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Pleasantville weekly press. : (Pleasantville, N.J.) 1890-1911
Alternative Titles:
  • Pleasantville weekly press
Place of publication:
Pleasantville, N.J.
Geographic coverage:
  • Pleasantville, Atlantic, New Jersey  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Press Pub. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • 20th year, no. 16 (Dec. 27, 1911).
  • Began in 1890.
  • English
  • Description based on: Vol. 2, no. 33 (Sept. 14, 1892).
  • Title varies slightly.
sn 91064029
Succeeding Titles:
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Pleasantville weekly press. September 14, 1892 , Image 1


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Pleasantville Weekly Press

Egg Harbor in 1888. Daniel Lake Risley established the newspaper, and his brother, Josiah, edited it. The paper's early editions consisted of four sheets printed on a hand press and contained a column of local news, short stories, and advertisements for local and Atlantic City merchants. Originally published on Wednesdays by 1907, it was a Saturday paper. It was primarily four sheets with six columns.

Daniel Risley of Pleasantville and Philadelphia was a real estate developer, and early editions of the paper frequently contained articles about the growth of the town and its charms. It detailed strategies for attracting new residents, and it promoted Pleasantville's real estate developments.

Josiah Risley edited the Press for only a few months before ill health forced him to relocate to New Mexico where he died in May of 1895. Daniel Risley kept the Press until February of 1895 when he sold it to Hugh Collins of Pleasantville who installed his brother-in-law, Gilman Hanson (G.H.) Jenness, as editor.

A glowing article about Daniel Risley and his plans to establish Estelle, the largest agricultural colony in the United States, what it called "a new Eden in the Pines," appeared in the Pleasantville Weekly Press on November 18, 1896, calling him a "well-known and honored son of Pleasantville." Risley marketed over nine thousand-acre tracts of farmland along the eastern seaboard to mostly city dwellers and immigrants looking to live a quiet country life on a small farm. By 1903, Risley's vision had collapsed: he was accused of fraud, and the land sold at a sheriff's sale. Risley had owed mortgages to the Estell family of over $47,000. He had also defrauded small investors out of their money by selling them "farmland" that was still underwater.

Collins and Jenness, who had been Washington correspondent for newspapers in his native New Hampshire, implemented many changes. Though the paper still contained four sheets, they included more columns on local issues, increased the number of illustrations, and added more correspondents. When Jenness became too sick to work, his wife, Elmina Jenness, took over his editorial work, which she continued after his death.

In 1904, Hugh Collins sold the Press to George William Braun who continued to promote the town. One of the major selling points of Pleasantville was its proximity to Atlantic City and its railroad access with the railroads bringing passengers from Philadelphia to Atlantic City and the growing shore towns. A regional trolley service was started in 1903, and it brought further prosperity to the town. Editorials focused on what was good for the growth of the town, including municipal services like dependable sewage, clean streets, and safe railroads. Editorials also complained about events that were not advantageous to the townspeople, including the proposed doubling of the trolley fare between Atlantic City and Pleasantville in 1910.

The paper continued to promote Pleasantville as an idyllic place to live, it encouraged town residents to do the same. One editorial wrote, s, "Don't talk about the bad points of Pleasantville, they will become known soon enough. Look for the good points and keep them before you and others if you want the town to grow" (July 23, 1910)). The population of Pleasantville nearly quadrupled from 1895 to 4,390 in 1910, so extolling Pleasantville's attractions must have worked.

In October of 1910, Braun sold the paper to S.E. Whitman & Sons who quickly made many changes. By May 16, 1911, the paper began to be published on Wednesday and by September the paper frequently contained six sheets or more. December 27th, 1911 was the last issue of The Pleasantville Weekly Press, and as of January of 1912, it began to be published under the name The Pleasantville Press.

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