“Old Newspapers Made News in 1875”

Carroll County Times article for 1 February 1998

By Jay A. Graybeal

In this column I frequently use items found in old Carroll County newspapers and readers often comment that they enjoy reading “old news”. Many of the papers in the Historical Society’s extensive collection were collected by J. Leland Jordan, a former editor of this paper. Henry and William Vanderford, the editors of the Westminster Democratic Advocate newspaper, wrote an interesting article in their May 8, 1875 issue entitled, “OLD PAPERS.”:

“We are indebted to M. C. McKinstry, Esq. for a copy of the Carroll County Democrat. It is dated November 15, 1855, and was published by G. H. Randall, Volume I. No. 24. The paper contains a full account of the State Election, together with the official returns of the vote of the county. Dr. Jacob Shower, of Manchester district, Democrat, was defeated for Congress by Jas. D. Ricaud, Know Nothing, by 1971 majority; in 1853 Dr. Shower’s majority was 915. The county ticket was-Senate, Elijah E. Crout, Democrat; Francis T. Davis, Know Nothing; House of Delegates, Wm. C. Polk, James Raymond, Somerset R. Waters, Democrats; Stephen T. C. Brown, John E. Smith, David Buffington, Know Nothings; Judges of the Orphans’ Court, Jacob Wickert, John C. Price, Upton Scott, Democrats; Michael Sullivan, Thomas S. Brown, Horatio Price, Know Nothings; State’s Attorney, Daniel L. Hoover, Democrat; C. W. Webster, Know Nothing; Sheriff, John B. Summers, Democrat; Joseph Shaeffer, Know Nothing; County Commissioners, Hanson T. Webb, Bennett Spurrier, John White, Democrats; John Malcorn, Benjamin Shauk, Jacob H. Christ, Know Nothings; School Commissioners, Jno. Jones, Wm. Houck, Wm. Fisher, Democrats; Francis Shriver, Joseph Armacost, Jacob B. Earhart, Know Nothings. At that time Justices of the Peace, Constables and Road Supervisors were elected by the people. The Democrats had a majority in Manchester, Myers, Hampstead and Westminster districts. The Democrats elected 19 of the district officers and the Know Nothings 36. While the Know Nothings were celebrating their victory in Taneytown, on the Saturday after the election, some one in the procession threw a stone and cut the head of William, son of Rev. John G. Fritchey. Among the advertisements is one announcing the sale of a part of the Almshouse farm by order of Jonathan Dorsey, Michael Baughman and John Cover, County commissioners; Jacob Myerly was Clerk to the Board at that time; S. R. Gore was Collector of State and County Taxes; John B. Boyle was Clerk of the Circuit Court, and the late Abner Neal was Auditor. Among the business notices, we find the name of Jesse Reifsnider, Coleman & Cox, Hering & Christ, F. H. Orendoff, N. I. Gorsuch, Richard Manning, J. & W. G. Byers; Wm. N. Hayden was Honorary Secretary for the Cosmopolitan Art Association of New York; E. O’Brien, John Malambre, Dr. Booth, Luther M. Shriver, D. Gehr, Dr. Geo. S. Fouke, K Dymock, and Robert Kerbey. The firm of Samuel Pelton & Co. New Windsor, gave notice that they manufactured horse powers; the firm was composed of Samuel Pelton, Lewis Shueey, Daniel Engel, Samuel Hoffman, Reuben Haines and James Atlee.”
A week later, the Advocate carried another article about an old paper which had been loaned by reader:
“We are indebted to Miss Kate Shriver, near this city, for a copy of The Westminster Chronicle and Weekly Advertiser, vol. I No. 17. The paper bears date “Westminster, Frederick County, (MD.) Friday, March 26, 1819. The paper is about quarter the size of THE ADVOCATE, and was published by William B. Burke at $2 per annum. Among the list of Agents for the paper we find the names of “John Hyder, Union-Town; J. Denning, Denning’s Post-Office; Charles Devilbiss, Union Mills; Peter Mathias, Taney-Town; Mr. Farquier, Union Bridge; G. W. Gist, Middleburg; Wm. Bull, New-Windsor; Henry Beltz, Manchester.” Thomas W. Morgan and Upton Wagers, offered themselves as candidates for Sheriff. Dr. Elias Umbach and Dr. Willis offered their services to the community. Among the advertisements of business men appear the names of John Krouse, Jacob Grove, Aquilla Elliott, David Uhler, David Winters; William Frizell advertised a cow as strayed, John Kline gave notice that a bay mare had been stolen from him on the 9th instant. A communication, signed many voters, gave notice that on the 1st Monday of April the following gentlemen would be voted for:-For Burgess, John Fisher; for Commissioners, Ludwig Wampler, Jacob Sherman, Jacob Frenger, Isaac Shriver, John C. Cockey and Jacob Yin Ling. William H. McCannon was acting Postmaster; Jesse Slingluff was President of the Bank of Westminster. Philip Littig, Market Street, Baltimore, offered $10 reward for a German man names Johon George Klotter. Isaac Shriver gave notice that the annual election of Trustees for the Westminster general meeting house would be held on Easter Monday. From the same lady also a copy of the Republican Citizen and State Advertiser, published at Frederick, by G. W. Sharp, dated December 27, 1822.”
As the above articles suggest, the editors though their Victorian readers would be interested in reading about the news of earlier generations. Perhaps they and their readers were much like many people I know today who find an old newspaper irresistible. No doubt, they thought their paper of 1875 was as up-to-date as we do today when compared to the earlier efforts.
Photo caption: The mastheads of earlier Carroll County newspapers reveal that their were a number of papers published in communities other than Westminster including, Union Bridge, Mount Airy, New Windsor, Hampstead, Manchester, Silver Run and Sykesville. J. Leland Jordan Collection, Historical Society of Carroll County, gift of the Commissioners of Carroll County, 1955.