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McDowell progress. : (Elkhorn, W. Va.) 1883-????
Place of publication:
Elkhorn, W. Va.
Geographic coverage:
  • Elkhorn, McDowell, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
R. Greenawalt
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1883?
  • English
  • Elkhorn (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • McDowell County (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • West Virginia--McDowell County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01213004
  • Description based on: Vol. 8, no. 3 (Jan. 17, 1891).
  • Latest issue consulted: Vol. 8, no. 13 (Mar. 28, 1891).
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McDowell progress. January 17, 1891 , Image 1


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McDowell Progress

A quintessential small-town paper in the late nineteenth century, the McDowell Progress was the first newspaper established in McDowell County. Publication began in 1886 through a partnership of local county clerk J. Frank Johnson and John R. Greenawalt, a seasoned newspaper editor originally from Virginia. Greenawalt served as the paper's editor.

Published weekly, the four-page Progress provided readers with a steady stream of local news; regular columns included "General News" and "Local Doings," as well as various social announcements, railroad schedules, and more. Although the Progress stayed abreast of state legislature affairs, the paper didn't editorialize much on politics. Indeed, much of the paper's wider national and international news was copied directly from larger newspapers. Front page serialized novels and amusing anecdotes offered entertainment. A bevy of advertisements, combined with a $1.00 annual subscription, kept the paper afloat financially. In a county with only a few thousand residents, the Progress grew to enjoy a circulation of approximately 500.

The Progress' tenure coincided with a time of great change in McDowell County. Local coal fields spurred industrialization and the arrival of railroads. In 1889, the paper moved to Elkhorn, which at the time was the terminus of the Norfolk & Western Railroad. As coal mines opened, the county's population swelled. In 1890, the paper moved to the newly-established town of Welch, which soon became the county seat. The move to Welch led to a change in ownership, and the McDowell Progress was sold to James R. Beaver. Renamed the McDowell Recorder, the paper continued serving McDowell County through the 1940s.

Provided by: West Virginia University