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Selective Extracts From


A Sharpsburg and Etna, Pennsylvania
Weekly Newspaper Publication

November 30th, 1878

(Editor's Note: Here are my personal observations, and recorded extracts, from microfilms borrowed through inter-library loan from the Pennsylvania State Archives, on the Sharpsburg and Etna Herald newspaper, circa 1878. Unreadable areas of question are indicated with ?'s.

The first issue of THE HERALD newspaper, in its meek and humble beginnings, dealt primarily with an introduction of itself to the citizens of Sharpsburg and Etna, Pennsylvania. News was scarce but nonetheless the first issue contained light-hearted items borrowed from other publications of that era which will NOT be reproduced. And, in a successful effort to draw the local publics' attention, The Herald included a "PERSONAL" column which contained one and two sentence "blurps" about some prominent citizens' doings. Many weddings, engagements, and obituaries were generally lumped together under this column.

As with any newspaper venture there was a need for advertisers. Initially there were few, and gratuitiously the Editor mentions them within the news reporting columns repeatedly.

In my attempt to salvage genealogical and historical information about the people of the Sharpsburg/Etna areas I'm attempting to reproduce here any pertinent facts as they were reported during these times. Unfortunately many obituaries and/or other announcements written during this time period do not follow any standard. As time progressed, announcements took on a more formality and included much more factual data.

Once I've completed recording reproductions from The Herald, I'll be including on these pages reproductions from The Weekly Observer, a second newspaper which was serving the Sharpsburg/Etna area during this time era.)


"The Herald" in its infancy, blossomed on Saturday, November 30, 1878. News items were sparse in the beginning and much of the newspaper space carried items of light-natured happenings. Church related news items were used frequently; references to advertisers were intertwined in columns of local events; and articles relating to close friends of the Editor and Proprietor, J. A. RATTIGAN helped fill other areas.

The "flag" for the original Herald read:

J. A. RATTIGAN, Editor and Prope.

The Herald is published every Saturday
morning, cor. Main and North Canal Streets,
Sharpsburg, Pa.

Contributions are solicited from all quarters,
and will at all times be inserted when in gener-
al keeping of this paper.

Communications for publication should be
brief as possible, plainly written, and only upon
one side of the paper. When anonymous, they
will be neither published nor returned.

Communications intended for publication must
be addressed to THE HERALD, or handed
in by Thursday noon.



             OUR PLATFORM

   We are independent in all things,
neutral in nothing.  The political
world will only hear from us when its
votes violate public confidence or
trust.  Perhaps this fact will seem
strange to some of our citizens, who
think that a paper published in our
borough should wield its editorial
weapons in favor of a certain party
or platform; but we have learned that
in small publications, it is the better
way to deal fairly and impartially with
all.  In criticizing certain classes of
politics, upheld by the people, it is
difficult to do so without causing hard
feelings of the criticized parties, there-
by instead of gaining the good will of
our patrons, we incur their displeasure.


Here are some items extracted from the first issue, Vol. 1, No. 1:
Advent of Sharpsburg's First Newspaper
Our Greeting (Editorial)
Baptist Sabbath School Entertainment
Personal (includes Obits, Weddings, Travel, etc.)
Kirkpatrick's Lecture (Nov. 30th, 1878 issue)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed your visit and found these pages enlightening, informative and beneficial.

Norm Meinert
O'Hara Twp., Allegheny County, PA (a former Sharpsburger)

E-Mail: Please send to the address on my HOME PAGE. Thanks.)

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