.  The latter two merged to form the present publication.  Oscar Hepler was the last owner before the present owner, Tom T. Andrews, Jr.

Rimersburg has had a number of newspapers, most of them short-lived.  The first on record was published by the Clarion Collegiate Institute and was mainly used for college information. Its name was the Courier.  At an unknown date, late in the last century, a Rimersburg Gazette appeared briefly.  In 1907, Charles E. Kratzer revived the paper and the name, selling nine years later to W. E. Downes, of New York City.  That paper died when a fire destroyed all the equipment.

Other papers appeared briefly until, in 1924, a group of merchants desiring a paper secured the services of I. E. Aucker, who founded the Rimersburg Record.  The Record was purchased successively by Messrs. Robert Thomas and Doug Hardesty, in 1927, and Ross B. Atchison, in 1929.  It was sold to publisher Andrews, of New Bethlehem, in 1956 and merged with the Review and Phoenix to become the present publication.  Between 1945 and 1956, when the paper was sold, Mr. Atchison, who had served in World War II, purchased the East Brady Review and the Parker Phoenix.  These were published as separate papers until they were acquired by Mr. Andrews.

East Brady's first paper was the Independent, founded in 1869 by Col. Samuel Yount.  It failed, and the publisher tried again in 1875 with the Advertiser.  This, too, was unsuccessful.  No paper appeared again until 1879, when C. M. Riley began to publish a large-size sheet that he called the Argus.  This continued until 1884.

About that time, the Rev. J. W. Martin had been publishing a church paper called the Church Index.  This he later converted into a weekly paper, which only lasted a year.  In 1885, H. L. Hastings and N. E. Graham began the publication of the East Brady Review, which is now merged with the Record.

Knox, whose post office was once called Edenburg, has had more than ten papers, dating back to 1876.  Most of them were short-lived, but the first one on record was published by J. M. Gifford and was called the Edenburg Daily Herald.  It was the county's first and only daily paper.  Then there was, in rapid succession, the Edenburg Oil Times, the Edenburg Evening News, and the Edenburg Spirit.  Probably the shortest life of any newspaper, anywhere, was the next one -- the Gatling Gun -- with only one edition.  As soon as it appeared, the editors were summoned before a United States Court and accused of publishing an illegal newspaper.

In more recent years, an edition of the Clarion Republican was published for Knox as the Knox Herald, and afterward the Knox Times appeared briefly.  Since that time, Knox has been without a paper of its own.

St. Petersburg had two newspapers during the days of the oil boom:  the Progress and the Daily Press. Callensburg was served for several years in the late 1880's by the Callensburg Observer, a temperance organ, and the Callensburg Visitor, which survived until the 1890's.  Other newspapers that have been on the scene briefly were the Lawsonham Torchlight, the Cogley Sunday News, and the Fern City Illuminator.

A list of all newspapers published in Clarion County through 1887 was included in Davis' History of Clarion County.

This Clarion County PAGenWeb site contains a list of extant Clarion County newspapers from 1868 to the present is available on microfilm at the Clarion Free Public Library, Main Street, Clarion.  Use the Search feature to locate it.

A list of current newspapers published in the Clarion County area is in the Basic Resources section of this site.

This information was typed almost verbatim from the 1964 update to Caldwell's Atlas.  It is possibly the copyrighted property of the Clarion County Historical Society.  No copyright violation is intended.

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