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This 'n That
from the Shelby times

First Newspapers in the Shelby Area.
From the Shelby News - Friday July 30, 1897.
Interesting History
At the Shield’s Outing Last Saturday, Hon.. S. S. Bloom gave a Brief History of the
Newspapers Published in Northern Richland County.
Mr. Bloom, in substance said, that the first newspaper published in the North-western part of Richland county was the Plymouth Journal by E. H. Sanford, in 1851, the year before he visited this county.
In 1853, Mr. H. M. Wooster bought it, and soon after sold it to Messrs Robinson and Locke, who changed its name to the Advertiser, he said he knew Mr. Locke quite well. He afterwards became the celebrated Petrolium V. Nasby, who had embalmed in history what we call "West Liberty;" west of Shelby into "the Confederate Cross Roads" where Squire Bascum figured so extensively. Locke was publishing the paper in 1854, when he, Bloom, permanently settled in Shelby, and continued to do so until 1859, when he sold to A. H. Balsley, who was its proprietor and publisher then until 1864, when he sold it to J.M. Beelman, who in 1876 transferred it to his brother, J. Frank Beelman its present owner, and publisher. The paper had always an ample support, but was evidently very prudently managed and was well conducted as a "home paper,’ without the ruinous competition, that had fallen to the lot of some other papers in the county.
It had always been a republican paper, during its earlier history had been intensely and he thought, even foolishly so; but although always loyal to its party, so far as his knowledge extended it shared the fate of too many other party newspaper editors, was never called from its sanctum to assist either county, state or national administrations, to gather plums sure to fall from the party trees. It had deserved a better fate.
Shelby Papers.
The first paper issued for Shelby was the Pioneer, in 1857-8. Hon.. C. R. Brown if living, a noted Judge in Michigan, occupied the same office with Mr. Bloom on Gamble St. (by the way, the same in which Abe Farrington has now his office, on Main street.) he made arrangements with the publisher of the Herald, in Mansfield to print the paper, and Brown and Bloom edited it. Brown moved to St. Joseph Michigan , and Bloom filled out the year. The printers got all the money---the editors got---left. That was the last of the Pioneer!
Next in 1862 came the Enterprise by C.M. Kenton, who recently died, as the editor and proprietor of the Marysville Democrat . In 1863 he sold the paper to S. S. Bloom, who entered into partnership with A. H Balsley, of the Advertiser , who proposed to publish the Shelby Express. Before, however, Mr. Balsley took possession of the office, political feelings began to run high, and it was announced to Mr. Bloom, that if his name as a democrat was connected with the paper it would not be successful. "Very well" replied Mr. Bloom, "I’ll sell out to you." The offer was accepted the terms arranged, the notes passed, turned into cash, and then the prediction was made, "Now, you’ll see, that without my name it will not be a success." and it wasn’t.
In 1864, the same day the Express office left Shelby a new press and material arrived for Mr. Bloom. It was set up in the east room of the D. Rabold & Son block, and was operated by Bloom and Glover. The Gazette was published from it "occasionally" as an advertising sheet, and did the printing and advertising for the time, and was afterwards moved west to the place where the Agency Block now stands.
In the meantime Messrs Young and Hill brought a printing press to Shelby, and commenced to publish The Chronicle, until in the fall of 1868, when it fell, and was purchased by Mr. Bloom, and on Nov. 12, 1868, The Independent News, first appeared, and Mr. Hill was installed as its publisher. During all these years however, from ’64 to ‘68, the Gazette still appeared occasionally, serving the purposes of its proprietor. No sooner however had the News, got well under way, that the Barkdull Bros., came to Shelby and published the Gazette the name Mr. Bloom had discarded and from thence on again, "two papers, both weakly’ appeared in Shelby.
This state of affairs continued for about four years, when the "good will" of the Gazette whatever that was, was bought by Mr. Bloom, and once more there was only one paper in Shelby.
For a number of years, thereafter peace among newspapers reigned on the head waters of the Blackfork, and the News prospered beyond precedent, registering about thirteen hundred subscribers, was enlarged to a nine column quarto, and under the management of Bloom and Hill was equal to, as was prone to believe, the best paper ever published in Shelby, all things considered. During the time the Gazette was published, the subscription price was cut down to $1.00 per year, which left it without ample means to develop its possibilities.
However, during the close of 1876 Mr. Hill commenced the publication of The Times, of which he is still the proprietor and publisher. The Times came out as a republican paper, and Bloom hauled down the word "Independent" and entered the contest with the News as a democratic paper.
In the fall of 1877 its editor was elected to the Legislature and his son, W.P. Bloom, for four years after become its manager. On the day he became 21 years old in March 1881 he ceased its control and moved to Columbus, and the News once more came solely into the hands of its old proprietor, who continued to have it issued by various publishers, until 1889, when he sold the plant to L. E .Mackey, after having been connected with the News in some way, about 21 years. The News has now reached its twenty ninth volume, is published by a corporation of which Mr. Mansfield is Pres. and Mr.W.L. Dickerson the Managing Editor; is a seven colume octavo, democratic paper and claims to register eighteen hundred subscribers. The paper is all "home made and enjoys prosperity.
The Richland Republican was published from its press for a season, and then publishers of the News, but in an evil hour to them, they have discarded the old name, there were those in Shelby, who "knew a good thing when they saw it," took up the discarded name of News, were proud of it, pushed it to the front and vowed they would again make it the "talisman of victory".
The Free Press was another paper published in Shelby, by M. E. Dickerson, who had formerly published the News. The material of this paper was burned at the time the Bowman hall was consumed, but soon after again appeared and was successfully published from 1882 to 1893, when Mr. Dickerson moved it to Crestline, where he is now making a success of it under the name of Crestline Vidette.
Thus it has been seen that the News has had a particularly stormy history, until it now claims to have reached the highest point of success of any paper ever published in Shelby.
Submitted by Mr. Kim Butler Histed

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