New Papers from Fort Worth, Texas!

If you have ancestors from Texas or an interest in the Old West, we are pleased to announce that we’ve once again partnered with McClatchy, the second-largest local news company in the U.S., to add the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to our archives. Included in this collection are other historic Fort Worth papers including the Fort Worth Record-Telegram 1912-1931; the Fort Worth Record and Register 1897-1912; and the Daily Fort Worth Standard 1876-1877.  The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was founded in 1909 when the Fort Worth Star merged with the Fort Worth Telegram. This archive has chronicled the growth of Fort Worth for nearly 150 years!

At a time when the American frontier expanded westward, settlers moved into the Fort Worth area in the 1840s. They met with local Native American chiefs and established a treaty where Native Americans would remain west of a line drawn through present-day Fort Worth. The line would mark, “Where the West Begins” – Fort Worth’s famous slogan that is still found on the masthead of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today.

The front page of The Fort Worth Telegram chronicles devastation after the 1908 Messina earthquake and tsunami

In 1849, construction began on a fort, one in a line of military outposts meant to establish control over North Texas and protect settlers from Native American attacks. The fort was named after Maj. Gen. Williams Jenkins Worth and soon a small community of civilians sprang up in the area.

Daily Fort Worth Standard – May 12, 1877

Ranching has long played a part in the history of Fort Worth and ranchers herded millions of cattle along the Chisholm Trail. Our newspaper archive dates back to 1876, the year the first railroad came to town and helped establish Fort Worth as a center of the cattle trade.  

Fort Worth Star-Telegram – February 8, 1920

With all the cattle being driven through Fort Worth, the meatpacking industry developed in the late 1800s, bringing jobs in packing houses. The Texas oil boom brought additional growth to Fort Worth. In 1917, workers drilling for oil in Ranger, Texas, hit a gusher. More oil nearby discoveries followed, and Fort Worth’s strategic location meant that speculators, promoters, and interested parties set up offices in the Westbrook Hotel lobby bringing throngs of people to the city. Advertisements selling oil leases filled the pages of the Star-Telegram as many sought their fortune.

In the early days of radio, the Star-Telegram’s founding publisher, Amon G. Carter, started an experimental radio station WBAP. A ringing cowbell signaled listeners that their program was about to start. That cowbell was the first audible logo broadcast over the radio. The station broadcast livestock reports, rodeos, and even church services. In 1948, the Star-Telegram expanded its reach again and established the first television station in the southern half of the United States.  

Fort Worth Star-Telegram – December 24, 1922

In 1982, in a time before readers consumed information online, the Star-Telegram pioneered another way to deliver news when they began StarText. StarText was a subscription service that delivered the latest news, stock quotes, and classified ads 24 hours a day via home computer and modem.

If you are researching your ancestors from Fort Worth, there are countless stories about challenges faced by early settlers in Texas. Severe weather, snake bites, heat and humidity, and life in the wild west where six-shooters ruled were just a few. Be sure to search for birth announcements, wedding announcements, death notices, news about family reunions, and more. Start searching the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Newspapers.com today!

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New California Paper!

Sacramento is the capital city of California and we’re happy to announce that we’re adding The Sacramento Bee to our archives. The Bee is the longest-running newspaper in Sacramento’s history and the flagship paper of McClatchy, the second-largest local news company in the U.S. James McClatchy was an Irish immigrant and young journalist when the lure of the California Gold Rush brought him West. He became the second editor of The Bee, taking over just days after the paper began publication in 1857.

California was part of Mexican territory until the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo annexed California as part of the United States. In 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill, about 45 miles outside of Sacramento, thousands converged in the area. Many of them passed through Sacramento and the city experienced tremendous growth.

When The Bee began publishing in 1857, McClatchy aimed to provide an independent newspaper that championed the interests of the people. The paper recorded the growth of this area, including celebrating the starting point for the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1863.

When a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco in 1906, residents of Sacramento felt the shaking and observed the dome of the Capitol building sway back and forth. The front page of The Bee contained numerous updates throughout the morning as the extent of the damage became more clear.

April 18, 1906

During the Great Depression, high unemployment rates resulted in a rising rate of homelessness in the city. Some destitute families banded together and formed tent cities called Hoovervilles, named after President Hoover, whom they blamed for their economic situation. Although not officially recognized, these shantytowns located along the Sacramento River were overseen by elected officials and city charters. The cities, however, lacked systems for waste removal and officials found residents living in squalor and ordered them closed. Though evicted, some continued to camp out along the river throughout the 1930s.

Residents of Hooverville Seek Food – October 7, 1931

The Sacramento Valley’s fertile soil brought many farm workers to the area. In 1965, Filipino American grape workers organized a strike to protest poor pay and working conditions. The protestors joined forces with Latino farm workers led by Cesar Chavez. Together they walked 300 miles to Sacramento to raise awareness and pressure growers into changes. The two groups formed the United Farm Workers. Their strike lasted five years but eventually led to growers agreeing to better pay and working conditions for all farm workers.

If you have ancestors from the Sacramento area, The Bee is a great place to search for things like obituaries, birth announcements, wedding announcements, and death notices. The social pages also tracked news from communities like Napa and Chico. Start searching The Sacramento Bee archives today on Newspapers.com!

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New Paper from Illinois!

We are pleased to announce that we’ve added the Breese Journal to our archives! Breese, Illinois, is located in Clinton County in South Central Illinois. We have issues dating back to 1923 when Breese had a population of around 2,000. The headlines back then announced the installation of the town’s first stop signs and plans to build a sewer system (although according to this clipping outhouses were still around for another 35 years!)

Breese Families Without Food During the Depression

The city of Breese was founded in 1855 and settled in part by German immigrants who were drawn to the area’s fertile farmland. It was named after Sidney Breese, a senator and contemporary to Abraham Lincoln. The city is located about 40 miles from downtown St. Louis, so if you have ancestors from Eastern Missouri you might find them mentioned in this paper.

During the Depression, Breese established a Mayor’s Relief Committee to provide food and clothing for the town’s unemployed. Several years later, in 1940, as the world became embroiled in war, Clinton County resident William August Klasing enlisted in the US Navy. He was serving on the USS Oklahoma when Pearl Harbor was bombed, becoming Clinton County’s first casualty of war. Using DNA, last year his remains were identified and returned home after 78 years.  

The Breese Journal is a wonderful resource for researching ancestors that lived in the area. This clipping shows all the births and deaths in Breese during 1930! The paper reported when residents spent time in the hospital or made a visit to grandma, and notable events like when the Westermann family purchased a new Studebaker. Each page provides a historical snapshot of the time.

Many of the area’s residents worked in the railroad and mining industry. You can learn about Breese’s first coal mine that opened in the 1800s, and mining tragedies such as the East Mine accident in 1906.

The Breese Journal includes news from nearby communities including Staunton, Trenton, Aviston, Germantown, Beckemeyer, Carlyle, and others.

Start searching the pages of the Breese Journal today on Newspapers.com!

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225 Years of History from Pennsylvania!

Do you have ancestors from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania? You can now search the LNP Always Lancaster along with 18 other related Lancaster titles! The daily paper just celebrated its 225th anniversary and is one of the oldest newspapers still publishing in the United States! We have issues that date back to 1796 when the paper was known as the Lancaster Journal.

The Lancaster Journal – June 24, 1796

Lancaster is one of the oldest inland cities in the United States. It was originally called ‘Hickory Town’ but later renamed ‘Lancaster’ after a prominent citizen suggested naming the town after his former home in England. Though first inhabited by Native American tribes, white immigrants including Germans, Swiss, English, and Ulster-Scots moved into the area beginning in 1709.

At that time, Western Pennsylvania was wilderness inhabited by Native American tribes that often skirmished with the encroaching white settlers. Panther, bear and wolf attacks were common threats. As more settlers arrived, a road was needed to transport people and products to and from Philadelphia. The Great Conestoga Road opened linking the two cities but fell into disrepair during the decades around the Revolution. In the 1790s, the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Company sold shares to raise money to construct a new road. When the turnpike opened, it was the first long-distance paved road in the country. The first issue in our Lancaster collection is dated June 17, 1796, and includes a notice from the Philadelphia & Lancaster Turnpike Company announcing shares were available to purchase.  

The paper covered hostilities between the United States and Great Britain during the War of 1812 where some 800 men from Lancaster County served. You can find some of their personal accounts of battles in this collection. Lancaster also served as an important munitions center during the war.

The fifteenth President of the United States, James Buchanan was a descendant of Ulster-Scots and a Lancaster resident. He started his law career in 1813 in Lancaster and when he was elected president in 1857 became the only person from Pennsylvania to hold that office. His estate known as Wheatland still draws tourists today.  

The railroad arrived in Lancaster in 1834, bringing commerce to the city and in 1879, the first F.W. Woolworth Company, a five-cent store, opened in Lancaster.

This collection of Lancaster newspapers is rich with history, covering more than two centuries of news including the settlement of Lancaster County and the growth of the nation. You can peruse obituaries, birth notices, wedding announcements, and information on the families that settled in this area. Explore the Lancaster collection today on Newspapers.com!

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Newspapers.com 2019 in Review!

We had an incredible year in 2019 and we owe it all to you – our amazing subscribers! Thank you for your passion and dedication to preserving historical newspapers. Our loyal customers have created more than 14.3 million clippings this year alone.

Thanks to your support we’ve reached the following milestones in 2019:

  • Added 100+ million new pages of content for a total of 555 million pages of content
  • 14.3 million clippings created in 2019
  • Added 5,000+ new newspapers to our archives
  • Updated nearly 7,000 existing titles with new content
  • We have newspapers from all 50 states and 10 countries, territories, or districts

We also teamed up with Ancestry® to develop a technology to scour every page in our archive looking for death notices. You have already clipped more than 1.5 million obituaries using this amazing technology.

The best is yet to come. What will you discover in 2020? We promise to keep working hard with our publisher partners, historical societies, and institutions to find new content so your subscription will continue to increase in value year after year. What did you discover using Newspapers.com in 2019? Share your discoveries in the comments below. Thank you! Together we will accomplish amazing things in 2020.

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Rutland Herald Celebrates 225th Anniversary!

The award-winning Rutland Herald in Rutland, Vermont, has reached a milestone that few papers in America can claim – they are celebrating their 225th anniversary! We are pleased to announce that we’ve added this collection of papers dating back to 1794.

President George Washington steps down, Rutland Herald – 1797

The Rutland Herald launched as a weekly in December 1794 when George Washington was president and just 11 years after the end of the Revolutionary War. The paper had the goal of providing a “useful and entertaining paper.” When searching early editions of the Herald, keep in mind that during this era printers often used Old English text and a letter called the ‘medial S’. The letter looks like an ‘f’ and is found throughout early editions. For example, this clipping from 1798 is an advertisement for the return of two apprentice boys that ran away from their keepers or subscribers. The text, however, appears to read “fubfcribers”.

In the mid-1790s, a yellow fever epidemic plagued the eastern United States. The Herald reported that scores of people were evacuating Manhattan and Philadelphia to avoid the disease. Cities along the eastern seaboard took measures to prevent the fever from spreading. About a hundred years later, in 1894, Rutland became ground zero for the first outbreak of polio in the United States. Dr. C. S. Caverly of Rutland carefully tracked the disease’s progression and published a paper to educate others.

Vermont’s marble industry dates back to 1784 and workers from countries including England and Ireland arrived in Rutland to work in the quarries. Master carvers and stone cutters came from Italy where Carrara was known as the center of the marble industry. Those immigrant communities brought their customs and traditions to Rutland and helped shape the community.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, the Rutland Herald published a letter asking the women of Vermont to sew white linen cap covers meant to reflect harsh sun and heat and keep soldiers from the Vermont 1st, 2nd and 3rd Regiments cool. The paper also reported on 11-year-old Willie Johnston. He enlisted as a drummer boy in the 3rd Vermont Infantry. In 1863, the Rutland Herald reported that Johnston had become the youngest recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroic actions taken during the Seven Days Battles.

In November 1927, the worst natural disaster in Vermont history occurred when devastating floods claimed 84 lives including that of Vermont’s Lt. Governor. More than eight inches of rain fell between November 2-3, creating raging torrents that washed out roads, bridges, and destroyed buildings.

Do you have ancestors from Rutland? The Rutland Herald contains birth announcements, wedding news, and obituaries. You can search for news from other cities in Vermont, New York, and even Canada. Start searching the Rutland Herald today on Newspapers.com!

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New Papers Added from Wisconsin

If you have ancestors from Wisconsin or an interest in Wisconsin history, we are excited about the addition of new papers from the cities of Kenosha, Lake Geneva and Viroqua, Wisconsin!

Kenosha News – March 1, 1919

Kenosha is in southeastern Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Michigan, and just north of the Illinois state line. We have issues from the Kenosha News, the Kenosha News Courier and the Sunday News that date back to 1895. Originally a Native American settlement, Kenosha’s access to transportation lines brought white settlers in the 1830s. Later immigrants from Italy, Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Ireland came to the area.  

In the early 1900s, silent movies were a favorite form of entertainment. In 1914, the Burke Theatre opened on Market Street. When the film The Silver Horde opened in 1920, managers launched a treasure hunt to publicize the film. They hid 10 boxes of silver around Kenosha. The promotion created a stir as residents hunted the treasure. Four years later, the Burke was the scene of another kind when a skunk decided to visit the theater causing pandemonium with the audience.

About 30 miles away from Kenosha is Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and home of the Lake Geneva Herald and the Lake Geneva Regional News. Today Lake Geneva is a vacation destination, but when the Lake Geneva Herald began publishing in 1872, the population was just over 2,000 and the town had one school, a few churches and a smattering of small-town businesses. After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, Lake Geneva attracted wealthy business moguls who moved to the area while Chicago rebuilt. Beautiful mansions like Stone Manor, Glanworth Gardens and the Wrigley estate line the shore and helped the area earn the nickname “Newport of the West”.

Glanworth Gardens – The Driehaus Estate

Residents living around the lake receive their mail by boat, a tradition that began in 1916 when roads were very primitive. The boat travels at a steady 5 mph, while a “mail jumper” jumps from the boat, races up the dock and swaps the incoming mail with the outgoing mail before the boat has traveled out of reach.

The Vernon County Censor is based in Viroqua and we have issues dating back to 1856. The paper was published weekly, however, on June 28, 1865, a deadly tornado swept through town destroying the printing office and leaving the town devastated. Two weeks later, the paper published an account of the damage. “Large houses were sucked into the air like a feather and tossed about like a wisp of hay in the air.” If you had ancestors from nearby communities like Harmony, Chaseburg, Newton or Westby, search the Vernon County Censor for updates from those towns.

Start searching our new Wisconsin papers today on Newspapers.com!

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New Papers Added From New Mexico!

Are you interested in the history of Rio Arriba County in New Mexico? We are pleased to announce the addition of the Rio Grande Sun to our archives. Based in the city of Espanola, the Sun is a weekly that began publishing in 1956. The paper competed with the Espanola Valley News until the Sun purchased the Valley News and shut it down. The Sun is known for its fearless old-school journalism and focus on local politics and issues.

The history of Espanola dates back to 1598 when it was founded as the capital of Nuevo Mexico. Some of the valley’s historic buildings remain, including La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Canada, a church built in 1733 that is still in use today.

In 1880, after the railroad expanded to northern New Mexico, the town took on the name Espanola. Early settlers described the town as “really wild and wooly, having eighteen saloons…” In 1943, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, located about 18 miles from Espanola, was founded as part of the Manhattan Project. The lab remained top-secret during the war and has provided many jobs in Espanola.

When the Sun published its first edition in the 1950s, the population of Espanola was about 3,000. The first issues were printed on an old press that required single sheets of newsprint to be hand-fed into the press one at a time. The population of the valley continued to grow and in 1957, local churches coordinated a door-to-door church census intending to document every resident.

As Espanola grew, some of the city’s historic buildings were torn down. In 1957, the city purchased a home that belonged to one of the valley’s early settlers and turned it into City Hall. Known as the Bond House, the historic home served as the city offices until 1979. After it was vacated, vandals broke in and did extensive damage. The Historical Society started a grassroots preservation effort and encouraged residents to donate $10 for repairs. In March 1982, the home was reopened as the Bond House Museum and celebrates the transition of Espanola from a frontier outpost to a modern city.

If you are researching ancestors that lived in Espanola, columns like Eavesdropping and the

Grapevine provides news on Espanola’s residents. You’ll also find birth announcements and obituaries like this one for one of Espanola’s oldest residents born in 1869!

Start searching the pages of the Rio Grande Sun today on Newspapers.com!

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Spokane Falls for Historic Newspapers!

If you have an interest in the history of Spokane or ancestors from that area, we’re happy to announce the digitization of The Spokesman-Review 1968-2019; and other related newspapers including The Semi-Weekly Spokesman-Review 1883-1981; the Spokane Chronicle 1890-1992; the Spokane Daily Chronicle 1890; the Spokane Evening Review 1884-1885; the Spokane Falls Review 1885-1891; The Spokane Review 1891-1894 and the Spokane Weekly Chronicle 1944. The Spokesman-Review was named one of the 25 best newspapers in the country by the Columbia Journalism Review magazine in 1999!

Our archives date back to 1883 when Washington was still a territory and just two years after the railroad came to town bringing new settlers and growth to the area. Around that time the discovery of gold in Coeur d’Alene brought growth to Spokane (then called Spokane Falls) because the city acted as a service center for the nearby mines.

In 1889, a terrific fire engulfed the city. To prevent the spread of flames, officials blew up a row of buildings to prevent the fire from spreading. As the flames approached Cannon’s Bank at Wall and Riverside, a horse-drawn cab loaded the bank’s wealth into a carriage and drove it to safety. When the smoke finally cleared, the fire destroyed 30 downtown blocks and burned many businesses, homes, and several newspaper presses.

Japanese Balloon Bombs Land in Spokane During WWII

During WWII, the Spokane Army Air Depot (later known as Fairchild Air Force Base) opened to provide repairs for damaged aircraft. The depot attracted skilled workers and provided job opportunities for civilian workers. In 1945, the war hit close to home when the Japanese launched balloon bombs that landed near Spokane. News of the incendiary devices brought public concern. The newspapers tried to keep reports about the balloon bombs under wraps to bolster national security. The Semi-Weekly Spokesman-Review encouraged readers to refrain from spreading the news about balloon incidents.

Our archives contain great stories to help you piece together your family tree. For example, this 1909 story in the Spokane Chronicle tells the story of a father reuniting with his son after 47 years! The two became separated during the Civil War and had no way of contacting one another. One day, the son met a man who shared his last name and soon discovered it was his uncle. He was delighted to learn that his father was 79-years-old and living in Nebraska. Later, the two were joyfully reunited.

Do you have ancestors that filed a homestead claim in Spokane? The lure of homesteading, and the ability to travel on railroads and steamships brought more settlers to the Pacific Northwest. Newspapers reported homestead applications at the land office like this one in The Spokane Review in 1891.  When searching for your family, search through the newspaper birth announcements, wedding announcements, anniversary notices, and obituaries.

Start searching our archives for The Spokesman-Review today on Newspapers.com!

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Newspapers.com and Ancestry® Launch a New Podcast!

Behind the Headlines of History

Have you ever read an old newspaper article and wondered what happened to the people mentioned in the story? Then check out the new Newspapers.com and Ancestry® podcast, “Behind the Headlines of History”!

Join hosts Brad Argent of Ancestry® and historian Michala Hulme of Manchester Metropolitan University as they share intriguing newspaper articles from the past, before putting on their genealogy hats and scouring records to find out more about some of the people involved in the stories.

In the first episode, Brad and Michala discuss the love story behind the Great Bullion Robbery of 1855 and also reveal how the theft of some hazelnuts in 1877 is linked to Downton Abbey!

Host Brad Argent shared his thoughts:

Historic newspapers are a treasure trove of great stories, and a fantastic resource for family historians to find out more about the details of their ancestors’ lives. With this podcast, we wanted to bring this to life, sharing weird, wonderful and sometimes tragic historic news stories to find out who these people were, where they came from and what happened next. Join us as we go behind the headlines of history!”

We’re excited to share “Behind the Headlines of History” with you! Whether it’s on your commute, at the gym, or while cleaning the house, this fun and fascinating podcast is a perfect way to pass the time!

“Behind the Headlines of History” will be released each week on Tuesdays for 10 weeks, beginning September 3. It is available on a range of platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and more.

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