From the Bolivar Breeze, May 29, 1952. The article states that the history would continue in the next edition of the Breeze, but despite efforts, we have yet to find the continuation.
The History of Allegany County Newspapers as Told by J. P. Herrick
When the Bolivar Breeze was founded in August 1891, there were 17 weekly newspapers and one dally newspaper in Allegany County. Of the weeklies, Belmont had three; Angelica and Wellsville, two each- Alfred, Almond, Belfast, Bolivar Canaseraga, Cuba. Fillmore, Friendship, Rushford and Hume, one each. Of the original seventeen weekly newspapers, seven ceased publication and three new weeklies were founded, making a net loss of four In sixty years. The count of one daily newspaper. is unchanged.
The Angelica Advocate, Belfast Blaze and the Whitesville News were founded during the past sixty years. The Angelica Advocate occupies the field once covered by the Republican and Every Week. The Advocate was founded and edited for many years by Edwin P. Mills. The present owner is L. L. Stillwell.
The Belfast Blaze, long edited by E, C. Bristol, covers the field of the Belfast Champion of sixty years ago. The present owner of The Blaze is John L. Klee. The Blaze was the last newspaper In the county to abandon hand composition and install a typesetting machine.
In 1895, La Bert Davie, a valued employee of the Bolivar Breeze, and L. J. Fortner, founded The Whitesville News. This paper has changed hands many times and Its present owner is Luke Wilson.
The Alfred Sun started its existence January 1, 1884 and Frank A. Crumb was one of the owners of this paper. This paper is now owned by Gene Van Horn.
The Almond News Era was a struggling weekly 60 years ago, edited by S. H. Jennings, who published a newspaper In Richburg during the oil boom. Because the Almond field was too restricted to support a weekly newspaper, it was discontinued.
Sixty years ago Hamilton C. Norris owned and edited the Andover News. It is now edited by Clarle C. "Backus, son of the late J. Harvey Backus. Hamilton C. Norris and J. Harvey Backus were practical printers, the latter one of the best pressmen and job printer in the county.
The most picturesque editor of the county sixty years ago was La Monte O. Raymond, of Angelica Republican, established in 1820. Mr, Raymond never wrote any copy, except now and then for a tramp printer. He stood at the case and set up the news from a notebook, composing the sentences as the type clicked in the composing room stick. He made up the newspaper, and ran off the edition on a Washington band press, with the aid of a boy to ink the forms. Once a year. he threw out all advertising and news, devoting all of the newspaper’s space to a single topic. [One] edition contained a 16 column article on “The Evolution of the Railway" which he composed and set in type. Mr. Raymond had flaming red hair and side whiskers, a temper to match, and loved the personal journalism of that day.
The Republican office was a curiosity shop. In one corner stood seven grandfather’s clocks. A lithograph of his political idol, James G. Blaine, hung above his desk, and dozens of interesting relics, gathered In his travels, or sent to him by friends were scattered about including a collection of century old newspapers. A silver peso sent by a friend from Old Mexico was his favorite pocket piece. The office pet was a lively little alligator, brought from Florida, and named Ponce De Leon.
The second newspaper In Angelica 60 years ago was The Angelica Every Week, edited by Mrs. Ella M. Rumpff, one of two women then engaged in newspaper work in the country. She received her training in the office of the Angelica Republican when it was owned by her father, Peter S. Norris. Mrs. Rumpff was energetic, a hard worker, and published a lively newspaper. From the Every Week office Mrs. Rumpff issued a local newspaper for the neigh- boring town of Belfast, The Belfast Champion.
Of the three newspaper published in Belmont 60 years ago, only one, The Belmont Dispatch survives. It was then edited by William H. Barnum, a former editor of the Canaseraga Times whose stay in Belmont was of short duration. Other owners were Captain William E. Smith, Roger Stillman, and Lewis H.Thornton who made the Dispatch a live and newsy weekly.
The Genesee Valley Post of 60 years, ago was a Prohibition newspaper, edited by Virgil A. Williard, a Belmont lawyer, who sometimes wrote sarcastic comments about folks who did not agree with him. At heart, he was a kindly, generous man, but you would never get that impression from reading some of the newspaper articles he wrote. He was witty and had a natural flair for writing. The Post was not a gold mine, but Willard enjoyed having control of a newspaper in which to print what he pleased. Mrs. Willard was a gracious woman, one of the leader's of the Woman's Christian Temperance Movement in the county, to which she devoted much time and effort. When Mr. Willlard retired, The Post was moved to Cuba, where it continued publication for some years under the able editorship of John F. Coad.
The third newspaper In Belmont sixty years ago was the Alliance Leader, organ of the Farmer's Alliance and Industrial union, organized at Richburg in 1890. With in a year there were 80 Sub-Alliances in Allegany County, with 5,000 members. Ance D. Weaver was the first editor. He was succeeded by Cassius M. Maxson, who wrote well and spoke convincingly at Alliance meetings. The Leader plant was moved from Belmont to Bolivar, where after a few months, publication ceased. The Alliance Leader and The Farmer's Alliance, for some unknown reason, failed to click.
The editor and publisher of the Canaseraga Times 60 years ago was Frank S. Miller, who printed a clean, readable weekly that was a financial success during his long period of ownership. The paper has changed hands a number of times throughout the years.
The owner of the Cuba Patriot 60 years ago was Stanley C. Swift, a Cuba attorney who lived to the age of 91. He edited The Patriot only a year. One of the Patriot's best remembered editors was Frank G. Stebbins, of Civil War Years, who wielded a [trenchant] pen, made hfs own woodcuts with a jackknife -the wittiest paragrapher of all Allegany county editors. Due to poor health, he desired and secured appointment as Consul to Manila. so that he might live in a mild climate. The day arrived in Manila there was a great earthquake, and be sailed for home on the first steamer. Unfortunately the file of The Patriot of his day was not preserved. William J. Glenn was for many years publisher of The Patriot. Edwin M. Park was Mr. Glenn’s editorial assistant and a capable editor of The Patriot. Lewis H. Thornton owned The Patriot several years, and made it an outstanding Republican newspaper, disposing of The Patriot to devote his time and energy to the oil business. Another able editor was Elmer E. Conrath who devoted his fine abilities to developing a large printing business as well as increasing the prestige of The Patriot. When be died, Cassar R. Adams purchased the paper. The present owner is L. L. Schuyler.
The Northern Allegany Observer, published at Fillmore [60?] years ago by the late Judson Howden is still going strong. His son C. M. Howden managed the paper for many years until he sold it to Robert Aldrich. Judson Howden trained half a dozen young men in the art of conducting a country newspaper and they in turn became successful* publishers.
George W. Fries, publisher of The Friendship Register 60 years ago, was 52 years old when he became a country editor. For 31 years Mr. Fries had been local agent for the Erie Railroad at Friendship. Ever since his college days he had had a yen to own a newspaper. From his salary as a railroad agent, and the profits of a retail coal business, Mr. Fries had amassed a small fortune. So he resigned and purchased The Register. One of his first moves was to learn to set type. Mr. Fries was a capable writer, a bit of a reformer, end subtle humorist devoted to educational projects, and to the upbuilding of the County Historical Society, of which he was corresponding secretary. In later years he became [absentminded] and his employees often joked him about it. Once he went to milk a cow, and was so busy thinking about something else that he forgot to take along a pail. He was the only Allegany County editor to wear a full beard. The paper was for a time edited by Mr. and Mrs. Floyd G. Steenrod and others until purchased by the late Frank W. LeClere at the present time.
The Hume Enterprise of Charles W. Scot, but like Almond, there was no real field for a newspaper to grow and prosper in Hume, and the outcome was inevitable. Mr. Scott made a good fight but the odds were too great.
Sixty years ago, the Rushford Spectator, published in small town with no railroad, had the second largest circulation of any Allegany County newspaper. The Spectator never published an editorial, took no part in politics, expressed no opinions, but devoted its space to local news and correspondence from neighboring towns. If John Jones put in a new picket in his fence, or a new row of brick on his chimney, The Spectator printed an item about it, and made a friend of him. Names pay newspaper dividends. The editor, Will F. Benjamin, was a genius as a newsgatherer, solicitor, and collector. The remarkable success of The Spectator was due to his special abilities and genial personality. In addition to publishing a profitable newspaper, Mr. Benjamin for some years conducted a prosperous undertaking business. He retired form active service [?] years ago.
The article states that the history would continue in the next edition of the Breeze, but despite efforts, we have yet to find the continuation.