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West Virginia argus. [volume] : (Kingwood, W. Va.) 1877-1946
Place of publication:
Kingwood, W. Va.
Geographic coverage:
  • Kingwood, Preston, West Virginia  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
H. Clyde Hyde
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1946?
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Sept. 8, 1877)-
  • English
  • Kingwood (W. Va.)--Newspapers.
  • West Virginia--Kingwood.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01226783
  • "Democratic."
  • Also available online.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Publication suspended Apr. 16-Oct. 21, 1881.
  • Publishers: H.C. Hyde, Sept., 1877-Oct., 1878; H.W. McCafferty, 1878-Fall, 1879; Argus Printing Co., 1879-May, 1881; George Purcell, 1881-May, 1883; Lee Kussart, 1883-?
sn 86092245
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West Virginia argus. [volume] September 8, 1877 , Image 1


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West Virginia Argus

In 1877, twenty-two year old Henry Clay Hyde purchased the Preston County Herald from James Carroll. Rebranding the paper as the West Virginia Argus, the first four-page issue hit the streets of Kingwood on September 7, 1877. Published weekly, the Argus stood as a staunch Democratic newspaper in Preston County and northern West Virginia for nearly seventy years.

In his salutatory editorial, Hyde declared: "It shall be our aim to publish a paper for the people—to work for and with them in everything that will have a tendency to lead to the development of the resources of Preston county." Moreover, he described the Argus's politics as "a fair and impartial representative of the Democratic party." A year later, Hyde left the Argus to pursue a career in law and passed his editorial duties onto Harry McCafferty. This marked the first in a long series of regular leadership changes for the paper, whose editors included George Purcell, Lee Kussart, J. Slidell Brown, Martin Mehrten, and William Lavelle, among others.

Despite frequent editorial changes, the Argus remained a firm advocate for the Democratic Party, a tough task in Republican-dominated West Virginia. The paper routinely reported on local and state Democratic activities. It likewise stumped for Democratic presidential hopefuls, including notable candidates William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson.

Beyond politics, the newspaper offered readers a wide variety of news and entertainment. Short stories, poetry, and other pieces of literature filled the paper's columns. Thorough coverage was given to local news, including social and civic events, neighborhood news, local elections, transportation schedules, and the weather. The Argus also reported on national and international affairs. The paper was swept with war fever during the Spanish-American and Philippine conflicts but proved more reticent about American entry into World War I, opining that "Wilson means peace" in the election of 1916.

By the 1910s, the Argus enjoyed a circulation of 2,500 and was well-known throughout northern West Virginia. The paper continued publication well into the 20th century before finally ceasing operations in the 1940s.

Provided by: West Virginia University