Source: News Journal, August 16,
1973, Centennial Edition
News-Journal Observes 100
Years In Community
From hand-set type on a screw-down
press to offset printing over a span of 100 years is the
story of the News-Journal, as it celebrates its
It was exactly 100 years ago this
year (1973) the Journal was established
in North Manchester by a joint stock company under the
editorship of J.H. Keyes.
But before the founding of the
Journal, part of which has endured today in the name
News-Journal, Inc. several less
successful attempts were made.
The first North Manchester newspaper
made its debut in 1865. Publisher John J. Martin called
it The Advertiser. It was destined to
change names five times in as many years.
Martin worked at his new venture in
printing for two years before selling it to Joseph
Singer. Eighteen months later what was then the
Union Banner became the Exchange,
once again under the care of Martin.
But Martin didn't stick with his
protege and sold out to William T. Cutshall, 1869.
Cutshall soon sold The Globe to M.E.
Pleas and it became the North Manchester
Starting as a Democratic organ
according to the principles of the original stock
company, it became and remained a dominantly Republican
paper as November saw A.G. Beauchamp and D.W. Krisher as
managers, then Matthews and Kist, who added the
Republican. N.W. Beauchamp entered the
newspaper business by taking over Matthews' interest.
Beauchamp eventually became sole editor and remained so
until 1882 despite the coming and going of other
The Journal, in 1882, was published
every Thursday by 18-year owner Samuel V. Hopkins in the
east basement of the First National Bank Building. The
charge was $1.50 a year for each of its 1,000
subscribers, 75¢ payable in
advance for six months and 40¢ for three months.
Advertising rates were 50¢ per column inch in the eight
column newspaper. The numerous legal advertisements
which made up a great part of the advertising were
printed for a charge of $1 per 250 ems (ten lines).
Anyone wishing to put their own little bit in the
editorial column paid 15¢ per line for the privilege.
The front page--and most of the
paper--was made up of clippings from other, larger
papers. Those used to today's newspapers, the end
results of endless research into the psychology of the
readers, would find themselves devoting much more time
to reading for the copy ran down the full length of each
column and headlines were one line in length and not
much larger than the story type itself.
A typical front page would include
Fashion Notes from New York telling if beads should be
worn, feathers or flowers, fur gauntlets, or which
shades of red, blue or yellow were the mark of the
This period was marked by a style of
writing calculated to tug at your heartstrings or shock
your every sense. Two or three full columns would likely
be taken with a murder trial or other crime, and
undoubtedly a short store could fill the rest of the
The following excerpt may almost make
you laugh rather than cry but it is typical of a late
19th century newspaper.
ONLY A SHOESHINE BOY
"Here's where you get your shoes
Over the head of the little one whose sweet, sad,
tremulous tones uttered that sentence, scarce ten years
had passed, yet, brief as they were, fearful were the
traces left of their presence...
Out on the quiet air went a wail in which was
concentrated a whole spirit's agony, a wail in which was
but one word "Mother!"
Upon the stony street, his heaven-like beauty
annihilated by the horses' feet, his wild, floating
locks wearing "redder stains than the poppies knew," lay
"the bright young being."
"Look here!" exclaimed a person to a friend who sat near
him. "I saw that large boy push the other over." "Did
you?" was the reply. "Well, don't mention it, he was
only a shoeshine boy, and our valuable time might be
This story generally took two full
columns, with only a poem by Riley or Whittier to make a
break in the imposing solid line of copy.
Quite often, before being able to get
to the heart of a story, a reader would wade through an
explanatory lead: "For general information and to show
the import of guarding against destruction of timber in
the U.S., the following item has been clipped from a
The rest of the paper was filled with
"Personals," having little editorialized comments tacked
on. Everybody knew everyone else and anything anybody
did was fair game for the newspaper and too bad if they
didn't like it--"All right, Ollie, we won't put your
name in the paper again," or "Dr. Long was in Wabash
Wednesday looking after his pension. Dave was a good
soldier and we hope he may be successful," or "B.T. has
sold his interest in the butcher shop to Frank Reed.
Bash don't like to get up so early."
Reports of speakers or happenings
would express the qualities of those involved, good and
bad, according to the writer's judgment.
The publication of horror, crime, and
ugly death was in its heyday and there was nearly always
to be found rewrites of trial or notices such as "There
was a sad scene in New York City last Saturday morning
when Louis Hamer staggered into his bedroom wounded by a
burglar's bullet and fell dying to the floor, while his
wife and seven children, suddenly roused from sleep,
gathered around him."
The prevailing advertisements were
testimonies from users advocating wonder drugs,
particularly Mrs. Lydia E. Pinkham's cure-alls:
"Vegetable Compound is a positive cure for all those
Painful Complaints and Weaknesses so common to our vast
female population. Price $1 or six bottles for $5, pills
or lozenges. Also her liver pills which cure
constipation, biliousness and torpidity of the liver, 25¢
per box." And down at the bottom of the ad in fine
print, "they also dissolve and expel tumors, headaches,
depression, kidney complaints of either sex and
permanently cure indigestion."
It wasn't until 1900 that advertising
began to use much space in the newspapers. New
inventions -- "New Hot Blast Airtight Florence, the only
absolute smoke consuming stove on earth"; electric
clocks, Jell-O--were coming into the market fast and
furiously and the public must be informed. New, fancy
borders were used and pictures showed what the new
products were like.
Lydia E. Pinkham's Medicine Co.
resorted to a $5,000 reward for anyone that could prove
falsehood in the testimonial letters telling of renewed
youth from using Pinkham products.
The Helm, Snorf and Co., North
Manchester, was only one example of gimmicks used when
they advertised they would "give away absolutely free a
good all wool horse blanket 84 x 90 inches to the person
who brings in the most people in one rig and unloads
them in front of our store Friday Sept. 27, 1901."
At this time also, W.E. Billings got
his toe in North Manchester's thriving newspaper
business by starting The Rays of Light,
a weekly publication. He changed its name to The
Tribune and added the name Hopkins to the front
page along with the dateline that same year.
With him, the papers began to change
in tone to more original and localized. Although the
front page still had long black blocks of type and
small, centered, one line headlines, deaths of
well-known persons of the community, new officials,
social events and local trivia (like a letter from a son
overseas in the army) filled it.
Billings revived the News
in 1913 (News was started by William T.
Cutshall in 1876 and from 1904 until its suspension in
1912 was under the management of J.C. Martin, Archie
Gunn, Homer Clark and H.J. Bartoo) and combined
The News and Journal in 1920.
The first consolidated
News-Journals reflected the prosperity and
progressive feelings of the times. Front page stories
noted new houses being built and warned there was no
excuse for anyone being lazy as there were two jobs
available for every man.
The usual eight column newspaper was
published on Thursday and a six column Monday Extra was
added by Billings in 1914, continuing thus until today.
Giving his newspapers a more modern
look and style than had his predecessors, Billings
wroted and pritned the News-Journal until 1936 when
Elwood Dunlavy bought it. Roland Schmedel took over
management with Dunlavy's widow after Dunlavy died,
1955. At Mrs. Dunlavy's death, 1960, the owners became
Schmedel, Thom Dunlavy and Martha Jane Dunlavy Mitchell,
until Schmedel became sole owner, 1965.
Schmedel died October, 1966 after a
long illness and the present owner, publisher, editor
moved into North Manchester Oct. 15, 1966.
In late 1966 and 1967, the
News-Journal developed a new format with larger
headlines, more pictures and more white space to
The new look resulted in second place
awards in the state \for page one excellence in state
newspaper association contests in 1967 and 1968.
Fifty year reporter Harry Leffel
retired in December of 1967.
Early in 1971 a complete darkroom was
added to the plant thus enabling the News-Journal to be
more selective with use of art work. All photos are
presently taken on 35mm film and processed in the
In February of 1972, the News-Journal
management announced a change from letterpress to offset
printing, offering readers and advertisers a much
sharper, clearer and easier-to-read product in addition
to use of color if requested.
In 1973, editor and publisher Ernest
Eschbach was presented the top political editorial award
in the state by the Indiana Republican Editorial
Present management and employees are
Mr. and Mrs. Eschbach; James Leuck, associate editor;
Doug Frantz, news editor; Joe Custer, advertising
director; Mrs. James Reiff, and Mrs. Bee Brooks.
Mrs. Herb Coble, Carolyn Bowling and
Mrs. Charles French: type-setters and make-up
Summer employees include Cynthia
Eschbach, a journalism student at Indiana University and
A. Gary Nordmann.
“Early Newspapers”, “North
Manchester Journal” and “North Manchester News” in
Weesner, History of Wabash County, 393-4:
The first newspaper in North
Manchester was published in 1865 by John J. Martin, who
called it the Advertiser. Within two years he sold it to
Joseph Singer, who changed the name to the Union Banner
and issued it thus for eighteen months. It then reverted
to Mr. Martin, who published it as the Exchange until
1869, when he sold to W.T. Cutshall. The latter
published the paper as the Globe for awhile, and finally
disposed of the establishment to M.E. Pleas, who founded
the North Manchester Republican.
Now, however, we are to record the
founding of a newspaper which has endured to the present
day—the North Manchester Journal, first issued in 1873
by a joint-stock company under the editorship of J.H.
Keyes. In the following November it went under the
management of A.G. Beauchamp and D.W. Krisher, but was
subsequently sold by the company to Matthews & Kist, who
had already bought the Republican. Within the year Mr.
Matthews sold his interest to N.W. Beauchamp, and at a
somewhat later date Mr. Kist disposed of his interest to
William T. Cutshall. Eventually Mr. Cutshall sold to Mr.
Beauchamp, who thus became sole proprietor. In 1877 G.H.
Edgworth, of Iowa, purchased an interest in the Journal
and became associate editor, but about a year thereafter
sold his interest to Mr. Beauchamp, who remained sole
editor and proprietor until 1882.
In January of the latter year
Samuel V. Hopkins bought the establishment and conducted
it until his death in 1900. His son Lloyd succeeded him,
and in 1902 a consolidation was effected with the
Tribune under the firm name of Hopkins & Billings
Lloyd Hopkins died in March, 1913, when Ada
Hopkins, sister of the deceased, assumed an interest in
the Journal as an heir of the estate. The partnership
with Mr. Billings was dissolved and in December, 1913,
the Journal Publishing Company was incorporated to
conduct the newspaper and printing business. Of that
corporation Miss Hopkins is president and Rex L. Hidy is
secretary and treasurer.
The North Manchester News, of which
William E. Billings is editor and proprietor, was
founded in 1876 by William T. Cutshall, who remained
editor and proprietor of it for many years. From 1904
until its suspension in 1912, it was under the
successive management of J.C. Martin, Archie Gunn, Homer
Clark and H.J. Bartoo. In May, 1913, the News was
revived by Mr. Billings, who had retired from the
Journal the preceding month.