The Press of Orleans County, NY
From: Landmarks of Orleans County New York
Edited By Hon. Isaac S. Singor
Assisted by H. P. Smith and others.
D. Mason & Company, Publishers, Syracuse, 1894

The reader has learned in these pages that the village of Gaines was Once the leading place in the county, and came very near being the county seat. It is this fact that accounts for the first newspaper in the County being established at Gaines. Judge Thomas places the date of the first issue about the year 1824; while other authorities make it as early as 1822. The paper was called The Gazette, and it was continued about four years by Seymour Tracy. In July, 1827 (probably after the discontinuance of The Gazette), John Fisk established The Orleans Whig at Gaines. It was continued regularly several years, but the date of its death is lost, as far as we know.

The first newspaper published in what is now Albion, was called The Newport Patriot, and was issued by Franklin Cowdry in 1823. It took its name from the little hamlet of Newport, which afterwards received the name of Albion. In February, 1825, Timothy C. Strong became the proprietor and changed the name of the paper to The Orleans Advocate. In the year 1828, amid the anti-Masonic excitement, Mr. Strong espoused the cause of anti-Masonry and changed the name of the publication to The Orleans Advocate and Anti- Masonic Telegraph, and in February of that year shortened the title to The Orleans AntiMasonic Telegraph. In June, 1828, another change was made to The Orleans Telegraph, and a little later the name of the paper was made The American Standard. The establishment was transferred to J. Kempshall, who conducted it about two years, when it again passed into possession of Mr. Strong, who changed the name of the paper to The Orleans American. In 1844 the property passed to possession of J.& J. H. Denio, who continued the business until 1853, when it was purchased by S. A. Andrews. With various partners, he continued the publication until January, 1861, when the establishment was purchased by D. S. & H. A. Bruner. This firm continued until July 1, i868, when H. A. Bruner became sole owner, and has ever since conducted the paper with signal ability and success. In December, 1868, the entire establishment was burned, but was promptly rebuilt by Mr. Bruner, and equipped with modern machinery and fixtures. Since the formation of the Republican party The American has been a staunch supporter of the political principles of that party and wields a strong influence throughout Orleans and adjoining counties. For nearly thirty-five years Mr. Bruner has faithfully and ably filled the editorial chair.

HENRY A. BRUNER, the editor and proprietor for over thirty years past of The Orleans American, is a son of Jacob and Esther Arwine Bruner, and was born in Danville, Pa. While yet a lad the family moved to Yates county, New York.

Mr. Bruner in his childhood and youth had no other than the humblest opportunities for education afforded to every child in our common schools. B.ut he diligently improved what chances he had for learning. Upon the death of his parents, being left poor, he first learned the trade of harnessmakirig, but soon afterward managed to attend a select school and the public schools in Penn Yan, commenced teaching, and subsequently finished his education at the State Normal School in Albany, where he graduated in the spring of 1847, and again taught school for a number of years, with such reputation and success, that, in June, 1856, he was appointed the first school commissioner of Yates county, and the next year, 1857, was elected to the same position, holding it in all for four and a half years.

In January, 1861, Mr. Bruner came to Albion, and, with his brother, David S. Bruner, bought of Andrews & Ray the Orleans American, taking possession January. 17. His brother’s health failed, and July 1, 1868, Henry A. Bruner became and has ever since been sole proprietor. His course as editor of the first-established and leading newspaper in Orleans county, has been to assert and maintain the principles and ascandancy of his party with uniform loyalty and consistency, steadily holding a leading position and wielding a more or less efficient influence in its councils. His services have been to some extent recognized by his political friends. He was postmaster at Albion four and a half years, 1871—1875, appointed by President Grant.

Mr. Bruner was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1880, which nominated Garfield, and was a special inspector of customs under Harrison’s administration.

He was married in October, 1852, at Starkey, Yates county, to Jerusha Maria Pierce, who died February 1, 1865. In September, 1866, he married Sara S. Smith, of Albion. His only surviving child, Lizzie, is the wife of Dr. John E. Sutton, a practicing physician in Albion.

There is a tradition that a few numbers of a Democratic newspaper were published in Albion prior to 1829. In that year Anti-Masonry was flourishing in Western New York; the Democratic party was in the minority and without an organ. Chiefly through the influence of Alexis Ward, Cephas S. McConnell came to Albion, and on the 21st of October, 1829, issued the first number of the Orleans Republican. He continued the publication with a fair degree of success until 1841, when he sold out to a Mr. De Puy, and removed to Rochester. He returned in 1847 and started the Orleans Democrat, which he soon discontinued and bought back The Republican. He sold the property to Mr. J. O. Willsea in 1848, and removed to Chicago where he died in 1855. In 1850 Calvin G. Beach became associated as partner with Mr. Wilisea, and the firm of Wilisea & Beach conducted the business with success until 1860, when Mr Willsea retired. Mr. Beach continued the publication alone until his death, which occurred July 8, 1868. Mr. Beach was born in Rochester, on June 30, 1830, and learned the printer’s trade with Shepherd & Graves, of that city. He came to Albion in 1850, and had just reached his majority when he became partner with Mr. Willsea. In the conduct of his paper, Mr. Beach was assisted by his wife, a woman of rare literary attainments, who was a contributor to many of the papers and magazines of that day. Since the death of Mr. Beach, his widow has continued the publication of the paper. Lafayette H. Beach, the present editor and manager of The Republican, was born in Albion, on April 2, 1856; was educated at the old Albion Academy and graduated when fifteen years of age. Abandoning his desire for a college course, lie entered his mother’s printing office in 1871 and served a full apprenticeship. In 1878 he became associated with an older brother in the editorship of The Republican, and in 1882 was made sole editor and manager. Two other sons of the late Calvin G. Beach are engaged in Journalism — Fred G. Beach, holding a prominent position with The Rochester Democrat, and Robert K. Beach, being editor of The Rochester Morning Herald. Editor Beach of The Republican is married and is the father of five children. He is identified officially with the Methodist Episcopal Church of Albion, and has been superintendent of its Sunday- school for fourteen consecutive years. He has also been secretary of the Orleans County Agricultural Society for a period of sixteen years.

The Republican is the Orleans county organ of the Democratic party and wields a powerful influence in that direction.

The Saturday Chronicle was started in Albion in the, autumn of 1876, by William B. Young, who was a practical printer. It was nettral or independent in politics. The paper was discontinued after about two years.

The first number of the Orleans County Herald was issued September 4, 1888, by Frank E. Kittredge. It was started as a nine-column folio. In 1889 it was purchased by Clark D. Knapp. After several changes in proprietorship, the establishment recently (1894) passed to Ben A. Osborn and William B. Young. It is Republican in politics, is ably conducted and liberally patronized.

The Weekly News was established in Albion in 1888, by John Cunneen. The success of this publication has led to its being severai times enlarged, until it reached the eight-column quarto size. The paper is independent in politics and pays particular attention to local news. In 1890 Pearl Coann became editor and proprietor of the paper and it is now owned and edited by A. M. Eddy. Mr. Coann has established and now edits The Albion Free Lance, a weekly publication.

The Young Oologist, a monthly publication devoted to birds, their nests, eggs and habits, was started in Albion in 1884. Two years later the name was changed to The Oologist. The editor and publisher is Frank H. Lattin, with Neil J. Posson, of Medina, as associate editor. The magazine has been very successful and has a large circulation.

Previous to the establishment of permanent newspapers in the village of Medina, several publications were started and soon added to the great newspaper death roll. The first of these was The Medina Herald, which was begun in 1832 by Daniel P. Adams; it lived only two or three years,

In 1837 J. & J. H. Denio began the publication of The Medina Sentinel. In the next year the name of the paper was changed to The Orleans Sentinel and it lived until 1842.

A paper called The Bucktail was started just previous to the suspension of The Herald, and afterward its name was changed to The Medina Democrat. It expired after two or three years of existence. S. M. Burroughs was the publisher.

In 1850 H. A. Smith began the publication of The Medina Citizen. In 1855 the title was changed to the Medina Tribune, which it still retains. Samuel H. Clark succeeded Mr. Smith as publisher, continuing to January 1, 1871, when the establishment was purchased by John P. Gates and Frank H. Hurd. On January 1, 1874, Mr. Hurd purchased his partner's interest, and a year later Fred. M. Taylor became a partner in the business. On January 1, 1877, Mr. Hurd again became sole proprietor and has continued the business alone to the present time. The Tribune is Republican in politics and under Mr Hurd's able conduct has become a powerful factor in the councils of the party, gaining a large circulation.

Frank H. Hurd was born in the town of Yates August 7, 1847, and received his education at the Yates Academy. At the age of sixteen he began to learn the trade of printer and has been connected with the printing and publishing business ever since. He was first with The Orleans Republican in Albion, a year in Syracuse and thçn with The. Auburn Morning News. After two years in Auburn he returned to Albion and had charge of the mechanical department of the Orleans Republican for a year. In 1871 he purchased The Medina Tribune, and has been its proprietor and editor ever since. Mr. Hurd is a prominent Mason, belonging to the Chapter at Albion and the Genesee Commandery at Lockport, N. Y. He is active in politics and has been secretary of many conventions. In 1874 he married F. Louise Williams, of Rome, N. Y., who died in 1883. In 1885 he married Dolores E. Frary, of Medina. His father was Seymour A. Hurd, a merchant of Yates, son of the late Isaac Hurd, of that town. His mother was Mary Frost Hurd, daughter of the late Chester Frost, of Shelby. His ances tors, on both sides came from New England to this county in pioneer days.

The first number of The Orleans Democrat was issued in Albion in May, 1870, by W. W. Malay, who removed the establishment to Medina in February, 1871. In 1872 W. W. Mount purchased a half interest in the business, but withdrew a year later. In 1873 C. W. Tucker became a partner and was succeeded six months later by A. M. Thistlewaite. In 1874 Mr. Malay again became proprietor of the concern and in the fall of that year sold a half interest to Adna Bowen. The paper was suspended in 1876, but was revived soon afterwards under the title of The Medina Democrat, by Bowen & O'Brien. Five months later W. W. Malay became sole editor and proprietor, and permanently discontinued the paper in 1877.

The Medina Register was started in the month (April, 1877) that saw the death of The Democrat by Beach Brothers, who used the type and apparatus of The Democrat. In August of that year Joel B. Swett became sole proprietor of the establishment and successfully conducted the business until 1881, when he was succeeded by the present editor and proprietor, M. A. Bowen. Mr. Bowen was born in West Shelby November 7, 1859. He began work at the printing business before he finally left school, at first in the office of the Orleans Democrat. When he took possession of The Register he was fully equipped for the successful practical conduct of an able Democratic newspaper. He is a fluent and forcible writer and possesses business qualifications of a high order. He has made the Register an influential.organ in the politics of Western New York as well as a welcome news medium in a large number of homes. In 1882 Mr. Bowen was married to Harriet Green; they have a son and a daughter. Mr. Bowen's father was Adna Bowen, also a native of Medina; his mother was Eunice Post.

The only village in Orleans county, other than Albion and Media, to boast a newspaper is the sprightly place of Holley. The first paper published in Holley was called The Holley Bulletin, and was issued in the fall of 1868 by Jay Densmore. It was a small weekly sheet, but after a few issues was changed to a semi monthly and quadrupled in size. Before the completion of the first volume the paper was discon.tinued and the office removed elsewhere.

The Monthly Advertiser, devoted to general reading and advertisements, was first issued in Holley in the fall of 1869, but only a few numbers were issued.

In the autumn of 1870 the publication of The Holley Standard was begun by Cyrus Marsh. The paper was continued with fair success until 1874, when the office was burned. Mr. Marsh then purchased The Brockport Democrat office and issued a paper called The Democrat and Standard, and designed to represent both villages. This plan was not successful and Mr. Marsh established a new office in Holley and resumed the publication of The Standard. In 1877 he sold out to Frank A. Lanstrom, who in turn sold to Frank A. Hayden a year later. He continued the paper until the spring of 1882, when he sold to the present proprietor, C. C. Hayden. The office was burned in January, 1885, but was re-established at once. The Standard is independent in politics. C. C. Hayden was born in Sennett, Cayuga county, N. Y., February 12, 1858; received his education in district schools and Auburn High School. He learned the printing trade in the offices of The Brockport Democrat and The Holley Standard, also acting as local reporter. IN 1880 he went to Titusville, Pa., remaining nearly two years, as reporter on The Daily Herald and Daily World, and in 1882 purchased The Holley Standard. Mr. Hayden is a fluent writer and possesses the natural qualities that make the successful journalist.

In 1878 a monthly paper called The Agitator was established in Holley, as the organ of the Good Templars of Orleans county. It survived only a short time.

Return to [ NY History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ]

NY Counties - Albany - Allegany - Broome - Cayuga - Chatauqua - Chenango - Clinton - Columbia - Cortland - Dutchess - Erie - Essex - Franklin - Fulton - Genesee - Herkimer - Jefferson - Lewis - Livingston - Madison - Montgomery - Niagara - Oneida - Onondaga - Ontario - Orange - Orleans - Oswego - Putnam - Queens - Rensselaer - Richmond - Rockland - St. Lawrence - Saratoga - Schenectady - Steuben - Suffolk - Tioga - Tompkins - Tryone - Ulster - Washington - Wayne - Yates

All pages copyright 2003-2012. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy