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Last update: August 19, 2013

  A History of Pulaski County, Illinois Newspapers, Part I

1856 - 1891

Mound City, Pulaski County, Illinois

By Darrel Dexter
darreldexter@hotmail.com

             The newspapers examined for this study are on microfilm at Morris Library on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. Ill.  Some original copies are available at Cairo Public Library and in the private collection of Paul Echols. 

The National Emporium, later called Mound City Weekly Emporium, released its first issue at Mound City in June 1856.  Rev. J. Walter Waugh was publisher and the newspaper’s purpose was to promote Mound City and the Emporium Company as a better place for settlement and investment than Cairo in neighboring Alexander County. The banner over each issue read, “Devoted to the interest of Southern Illinois in general, and Mound City in particular.” Dr. Z. Casterline, who came from Cincinnati, was the first editor, but after six months, Mose B. Harrell took over the editorship.  Harrell sold his interest in the newspaper in June 1857, but continued as editor.  In September 1857, John A. Waugh, brother of J. Walter Waugh, became publisher.  Harrell soon returned to Cairo and John A. Waugh stepped up as editor as well as proprietor until 1861, when he was elected secretary of the Marine Ways Company and entered the U. S. Navy.  The publication was discontinued at this time.  “J. A. Waugh, now cashier of the First State Bank of this city, was in 1856 one of the publishers of the Mound City Emporium, a weekly four-page newspaper of nine columns to the page and now has an incomplete file of the paper for that year which he prizes very highly” (29 Jun 1906, The Pulaski Enterprise). Unfortunately Waugh’s 1856 file cannot be located and extant issues begin with the 12 Feb 1857, issue and end with the 22 Mar 1860, issue. 

The Mound City Gazette was started in late 1860 by Judge J. R. Emerie, but it lasted only a year.  Only the 22 Aug 1861, issue is extant.

The Mound City Journal was started in 1864 as a Democratic paper by J. D. Moudy, but he was soon replaced by S. P. Wheeler, who edited the paper until 1865, after which he became one of the leading lawyers in southern Illinois.  In 1865, H. R. Howard, publisher of the newspaper, also became editor.  Capt. H. F. Potter purchased the newspaper and press in May 1866 and changed the paper from a politically Independent to a Democratic paper.  He continued it until 1874, when he moved it to Cairo and began the weekly Cairo and Mound City Journal.  At the time of the move, the newspaper had about 900 subscribers, but they did not follow him, and he felt compelled to discontinue the weekly paper that was printed in Cairo, but mostly distributed in Pulaski County.  The only extant issues include 5 Oct 1865 (Volume 1, No. 47), 21 Jul 1866 (Volume 2, No. 33), and 7 May 1870 (Vol. 6, No. 25). 

 The Pulaski Patriot was established in Mound City as a Republican newspaper on 17 Jun 1871, by A. J. Alden, editor, and B. O. Jones, publisher.  Dr. F. R. Wagoner became editor in December 1871 and M. O. H. Turner joined the paper in January 1872.  Turner was replaced by Fred W. Carson and in April 1873, Wagoner was replaced by Ed H. Bintliff.  From November 1874 through December 1877, the newspaper was owned and operated by Ed. S. Ackerman and his father, A. Ackerman.  In 1879, Major Daniel Hogan purchased the newspaper and in July 1880, J. P. Robarts, a Mound City lawyer and politician, became editor.  He succeeded in increasing the subscriptions to the paper to about 1,400 and one account stated “His paper was more generally read over Illinois than probably any weekly newspaper ever published in the state.”  Robarts became part owner and in September 1881, L. M. Bradley, another Mound City lawyer, became a partner with Robarts.  The two continued to own the newspaper until 1886, when the newspaper plant and office was destroyed by fire.  A. M. Palmer was said to have been editor before the Sun was established in 1902 in Mound City.  The Pulaski Patriot consolidated with the Mound City Democrat and eventually became known as the Pulaski Enterprise.  The extant issues begin with 12 Jul 1871, and end with 28 March 1891.

   

Continued in Part II (1905-1960)

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