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Towanda daily review. [volume] : (Towanda, Pa.) 1879-1921
Alternative Titles:
  • Daily Towanda review
Place of publication:
Towanda, Pa.
Geographic coverage:
  • Towanda, Bradford, Pennsylvania  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
S.W. Alvord and Noble N. Alvord
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Aug. 11, 1879)- ; -42nd yr., no. 11,894 (May 16, 1921).
  • English
  • Pennsylvania--Towanda.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01212037
  • Towanda (Pa.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Weekly eds.: Towanda weekly review; Bradford weekly Republican; Bradford County Republican; Reporter journal and Bradford Republican.
sn 86081381
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Towanda daily review. [volume] December 13, 1879 , Image 1


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Towanda Daily Review

One of the counties on the Pennsylvania-New York border known collectively as the "northern tier," Bradford County was created on February 21, 1810, out of Lycoming and Luzerne Counties. It originally was named Ontario, but became Bradford in 1812, honoring William Bradford, politician and mediator of a controversy between Pennsylvania and Connecticut over land titles in northeastern Pennsylvania. (Bradford County' had been part of the disputed region.) Towanda, Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna River, became the county seat in 1810. It sits on sloping land, 741 feet above sea level at one end and rising to 1,400 feet at the other. In his 1886 History of the Towandas, Clement F. Heverly praised Towanda's residences that "recall to the mind visions of the celebrated hanging gardens of ancient Babylon." Originally known as Williamston or Meansville (after settler William Means), Towanda was renamed when it became a borough in 1828. Its name may be a variant of Tawandeunk, a Nanticoke Indian word meaning "where we bury our dead," or it may come from Tonawanda or "swift water." By the end of the 1800s, Towanda was highly industrialized, with foundries, planing and silk mills, and glass and furniture factories. Its population was 3,814 in 1880, rising to 4,463 in 1900.

Unlike many rural weekly newspapers of the period, which were created to promote a political party's views, the Towanda Daily Review was launched on August 1, 1879, for a single reason: to report on the proceedings of the Bradford County Teachers' Institute, held during the first two weeks in August in Towanda. The editor of the four-page Review was Stephen Wilbur Alvord, a native of Troy, in Bradford County, who had previously been associated with both the Bradford Argus and the Bradford Reporter. His son, Noble Norton Alvord (1861-1926), was his business partner. Almost 500 copies of the Towanda Daily Review were distributed each day for the duration of the Institute. Alvord announced that the paper would continue "so long as the patronage of a discriminating public would warrant"(Newspaperdom, September 28, 1899). Until 1883, the Review retained its original size and format.

The Towanda Daily Review was published daily except Sunday, and described itself as Independent Republican politically. Unlike most county weeklies of the period, the Review did not rely on "canned" pages of miscellaneous articles provided by a distant supplier, but instead ran local news even on the front page, with numerous details about sicknesses, deaths, marriages, visitors to town, local business and industry, and similar matters of particular interest to family and local historians. Alvord did not write many editorials, instead reprinting essays from other newspapers that expressed his viewpoint.

During the summer and fall of 1881, the paper reflected the local view of the assassin's attack on James A. Garfield, who had been President for only four months. Reports of the President's condition were given daily from the Executive Mansion and telegraphed to the press. One bullet had grazed Garfield's arm and a second could not be located, causing complications and infection that led to his death 80 days after the attack. A black-bordered column appeared in the Towanda Daily Review on September 20, 1881, announcing, "President Garfield Dead Expires at 10:55 last night. The Nation is in Mourning."

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