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Freeland tribune. : (Freeland, Pa.) 1888-1921
Place of publication:
Freeland, Pa.
Geographic coverage:
  • Freeland, Luzerne, Pennsylvania  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Thos. A. Buckley
Dates of publication:
  • Began with June 28, 1888 issue?; ceased in 1921?
Semiweekly -1921
  • English
  • Freeland (Pa.)--Newspapers.
  • Pennsylvania--Freeland.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01223420
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 1 (June 27, 1889).
sn 87080287
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Freeland tribune. June 27, 1889 , Image 1


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Freeland Tribune

Growing from settlements in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, dating to the 1840s and 1850s, a town named Freehold was laid out in 1870, and in 1876 it was renamed Freeland and incorporated as a borough.  Although not a mining town, Freeland’s growth and prosperity were linked to the surrounding mining communities in this area of the lower anthracite region of Luzerne County. 

In 1893, Henry C. Bradsby reported in his History of Luzerne County that the Freeland Tribune was launched on June 28, 1888, by Thomas A. Buckley, with the help of  his son, D. S. Buckley, a practical printer and expert reporter, who worked for the Philadelphia Record and other metropolitan newspapers.  Bradsby went on to say that “Mr. Buckley had for some time conducted a job office in the place, and it did not require much to start a seven-column folio weekly.  [The Tribune] commenced and continues democratic.  It so prospered as a weekly that, in June, 1892, it became a semi-weekly, with a steam-power press, job presses and all the latest wants of a complete country office.”  The Freeland Tribune was a counterbalance to the Republican-leaning Semi-Weekly Progress.  It went from semiweekly in 1892 to appearing three times a week in 1900, reverting to a weekly in 1919 until its final issue on June 30, 1921.

In its first 30 years, Freeland had foundries and machine shops, silk and overall factories, carriage and hame makers, and a beer brewery, along with numerous stores and businesses and more than a dozen churches.  Since most of the surrounding communities had not much more than a company store from which to buy a narrow range of essentials, many residents came to Freeland to shop and conduct business, and some also to work or to attend church.  The area’s ethnic make-up reflected the successive waves of immigration attracted to the anthracite coal fields.  Early immigrants from Wales, England, Germany, and Ireland were joined after 1880 by people of Polish, Italian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Ruthenian, Jewish, Hungarian, Tyrolean, and Portuguese descent.  Freeland’s population increased steadily, from 624 in 1880 to 1,730 in 1890, to 5,254 (1,339 foreign born) in 1900, to 6,197 in 1910.  In 1900, the combined population of Freeland, Drifton, Eckley, Jeddo, Upper Lehigh, and several other small, nearby communities was 13,785, and news about these towns and issues directly affecting them were reported in the Freeland Tribune.  Hazleton, then one of only two cities in Luzerne County, was only eight miles away, but although its newspapers also reported on Freeland and nearby communities, they focused mainly on high-profile events, covering local news and concerns in far less detail.  Grist for the histories of a number of these smaller communities can be found in the Tribune

Large issues such as mine owners’ abuses, unionization and strikes, and the role of the railroads played out in the pages of the Freeland Tribune, as did many more localized topics, along with a small selection of national and even some international news, and ads from local businesses.

Provided by: Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA