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About The Centre reporter. (Centre Hall, Pa.) 1871-1940
Centre Hall, Pa. (1871-1940)
- The Centre reporter. : (Centre Hall, Pa.) 1871-1940
- Place of publication:
- Centre Hall, Pa.
- Geographic coverage:
- Fredrick Kurtz
- Dates of publication:
- Vol. 4, no. 42 (Oct. 27, 1871)-v. 114, no. 9 (Feb. 29, 1940).
- Centre County (Pa.)--Newspapers.
- Centre Hall (Pa.)--Newspapers.
- Pennsylvania--Centre County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01207265
- Pennsylvania--Centre Hall.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01291358
- Democratic. Cf. Rowell, 1872.
- Editor: Fredrick Kurtz, <1876>.
- sn 83032058
- Preceding Titles:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Centre Hall Reporter and The Centre Reporter
The Muncy Indians, a tribe of the Delaware nation, were the earliest known inhabitants of what became Centre County, Pennsylvania. The first recorded exploration was by Captain James Potter, a British army officer, in 1764. Rich soil and abundant resources of water, timber, iron ore, coal, and limestone quickly drew settlers, primarily Scots-Irish and Germans. Waves of German immigrants reached the eastern part of the region in the 1770s, and many of their descendants remain there today. These settlers were primarily High or Fancy Germans, mostly from southern Germany and, if religious at all, were Lutheran or Reformed. These are not to be confused with the Low or Plain Germans of the Mennonite, Amish, and Brethren denominations. Centre County, named for its location in the state, was created on February 13, 1800, from parts of Huntingdon, Lycoming, Mifflin, and Northumberland counties. It is diagonally crossed by ridges and fertile valleys. Centre Hall is an agricultural town settled in 1847, on the western end of Penns Valley. It was incorporated as a borough in 1881, when the population was about 440.
Ludwig Kurtz (1783-1870), an immigrant to York, Pennsylvania, from Darmstadt, Germany, came to Aaronsburg (in eastern Penns Valley) and bought Der Centre Berichter ("Centre Reporter") in 1847, renaming it Der Democratischer Berichter und Centre County Anzeiger ("Democratic Reporter and Centre County Informer"). His son, Frederick (1833-1912), who had learned typesetting at age eight and frequented print shops ever since, worked with his father until moving to Centre Hall and establishing the Centre Hall Reporter, an English-language newspaper, on April 1, 1868. The name was shortened to the Centre Reporter with the October 27, 1871 issue.
The four-page weekly Democratic newspaper had a "patent outside," meaning the first and last page contained non-local news and miscellaneous material supplied by a publishing house. The inside pages often featured vividly written editorials, including ongoing spats with various newspapers in Bellefonte, the county seat. Kurtz was particularly incensed by the Republican press as being the "apologist and defender" of the "monster thieves" of their party. (The eastern end of Centre County was solidly Democratic until the days of Theodore Roosevelt.) Local news included notices of marriages, deaths, fires, accidents, new buildings and businesses, and activities of churches, clubs, and fraternal organizations. The town's remote rural location was reflected in frequent reports of incidents involving the likes of squirrels, owls, pigs, snakes, bears, and vegetables.
Geo. P. Rowell & Co.'s American Newspaper Directory, 1876, listed the Reporter as the largest paper in Centre County, with a circulation of 900. In the issue of January 3, 1878, Kurtz editorialized, "When we embarked with our craft, nine years ago, into the journalistic sea, we launched quietly with 175 passengers on our list. Now we have a good, solid list well on to 1200 names."
Frederick Kurtz sold the newspaper in 1900 to move to Bellefonte and work as senior editor on the Centre Democrat, his son Charles' newspaper, but the Centre Reporter continued until 1940.
Provided by: Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA