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Windham County Connecticut
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"Windham’s Bi-Centennial 1692-1892; A Memorial Volume of the Bi-Centennial Celebration of the Town of Windham, Connecticut, containing the historical addresses, poems, and a description of events connected with the observance of the two hundreth anniversary of the incorporation of the town, as held in the year 1892." Published by the Committee, Hartford, CT, 1893

Windham’s Second Century ­ Willimantic’s Newspapers

The Windham “Herald” flourishing in Old Windham a century ago, fell into decline with the disintegration of the old town, and in 1820, Henry Webb began to publish in Brooklyn “The Independent Observer and County Advertiser.” It was a larger paper than “The Herald,” and was of course now published at the county seat. So “The Herald” succumbed. Later the Saturday “Transcript” of Killingly issued a Willimantic edition, and was finally established at Willimantic by John Collins, who carried it on until John Evans came here from Plattsburgh, N.Y., with his brothers Charles and Edward, and bought “The Transcript,” and established in its stead “The Public medium,” copies of which are still in existence, the headline bearing pictures of early Willimantic. “The Public Medium” was published every Saturday except when there were 53 weeks in the year, but suspended every 53rd week, we are told. [Corrections and Additions in the back of the book state: The first newspaper published in Willimantic was the Windham “Gazette”, and Elisha Avery has copies of it now in his possession. The “Public Medium” came later. At the Willimantic “Journal” office to-day may be seen the original woodcut of the headline of the “Public Medium”, which represented a view of the Windham, Smithville and Jillson mills, and the river.]
John Evans sold out to C.S. Simpson, a printer, who changed the name to Willimantic “Journal.” Simpson did not succeed, however, and “The Journal” was suspended for a short time in 1861. Finally Evans took it back, and with William L.Weaver renewed its publication. Mr. Weaver built the paper to a high grade of character and influence, and made it distinguished by the historical and genealogical sketches which he published. He put into pamphlet form a portion of his genealogical researches and left many valuable documents which his son, Thomas Snell Weaver, by strange and happy fate, occupying to-day the same editorial chair, is making most admirable use of, to great public advantage. On Mr. Weaver’s death in 1866, “The Journal” passed successively to Asa Curtis, Walt Peirson and W.J. Barber and in 1871 the late Henry L. Hall, son of Horace, and brother of Judge John M. Hall, became the editor, and continued for many years. His natural adaptation for the work was unsurpassed. He was Willimantic born and bred, his mind was keen, witty and appreciative, he was a natural orator of marked power, and a genial soul withal, and his career as editor of “The Journal,” which he made one of the best weekly papers in the state, will be long remembered. He died in 1887. Arthur I. Bill, who had entered the office as printer’s “devil,” grew to be the chief business life of the concern, and in 1884 The Hall & Bill Printing Company started on a prosperous career, as chief printers to the Linen Company and general jobbers. Frank E. Beach became editor of “The Journal,” but bought the Southbridge “Journal,” and then came Thomas Snell Weaver, who needs no introduction to the community.
The Willimantic weekly “Enterprise” was started in 1877, by N.W. Leavitt of Scotland with Fayette Safford as assistant. In 1879, John A.
McDonald of Danielsonville, who had been in their employ as a printer, joined a partnership with Mr. Safford and, as McDonald & Safford, they have since conducted the Willimantic “Chronicle,” which has grown to be a permanent feature of the town.
“The Connecticut Home,” State Temperance newspaper and advocate of the Prohibition party, was started here in 1886 by Allen B. Lincoln; was in 1890 removed to Hartford and now by combination with the Worcester “Times,” has become “the New England Home.”
Daily papers are numerous in Willimantic. W.C. Crandall started the Willimantic daily “Record” in 1881, but it was short lived.
The Willimantic daily “News” lived a few months in 1887 with J.H. Foster of Middletown as editor, and then expired. F.H. Alford of the
Middeltown “Herald” began the publication of the Willimantic “Herald” in 1891, and “The Chronicle” soon followed with a daily edition. Both are now running, and are creditable local dailies, but the field seems hardly large enough for two, if for one, and the outcome is


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