The earliest newspaper in the county was printed at Hillsboro in 1831 by Lucas Bros. Its name was the Caroline Intelligencer. It seems only natural that the first paper should have started at Hillsboro, for two reasons:
1. It is one of the oldest towns of the county and probably the one best developed during that period.
2. Hillsboro being the seat of the Old Academy it may be readily assumed that more letters and culture prevailed there at the time.
Shortly afterwards, a paper was started at Denton. It was called the Caroline Advocate and was published from 1835 to 1837 by Henry Vanderford, who later removed to Westminster and became one of the best known editors of Maryland. Judge Carmichael, then a rising attorney at Centreville, upon visiting Denton, persuaded Vanderford to remove his printing establishment to Centreville. Thus Denton was left without a paper.
Another early Denton newspaper, The Pearl, which appeared in September of 1840, during the administration of Martin Van Buren, was published by Mr. John H. Emerson. It was printed for some time in Centreville. Later when the paper had shown that it would pay, Mr. Emerson purchased a horse tread press, and printed his paper in Denton. It was issued weekly at the price of two dollars a year; one dollar of which had to be paid upon the receipt of the first issue, the other dollare due at the end of the year.
Mr. William Stewart has an issue of The Pearl printed January 19, 1841. The paper is given largely to advertisements, among which are Joseph Evitts, General merchandise; Charles W. Smith, Coach, Gig, and Harness. The Union Hotel advertises its bar where the choicest liquors might be obtained. A Baltimore shoe shop advertises a "pair of the handsomest slippers ever made," for one dollar shinplaster. Reference was made to the financial distress of the day including the failing of the Franklin Bank of Baltimore.
The American Union of today is really the successor of the old Pearl.
On February 7, 1872, the first number of what is now called the Federalsburg Courier was issued. It was started under the name of the Maryland Courier and published by George D. Baker, who moved here from Stamford, Conn. Mr. Baker did the practical part of publishing it, assisted by Thomas H.Chambers, in the capacity of "devil." Mr. Baker published it for about three years when he disposed of it to James Powers, who in turn sold it to Dr. W. D. Noble a few years later. In 1879 Thomas H.Chambers purchased it of Dr. Noble, and continued it until 1885 when he sold it to Heffron Bros., who published it until 1890, when it passed to H. P. Chambers, who continued it up until the time of his death in October 1897. Under the ownership of H. P. Chambers it was printed by J. W. Stowell, who took over the publication at that time and has continued it without any changes since. The present publisher served his apprenticeship under Hefron Bros. from 1887 to 1890 and since then has been connected with The Courier in some capacity, either as "devil," compositor, printer or publisher. The Courier started out as a 4-page, 6-column paper, and under Heffron Bros. it was increased to a 7-column paper. In 1910 it was again increased to an 8-column, 4-page size, and in 1913 to an 8-column, 8-page size, in which form it is at present published.
The Courier was started as a non-partisan paper. Under Heffron Bros. it was published as a prohibition organ, and under H. P. Chambers in the interest of the Democratic party. At present it is an independent paper.
THE CAROLINE SUN
The Caroline Sun, published at Ridgely, was established March 15, 1902, by Dr. W. W. Goldsborough, now a leading practitoner at Greensboro. Dr. Goldsborough knew but little about the publishing business, and in September, 1902, sold his interests in the paper to Mr. L. R. Beauchamp and Mr. Henry Wilkinson. Six months thereafter Mr. Beauchamp decided there were other wider fields of labor for him, and as a consequence he sold his interest to Mr. Wilkinson, the paper's present publisher and editor. The Caroline Sun is an 8-page, all home print newspaper. The office is equipped with all modern machinery, including a two-magazine linotype machine, with four faces of type at command within ten seconds. These machines are very costly and will do the work of five men. The Sun is recognized as one of the leading newspapers of the Eastern Shore. Established under difficulties, the paper has gradually won its way to the front, and now boasts of 1,500 subscribers, something unusualy for a county paper published in an inland town. Mr. Wilkinson, who came to town with the first issue of the paper, was born in Caroline County, and began his newspaper career in the office of the American Union at Denton twenty-eight years ago. He has had wide experience in the publishing business, and ranks among the foremost printers in Maryland.
The Greensboro Enterprise was established in March, 1915, and is now a solid business paying good dividends.
From March, 1915, to June 20, 1918, the plant which now prints the Enterprise was simply a job office and was named "The Model Printery." Mr. W. Thomas Thornton, the owner, editor and publisher of the paper was and is sole owner of the plant. The job business was such a success, that the idea of establishing a paper soon became lodged in Mr. Thornton's mind, and while he knew he was taking chances he went to work and issued The Enterprise. The venture was a success from the outset, the people of this section of the county feeling the need of a good home paper at once supporting the new publication.
Thornton is a Greensboro boy, born and reared, and learned his trade and served his time on the Free Press, formerly the organ published here, and for a long time Mr. Thornton did the bulk of the work connected with the job office and the paper himself. After getting on his feet, so to speak, with the business, or getting it to the place where it payed Mr. Thornton was able to hire help, and since that time has had his brother, Mr. Wallace Thornton, helping in the work.
The paper is published on Thursdays and is a neat folio of six columns, full of interesting local and general news matter and is neatly gotten up and printed. The politics of the paper is Democratic.
The plant is rapidly assuming up-to-date proportions. The office is equipped with a cylinder newspaper press and there is also job machinery, all of which is run by electricity.
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