"The Clifton Echo"
Clifton’s First Newspaper
July 1872 - October 1872
In the 1870’s, the scattered settlements of Centreville, Delawanna, Peru or Highland, and Clifton, comprised the Township of Acquackanonk (now in the city of Clifton). The Village of Clifton, situated on the Paterson Plank Road between Paterson and Passaic, displayed signs of growth, but still relied upon the newspapers published in Paterson and Passaic to report the news of the village. For three brief months in 1872, however, the publication of The Echo, Clifton’s first newspaper, provided the village with the catalyst for becoming a bustling city.
Although no known copies of The Echo exist, the reprinting of The Echo’s articles by The Paterson Daily Guardian, Paterson Daily Press, and Passaic Item, make it possible to report the news as it appeared in The Echo. The first issue appeared Saturday, July 27, 1872, with Robert S. GARDINER as its editor and owner. The Echo covered many diversified topics concerning the welfare and growth of Clifton. Besides covering the religious trends and population explosion of the village, The Echo also reported on real estate transfers and holdings.
"The Bread Ticket War"
The Echo is perhaps best known, however, for its role in the so called Clifton-Passaic "Bread Ticket War" in August of 1872. The paper warned its readers of :
"Mr. Gebel may inform us that the tickets if presented at the bakery will be redeemed, but that is not the point. Our citizens did not buy these tickets for the blessed privilege of going to Passaic to get the equivalent."
The Item, standing firm by the saying innocent until proven guilty, admonished:
The Death of "The Echo"
A month later, The Echo told its readers that it contemplated doubling its size and announced that articles from two of the most popular magazine writers in the country would appear in its pages. Approximately one month after this announcement, The Echo discontinued publication.
The Item reported on the death of The Echo that "the Clifton people will realize their mistake in not supporting The Echo, when it is too late." The Paterson Daily Guardian commented: "The Clifton Echo is dead for want of support. It was a lively, well edited little paper, but Clifton is the last place in the world to foster anything like enterprise. The property there is all in the hands of a few rich men...It is too gilt-edged."
The Echo, starving for subscribers, finally succumbed to an inevitable death and Clifton, with a population of approximately 300 people, was unable to support its small weekly newspaper. The obituary of The Echo could not have been more appropriately stated: "The Clifton Echo will not more reverberate among the hills and dales of this vicinity."
Copyright © 2000 by The Passaic County Historical Society Genealogy Club. All rights reserved. This site may be freely linked to, and information found on these pages may be used for personal use and by libraries and genealogical societies. Commercial use of this information is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If any pages are copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information.