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The first Democratic newspaper in Jersey County was the Democratic Union, issued by Thomas Wright in 1854, at Jerseyville. Its publication was continued for two years, and then it was discontinued for a year. In 1857, publication was resumed by Herny H. Howard, who in 1858 was succeeded by John C. Doblebower, who continued the publication of the Democratic Union until 1865, when he retired and the office was taken over by a stock company. The name was then changed to the Jersey County Democrat, and Augustus Smith was made editor. He continued issuing this paper for one year, when the stock company dissolved, and the paper was purchased by Thomas J. Selby, who was editor and proprietor until October, 1869, when he sold to A.A. Whitlock and L.L. Burr. In September, 1870, J.A.J. Birdsall and J.I. McGready became the proprietors. Mr. Birdsall retired a year later, and Mr. McGready continued as sole proprietor until October, 1880, when he sold to J.M. Page, the present editor and proprietor. In September, 1898, the Daily Democrat was issued, and its publication has been continued, to the present time. Joseph M. Page, present editor and proprietor of the Jersey County Democrat, was born at Stoughton, Mass., May 20, 1845, and was three years old when he was left an orphan. After attending the schools of Stoughton until he was sixteen years of age, Mr. Page then graduated. At that time he attempted to enlist for service during the Civil War, but was rejected on account of his youth. In the spring of 1863, when only eighteen years old, he came to Illinois, and for a time worked on a farm near Greenville, Bond County. He then went to St.Louis, Mo., and was employed in a wholesale grocery house. On August 3, 1864, he succeeded in being accepted as a soldier and enlisted in the Fortieth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and after serving for one year, was honorably discharged in August, 1865, at which time he returned to his old home in Massachusetts, where he remained until the spring of 1866. He then returned to Illinois, coming to Jerseyville as a stranger, and with only twenty-five cents as his financial capital. Immediately upon his arrival, he apprenticed himself for a period of three years to William Embly, a carpenter, with the understanding that he would receive $100.00 per year and board. After six months, Mr. Embly discontinued carpentering, following architecture only, and hired Mr.Page out to Nick Smith for fifteen dollars a week. Mr. Page kept to his original contract of two dollars per week and board during the remaining two and one-half years. At the expiration of his three year contract with Mr. Embly, Nick Smith employed Mr. Page at eighteen dollars per week, showing his appreciation of his services by making him foreman. Until the spring of 1877, Mr.Page continued carpenter work, and then received the appointment as city marshall of Jerseyville, which office he held for four years, resigning in October, 1880, at which time time he purchased the Jersey County Democrat. In 1881, he was elected city clerk and treasurer, and held these offices for five years. For three terms, from 1887, Mr. Page was mayor of Jerseyville, and it was during his administration that the water works system was inaugurated and completed, and he also installed the electric light systems, and the Telephone Company of Jerseyville. For the past thirty-eight years he has been editor and proprietor of the Jersey County Democrat, and he has been otherwise prominent, as for thirty-three years he has been master-in-chancery, which office he still holds; for many years he was secretary of the Illinois Press Association, of which he was president for one year, and for about the same length of time he was corresponding secretary of the National Editorial Association. In 1897, he organized the Cold Spring Gold Mining and Tunnel Company, with a paid up capital of $2,500,000.00. On March 17, 1871, he was married to Miss Sadie Remer, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Abram Remer of Jerseyville. They have one son, Dr. Theodore H. Page, a physician, who has been practicing his profession in the city of Peoria for many years.
The Jersey Republican
In 1863 the Jerseyville Republican was established by a stock company, with E.P. Haughawaut as editor, and it was issued through the campaign of 1864. In October, 1868, the paper was offered for sale, and Col. George P. Smith of the Jacksonville Journal, became the proprietor. Afterwards Colonel Smith sold the Jacksonville Journal, and the prospective Jerseyville Republican to Chapin and Glover, in December, 1868, and on January 1, 1869, William H. Edgar became editor of the Jerseyville Republican, and published the first issue of it. On August 25, 1870, Mr. Edgar became proprietor as well as editor, continuing to edit the paper until September 3, 1880, when the Jerseyville Republican was consolidated with the Examiner, under the name of the Republican Examiner, with William H. Edgar, and Morris R. Locke, former editors of the Examiner, as editors and proprietors. This firm continued until january 12, 1885, when Locke retired, and was succeeded by Frank M. Roberts. Mr. Edgar retired from the new firm, March 27, 1885, and he was succeeded by a Mr. Hedley, the firm becoming Roberts & Hedley. From 1885 to 1891, there were several changes in the propreitorship and editorship of the Jerseyville Republican, and in 1891, the paper was sold to Frank Ladd by Abraham Locke. In 1895, Mr. Ladd sold it to Joseph W. Becker, who continued editor of the paper until its sale to C. F. Kurz. Mr. Kurz remained as editor and proprietor only a short period, then selling to Pinkerton Bros., who published a live, active, newsy paper, Republican in its politics.
In 1877, Col. William H. Edgar of Jerseyville established the Grafton Independent, which was printed at Jerseyville, the first number appearing October 1, 1877. R.R. Claridge appeared as editor of the paper, although it was printed and issued from the office at Jerseyville, and he continued as such until September, 1888, when he purchased the necessary materials and removed his office to Grafton, becoming sole proprietor as well as editor. The Independent continued as a Grafton newspaper until 1880, when it was taken back to Jerseyville, and its named changed to the Jerseyville Independent. In April, 1882, Mr. Claridge retired from the editorship and proprietor, and Lyman T. Waggoner and Allen M. Slaten, under the firm name of Waggoner, became the proprietors. Soon thereafter, Mr. Waggoner retired from the firm,Mr. Slaten assuming the entire ownership and control. Later he disposed of the paper to J.M. Giberson of Elsah, and C.H. Kelley, also of Elsah, became the editor and proprietor. In the fall of 1885 the issuance of this paper was discontinued.
The Jerseyville Register was established in the early part of November, 1865, by T.S. Haughawaut, who was editor and proprietor, and it was printed at Jerseyville. The publication was continued until 1868, when Mr. Haughawaut disposed of it to L. Williams, formerly known as "Yank" Williams, who soon afterwards moved to Topeka, Kansas, and his son, Charles T. Williams, leased the paper, continuing as its editor and publisher until October, 1868, when the paper was advertised for sale. It was purchased by Col. E.P. Smith of Jacksonville, who established the Jerseyville Republican.
Jerseyville Evening News
The Jerseyville Evening News was first issued May 25, 1885, by J.A. Walker and J.A. Blannerhassett. On July 13, 1885, the paper was changed to a morning publication. J.A. Blannerhassett retired on August 17, 1885, and Mr. Walker, after publishing it for some time, sold it, and its publication was discontinued.
Daily & Weekly Journal
The Daily and Weekly Journal, a Democratic paper, was established by J.I. McGready in 1893, but in the fall of 1895, he sold his interest to Walter E.Carlin and A.F. Ely, who in turn sold the plant in September, 1895, to J.M. Page, and its publication was discontinued.
During the campaign of Harrison and Cleveland, the Republican Call was established as a daily and weekly by A.H.Rue, but after about two years, its publication was discontinued.
The Jerseyville Examiner was established in 1878, by the Jerseyville Publishing Company, and Morris R. Locke, William M. Bartlett, Horace N. Belt, James A.Barr, William H. Pogue composed the company, and J. Stirling Harper was the editor. Mr. Harper issued the paper for two weeks, when he withdrew from the paper, and Morris R. Locke became the editor in December, 1878, continuing as such until 1880, when the Examiner was consolidated with the Republican, as stated above.
Source: [History of Jersey County - 1919]