The first newspaper was published in Hampshire County in 1821. Except for the period of the War Between the States, when the editor and publisher was in the Army, it or a descendant has continued to publish weekly until this very day. It is one of the oldest newspapers in the State.
A very few (about 17 individual issues) copies of "The South Branch Intelligencer" exist prior to December 1866. These issues, all in the 1836-37-38-39 time period, have been extracted by a local author, Vicki Bidinger Horton, and the extracts may be still in print.
In 1866, after re-assembling a typeset (his original print shop was raided and the type used for bullets), William A. Harper began publishing "The South Branch Intelligencer". He continued this endeavor until his death and his widow with the help of his staff and a few close friends published it until 1896. The newspaper's political bent was Democratic.
In May 1884, C. F. Poland opened a rival newspaper, "The Hampshire Review." When widow Sally Harper could no longer publish "The Intelligencer", Poland bought it from her and combined it with the Review. This newspaper too was Democratic.
The 1999 name of the newspaper published from the same building in Romney is officially, "The Hampshire Review and South Branch Intelligencer." Additional details are available.
The post-1866 SBI through the 1896 merger have been extracted by genealogist Cheryl H. Singhal. She has also extracted the Hampshire Review from its inception through 1906. Ms. Singhal may be reached by e- mail and will check these surname indices *IF* you mention this page.
A third newspaper, The Argus, published briefly in Hampshire county from ca 1850 to ca 1862.
Yet a fourth paper, the Times, appeared briefly in 1897. It was allegedly a Republican newspaper.
If anyone has a copy of either of these or knows where a copy of either may be seen, e- mail details will be very much appreciated.
© 1996, 1999 Cheryl Singhal; All Rights Reserved