Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

The St. Johnsville Newspapers

Contributed by Peg Davis, article from unknown author. This was among the papers left to Mrs. Davis by her grandfather, Lou D. MacWethy.

In reading the St. Johnsville earlier newspapers, I was struck by the use of descriptive and flowery language and custom of writing. Everyone's name was printed instead of grouping under headings of ladies and gentlemen, thereby selling more papers. I am inserting a few examples: ( If Mr. B. had searched up and down the valley we do not believe he could have found a more charming little wife than he has secured in Mary B. Her pleasing address and knowledge of the rules of society serve to make her a lady who will grace any position of society that the energy and perseverance of her husband may make her admissible to.) In itemizing a few of the gifts received at a prominent couples' wedding: (Mrs. W. W., bronze and silver card holder, M.E.P. one half dozen betters, Carrie M.M. picture frame, Mrs. M. K., hand painted metal plackene, A. F. and lady, marble stand clock.) Some of these articles are not even recognized now. A young lady's obituary in 1885 gave a list of the flower donors and the names of the pieces of flowers: The Gates Adjar, A Lyre, A Broken Column and others.

In 1886, Edwin Knight and Ai Fox commenced the St. Johnsville Leader. In 1891 it passed into the hands of John B. Snell. In 1904 it was conducted by Ambrose C. Crouse under the title of the St. Johnsville News, around 1908 Burton Ellwood came to the News. In 1898 Edwin Knight returned to St. Johnsville and began the publication of the Enterprise until his death in 1904. he died at the age of 50 and Charles M. Redfield writes in his obituary that he left a void in family, church, social and fraternal orders, political organizations and business world.

In 1907, Lou D. MacWethy purchased the The Enterprise from Thomas Coventry. At this time St. Johnsville had two papers. In 1909, MacWethy sold to Mr. Samuel Horton of Poughkeepsie, who in turn sold to Geo. I. Smith who also owned the Dolgeville Republican. The same year brought L. D. MacWethy back to form a partnership with Mr. Smith. He took over the Enterprise soon after and in 1918 bought out the St. Johnsville News, merging the two papers into the Enterprise and News. Mr. MacWethy's main contributions were in the area of community building, genealogy and history (in which he excelled) and public speaking. He also gained some fame as a feature writer and his weekly column of homely observations under the pen name of Bill Slocum. In the Little Falls Evening Times in 1952 an article written about Mrs. MacWethy states: In the 77 years that St. Johnsville had representation in the newspaper field 18 different editor-proprietors have come and gone. Mr. MacWethy alone endured for 30 years, truly a record to be proud of. Burton D. Ellwood's terms with the News covering about ten years was by far the nearest approach to his record. Mr. MacWethy sold the paper to John O. Boyd in 1941.

In handwriting this is written below the article:

Stanley & Lucille Everson

Lucille & John O'Keefe

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