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The Parkersburg press. : (Parkersburg (W. Va.)) 1886-18??
Place of publication:
Parkersburg (W. Va.)
Geographic coverage:
  • Parkersburg, Wood, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Matt S. Hughes
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1887?
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Dec. 2, 1886)-
  • English
  • Parkersburg (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • West Virginia--Parkersburg.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01214465
  • Latest issue consulted: Vol. 1, no. 11 (Feb. 11, 1887).
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The Parkersburg press. December 2, 1886 , Image 1


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Parkersburg Press

The short-lived The Parkersburg Press, published for a few brief months in 1886–1887, was the product of Matthew Simpson Hughes. Born in Doddridge County, West Virginia, Matthew hailed from a Methodist family; his father Thomas Bayless Hughes was a Methodist pastor, as was his brother Edwin Hughes, who eventually became a Methodist bishop. Matthew, however, explored other career options in his youth, studying at the Linsly Institute in Wheeling and then pursuing a law degree from West Virginia University.

Developing an interest in journalism, Hughes served as an apprentice for a local newspaper (possibly the Parkersburg The Daily State Journal. Inspired by the printing business, twenty-three-year-old Matthew Hughes founded the Parkersburg Press in December 1886, serving as its editor. In his salutatory, Hughes promised "to furnish the people with a live, spicy, and interesting newspaper, one that will be a welcome guest in every household in the city." The paper was published every Thursday, and it varied from four to eight pages in length.

Issues of the Press provided readers with a variety of news items. Readers stayed abreast of local and social affairs via such columns as: "City Items," "Social Circle. The Gayeties of Our City Recounted," and "Our Gentleman. Notes of Interest among the Sterner Sex." The first page of the Press often explored various aspects of Parkersburg, including its history, churches, and merchants. The Press supported the city's economic growth. Although declaring his paper "independently Republican," Hughes paid relatively little attention to politics aside from discussions over the local city charter.

Publication of the Press came to a quick end, however. As the Methodist The Christian Central Advocate later remarked of Hughes, "the home prayers and heavenly influences drew him strongly toward the career which his parents coveted for him," and Hughes decided to follow in the family footsteps and join the ministry. The February 11, 1887 edition proved to be the Press's last, and Hughes was ordained a Methodist pastor later that year. He went on to earn his doctor of divinity degree from Hamline University, and in 1916 was elected to the bishopric alongside his brother Edwin. Matthew Hughes died in 1920, leaving behind a short-lived literary and a long-lasting religious legacy.

Provided by: West Virginia University