George Washington Cowles.

Landmarks of Wayne County, New York online

. (page 15 of 107)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

by him.

The Palmyra Journal was established in Palmyra, July 11, 1894, by
the Journal Printing Company, consisting of Edwin K. Burnham,
George W. Knowles, and John E. Weier, the latter acting as editor.
The suspension of the Democrat seemed to this company to leave a good
field for a staunch Democratic paper, and the Journal will endeavor to
occupy the field. It is a handsome, well-edited paper, and deserves the
patronage of its constituents.

John E. Weier is a native of Lewis county, and son of Rev. E. A.
Weier, who settled in Lyons as pastor of the Evangelical Church, and
died in Albany, November 11, 1890. The son learned the printing
trade in Buffalo, beginning in 1887, and continuing it in Albany and
Rochester. He located in Newark in 1S9-2, where he was associate
editor of the Newark Courier, and continued until he assumed his con-
nection with the Palmyra Journal.

The first newspaper published in Lyons began its existence prior to
the erection of Wayne county, the first number having appeared August
3, 1821, with the title of The Lyons Republican. George Lewis was


the publisher. The paper was 20x28 inches in size, four pages of five
columns each, two dollars per year. It contained about five columns
of advertising. This journal was short-lived, its last issue bearing date
in February, 1822.

The Lyons Advertiser was established in May, 1822, by Hiram T.
Day. In 1828 he sold out to E. J. Whitney, who changed the name of
the paper to Wayne County Patriot, and later had as partner W. W.
Whitney. In 1830 the establishment passed to Barber & Chapman,
who changed the name of the paper to The Western Argus, and made
it active in support of the anti-Masonic party of that period. Soon after-
ward Mr. Barber sold his interest to G. H. Chapin, and the new firm
continued until 1835, when the property passed to W. F. Ashley &
Company. They sold in 1838 to Ezra Jewell, who died in the next
year, and the establishment passed to Marsh & Poucher, who moved it
into what is now the rear of the Getman building on William street,
and enlarged the paper to six columns to the page. In 1841 Mr. Marsh
retired, and in September of that year William Van Camp bought the
business. In 1842 he transferred it to Charles Poucher, who removed
the office to the Center building, which now constitutes a part of the Ira
Mirick malt house. In 1849 S. W. Russell purchased the establishment
and changed the name of the paper to The Lyons Gazette. He con-
tinued it until 1852, when William Van Camp again became proprietor,
continuing to June, 1856, when he purchased from Pomeroy Tucker of
Palmyra a new establishment, from which had been issued five numbers
of The Wayne Democratic Press, and consolidated the two papers,
retaining the latter title. An additional column was put on the paper,
and an era of prosperity in its career began, which has ever since con-
tinued, and during which it has been recognized as a leading organ of
the Democratic party in Western New York. In 1869 the office was
removed to the Masonic Block. In 1872 power presses and other im-
proved facilities were added to the plant, and the paper was enlarged
to eight columns to the page. The journal continued to increase in
circulation and influence, and from 1884 to 1890 was conducted by
William and H. T. Van Camp, sons of William, sr. (before mentioned).
Since 1890 William Van Camp has conducted the business alone. The
office is admirably equipped with the best and latest improved presses,
type, etc.

William Van Camp, sr., was born in Madison county in 1820, and
went with his parents, while young, to Seneca county on a farm. He


began work at the printing- trade in Palmyra, acting as clerk in his
employer's book store evenings. He bought the Lyons Gazette, and
later of Pomeroy Tucker the Wayne County Democratic Press, and con-
solidated the two papers. He died in Michigan, March 24, 1884. He
was father of three children, William, jr., Harry T., and Mrs. E. W.
Hamm, all living in Lyons. William Van Camp, jr., was born in 1855,
and was associated with his father, on whose death he with his brother
Harry took the business.

We mentioned a page back the starting of the Lyons Republican by
by George Lewis, August 3, 1821, and the suspension of the paper in
February, 1822. Mr Lewis went to Pennsylvania, where he died in
1839. The present Lyons Republican and its legitimate predecessors
passed through a long and varied career. The Palmyra Freeman, which
had been published by D. D, Stephenson, was sold to Jonathan A.
Hadley in 1830, who removed the plant to Lyons and changed the name
of his paper to The Lyons Countryman. In 1831, when the anti-Masonic
excitement was prevailing, the title "Anti-Masonic Recorder" was
added to the former name of the paper, and Myron A. Holley was as-
sociated with Mr. Hadley in the business. The issue of the paper was
suspended the same year, but Mr. Holley at once began the publication
of the Lyons American, which in 1835 he transferred to William H.
Childs, who removed it to Clyde. In 1839 the Palmyra Whig was re-
moved to Lyons by William N. Cole, and the name changed to The
Wayne County Whig. Mr. Cole was for a time in partnership with
Frederick Morley, and also with his brother, James Cole, and continued
his connection with the Whig until 1850. In that year, when Millard
Fillmore was president, Mr. Cole was postmaster at Lyons, and knowing
that a majority of the Whig party in Wayne county held views adverse
to his own, he decided to sell his paper. He resided in Lyons until 1863,
and was afterwards publisher of the Wayne Sentinel in Palmyra.
Bartlett R. Rogers succeeded as publisher of the Whig; John Layton
next, who sold to Saxon B. Gavitt and Alexander B. Williams. About
a year and a half later they sold out to Silas A. Andrews, who trans-
ferred the property to William Van Marter. In the fall of 1852 it
passed to Rodney L. Adams, who infused new life into the business,
enlarged the paper and started it on a paying basis. In L855 the name
of the paper was changed to The Lyons Republican, and it soon became
a journal of influence and high character. In 1859 Mr. Adams sold to
William T. Tinsley, who had been his foreman and assistant in editorial




work! The paper lost nothing - by this change. Mr. Tinsley was a
practical printer as well as newspaper man, possessed of high intel-
ligence, an able writer, and a man of sound practical judgment. He
soon made the Republican a power in politics, and a welcome guest
with a large number of patrons. He continued the publication to
October 1, 1889, when he sold to William G. David, formerly editor of
the Canandaigua Journal. Mr. David sold on January 1, 1891, to the
firm of Tinsley & Sherwood (W. T. Tinsley, the former publisher, and
C. R. Sherwood). Mr. Tinsley died April 28, 1893, and Mr. Sherwood
became sole proprietor. In 1882 Mr. Tinsley built the handsome brick
structure on William street for his business, and removed thither from
Church street. The plant is now one of the largest and most complete
in this county.

William T. Tinsley was born at Whittlesea, England, June 13, 1833,
his second birthday occurring on shipboard while with his parents on
their way to America. His father was William Tinsley, an artist of
merit and a somewhat eccentric genius. The son's education was ob-
tained in the common schools, but is was constantly added to and
broadened through his life by reading and habits of close observation.
His private library was one of the largest in Wayne county. At an
early age he entered the office of the Watkins Express, and there learned
the printing trade. Afterwards as a journeyman printer he found work
in many of the villages of Western New York and in Freeport, 111. In
the latter place he met Emma Guiteau, whom he married in 1858, soon
after settling in Lyons. In 1859 Mr. Tinsley, who had for some time
been foreman of the Lyons Republican, purchased the establishment,
and in a short time built up a business and produced a journal that
ranked among the leading Republican newspapers of the interior of this
State. Mr. Tinsley possessed all of the attributes of the successful
editor, as well as of the progressive business man. His integrity was
unimpeachable, and while of a retiring disposition, he could assert his
rights and maintain them. In June, 1886, he visited his old home in
England, returning in the fall. The Republican, up to his death, ex-
cept three years when it was owned by William G. David, received the
best energies of Mr. Tinsley's mind and hand. In January, 1891, as
above noted, it passed to Tinsley & Sherwood. In March, 1891, Mr.
Tinsley underwent the operation of lithotomy, and from that time until
his death, March 28, 1893, he gradually failed. Mrs. Tinsley died in
March, 1882. Their children were as follows:



Henry G. Tinsley, of The Pomona (Cal. ) Progress; Mrs. Francies A.
Leach, of Kansas City, Mo. ; Mrs. Boyd P. Hill, of Freeport, 111. ; and
Mrs. Clement R. Sherwood and Miss Emma Tinsley, of Lyons. In
December, 1885, Mr. Tinsley married Hannah Rogers Taft, who sur-
vives him, as do also two brothers — Charles Tinsley, of Minneapolis,
and James H. Tinsley, of Brooklyn.

In a brief view of Mr. Tinsley's life, read at the twenty-seventh con-
vention of the New York Press Association, June 28, 1893, it was said:
As a citizen he was helpful and courageous ; as an editor keenly alive to
the possibilities of his high calling and a faithful herald for the good
and true in all things, quick to see the gist of anything offered for his
columns, and apt in putting it into presentable shape ; as a writer meth-
odical, careful, able and often brilliant; as a publisher far sighted and
progressive; as a business man prompt, industrious and reliable; as a
comrade genial and generous ; as a politician brave, powerful and aggres-
sive; as a Christian a meek and lowly follower of the Saviour; as a hus-
band always the lover; as a parent tender and affectionate; as a friend
intuitively considerate, chivalric and true. Indeed, it was in this last
phase of his character that we knew him best. He drew his friends to
him with cords of love which bound like hooks of steel. Once your
friend he was always your friend, and stood ready to prove his friend-
ship, not by words, but in deeds.

Clement R. Sherwood, proprietor and editor of the Republican, was
born in Lyons, January 28, 1867, and is a son of Rev. L. H. Sherwood,
founder and for many years principal of the Lyons Musical Academy.
He is a grandson of Lyman Sherwood, formerly county judge and sur-
rogate of Wayne county, and State senator. He learned the printer's
trade in the Republican office under Mr. Tinsley, was a reporter on the
Syracuse Standard in 1885, and during five years thereafter held an
editorial position on the Rochester Morning Herald. In 1891 he be-
came associated with Mr. Tinsley as above stated. Mr. Sherwood is a
forcible and versatile writer, is well informed on all general subjects,
and fully capable in all respects of upholding the high character of his
journal. He was married in 1889 to Mr. Tinsley's third daughter.

The Lyons Courant was founded June 3, 1882, under the name of the
Grin and Bear It, by John H. Atkinson, a lawyer, who came to Lyons
from Cohoes about 1877. He practiced law about five years before es-
tablishing the newspaper, and was an intelligent and educated man.
Until October, 1882, the paper was issued from the office of the Newark


Union, when Mr. Atkinson found a copartnership with his brother, J.
William Atkinson, then day foreman of the New York Tribune compos-
ing room, and a practical printer. They purchased machinery and t3^pe,
and the paper was then issued from their own office in Lyons, in the
building now used as the village police station. The partnership be-
tween the Atkinsons lasted but a few months, when it was dissolved,
J. William returning to New York, and John continuing the publica-
tion of the paper here. In July, 1884, the paper was purchased by Mar-
cus J. and Irving J. Van Marter, two brothers, and the name changed
to the Lyons Sentinel. Irving J. was a practical newspaper man, hav-
ing been connected with the daily newspapers of Peoria, 111. Marcus
J. for several years was employed as a copyist in the Wayne county
clerk's office. Irving Van Marter died June 12, 1887, and on Decem-
ber 28, 1887, Marcus also died, when the business was taken by Joseph
Van Marter. their father. He conducted the business until February
15, 188S, when Frank Stanton purchased it. He carried it on until July,
1888, when it went into the hands of E. P. Boyle and A. Noble. In
November of the same year Mr. Noble sold his interest to N. C. Mirick.
In May, 1890, the paper was changed to a daily and named the Daily
Courant. This was an unsuccessful venture, however, and in April,
1891, it was again changed to a weekly edition under the name of The
Lyons Courant, Mr. Boyle retiring. The Courant had always been in-
dependent in politics until March 23, 1892, when it was changed to a
Republican paper.

In the village of Clyde several newspapers were started, only to die
through want of nutrition. The first of these was The Clyde Standard,
which was established January 6, 1830, by Eber P. Moon. It lived only
about six months. The only copy of this paper known to be in exist-
ence is No. 1, Vol. 1, in possession of Sylvester H. Clark, of Clyde. In
May, 1837, the Lyons American was removed to Clyde, its name changed
to the Clyde Gazette, and published by Denison Card until some time
in 1838, when it returned to Lyons and became the Lyons Whig.

In 1844 the Clyde Eagle was established by B. Frazee. Within a few
3^ears it passed through the hands of a Mr. Dyer, Stephen Salisbury, and
in 1847 to Rev. Charles G. Ackly and William Tompkins, who changed
its name to the Clyde Telegraph. Within a few years it passed to Rev.
W. W. Stroiker, who sold it to William R. Fowle. After a brief effort
to make the business pay he suspended. In February, 1850, the plant
was taken by Payn & Smith, and the paper was revived under the name


of the Ctyde Industrial Times. Joseph A. Payn soon purchased his
partner's interest, and some time in 1851 changed the name of the jour-
nal to the Clyde Weekly Times. Payn sold out to James M. Scarritt,
who eliminated the word " weekly " from the title of the paper and con-
tinued the publication until January 4, 1872. At this time the estab-
lishment was purchased by Irwin A. Forte. On January 1, 1876, he took
his brother, Irving C, as a partner, but at the end of a year the firm
was dissolved, after which date Irwin A. Forte has successfully con-
ducted the business until August, 1894, when he sold out to Albert M.
Ehart. The Times is an earnest and able Republican organ, and has a
large circulation.

Irwin A. Forte, son of Allen- H., was born in Cazenovia, N. Y. , April
20, 1844. He was educated in Cazenovia Seminary and Morrisville
Union School, and for about three years, in partnership with his brother
Irving C, and alone, was engaged in the editorship and publication of
the Cazenovia Republican. He came to Clyde in 1872 and purchased of
James M. Scarritt the Clyde Times. June 20, 1871, Mr. Forte married
Ellen C, daughter of Stephen Chaphe, of Cazenovia, by whom he has
one daughter, Eileen Muguette.

The Northern Methodist Protestant was started in and published
about a year from the office of the Telegraph by the proprietors of the
latter newspaper.

In the spring of 1862 William Daley established the Clyde Commer-
cial, which had an existence of a few years, and suspended publication.

About 1872 Philip Grimsha began the publication of the Local Preach-
er's Advocate, but within a year suspended its publication for want of

The Clyde Commercial Advertiser was started by A. V. Forbes in
the spring of 1880, but after a year it was discontinued.

Cyrus Conklin came to Clyde from Wolcott about 1885, and estab-
lished the Independent and Commercial, which he continued some six

July 4, 18K5, W. E. Churchill founded the Clyde Democrat, contin-
ued the publication until about December 1, 1887, and sold out to Al-
bert C. Lux, who changed the name of the paper to the Democratic
Herald. As indicated by its title, the paper is Democratic in politics
and commands the approval of a large constituency in that part}- in
Wayne county, by whom it is commended for its aggressive and pro-
gressive policy. It began the contest which resulted in making first the


sheriff and later the county clerk, salaried officers. The Herald was a
four-page paper when Mr. Lux purchased it, but in September, 1890,
he enlarged it to an eight-page, fifty-six column journal.

Albert C. Lux was born October 15, 1864, in Clyde, whither his father
came from Alsace, France, in 1852. He graduated from the Clyde High
School in 1883 and in 1884 from the Hopkins Grammar School, of New
Haven, Conn., preparatory to entering Yale College. At the death of
his father, October 25, 1885, he was compelled to return home. He
was engaged then in closing up his father's hotel business until he pur-
chased the printing plant. In 1889 he served as village trustee and in
1890, as village president, filling the offices with credit.

The enterprising village of Newark also has its list of dead newspa-
pers whose brief existence preceded the establishment of a permanent
local journal. The first of them was the Newark Republican, which
was started in November, 1829, by Jeremiah O. Balch. It lived until
some time in 1831. The village was then without a paper until 1838,
when Daniel M. Keeler began publishing the Wayne Standard, in sup-
port of the old Whig party; in August, 1839, he sold out to Barney T.
Partridge, J. P. Bartle, and Stephen Culver, the latter acting as edi-
tor. The name of the paper was changed to the New J3gis and in Jan-
uary, 1840, a transfer to one Norton was made. The paper suspended
in the following May. In July of the same year Mr. Keeler again took
the editorial chair and the paper was revived under the original title of
the Wayne Standard. He continued until 1843, sold to H. L. Wenants,
who stopped the publication at the end of the year. In 1850 Henry
Fairchild purchased the plant and during one year published the Wayne
County Democrat, selling out to B. F. Jones, who changed the title of
the paper to the Newark Journal. In 1854 the establishment passed to
George D. A. Bridgeman who changed the name of the paper to the
Newark Whig and continued it to September, 1856. Charles T. White
then bought the office and changed the title of the paper to the Newark
Weekly Courier, making it neutral in politics. From him the office
passed to Arthur White who in turn sold to B. H. Randolph in 1864.
The paper was now made a four-page, thirty-six-column sheet, largely
devoted to local news, and was well patronized. In 1869 Jacob Wilson
purchased the establishment, changed the politics of the paper to Dem-
ocratic a little later and has ever since continued the publication, con-
stantly on the alert to add improvements, until now the Courier is an
excellent example of the first class country newspaper.


The Newark Union was established in 1872 as a Greeley campaign
sheet, but on January 1, 1873, began its career as a permanent publi-
cation in support of Democratic principles, with James Jones as editor
and proprietor. The paper was successful and after the death of Mr.
Jones, the establishment passed to his son, Frank H. Jones, in January,
1883. He continued the business until November, 1885, when it was
sold to the present proprietor, H. H. Fisk, the politics of the paper
having meanwhile been changed to Republican in 1884. The Union is
now a thirty-six column, four-page paper, carefully and ably edited and
reaching a large clientage.

On the 6th of April, 1887, the Burgess Brothers (W. C. and F. D.
Burgess), who had for about a year been doing a successful job printing
business in Newark, began the publication of the Arcadian Weekly Ga-
zette, as an independent, modern newspaper. This journal was a suc-
cess from the start and at the end of about a year was enlarged from
forty columns to forty-eight. In 1891 the Gazette was turned to the
support of the Republican party, and in April, 1804:, in carrying out
their determination to make the paper a leader among the journals of
Central and Western New York, the proprietors added twelve more
columns. The Gazette is now one of the best and handsomest papers
in Wayne county and enjoys a circulation of 1,900. The Burgess
Brothers are sons of Rev. A. P. Burgess, who settled in Newark in 1874
as pastor of the Presbyterian church.

The first newspaper published in Savannah was the Savannah News,
first issued in 1876, by Frank Conklin, to aid in advancing the precarious
fortunes of the Greenback party, and in support of the candidacy of
James Deady for member of assembly. It lived only one year and the
plant went back to the dealers.

The Savannah News, as it now exists, was founded March 4, 1887,
by W. J. Deady, son of James Deady before mentioned. The paper
contained four pages of six columns each. In July, 1887, A. J. Conroe
bought the business, and in October following admitted George W.
Cooper as partner. In March, 1888, Mr. Cooper took entire control
and has since conducted the paper. The News was originally independ-
ent in politics, but when Mr. Cooper assumed its sole management, he
made it as it has since been, aggressively Democratic. It is ably edited
and exerts considerable influence.

George W. Cooper was born May 5, 1869, in Theresa, Jefferson
county, N. Y., and is a son of Captain Jerome Cooper. He was edu-


cated at Theresa and served a printer's apprenticeship in the office of
the Watertown Post. He located in Savannah in 1888, and was chosen
town clerk in 1891, the first Democratic clerk in the town. From 1890
to 1894 inclusive he has held the office of village clerk.

The Savannah Times was started April 7, 1894, by A. J. Conroe, who
has been a merchant of the village twenty-four years, and conducts the
printing business in connection. The Times is independent, with a
leaning towards Republicanism. Mr. Conroe is a native of Dutchess
county, where he was born in 1845. He removed with his mother to
Savannah in 1848.

Besides these two papers Savannah had the Savannah Reporter,
started as a Republican organ in December, 1889, by O. C. Silver, which
endured one year; and the Savannah edition of the Wayne County
Dispatch, one year from April, 1893, printed in Palmyra by F. G.

The town of Sodus has had a newspaper since 1873, when George W.
Tummonds started the Sodus Enterprise. Shortly afterwards the firm
of Tummonds & Collins was formed, and about 1875 Galen Oderdirk
became proprietor of the paper and changed its name to The Wayne
County Alliance, at the same time effecting a consolidation with the
Ontario Sun (which had been issued for a time in the town of Ontario),
and the Williamson Enterprise of Williamson. In 1878 the establish-
ment passed to the firm of Claven & Gilmore ; the latter soon afterwards
died, and the office again changed hands, going to E. W. Gurnee& Co.,
who employed E. A. Benedict as editor. On September 1, 1882, they
sold out to B. H. Cuddeback and Willis C. Teall. This firm continued
to September, 1890, when Mr. Teall became sole proprietor and has
since continued the business. In 1878 the paper was enlarged from a
four- column folio to its present seven-column size. The Alliance has
always been independent in politics.

Willis C. Teall was born in Romulus, Seneca county, in 1852, was
educated in Geneva and Sodus Academy, his parents having removed
to this town in 1853. He began learning the printer's trade with Galen
Oderdirk, and purchased an interest in the Alliance in 1882, as above

The Williamson Sentinel was started as the Williamson Banner in
1884, by G. W. Tummonds, by whom the plant was removed from
Ontario. In April, 1886, he sold out to the present proprietor, Dr.
H. N. Burr. The name of the paper was changed in 1885. Dr. Burr


publishes the Sentinel in connection with his medical practice. A sketch
of his life is given elsewhere in these pages.

The Shut-in Visitor was started in Williamson in January, 1883, by
Mrs. Kate Sumner Burr, wife of Dr. H. N. Burr. In January, 1885,