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The World. [volume] : (Martinsburg, W. Va.) 1891-1896
Place of publication:
Martinsburg, W. Va.
Geographic coverage:
  • Martinsburg, Berkeley, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
F. Vernon Aler
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1896?
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Aug. 31, 1891)-
  • English
  • Martinsburg (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • West Virginia--Martinsburg.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01224867
  • Also issued in a weekly entitled: The World.
sn 85059538
Succeeding Titles:
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The World. [volume] August 31, 1891 , Image 1


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The World

On August 31, 1891, the first issue of the first volume of the daily newspaper the World was published in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia. It would be followed shortly thereafter on November 13th of that same year by a weekly edition. The World represented its publisher and editor, author and lawyer F. Vernon Aler's, second foray into the newspaper business. From 1886 through 1887, Aler had published the Martinsburg Gazette, and in 1887, he tried to spin it off into the Daily Gazette as well, though neither proved successful.

Yet neither Aler himself nor any of the other local or regional papers appear to have made explicit reference to Aler's previous attempt while discussing the World, though Aler certainly gave them much else upon which to comment. An illustrative example was his mocking of a rival Hagerstown, Maryland paper's (the Mail, which had both a daily and weekly edition) editors, facetiously claiming in the September 7, 1892 issue of the World that they had the alcohol-withdrawal syndrome delirium tremens.

In September of 1893, Aler once again left the publishing industry, turning both editions of the World over to James F. Thompson and Captain W.B. Colston. Clarksburg paper the Telegram reported Aler's leave was due to his health, but notably this move occurred a few months after the Martinsburg Independent's report of Aler's "altercation" with the President of the local National Bank. Whatever the situation, the paper's new proprietors made it explicitly clear that the World would henceforth be a vehicle for the Democratic Party's platform, a stance Aler had been at first less willing to advertise. That being said, Aler did come out in favor of Grover Cleveland during the 1892 Presidential election.

However, less than two years later, on February 2, 1895, the Martinsburg Herald announced that the World's publisher had changed once again, to W.E. Hoffheins and his printing company. Edited by Hoffheins himself, both the weekly and daily editions of the World remained solidly Democratic despite Hoffheins's eventual purchase of the staunchly Republican Herald in March of 1899. Notably, Hoffheins did not edit the Herald which remained an entirely separate entity. In 1897, Hoffheins increased the weekly edition of the World to "semi-weekly," printing it twice, on Tuesdays and Fridays, until it was discontinued in 1908. By 1896, the daily's title was changed to the Evening World, reflecting a time-of-day release schedule that had already been in operation for some time.

In 1912, the publisher and paper went under even further changes, if only in name rather than substance. Hoffheins consolidated his holdings under the World Printing Co., adding the Martinsburg Statesman-Democrat alongside the Herald and the paper once again simply called the World. Nevertheless, the Statesman-Democrat, like the Herald before it, was not combined with the World. All three newspapers had ceased publication by 1921, likely owing to the fact that, as Hoffheins's 1945 obituary in Washington D.C.'s Evening Star notes, he had left Martinsburg during the First World War to work for the federal government's War Department. Indeed, a comment in West Virginia paper the Belington Progressive from February of 1923 referred to Hoffheins as a "former newspaper man."

Provided by: West Virginia University