About The Windham County reformer. (Battleboro, Vt.) 1876-1897
Battleboro, Vt. (1876-1897)
- The Windham County reformer. : (Battleboro, Vt.) 1876-1897
- Alternative Titles:
- Brattleboro reformer
- Windham Co. reformer
- Place of publication:
- Battleboro, Vt.
- Geographic coverage:
- C.H. Davenport & Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Began in Aug. 1876? ceased in 1897.
- Brattleboro (Vt.)--Newspapers.
- Vermont--Windham County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01225039
- Windham County (Vt.)--Newspapers.
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- Description based on: Vol. 3, no. 41 (May 30, 1879).
- sn 96086441
- Succeeding Titles:
- Related Links:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
The Windham County Reformer, Semi-Weekly Windham County Reformer, Windham County Reformer and The Brattleboro Reformer
Charles N. Davenport, a lawyer from Brattleboro, Vermont, and an ardent Democrat, established the weekly Windham County Reformer in the summer of 1876 to support the presidential campaign of Samuel Tilden. Davenport was frustrated by the biased coverage provided by the Vermont Phoenix, the local Republican paper. According to one account, a campaign slogan, "Tilden and Reform," provided the inspiration for the new paper's name. A prospectus promised that the Reformer would support federal and state administrative reforms regarding currency, revenue, and civil service, and "oppose thieves, plunderers and bribe takers everywhere." In Vermont, the Reformer promised to stand for a system of equal taxation and against favoritism for corporations and railroads. Davenport's son, Charles H., took on the editorial duties, and after his father's death, assumed ownership of the paper.
In the 1880s, the Reformer appeared in five editions, including papers in Bennington County, Vermont, and Franklin County, Massachusetts. The Windham County Reformer was issued as a county edition and a local edition, and a statewide edition appeared as the Brattleboro Reformer from 1884 to 1901. Starting in 1897, the paper was published on Tuesdays and Fridays as the Semi-Weekly Windham County Reformer.
The Reformer included the literary, scientific, home, religion, and agriculture departments typical of 19th-century country weeklies. The paper prided itself on its local, county, and state coverage, and advertised that it had news bureaus in every county in Vermont providing more than 50 columns of local news every week. Under Charles H. Davenport's direction, the Reformer was known for its political content and an extensive editorial page, characterized by strong language and sarcasm. While he often criticized Republican politicians and causes, Davenport also chastised his own party for failing to take action.
Jacob G. Ullery purchased the Reformer in 1901. He modernized the production facilities, and within weeks ended the Tuesday edition for lack of advertising support. Davenport stayed on as an editorial writer, and was joined by writer and editor Adalaide D. Reynolds, who had first worked as an assistant editor at the Reformer in the 1880s.In 1903, Ullery sold the Reformer and the printing plant to Ephraim H. Crane's Vermont Printing Co.
Crane vowed to "make and keep the Reformer a paper for Brattleboro and Windham County first, for Vermont and the neighboring states secondly" and "to tell the truth about things that happen every day." Under Crane, the Reformer ended its active support for the Democratic Party. The paper received a new name in 1907, when the first issue of the year appeared as the Brattleboro Reformer, to reflect its place of publication. In 1913 Brattleboro's newspaper landscape underwent a significant change, resulting in the end of the weekly Reformer. Crane and his business partners consolidated the competing weekly papers under the title of the Vermont Phoenix. In March 1913, they published the first number of the Brattleboro Daily Reformer. Finally, in 1955, the weekly and the daily merged to form the Brattleboro Daily Reformer and Vermont Phoenix, which became the Brattleboro Reformer in 1973.
Provided by: University of Vermont