The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-One


The Newspapers (continued)

In October, 1866, Cyrus Ringler, prominent citizen of Fetterman, a printer by trade, established the first and only weekly newspaper at Fetterman. The first issue came from the press on Tuesday, October 23,1866, and published under the heading of “The Vanguard.” Just how long the paper was published is unknown but a copy November,1868, still in existence, published the results of the election of 1868 in Taylor County.

MR. Ringler espoused the cause of Seymour and Blair for President and Vice President of the United States; Johnson N. Camden, of Parkersburg, for Governor of West Virginia; S.V. Yantis, for state senator; George Walker, for treasurer; Thomas Boggess, for auditor; Thayer Melvin, for attorney general; Matthew Edminson, for judge of the court of appeals \; W.G. Brown, for congress; John J. Brannon, for judge of the circuit court; Leroy Cofran, for the state senate from Taylor County, and William Mallonee, as magistrate in Grafton township, as well as Reuben Davisson for sheriff of Taylor County; John Flanagan, James D. Holmes and John M. King, for school trustees; A.D. Casteel, for overseer of the poor; Stephen Stiles, township clerk; Lee Swearingen, township supervisor; William Cole, for constable; L.S. Johnson, for prosecuting attorney; John Doonan, for township treasurer; Thomas Clayton, supervisor of highways; Dr. Thomas Kennedy, for the house of delegates for Taylor County; Zadock Shields, for assessor; and J.M. Scroggin, for county recorder.

In 1884, T. Hill Marshall established the Grafton Standard in the interest of the Democratic party of Taylor County. This second Democratic weekly under the management of Mr. Marshall continued for exactly one year from the day of the first edition, which came from the press on March 20, 1884, On March 20, 1885. Mr. Marshall announced in his editorial column the sale of the Standard to Attorney John H. Holt of Grafton. In his announcement, he said:

“One year ago today, under many discouraging circumstances, the Standard unfurled the banner of Democracy to the people of Taylor County, and in doing so it pledged itself to be a fearless advocate of the principles of the Democratic party, and the faithful guardian of the welfare of the people. In this respect, it is a source of the highest satisfaction that these pledges have been conscientiously fulfilled. However, much many of the departments of the paper may have fallen below expectation; however much we may have failed to bring the proper ability to bear upon the questions of the day; however much we may have erred through inexperience and other causes incident to the first venture into the journalistic field, we know we have not failed in conscientiously and earnestly working for the principles of the Democratic party. This unswerving fidelity to the good of the many necessarily brought us face to face with bitter antagonism from the few who cared more for self-aggrandizement than the welfare of the party. In combating this element the Standard has given out no uncertain sound. It has opposed ring and clique elements wherever its head appeared. No matters of policy were ever considered where a principle of the party was involved. This course thus outlined found a ready and substantial response from every section of the country; and looking back over this period of distrust—where Republicans and a few rule-or-run Democrats, by insidious insinuations tried might and main to discourage the project, Mr. John H. Holt, Esq., who succeeds us in management of the Standard, is in every sense competent to increase the usefulness and influence of the paper. Under his management of the Standard an able, enthusiastic and fearless exponent. And we are transferring an important trust to one who is far more competent to assume the duties and advance the interests of the grand old Democratic party of Taylor County.”

On December 3, 1885, a second Democratic weekly was established by W.G. Brown, and other dissatisfied members of the Democratic party out of line with the policy of the Grafton Standard. This second paper, published under the heading of the Grafton Enterprise, entering the political field, was short lived, and was sometime later combined with the Standard under the heading of  the Standard-Enterprise. The big fire of July 5, 1887 destroyed the entire equipment of this paper, when the tall Shaw building, in which the paper was published was burnt to the ground. The last issue of the Grafton Standard-Enterprise was published on the press of the Sentinel. The last issue of July 8,1887, published a complete story if the great fire that swept away the entire business section of Latrobe and Railroad streets and announced the suspension of the paper until some future time, but it never resumed publication.

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