Newspapers in Potter County:
by Mrs. E. Welfling
Potter County had over 20 newspapers founded during its first 50 years and in them has been recorded much of the countys early history that might have been lost forever without the facts and figures printed within their sheets. Today, only one remains, The Potter Leader Enterprise in Coudersport, and a Galeton edition of the Westfield Free Press.
Eight newspapers sprang to light in the County Seat before 1875. First was the Potter Pennon in December 1838 with Fayette B. Hamilton as editor. Date of suspension is unknown but it did record the historical facts of the first hanging when Joshua Jones, Who was convicted of killing his wife, broke jail, was apprehended and hanged on may 31, 1839.
The Democratic - Republican was founded in March 1842 by Charles B. Carter. After about a year the name was changed to The Potter Pioneer and it suspended early in 1850. The Potter County Journal was born on January 1, 1848, and served county residents for 121 years. Its string of editors included William W. McDougall, John S. Mann (A big supporter of the Underground Railroad), Edwin Haskell, Thomas A. Chase, M. W. McAlarney, Vesta Cordelia Dyke, W. W. Thompson, Stephen F. Hamilton, D. W. Butterworth, M. J. Colcord, Nelson and Laura Barton, Collins, Joseph and Grayce V. Herrick, The paper suspended in December of 1969.
Charles Lyman was editor of The Union, founded on February 7, 1851, and lasted about two years. The Highland Patriot came out in February 1854 and also lasted about two years under Dewitt C. James, editor. The Northern Democrat was brought out by Charles B. Cotter in 1859 but it lasted only a year. The Potter County Item was absorbed by the Journal in 1872.
The Potter Enterprise was founded in April 1874 and is the lone survivor of Potter County newspapers. Its editors have included the following: William W. Thompson, D. W. Butterworth, John Mundy, M. T. Stokes, Arch Bernard, William D. Fish, George Daniels, Walter Taylor, William D. Fish Jr., and Del Kerr. The Enterprise absorbed the Galeton Leader-Dispatch in 1959. The Enterprise was absorbed by the Leader to become The Potter Leader Enterprise. Present editor is Don Gillailand.
Newspapers finally began to fan out through the county and 14 were founded in the period between 1880 and 1900. First was the Palladium, established at Shingle House in October 1880. The paper was moved to Coudersport in 1942 and discontinued on February 14, 1961, when the Journal plant was destroyed by fire.
In 1881 The Ulysses Sentinel was founded and served its area for 35 years. The third newspaper outside the county was established at Harrison Valley on January 15, 1885. In May it became The Valley Mail, in September The Prohibition Banner and was discontinued on December 25, 1885.
Back in Coudersport, The Workman was started in 1888 but lasted only a year. The Farmers Voice was issued in 1891. The Potter Democrat was first issued in February 1891, it was consolidated in 1920 with The Enterprise. The Potter Populist was started in 1895 but lasted only eight months.
In 1893, Roulette Recorder was founded and edited by the Corwin until 1919. Galeton had it first newspaper , The Galeton Paragraph, in 1894, it was changed to the Galeton Gazette in 1895 and The Galeton Dispatch a year later. In 1902 The Galeton Leader and in1903 merged with The Leader-Dispatch, It was then sold to The Wellsboro Gazette in 1956 and two years later came back to Potter County when it merged with The Potter Enterprise.
In the Southern part of the county, The Austin Autograph was founded in 1887 with H. D. Caskey as editor. He became owner in 1890 and continued the paper until it was swept away by the flood of September 30, 1911. The Austin Republican was founded in 1898 and discontinued in February 1906. The Cross Fork News was established on September 1, 1897, it closed in 1906.
In the opposite end of the county, The Genesse Times was founded in May 1899. It was suspended on January 1, 1902. Re-opened in February 1903 and ran until 1913.
The Sweden Valley Times was founded in March 1896, but lasted only three months as it was refused admission to the mails. The Oswayo Valley Record was printed in Oswayo from December 1900 to March 1902 when the equipment was moved to Port Allegany.
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