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The midland journal. : (Rising Sun, Md.) 1885-1947
Place of publication:
Rising Sun, Md.
Geographic coverage:
  • Rising Sun, Cecil, Maryland  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
E.E. Ewing
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased with June 27, 1947 issue?
  • Vol. 7, no. 43 (Aug. 7, 1885)-
  • English
  • Maryland--Rising Sun.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01226983
  • Rising Sun (Md.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
sn 89060136
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The midland journal. August 7, 1885 , Image 1


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The midland journal

The Midland Journal was founded in Rising Sun as a weekly by Edwin E. Ewing (1824-1901), a veteran newspaper man from Cecil County, Maryland. Ewing purchased the Rising Sun Journal in 1885 from the firm of William H. Pennington & Brother, renaming it the Midland Journal. The new owner previously had run the Cecil Whig newspaper in nearby Elkton from 1860 to 1876, before selling his interest and moving to Kansas where he was associated with the Kansas Farmer of Topeka. In 1882, Ewing relocated to North Carolina where he started the Blue Ridge Enterprise, before returning in 1885 to Cecil County as publisher of the Midland Journal. Edwin Ewing also was an author of poetry and stories, including two dime novels with the titles the Witch of the Wallowish and the Hunter Guide. After his death his sons continued to publish the paper. In 1947, the Ewing family sold the Midland Journal to the Cecil Whig and it ceased as a separate title.

As with many small-town newspapers, the Midland Journal functioned primarily as a source of advertising, light reading, local news items, and brief notices of national and international events. The town of Rising Sun, named for a tavern sign that depicted the rays of the sun, was located on the main road between Baltimore and Philadelphia. This strategic location, and the nearby presence of a prosperous community of Quakers on the Nottingham Lots that straddle the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, supported its early growth. In 1865, the Philadelphia & Baltimore Central Railroad arrived in Rising Sun, providing daily service to both cities. The railroad helped spur the local economy in Rising Sun where milling, small manufacturing, and agriculture dominated. The Maryland House Hotel was a regionally popular institution, known for the excellence of its accommodations and food. The original hotel was destroyed by fire in 1871, but the owners quickly reestablished the hotel in another building, where it thrived through much of the 20th century.

A lecture by the celebrated abolitionist and orator, Frederick Douglass, was announced in the December 18, 1885 issue of the Midland Journal. Sponsored by the town's literary society, his lecture on the "Self-Made Man" at the Methodist Episcopal Church on December 28 was heard by a "large and appreciative audience." The society netted a profit of $36 from the sale of tickets.

Temperance dominated the editorial pages of the Midland Journal during its early decades. The activities of the Women's Christian Temperance Union were well documented, as this group wielded considerable influence over town's affairs. Among topics of discussion was the WCTU's proposal to assume control of the town's library. On the lighter side, the Rising Sun Detective Association was officially constituted to track down lost horses, but appeared to focus most of its energy on an annual banquet.

On June 17, 1921, the headline read "Rising Sun Swept by Fire" and described the devastation four days earlier to town buildings, including the Janes Methodist Episcopal Church, which was rebuilt in 1923. In 1926, the local economy got a boost when the Philadelphia Electric Company commenced construction of the Conowingo dam on the Susquehanna River, a short distance from Rising Sun. Prosperity, however, remained elusive--in 1930, the federal census stated the town's population at 565.

The offices of the Midland Journal were located adjacent to Buffington's store in a building that still stands at 11 East Main Street.

Provided by: University of Maryland, College Park, MD