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The Valley Virginian. [volume] : (Staunton, Va.) 1865-1895
Place of publication:
Staunton, Va.
Geographic coverage:
  • Clifton Forge, Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City State
  • Staunton, Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City State
A.M. Garber, Jr.
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1895?
  • Vol. [1], no. [1] (Nov. 29, 1865)- ; old ser. v.26, no. 4 = new ser. v.1, no. 1-
  • English
  • Clifton Forge (Va.)--Newspapers.
  • Staunton (Va.)--Newspapers.
  • Virginia--Clifton Forge.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01222281
  • Virginia--Staunton.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204696
  • Also issued on microfilm from Bell & Howell, Micro Photo Div.
  • Published at Clifton Forge, Va., May 14, 1891-1895? Cf. Cappon, L.J. Va. newspapers.
  • Publisher varies: A.M. Garber, Jr., J. Richard Crockwell, (July 11, 1866)- ; J.R. Crockwell, Jan. 6, 1868- <Mar.> 1869 ; Stoneburner & Co., <Apr. 29>, 1869- Aug. 25, 1870 ; Stoneburner & Pemberton, Sept. 1- Nov. 24, 1870; S.M. Yost, Dec. 8, 1870- Oct. 1,1874; S.M. Yost & Son, <1876> ; Clifton Forge Pub. Co., May 14, 1891-Nov. 17, 1892 ; Taylor and Eichelberger, Nov. 24, 1892-Mar. 30, 1893 ; D.S. Eichelberger, Apr. 6, 1893-Jan. 25, 1894 Eichelberger & Walton, Feb. 1, 1894 ; N.A. Walton & W.C.C. Vanneman, Feb. 8, 1894-
sn 84024707
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The Valley Virginian. [volume] January 17, 1866 , Image 1


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The Valley Virginian

Staunton, located in western Virginia about sixty miles north of Lynchburg, served as an army depot, commissary post, and training camp for the Confederacy for much of the Civil War with Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Jubal Early encamped there at some point during the war. In 1864, though, the Union army broke the Confederate hold on Staunton and laid "waste to much of the town and miles of nearby railroad track." It was in the war's aftermath that The Valley Virginian began publication in Staunton on November 29, 1865.

Circulated every Wednesday by Alexander Menzies Garber, Jr. on the third floor of the Burwell building at Main and New Streets, The Valley Virginian was Staunton's lone Republican newspaper. While the city's population was only about 6,000 to 7,000 from 1860 into the 1890s, Staunton produced an impressive array of newspaper publications along with The Valley Virginian, including the Staunton Spectator and Staunton Vindicator, among others. Staunton was not a large city, but it was located at the crossroads of several railroads and home to the Standard Iron Works, several educational institutions, the Western Lunatic Asylum and the Virginia Institution for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind (now called the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind), which might explain its prodigious press history.

Early in its life, the Virginian devoted ample copy reminiscing about the war and included reports from other newspapers like the Richmond Wig and the Richmond Enquirer. It also provided political news out of Washington, local news, poetry, advertisements, real estate announcements, railroad news, and listed local marriages and deaths. From November 6 to December 18, 1867, Garber, a University of Virginia graduate and Confederate war veteran, partnered with J. R. Crockwell, who had established the Covington Times, to produce The Valley Virginian. In April 1869, Stoneburner and Co. took over the paper. "There are three journals published in Staunton," explained the new owner in the April 29, 1869 issue, "we would like to make the Virginian different from all others—more original—more domestic, and less a partisan paper."

On December 8, 1870, Samuel M. Yost, who ran the paper longer than anyone before or after him, became proprietor of the Virginian. In January 1877, Yost began publishing a column titled, "The Suffering Poor" about the problem of poverty in Staunton. "It may not be known to many of our readers," he wrote on January 11, 1877, "that actual want exists in our little city. It may not be pleasant for them to be told of it, but such is the harsh, disagreeable fact." He called for systematic relief to feed Staunton's hungry and printed examples of the struggles experienced by the town's less prosperous residents. Thanks to Yost's editorials in the Virginian, a free lunch-house opened during one of Staunton's harshest winters, sustaining many local families in need.

During its time, The Valley Virginian had the highest circulation of any paper in Staunton, with about 1,800–2,500 subscribers. The last issue published in Staunton came out on April 23, 1891 and the Virginian ceased publication until May 14, when it picked up again, somewhat mysteriously, in the much smaller town of Clifton Forge, about sixty miles southwest of Staunton. "The changes of location, in this instance and under the conditions of the change," Yost explained, "imply a modification of the policy of the Virginian in a political sense." It went on to say that it would aim to bring together "the energies and the co-operation of all classes of the people, whether Democrats, Republicans, Alliance men or Mugwumps." After Yost left the paper in May 1892, The Valley Virginian had several different publishers before ceasing altogether sometime in 1895.

Provided by: Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA