"The despot in his cabinet, engaged in forging new fetters for his subjects - the military chief, who dares
contemplate employing the arms of his soldiery for the subversion of his country's liberties-the demagogue in the
midst of his cabal, who, while fawning on and caressing the dear people, is seeking to abuse their confidence to
the gratification of his own base ambition, or baser rapacity-all alike with the humbler enemies of social order
and the supremacy of law, have an instinctive terror of a free, virtuous, able, and independent press." -Horace
The fact that so many citizens are obsessed with the idea that they know just how a newspaper should be managed,
and the fact that few do know the secret of successful journalism must account for the multitude of failures. It
has been said that in the historic field the newspaper graveyard covers a tremendous area. Their history is hard
to follow because the departed left no assets with whith to raise tombstones giving the dates of the birth and
death of the deceased. Cleveland has a large historical newspaper graveyard but probably not in excess of other
localities. A newspaper reporter turned in an item about a man who had exceeded Doctor Tanner, who lived forty
days without food. This man succeeded in living some forty eight days without eating and in concluding the article
the writer said: "We have been unable to learn what paper he was on, or running." There was in the early
days a particularly strong craze for starting papers, but it is of those that live that history is most concerned.
Andrew Logan came to Cleveland and started the first paper. It was called the Cleveland Gazette and Commercial
Register. The "plant" was a one story cabin at the foot of Superior Street. The first number came out
July 31, 1818. It was a weekly if circumstances permitted, otherwise it was a bi-monthly. It worried along for
fifteen months. Eben D. Howe, a New Englander, started the Cleveland Herald as a weekly paper in 1819. He had the
local field all to himself for thirteen years, then others came, but this paper had a history covering sixty nine
years. It was rather independent in politics at first but it soon veered toward Jacksonian and Jeffersonian democracy.
Then the leading whigs induced Madison Kelley to start a rival, the Advertiser, which espoused the cause of the
whigs. John W. Allen wrote the salutatory editorial. In 1832 this paper was sold to two men from Chagrin Falls,
Horace Canfield and T. P. Spencer, who changed it into a strong democratic paper. Canfield and Spencer continued
to publish this paper until 1841, when it was sold to Admiral N. and J. W. Gray. The Grays were Vermonters, neither
one was a newspaper man. J. W. Gray was a lawyer, but he had the New England grit, was a hard worker, "clever
and canny." In the meantime the Cleveland Herald had changed to be the champion organ of the whigs. The Grays
changed the name of their paper to the Plain Dealer, or rather it was J. W. Gray, for in 1845 A. N. Gray withdrew
and T. W. Gray was sole proprietor. He said he gave it the name of Plain Dealer as that was a simple, straightforward
title and warranted not to frighten the ladies.
The rivalry between the Plain Dealer and the Herald became very bitter. O. J. Hodge relates that, back in the '50s,
there was a strife as to which paper should first print the President's message. During a whig administration J.
A. Harris, editor and manager of the Herald, got permission from the postoffice department to open a mail bag in
transit some distance from Cleveland and take out the message. This was done and a swift horse brought it to town
and the Herald thus published the message before the Plain Dealer got its copy. This led to an angry discussion
between the two papers. The Plain Dealer charged the editors of the Herald with rifling the mails, with filing
off the lock on the mail pouch with a "rat tail" file. As a result the Herald brought a libel suit against
the Plain Dealer. Mr. Gray asserted in the columns of the Plain Dealer that he could prove all he said, except
the matter of the "rat tail" file, suggesting that a three cornered file may have been used, but that
if anyone would send him a rat with a three cornered tail his defense would be complete. During the controversy
the word "liar" was frequently used. While this crossfire was under way in the two papers the Plain Dealer
published a local item saying that Mr. Richard Hilliard, a prominent Cleveland merchant, had gone to New York.
Soon after the article came out Gray met Hilliard on the street and said: "Why, Dick, in my paper today I
have stated that you had gone to New York, as you told me you were going. For Gods sake don't let Harris see you
here. If he does I am undone, he will prove me a liar." Hilliard's reply was that he had expected to go but
was unable to get away. He said that from what he had read in the papers he considered them both liars, but agreed
to go home and hide until morning. It is related that Hilliard got away in the morning and carried with him a bottle
of good old port furnished at the expense of the Plain Dealer editor.
August 20, 1833, the Cleveland Whig was started as a weekly paper by Rice and Penniman. It lasted two years and
was followed to the newspaper graveyard by the Cleveland Messenger, which was founded by Beck and Tuttle in May,
1836, and survived less than a year. The same year the Ohio City Argus was founded as a West Side paper by T. H.
Smead and Lyman W. Hall, both conservative whigs. The first number was issued May 30, 1836. In the course of the
first year Hall withdrew and Smead was the sole proprietor. In 1838 the name was changed to the Ohio City Transcript.
A Mr. Hill was editor until 1839. In the summer of 1836 the Cleveland Daily Gazette was founded by Col. Charles
Whistlesey. This paper did not die but was married. So much of the vigorous ability of Colonel Whittlesey had been
woven into its make up that it survived. It was united with the Cleveland Herald that had then been running several
years. The name of the consolidated enterprise was the Daily Herald and Gazette.
The Cleveland Liberalist was started by Dr. Samuel Underhill as a small weekly. Its first number was issued September
10, 1836. It lasted just a year. As early as 1836 the Cleveland Journal, a religious journal of Presbyterian affiliation,
was published by John M. Sterling, Samuel C. Aikin and A. Penfield. The editor was Rev. O. P. Hoyt. It was united
with the Observer, published at Hudson, Ohio. The consolidated paper was called the Cleveland Observer and was
published in Cleveland. In 1840 it was moved back to Hudson and was published under the name of the Ohio Observer.
The Daily Commercial Intelligencer was founded by Benjamin Andrews in 1838 and soon found its way to an unmarked
grave. The Axe, a whig journal, published from April 23rd until after election in the Harrison campaign of 1840,
was of vigorous but short life. It was supported by the leading whigs and carried at the masthead a picture of
a log cabin with a "shake" roof. But the shortest lived paper that enters into the history of Cleveland
was the Christian Statesman, founded by a Quaker whig in 1840. Only one number was issued. The Cleveland Agitator,
a weekly anti slavery paper, came into being and died the same year.
In 1841 four Cleveland newspapers passed from the cradle to the grave, the Daily Morning News, founded by George
M. Shippen; the Palladium of Liberty, anti slavery, founded by Rev. Mr. Butts, and of which it has been said that
when it ceased to function, liberty was left without a palladium; the Eagle Eyed News Catcher, which caught more
news than money, and the Daily Morning Mercury. In the same year the Mothers' and Young Ladies' Guide, a monthly.
was born and died. In 1842 E. B. Fisher founded the Cleveland Gatherer, a weekly, which lasted two years. The following
year F. H. Smead began the publication of the Second Adventist, which adopted the views of Father Miller that the
world was to end in 1844. It is a matter of history that the world stayed on but the paper ended. An anti slavery
paper called the Declaration of Independence was published by T. H. or F. H. Smead in 1845. The editor was Quintus
F. Atkins. It was short lived. The Ohio American published in Ohio City on the West Side in 1844 and continued
for a time (four years) finally became one of the elements that entered into the making of the Cleveland Leader.
In 1847 an anti slavery whig paper, which had been published about a year in Olmsted Falls; was moved to Cleveland
and changed from a weekly to a daily, retaining its original name of the True Democrat. The next year it was consolidated
with the Ohio American, of which paper Edwin Cowles, then eighteen years of age, was part owner. The consolidated
paper was given the name of the first mentioned, the True Democrat. In 1853 this was consolidated with the Daily
Forest City, the first morning paper in Cleveland, which had been founded a year before by Joseph Medial, afterwards
famous as the editor of the Chicago Tribune. Both of these papers had been losing ventures. The consolidated paper
was published under the name of the Daily Forest City Democrat. Edwin Cowles came into the firm and in 1854 the
name was changed to the Cleveland Leader. Cowles bought out Medill and a third partner, John C. Vaughn, and became
Mr. Cowles was born in Ashtabula County, Ohio, September 19, 1825. His ancestors were Puritan except one line,
which was Huguenot. He was a direct descendant of Peregrine White of the early Pilgrims. He spent his boyhood in
Cleveland and learned the printers' trade under Josiah A. Harris of the Cleveland Herald. His school education
was obtained at Grand River Institute. At the age of eighteen he went into the printing business in partnership
with T. H. Smead under the firm name of Smear and Cowles. This firm was dissolved when he formed the partnership
with Medial and Vaughn as publishers as stated. Mr. Cowles suffered from birth having a defect in his hearing,
which also affected his speech. As a manager and editor he had remarkable capacity. In the early days of trial
in building up the Leader to a paying basis he exercised the qualities of a military commander, which meant attention
to every detail. It is said that when sending out men with wagons to advertise the Leader throughout the Reserve,
by posting notices, taking supscriptions, etc., he would call them in a body to his office and give them instructions.
He would inquire if any were too modest to ride through the country with the Cleveland Leader sign displayed on
the wagon top. He would tell them how to make the paste and to be sure and put in a little salt to keep it from
Previous to his taking over the paper it had sunk $30,000 and in the first nine months of his management it sank
$40,000 more. Now we can understand the wherefore of the newspaper graveyard and the survival of the few. In a
short time Mr. Cowles got the paper on a basis of paying expenses and it soon paid off all indebtedness and became
a good paying venture. In the early '80s it had the largest circulation of any paper in the United States west
of the Alleghanies, except one in Cincinnati, two in Chicago and one in Saint Louis. It had more than double the
circulation of all the other Cleveland papers combined.
The first movement which led to the formation of the republican party was started in the Leader editorial rooms
in 1855. At this meeting there were besides Mr. Cowles, John C. Vaughan, or Vaughn, Joseph Medill, J. F. Keeler,
R. C. Parsons and R. P. Spalding. The conference resulted in the issuing of a call for a convention to be held
at Pittsburg. This convention was held February 22, 1856. No nominations were made but it succeeded in uniting
the whig, the free soil, and the know nothing parties into one, to be known as the republican party. This was the
first republican convention ever held. The convention which nominated John C. Fremont for President met in Philadelphia
on the 17th of June.
Cowles carried on the paper alone until 1866, when the Leader company was formed, he holding a controlling interest.
He was business manager until 1860, when he became editor in chief. He rose to prominence in this capacity from
the strength and boldness of his utterances and his decided and progressive views. He drew the fire but he made
the Leader one of the most powerful papers in the West. When secession loomed he took firm stand in favor of suppressing
it, unequivocal and unqualified. In 1861 he was appointed postmaster of Cleveland by President Lincoln. Here his
great executive abilities came into play. He established and perfected the free delivery of mail by carriers. A
republican, and editor in chief of a republican paper, he first suggested in a strong editorial in 1861 the nomination
and election of David Tod, a war democrat, for governor of Ohio as a means of uniting the loyal Union element of
the state. After the battle of Bull Run he came out in an editorial saying "now is the time to abolish slavery,"
arguing that the South by being in rebellion had forfeited the right to their property, that the Government had
the same right to abolish slavery and thus weaken the resources of the Southern Confederacy by liberating a producing
class from which the South mainly derived the sinews of war, as it had to capture and destroy property as a military
necessity. This editorial was severely criticised by portions of the republican press saying the Leader was aiding
the South by creating dissatisfaction among democrats of the North, but when the Proclamation of Emancipation was
issued by Lincoln, less than a year after, precisely the same arguments were used in its support.
In 1863 Cowles advocated the election of John Brough, another war democrat, as a candidate against Vallandingham.
Cowles made his paper a leader in local affairs. In 1870 he wrote and published an elaborate editorial in favor
of the building of the Superior Viaduct. The idea was opposed by the other papers, who characterized it as a utopian
scheme because of the great expense. The estimated cost was $3,000,000. The proposition was submitted to a vote
of the people and it carried. The actual cost was $2,225,000.
In 1869 an afternoon edition was issued under the name of the Evening News. In 1885 after the purchase of the Cleveland
Herald the name of this edition was changed to the News and Herald. In 1905 it was changed to the Cleveland World.
The Leader had been publishing a tri weekly and weekly edition in addition to its daily evening edition and in
1877 it began the publication of a Sunday edition, the first published by any daily paper in the city. The Cleveland
Voice, published by O. J. Hodge, had preceded it by sik years. The Cleveland Voice was the first Sunday paper in
the city and the second in Ohio, the Columbus Post being the first. After the daily papers took up in earnest the
publication of a Sunday edition the Voice "went to sleep," having been published in Cleveland seven years.
Edwin Cowles died in 1890 and the Leader editorial management went into the hands of John C. Covert. In 1905 the
estate sold the controlling interest to Charles A. Otis, who in turn sold it to Medial McCormick of Chicago. The
publication office and plant that had been for so long a time on Superior, west of West Sixth Street, was moved
to Superior and East Sixth. In 1910 the entire property was sold to Dan R. Hanna, who two years later bought from
Charles A. Otis the Cleveland World, which had been running for some years. Thus the Cleveland News of today is
the successor of the evening edition of the Leader under Cowles, and the World. The World began as an afternoon
paper in August, 1889, and it passed into the hands of B. F. Bower, an experienced newspaper man from Detroit,
and George A. Robertson of Cleveland. In April of 1895 it was sold to Robert P. Porter, who had before been director
of the United States Census. His venture failed and Mr. Bower came into control again. In 1895 Charles A. Otis,
who had bought the World, bought also the News and Herald and the evening edition of the Plain Dealer, which were
all consolidated under the name of the Cleveland News, and this was the paper which he sold to Dan R. Hanna. Mr.
Hanna announced at the outset that the policies of the papers under his direction would be to "present a true
and accurate picture of the day's events in Cleveland, in the United States and the world." He said : "These
papers' have no masters to serve, no enemies to punish. They cater to no special interests; they are chained to
The building at the corner of East Sixth and Superior was torn down to make way for the present magnificent
new Leader News Building, which was occupied in 1913. Only the Sunday Leader is now issued, the morning Leader
was discontinued by Mr. Hanna before his death. The News and Sunday Leader are published by The Cleveland Company,
of which the heirs of Dan Hanna have a controlling interest. M. A. Hanna is chairman of the board; G. F. Morgan,
president and general manager; D. R. Hanna, Jr., vice president and assistant general manager; J. J. Levine, treasurer,
and T. A. Robertson, managing editor. Its printing establishment is second to none. As one item it may be interesting
to know that in the sub basement are tanks containing a carload of ink - 2,500 gallons - which by means of compressed
air is forced through the presses. It may be added that Mr. Cowles bought the first perfecting press ever used
During the management of J. W. Gray the Plain Dealer became an evening daily and then a steam press was bought.
From 1851 to 1860 was an interesting decade. The advent of the telegraph, which was introduced in the city in 1849,
steam railroads, and later electric power, all had a special bearing on the gathering and printing of local and
general news. During this ten year period Gray's staff included a number of writers who became distinguished. Among
them were J. B. Boughton, who was later famous as an editorial writer for the New York dailies; David R. Locke
(Petroleum V. Nasby), editor of the Toledo Blade and author of the Nasby letters; William E. McLaren, later bishop
of the Protestant Episcopal Church; James D. Cleveland, a leading lawyer; A. M. Griswold (The Fat Contributor),
journalist, humorist and lecturer; George Hoyt, journalist and artist; Charles Farrar Browne (Artemus Ward), world
humorist, author and lecturer, J. H. Sargent and George M. Marshall. It was while acting as city editor of the
Plain Dealer that Browne adopted the pseudonym of Artemus Ward. The editorial chair used by Artemus is preserved
in the museum of the Western Reserve Historical Society on University Circle.
J. W. Gray died May 26, 1862. The paper suffered by this loss. For so long this virile New Englander had been in
active management and, as has been said, Gray was the Plain Dealer and the Plain Dealer was Gray. In 1865 William
W. Armstrong, journalist and politician, took over the paper. He had had newspaper experience as editor of the
Tiffin Advertiser. Twenty years later the paper was purchased by Liberty E. Holden, who at the same time bought
the Cleveland Herakl. Holden made the combined papers the evening, morning and Sunday Plain Dealer The first morning
edition was published March 16, 1885. He moved the plant from Seneca to the corner of Bank and Frankfort, where
it remained until 1896. From there it was moved to the corner of Bond (East Sixth) and Superior. On February 2,
1908, the building was burned to the ground but the next issue of the paper came out as usual. The following year
there began on the site of the old building a six story building of gray granite and steel. The original building
was later enlarged and now contains a model newspaper plant.
Eighty five or more men set up and make up the Daily and Sunday Plain Dealer, to say nothing of the editorial staff
employed by night and day. For the information of some of our readers who may have worked in the early days on
the old hand press and for others who know nothing of a newspaper office we include a brief description.
TRACING A PIECE OF NEWS
"Copy" from the editorial rooms is belched out of a pneumatic tube onto the desk of the copy cutter.
With shears and blue pencil the cutter splits the copy into "takes" or selections, numbers them and slips
them onto spindles at the end of his desk. The printers carry the "takes" to their linotypes, put them
through the machines and return the result, type on metal slugs, each of which holds one line to the galley bank.
The "takes" are assembled there and proofs are made. The proofs and original copy to go to the proof
room for reading and correcting. Mistakes noted are corrected on the linotypes and inserted into the right place
in the story.
In another part of the room a "head" or headlines has been set up by hand or by machine. Proofs of the
"heads" have been taken and read and corrected in the same way. Story and head are assembled. Several
hundred of them, large and small, are gotten ready in this manner for the night editor and his make up men. Under
his direction the various stories are arranged in the forms of the different pages. Nightly, news copy "dies"
or is unused because the night editor finds far more material to put into the paper than he has pages to put it
Under the city editor are something like twenty reporters. About half of them are "beat" reporters. They
cover the daily happenings, the courthouse, police station, schools, Federal Building, Chamber of Commerce, police
headquarters, etc. The completed copy goes to the city editor and then to the copy desk. The telegraph editor has
a staff of four copy readers. There is a financial editor. The sporting editor has a staff of four men, besides
special correspondents throughout Cleveland and other cities. There are five editors and writers in the woman's
department, where society, dub and feature news of interest to women is prepared. The Sunday editor supervises
the selection and making up of all of the Sunday supplements except the woman's magazine. There are three editorial
writers, one dramatic critic, one music critic, one photoplay editor and one philosopher of folly. In the library
and morgue, where the photographs and clippings are kept, there are two attendants librarians. Here are kept hundreds
of photographs, the work of Plain Dealer staff photographers. There are employed eleven special artists who turn
out more than 2,000 pieces of art each month.
The twelve unit color press, which prints the comic and magazine sections, is the largest of its type between New
York and Chicago. There are four sextuple Hoe presses, each of which prints more than 60,000 twelve page newspapers
per hour, all propelled by electricity. The paper is fed direct from the roll, printed, cut, folded and automatically
counted into bundles of fifty in one operation. Each of the presses has fifty eight rollers for distributing ink,
making a total of 232. Fifteen barrels of ink are used each week and 175 tons per year. Fifteen carloads of paper
are kept on hand all the time.
This description of the Plain Dealer newspaper plant appeared several years ago so that the conditions today would
enlarge upon the figures given.
About the beginning of the '90s Mr. Holden leased the paper to Elbert H. Baker and Charles E. Kennedy, both experienced
newspaper men, the former being at present at its head, and in point of service the dean of the newspaper publishers
of the city. Mr. Holden died August 26, 1913. Of the Plain Dealer Publishing Company, Elbert H. Baker is president;
George M. Rogers, general manager; Erie C. Hopwood, editor, and John S. McCarrens, business manager.
The history of the Cleveland Press does not date back as far as the other English dailies of the city with the
exception of the Times, which is quite young. It is housed in a substantial brick structure on East Ninth Street.
It began as a small sheet in 1878 as the Penny Press. At that time the other dailies sold at five cents per copy.
On the wall in one of the editorial rooms hangs a framed letter, which reads as follows:
R. F. Paine,
Attorney at Law,
No. 1 Hardy Block, Euclid Avenue.
Cleveland, Ohio, October 23rd, 1878.
I learn that it is the intention of certain gentlemen to begin the publication of a new daily newspaper here and
that you are to be connected with it editorially. I am not only extremely desirous of but also "cussid anxious"
to secure a position on the reportorial staff of said paper. Have acted in such a capacity upon the Plain Dealer
and lately served as city editor to the great admiration of the numerous patrons of that deadly sheet, "The
Daily Advance." Can you do anything for me conscientiously after this insight into my record? Will you take
my case into consideration?
Robert F. Paine, Jr.
A note at the bottom of the page reads:
I got the job and still have it.
R. F. Paine. June 15, 1922.
Robert F. Paine, the first editor of the Press, was made editor emeritus, which explains the foot note. Six editors
have sat in the editorial chair since Paine, Harry N. Rickey being the second. The paper is one of a number in
various parts of the country published by the Scripps Publishing Company. Harry N. Rickey began as a "beat"
reporter on the Press and grew into the work. His ability carried him up to the chief editor's chair and then further,
to the editorial head of all the publications of the Scripps Publishing Company. His successors in their order.
have been E. E. Martin, Eugene McIntire, Nelor Morgan, G. B. Parker and H. B. R. Briggs, the present editor. Robert
F. Paine, as we have said, is editor emeritus, and R. A. Huber, business manager. At the head of its editorial
page it announces that it is a Scripps-Howard newspaper, member of the Scripps-McRae League. From the little penny
sheet it has grown into a large and influential journal, leading in circulation, and prosperous in a financial
way. It has always had an able staff of writers. John M. Wilcox, former sheriff of Cuyahoga County, was for some
years and until his death a member of the editorial staff. Mrs. Winnie Paine, writing under the pseudonym of Mrs.
Maxwell, built up a department of the paper that attracted nationwide attention. Professedly independent in politics
it has usually supported the policies and often the candidates of the democratic party. It has never published
a Sunday edition.
Another English daily that publishes no Sunday edition is the Cleveland Times. This paper is published by the Cleveland
Commercial Publishing Company, of which company O. K. Shimansky is president and Samuel Scovil, treasurer. Soon
after Mr. Hanna ceased the publication of the morning Leader this paper was founded. Its offices are on Superior,
at the corner of West Sixth Street. It is young and has strong competition but is growing in public favor and in
circulation. It is a morning paper and published daily.
When the German speaking population of Cleveland had grown to be numerous and its numbers were constantly increasing,
August 9, 1852, the Waechter am Erie (watch on the Erie), a weekly newspaper printed in the German language, was
founded by Jacob Mueller and Louis Ritter. Its first editor was August Thieme. In 1871 a corporation was formed
called the "Waechter am Erie Printing Company," with a capitalization of $50,000, which took over the
paper. Adolph Geuder was president, Louis Ritter, secretary, and Philip Gaensler, treasurer. It became a daily
in 1866. In 1893 it consolidated with the Anzeiger, another Cleveland German newspaper, and the publication proceeded
under the name of the Waechter and Anzeiger, its present name. Its circulation at one time reached 25,000.
From 1877 until the consolidation Maj. William Kaufmann was president and business manager, and principal owner,
and editor in chief. The present editor is Richard C. Brenner; the president of the corporation, Herman Schmidt,
and the business manager, F. E. Sommer. During the World war the paper was charged with publishing matter classed
as seditious. Copies of editorials purporting to have appeared in the paper were sent to Washington. These contained
seditious utterances but it was proved that they were forgeries and no arrests were made and no issues of the paper
were suppressed. Charles W. Maedje, a very able newspaper man, was at one time in charge of the publication.
The cosmopolitan character of the population of the city has brought into being a multitude of foreign language
newspapers. Among them are Polish, Slovak, Slovenian, Hungarian, Bohemian, Roumanian, Russian, Italian, German,
Lithuanian, Croatian and Greek. There is the American Roumanian Daily, the American-Jugoslav Printing and Publishing
Company, the Americke Deinicke Linty, the Cleveland Daily Polish Monitor, the Courier Polish Weekly, the Dirva
Lithuanian News, the Polish Daily News, the Sieb Amer Volksblatt, the Svet Bohemian Daily, the Szabadsag Hungarian
Daily, and others. There are over 100 newspapers and magazines published in the city.
Of the early writers perhaps Col. Charles Whittlesey was more widely known than any other with the exception of
Artemus Ward, who ranks as one of the world's greatest humorists. Colonel Whittlesey published many books, historical
and scientific. He was a historian, a geologist, an editor, a soldier, an archaeologist, an interesting and voluminous
writer. The New York Herald said of him that his contributions to literature "have attracted wide attention
among the scientific men of Europe and America."
Mr. James F. Ryder in his book called "Voightlander and I," and, by the way, he should be included in
the list of Cleveland writers, gives much interesting history of Artemus Ward and his mother, while he was on the
Plain Dealer. It seems Artemus could have inherited much of his humor from his mother. Mr. Ryder described a visit
his mother made in Cleveland and tells how Artemus and his mother would chaff each other. After a remark of Artemus,
that his mother humorously referred to as showing disrespect to his parent, she said: "Now, Charles Farrer
Browne, behave yourself, be respectful to your mother; remember what the Bible says." "Well," said
Artemus, "I suppose I ought to, but it is so different from the Plain Dealer, I don't putter with it much."
Artemus outgrew Cleveland and accepted a call to New York City as a writer for Vanity Fair and soon became the
managing editor. Here he published his first book and later began his career as a platform humorist. For many years
there was an Artemus Ward Club in Cleveland composed wholly of newspaper men.
Among the other Cleveland writers of national reputation are John Hay, whose fame as a writer was only exceeded
by his fame as a statesman, and whose "Castilian Days," poems and "Life of Lincoln" are permanent
contributions to the world's best literature; Constance Fenimore Woolson, the novelist, grand niece of James Fenimore
Cooper, whose works include the "Old Stone House," "Castle Nowhere," "Two Women,"
"Rodman the Keeper." "Anne." "For the Major," "East Angels," "Jupiter
Lights," and other books, and Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, who was born in Cleveland in 1845, and who became famous
as a writer of juvenile stories under the pseudonym of Susan Coolidge, but who wrote, as well, histories, and published
Sarah K. Bolton made Cleveland her home after her marriage with Charles E. Bolton. Her first publication was a
small book of poems, which was put out by the Appletons and this was followed by a serial novel published in a
New England paper. Her articles appeared in over forty leading journals and she has written many books. In Cleveland
she was active in philanthropic work and continued her publications. Mrs. W. A. Ingham published the "Women
of Cleveland" in 1893. She is now a resident of California, but keeps up her interest and membership in the
Early Settlers Association of Cleveland.
B. F. Taylor, the poet and Chicago editor, whose poem beginning "There is a magical isle up the River of Time,"
was published in the school readers, and attracted wide notice, spent the latter years of his life in Cleveland.
His widow served for several terms as a member of the Cleveland School Board. Eugene Walter, the playwright, was
born in Cleveland in 1874, and began his literary career as a "beat" reporter on a daily paper at some
$30 a month. He has achieved wealth and fame. His plays are numerous and all have been successful. They include
"Sargeant James," "The Flag Station," "The Undertow," "Paid In Full," "The
Real Issue," "The Wolf," "The Easiest Way," "Just a Wife," "Boors and Saddles,"
"The Assassin," "Fine Feathers," "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" and "Just
Alfred Henry Lewis (Al) was born in Cleveland in 1858. He was admitted to the bar and at the age of twenty three
elected police prosecutor. Here arose some controversy between himself and the judge as to the administration of
the court and the young prosecutor published some articles in regard to it that gave evidence of literary and journalistie
His subsequent career included a cowboy in the West, a lawyer in Kansas City in partnership with his brother Will,
the Washington correspondent of the Chicago Times, then connected with the Hearst papers, then organizer and editor
in chief of the Verdict, a political weekly, published by Perry Belmont in New York, then a contributor to various
periodicals and a writer of books.
As an attorney he advised Harry K. Thaw that no crime would be committed if he escaped from Matteawan Insane Asylum.
His books include "Sandburs," "Wolfville Days," "Wolfville Nights," "The Black
Lion Inn," "Peggy O'Neal," "Sunset Trail," "Confessions of a Detective," "Story
of Paul Jones," "The Throwback," "When Men Grow Tall," "Wolfville Folks" and
He died in 1914. His fame rests chiefly on the Wolfville stories. They portray life in small border towns, with
which the author became familiar in his cowboy experience. As a political writer his pen was dipped in the vitriol
of intense partisanship.
Avery Hopwood is another Cleveland man, who, like Eugene Walter, has achieved fame as a playwright. He went to
school on the West Side. He began his career as a writer when he worked as a reporter on the Cleveland Leader in
his college vacations and after graduation, until going to New York to pursue his literary work there. He is the
author of a number of successful comedies. His first great success came with "Fair and Warmer," which
had an unprecedented run. "The French Doll" and "Nobody's Widow" are other successful plays.
"The Bat," which he wrote in collaboration with Mary Roberts Reinhardt, still holds the boards as one
of the most successful of present day comedies.
Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, for many years a Cleveland woman, is best known from her history of the Western Reserve,
which was published by the American Historical Society. Elroy M. Avery, as an author, first became known from a
series of school text books which he published while engaged in school work. His history of the United States,
while not yet brought up to the present time, is remarkable for its careful delineation of the events detailed
and its painstaking accuracy. His latest publication, "History of Cleveland and its Environs," in three
large volumes, has only been off the press a few years.
Charles E. Kennedy, whom we have mentioned as being associated with Mr. Baker on the Plain Dealer, is a writer
of great merit. He has published a "History of Cleveland" and "The Bench and Bar of Cleveland,"
and is engaged on a book at the present time which is said to be, to some extent, autobiographical. He has for
some years given up editorial work. William R. Rose, special and story writer for the Plain Dealer, and Benjamin
Karr, whose "Events and Comments" are a feature of the Cleveland News, deserve a prominent place in any
list of Cleveland writers. James B. Morrow, who rose from a reporter to be editor in chief of the Cleveland Leader
and is now a syndicate writer of note, was asked by Mr. Kennedy to state the policy, politics and principles of
the Cleveland Leader, of which paper he was editor. He replied that the "policy of the Leader is to get and
print the news and treat all men and all classes with exact justice." That is the character that Morrow endeavored
to put into his paper. As a writer he is candid and fair. He takes high rank as a writer. Ezra Brudno, a lawyer,
has published several successful novels - "The Fugitive," "One of Us" and "The Jugglers."
The last named is autobiographical and, under fictitious names, portrays a number of Cleveland characters. Farther
back, A. G. Riddle, once a member of Congress from Cleveland, wrote several successful novels. Among them were
"Bart Ridgley" and "The Portrait." In one book he introduces Judge Ranney as a character. His
books were widely read. Charles W. Chestnutt has written novels dealing with the race question. They are well written.
"The Conjure Woman" and "The House Behind the Cedars" are among his books. He is now a practicing
lawyer in Cleveland. Archie Bell, musical and dramatic writer for the Plain Dealer for many years and now on the
Leader, has published a novel. It is quite recent. C. A. Seltzer, a Cleveland man, is a producer of fascinating
Edmund Vance Cook, a poet of more than local fame, is a resident of Cleveland. Ted Robinson, the creator and nourisher
of the "Philosopher of Folly," a department of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, at the insistence of his friends,
has published a volume of poems. Harry H. Hudson has written more than a thousand short stories for magazines,
but has never published a book. We must include in this incomplete outline Samuel P. Orth and W. Scott Robinson,
who each published a history of Cleveland; M. S. Havens; who wrote "Old Valentines"; Daisy Anderson,
C. E. Bolton, C. S. Brooks, F. E. Bunts, L. D. Cracraft, J. E. Farmer, I. H. Gilmore, Hershel S. Hall, K. B. Judson,
E. H. Neff, Samuel Walter Kelley, W. G. Rose, I. B. Roberts, C. F. Woolson, B. L. Pennington, Mr. Rhodes, D. C.
Paine and Judges Martin Foran and William B. Neff, the latter writing the opening chapter to a history of the bench
and bar of Northern Ohio, which work bears his name.
John T. Bourke, political writer for the Cleveland Sunday News-Leader and the News, could write a book if he ever
had time, but his pen has been constantly busy through a long period of years. His wide acquaintance with public
men has given him material for an interesting contribution to permanent literature. Theodore E. Burton has contributed
a book of interest, and should be mentioned among the writers, as we have already included him among those who
have honored Cleveland in public life.
Elmer Bates and Tom Knight have distinguished themselves as star reporters in that particular field where the qualities
of a detective, clever, persistent and dear headed come into play. Both had a born ability in writing up after
the quarry had been landed, and both are now out of the newspaper game. It was before Mr. Bates came to Cleveland
that he in the guise of a hack driver got the interview between Conklin and Garfield in that memorable campaign
for President. This interview at Mentor when it appeared as written up by Mr. Bates was as much a surprise to the
two chief actors in the drama as it was to the nation at large. Tom Knight figured in two episodes, one of intense
local interest and the other of which attracted national interest. The first was that of the engagement and second
marriage of Mayor McKisson. Persistent denials by the mayor and his friends did not deter Knight from following
his subconscious lead and when the marriage was finally solemnized Knight was a legal witness to the ceremony and
when he published his "scoop" it created a local sensation. The second was the investigation of a murder
that occurred at Lorain, Ohio, when Knight was a reporter on the Leader under Morrow, as in the one just mentioned.
The sister of a Catholic priest, who was his housekeeper, was brutally murdered while the clergyman was absent
from his home. Another priest was arrested charged with the murder under most suspicious circumstances. He was
locked up and the authorities were confident that they had the right man under arrest and awaited the trial.
Knight spent some four weeks on this case in connection with two reporters assigned from New York papers. They
brought about proof of the innocence of the man charged with the crime and discovered the actual murderer, who
made a confession.
Ben Allen, as a local reporter and as a Washington correspondent, took front rank. His untimely death occurred
in the West in connection with a reception to President Wilson. The automobile in which he and other correspondents
were riding was overturned. Jake Waldeck of the past and Walter Buel of the present have written from Washington
many interesting articles.
There are numerous local writers of books that make up the list of Cleveland authors, Levi F. Bauder, L. G. Foster,
W. H. Polhamus, Charles S. Whittern, and others in poetry; Dr. James Hedley, William J. Gleason, Edward A. Roberts
and many others in other lines.
While we can hardly claim him as a Cleveland writer, yet he comes into our history by reason of having been at
one time a writer on the Cleveland Leader, Opie Read Read was a writer on the Leader when Cowles was editor. He
has written many books. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and edited the Arkansas Gazette in 1878-81 and in
1883 established the Arkansaw Traveler, a humorous publication. After serving on the Leader he went to Chicago
and engaged in literary works as a writer of books. His works include "A Kentucky Colonel," "A Tennessee
Judge," "The Wives of the Prophet," "An Arkansas Planter," "Old Ebenezer," "Old
Jim Lucklin," "The Son of the Swordmaker," "The Mystery of Margaret," "Tom and the
Squatter's Son," "The New Mr. Howerson" and many others. His address is the Press Club, Chicago.