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The semi-weekly news. [volume] : (Mount Holly, Burlington Co., N.J.) 1879-1882
Place of publication:
Mount Holly, Burlington Co., N.J.
Geographic coverage:
  • Mount Holly, Burlington, New Jersey  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Powell & Bower
Dates of publication:
  • Began with July 1, 1879 issue; ceased in 1882?
  • English
  • Also issued on microfilm by Micro-Graphic Corp., Garfield, N.J.
  • Continued by: News (Mount Holly, N.J.). Cf. Wright, W.C. and Stellhorn, P.A. Direct. of N.J. newspapers.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 10 (Feb. 2, 1880).
sn 85035561
Succeeding Titles:
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The semi-weekly news. [volume] July 4, 1881 , Image 1


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The Semi-weekly news

In 1676, Quakers established the town that came to be known as Mount Holly, Burlington county. Originally formed as Northampton in 1688, it was sometimes interchangeably called Bridgetown up until the nineteenth century. It was until 1931 that the town was officially named Mount Holly. In 1793, the residents of the area won an election (among accusations of fraud and cheating) to have the county seat of Burlington moved to Mount Holly from Burlington City. The election was approved by referendum in 1796. Befitting its new status as county seat, a new courthouse was erected in 1796, surrogate and clerk's offices in 1807, and a prison in 1811.

Mount Holly was the first town to organize a volunteer fire department in 1752. It was originally called the Britannia Fire Company of Bridgetown, but after the Revolutionary War, its name was changed to the Mount Holly Fire Company and later the Relief Fire Company of Mount Holly. There came to be multiple fire companies in Mount Holly during the nineteenth century, and newspapers covered local fires in a thorough manner with detailed descriptions of firefighting, building losses, and company business.

The Semi-weekly News was published on Mondays and Thursdays in Mount Holly. Started on July 3, 1879 by William L. Powell, William J. Bower and Samuel S. Bower under the name Powell and Bower, the paper was neither politically nor religiously affiliated. When first published, the News contained five columns to the page, size eighteen by twenty-four inches. On February 2, 1880, it was enlarged to 24 by 36 inches and seven columns to the page. On July 31, 1880, William J. Bower died at the age of 22. The remaining members of the firm continued the firm, retaining the original name.

In addition to subscriptions, legal and general advertising were foundational to a successful nineteenth-century newspaper. In an article on September 5, 1881, "Who Shall Publish the Laws," Bower and Powell make the argument that now that their newspaper is legitimate, having been published for over two years, they should be allowed to publish the laws of New Jersey and be paid legal rates instead of legal publishing being distributed to a favored few newspaper. In this same issue, they take aim at Daniel F. Beatty. Beatty was from Washington, New Jersey, and was a manufacturer of pianos and organs. One of the first piano and organ manufacturers to use direct mail to sell his instruments, he reached farms and rural areas via mass mailings and aggressive advertising campaigns. The News wrote, "If Daniel F. Beatty would only stop sending us his miserable offers for an advertisement in the News we would be eternally obliged to him. Before wastepaper got down to such a low figure, we did not mind receiving three or four pounds of it every week from Beatty, at present prices it don't pay to carry a large bundle marked "personal" down from the Post Office and then open it and find it is only worth 1/2-a-cent per pound. Please stop, Dan, and when scrap paper goes up we will notify you. Until that time comes (which we hope will never be) au revoir."

At the time of The Semi-weekly News, Mount Holly had three newspapers, one Democratic, one Republican, and the News as the independent paper. Powell and Bower were able to grow their subscriptions from 900 in 1880, to 1,050 in 1881, to 1,680 in 1882. On February 2, 1882, the paper was enlarged to eight columns

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