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Bluefield evening leader. [volume] : (Bluefield, W. Va.) 1906-1911
Alternative Titles:
  • Bluefield daily leader
  • Daily leader 1908-1909
Place of publication:
Bluefield, W. Va.
Geographic coverage:
  • Bluefield, Mercer, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Leader Publ. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1911?
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 8, 1906)-
  • English
  • Bluefield (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • West Virginia--Bluefield.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01218609
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Editor: J.A. Muir, 1908-1909. Cf. W. Va. State Gazetteer.
  • Publishers: Bluestone Pub. Co., 1908-1909; Evening Leader Pub. Co., C.D. French, Pres., 1910-1911?
sn 86092066
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Bluefield evening leader. [volume] April 8, 1906 , Image 1


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Bluefield Evening Leader

The newspaper industry of Bluefield, West Virginia had a tumultuous beginning. The Bluefield Daily Telegraph was established in 1869, and no other newspaper was able to rival it. Many thought that Bluefield was incapable of sustaining two newspapers; publications came and went seemingly overnight. The town saw the rise and fall of such titles as the Bluefield Journal, the Inter-State Advertiser, the Daily Journal, and the Daily Advertiser in the span of five years.

The Bluefield Evening Leader was among them. Thomas B. Garner established it in 1906 as part of the Bluestone Publishing Company (also known as the Leader Publishing Company). The Bluefield Evening Leader marketed itself as "The representative newspaper of the Pocahontas Coal Fields." With this motto beneath the masthead, the paper clearly catered to the coal field audience. Published every day except Monday, and selling for two cents a copy, the paper printed local,national, and international news.

Garner very quickly realized that he could not manage the newspaper and sold both it and his publishing company to J. A. Muir in 1907. The town's main newspaper, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, ran a piece welcoming Muir to the city; it stated that he had been a war correspondent during the Russo-Japanese War and may also have been a member of the Japanese Secret Service. This report may have led readers to assume that Muir's specialties lay more in journalism and communications than on the business side of newspapers.

Given Muir's background, under his ownership, the Bluefield Evening Leader changed direction and focused mainly on bigger stories from places like Berlin, Havana, and Paris. National stories were also covered from such cities as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. Not focusing on coal or local news may have doomed Muir's efforts, however; just like Garner before him, he sold the Leader very soon after he purchased it. By 1911, the paper went out of business. In addition to the Evening Leader many other papers have been unable to compete with the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, a paper that is still in print to this day.

Provided by: West Virginia University