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The Lancaster Ledger   (1852 - 1905)


"Sad indeed it is for us to make the announcement that the publication of the "old Ledger" will be discontinued after this issue, and we cannot help but feel that the announcement will carry sadness into every home throughout the county. The older citizens, some few of whom have been subscribers since the first issue, and the many who have read the old paper from childhood will feel as if an old and cherished friend, whose frequent visits always made them glad, had passed away. "The dear old Ledger,"--how often have these words, written by citizens of the county who had moved away out west, made our hearts glad and encouraged us in our work. Native Lancastrians wherever scattered over the globe know and love the old Ledger--the oldest institution in Lancaster county, and one of the oldest of the 154 papers published in the State.

"Fifty-three years is not a short period. It is more than half a century. Comparatively little is known of the history of our county prior to the establishment of The Ledger (1852), but since that time it forms almost a complete record of the doings and happenings throughout the county. The marriages, deaths, accidents, crimes, misfortunes of each year, are all chronicled in its columns. The political conditions, educational advancement, material development and religious growth of its people are there to be found. The patriotism of her sons, their gallantry in war, their fidelity; the noble spirit of her women, their devotion, their power of endurance are there recorded. No one could write a more complete history of the county for the past half century than it contains.

"No wonder it is dear to the people of the old county. Especially is it dear to the older people, and that esteem, in most instances, has been handed down from sire to son. Scarcely a family in the county, we venture, but has one or more old copies of The Ledger that is dear, very dear to them, put away in some secure place where it will not be molested. It may be it contains the obituary of father or mother, sister or brother, or perhaps it tells of the loss of a precious child. Its association with these sacred memories make it dear, very dear to natives of old Lancaster. And this issue, the last, in many instances tear-stained, will be carefully laid away with a feeling of sadness because it is THE LAST.

"The Ledger was established Feby. 12, 1852 by the late R.S. Bailey. The late Simpson Harper was its first subscriber, and the late Evan Rollings the second. Their subscriptions were taken by Mr. Bailey at old Salem Camp ground. Mr. Bailey continued editor and proprietor of The Ledger until 1856, when the late W.M. Connors, father of Maj. C.T. Connors who has been chosen to edit the new paper, became its editor and proprietor. In 1865 the late David J. Carter purchased half interest in the paper, and became sole editor and proprietor the following year. In 1883 he associated with him his son, the present editor, who became sole editor after the death of his father in 1889. It will thus be seen that The Ledger has had but four editors: R.S. Bailey, W.M. Connors, David J. Carter and T.S. Carter, during the more than half century of its existence. Of its original subscribers seven are still living and getting the paper. They are: L.M. Cauthen, J.L. Tillman, Sr., T.T. Gregory, W.R. Bennett, Jeff Sims, Wilson Rowell, and Philip Snipes. Of the thousand other subscribers to The Ledger many have been taking it for more than forty years.

"To journalism this editor now bids adieu. During the twenty-two years of his journalistic life he has endeavored faithfully and conscientiously to keep The Ledger up to the high standard of his predecessors. He has stood for honesty, purity, and sobriety in official and individual life, taking a positive stand on all moral and political questions, striving to better the citizenship of the county by promoting the social and moral welfare of its people.

"We cannot say farewell without thanking our patrons for the liberal support they have always given The Ledger, nor can we fail to acknowledge the deep gratitude we feel for the many true and staunch friends The Ledger has made for us individually. Adieu, kind friends, adieu! And while we wish you to give to The Lancaster News your hearty and liberal support, we hope the memory of the "dear old Ledger" will live in your minds and hearts as long as life lasts."

Written by Thurlow S. Carter (1859 - 1926)
Published in the Lancaster Ledger September 30, 1905

Local History

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