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The Morris County chronicle. [volume] : (Morristown, N.J.) 1877-1915
Alternative Titles:
  • Morris chronicle <1885>
Place of publication:
Morristown, N.J.
Geographic coverage:
  • Morristown, Morris, New Jersey  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
D.H. Prime & Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Began Nov. 2, 1877; ceased in 1915. Cf. Wright, W.C. and Stellhorn, P.A. Direct. of N.J. newspapers.
  • English
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 45 (Sept. 7, 1878).
  • Issued also in a woman's ed. with the same title.
  • Publishers: Thomas J. O'Donnell, <1877>; D.H. Prime & Co., <1878-1879>; Joshua Brown, <1880-1885>.
  • The word "County" appears within the masthead device, <1885>.
sn 85035816
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The Morris County chronicle. [volume] December 7, 1877 , Image 1


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The Morris County chronicle

The Morris County Chronicle was first printed on November 2, 1877, under the charge of T. J. O'Donnell. He was succeeded after a few months by D. H. Prime & Co. Joshua Brown took charge of the paper January 21, 1880 and he ran the paper as a politically independent one for two years. He then aligned it with the Republican party, though he would also endorse Democratic friends for office.

Joshua Brown was born in Falsington, PA in 1844 to Quaker parents. After finishing his education, he went into business in New York City. When an opportunity to purchase the Morris County Chronicle presented itself, Brown quickly acted upon it. In addition to editing the weekly newspaper, Brown was also a Fireman for the Washington Engine Company of Morristown and worked to support the rights of volunteer firemen. He was one of the organizers of the State Exempt Fireman's Association and served on its executive board until 1891. This passion and advocacy for volunteer firefighters is obvious in the Morris County Chronicle, which often featured news of Morris County fire companies.

J. Frank Lindsley took over the paper in 1893 after the death of Joshua Brown, maintaining the paper's Republican ties and two dollar a year subscription cost, though under Lindsley the paper grew from four pages to ten and greatly expanded its coverage of local news.

With keen competition from daily newspapers and the overall increase in the number of newspapers published, making a living from a weekly paper was a precarious endeavor, and many newspapers continued to be allied with political parties. One of the benefits of this relationship was the possibility of a paid political appointment, and in 1899, J. Frank Lindsley was appointed as Assistant Secretary of the State Senate with a salary of twelve hundred dollars. This type of relationship was frequently discouraged by the New Jersey Editorial Association, which at the 1896 annual meeting states that "The editor of a newspaper should be the most independent person in the land; his position warrants it and his duty requires it, and he would be if he united industry, intelligence and self-respect in his calling. Instead of this the country editor, at least only to often, follows when he ought to lead, afraid to strike an evil lest he hurt party and, incidentally, himself …."

J. Frank Lindsley remained with the Morris County Chronicle until 1903, when he gave up the newspaper business to sell insurance for Mutual Life Insurance Company. He was succeeded by James K. Landy.

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