About Montour American. (Danville, Pa.) 1866-1920
Danville, Pa. (1866-1920)
- Montour American. : (Danville, Pa.) 1866-1920
- Place of publication:
- Danville, Pa.
- Geographic coverage:
- D.H.B. Brower and Son
- Dates of publication:
- Began in 1866?
- Ceased in 1920.
- Danville (Pa.)--Newspapers.
- Montour County (Pa.)--Newspapers.
- Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 19 (Mar. 1, 1866).
- Issued every Thursday morning.
- Issues for <Mar. 1, 1866> called also <whole no. 547>.
- sn 86083264
- Preceding Titles:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Danville is the seat of Montour, the smallest Pennsylvania county, formed in 1850 out of Columbia County. The town is named after Daniel Montgomery, who laid out the first formal settlement in 1792, and the county name honors a legendary figure, Madame Montour, a French-Canadian interpreter in 18th-century Pennsylvania.
Danville’s prosperity was based on iron, thanks to its plentiful natural resources of iron ore and limestone, leading to substantial industrial development. By the turn of the 20th century, the town of 8,000 on the Susquehanna River boasted rolling mills, a steel plant, structural iron works, foundries, and factories producing silk, suspenders, overalls, and wagon spindles. Since 1868, it also was the location for Pennsylvania’s third state hospital for the insane.
The Montour American was founded on December 11, 1855, as a Whig Party organ by Dr. Daniel Henry Buckwalter Brower of Chester County. Over the course of his career, Brower founded and/or published at least twelve different newspapers in Pennsylvania, including four in Danville alone. In 1859, Brower sold the American, by then a Republican paper, to George Bucher Ayers of Harrisburg. Ayers renamed it the Montour Herald, but resold the paper to Brower in October, who changed the name back to the American. Brower was editor/proprietor until January 1864, when he sold it to Joel S. Baily. Following several other owners, the American ended up at a sheriff’s sale in April 1895 and was purchased by Frank C. Angle.
Angle was a Danville native, educated as a civil engineer and a lawyer, but during his years as proprietor of the American, he also managed the Danville Opera House and founded a successful company manufacturing wooden household goods. While publishing the Republican Montour American, in September 1897, Angle also founded and published the Independent daily Morning News in Danville. (In the early 1900s the energetic Angle also owned the Herald and the Jersey Shore Vidette, both based in Jersey Shore in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.)
In 1900, Danville supported eight newspapers: three Independent papers, one weekly and two dailies; four Democratic papers, three weeklies and one daily; and one Republican paper, the weekly American. In sympathy with the Republican Party’s platform for 1900, favoring tariffs and other protections for American products and labor, the Montour American’s nameplate in 1900 trumpeted the slogan, “This country will never be entirely free until it supplies all of its own demands with its own productions.”
Unlike many party organs, the American did not regularly print partisan editorials, though it did dutifully report on local and regional Republican news and boosted the party slate of candidates. The four-page issues specialized in great quantities of local news, from reports on the ripening of the local blackberry crop to the initial run of the summer excursion train to Atlantic City. The Montour American enthusiastically followed the journalistic precept that people enjoy seeing their names in print, and so the newspaper is a gold mine for genealogists pursuing family roots in Montour County.
Provided by: Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA