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History of Newspapers in Marion County

The Missouri Courier

Established in Missouri was the ancestor of the Hannibal Courier-Post, The Missouri Courier. It was commenced at Palmyra in 1832 by Jonathan Angevine and Robert W. Stewart. Stewart was the editor. During 1837-38, James L. Minor, Secretary of State from 1839 to 1845, was the editor. The Missouri Courier was a strong Jackson paper and the organ of the Democratic party in Northeast Missouri.
The Missouri Intelligencer of May 26, 1832, regrets that the inhabitants of the "Salt River Country are likely to be so little benefited by the press located amongst them." The Missouri Intelligencer differed from the Missouri Courier in politics. Joseph B. Ament became the editor and proprietor of the Missouri Courier in 1841. He gave the paper two mottoes: On the first page, "Principis obsta;" on the second page, "Truth the object of our search, Usefulness the end we desire to attain."
Mr. Ament moved his paper to Hannibal in 1848 where it was consolidated with the Hannibal Gazette, retaining the name Missouri Courier. It was taken back to Palmyra in 1855. In 1863 it was moved again to Hannibal and consolidated this time with the Hannibal Messenger. The consolidated papers were given the name North Missouri Courier. The publishers were Winchell, Ebert and Marsh. It became The Hannibal Courier in 1865. Its publishers, on April 24, 1881, bought out The Hannibal Post and consolidated the two papers under the name Hannibal Courier-Post.

The Palmyra Post

The Palmyra Post was established June 1, 1834. In the prospectus published in the Missouri Intelligencer, May 3, 1834, the editor, who does not give his name, says he cannot support the acts of the present administration (Andrew Jackson's) in regard to internal improvements, the currency and the veto power, but is heartily in favor of a State bank. The Post was published for only a few months.

The Palmyra Spectator

The Spectator has been owned and controlled during the entire seventy years of its existence by members of the Sosey family. It was founded at Palmyra on August 3, 1839, by Jacob Sosey and was known then as The Missouri Whig and General Advertiser. A few years later the name was shortened to Missouri Whig. Mr. Sosey turned the management over to his son, Harper R. Sosey, in 1859. For a period of four years, up to April 10, 1863, the founder of the paper was not known as its owner or editor, but he still controlled it. On that date he resumed management and changed the name to the Palmyra Spectator. Frank H. Sosey became a member of the firm in January, 1884. At the death of Jacob Sosey, Sept. 8, 1888, the firm became Sosey Brothers, the members being the present publishers, Frank H. and John M. Sosey.

The Southern Sentinel

The Southern Sentinel was established at Palmyra in 1856 by some members of the American party. B. H. Jones was the editor. He boldly proclaimed the politics of his paper by printing in large letters at the head of its columns: "An American paper." R. E. Anderson became the proprietor in 1858 and in September of that year sold it to Jacob Sosey, who consolidated it with his paper, The Missouri Whig.

The Marion Journal

The Marion Journal, a Democratic paper, was published at Palmyra during 1836-37 by Frederick Wise of St. Louis. The editor was General Lucian J. Eastin of Palmyra, who, during his career as a newspaper man, covering a period of
nearly fifty years, was connected with more newspapers than any other editor in Missouri.

Hannibal Commercial Advertiser

Commercial Advertiser was started at Hannibal in 1837, by Jonathan Angevine, who founded the Courier at Palmyra in 1832, and J. S. Buchanan. He sold it in 1838 to Rev. S. D Rice, a Methodist minister. Rev. Rice stopped its publication in 1839. It was established solely to advertise the new town of Hannibal
aid to have fulfilled its mission.

Hannibal Gazette

The first Democratic paper established at Hannibal was The Gazette. H. D. La Cossett was the proprietor. It was published from November 12, 1846, until May 3, 1848, when it was merged into the Missouri Courier, which had been
moved from Palmyra to Hannibal.

The Hannibal Journal

The Pacific Monitor was started at Hannibal on March 9, 1840. J. S. Buchanan was the publisher and C. D. Meredith, the editor. They changed the name to Journal and Price Current in January, 1841, and in January, 1842, to Hannibal Journal and Native American. The secondary title was soon dropped and the paper was known as the Hannibal Journal. Orion Clemens, a brother of Mark Twain, became the editor and publisher in 1850. He changed the name to The Western Union and published it until the fall of 1853 when it was merged into the Hannibal Messenger.

Hannibal Newspapers

In Nov. 1837 the first newspaper was established in the County. Named the Commercial Advertiser its proprietors were Anglevine and S. D. Rice. Anglevine came from St. Louis. The office of the Advertiser was located in Craig’s Alley, between Rock and Hill Streets and Maine and Levee.

On August 3, 1839 the Palmyra Spectator was begun by Jacob Sosey and is now the oldest continuous paper in the State. Today it is owned and published by Donald Sosey.

On May 9, 1840 a (Whig) paper called Pacific Monitor was begun by J. S. Buchanan, editor. The cost was $2.50 per year in advance, it was a 5 column folio. In 1838, the Political Examiner Weekly, by B. F. Hayden and W. M. Carr began. (Copy is in the possession of the writer). The Hannibal Courier began in 1854 with editor M. L. Brown. The paper was a weekly costing $1.50 per year.

The Hannibal Morning Journal (Democratic) and Evening Courier (Republican) combined on Feb. 26, 1918, and today it is called the Courier-Post.

The “Que Vive” was published at Philadelphia in 1880 by Charles Yater Esq.

In 1860 Daily Evening News was started.

In 1889 a Hannibal Daily Courier was published by Hartford and Roderick, 411 Broadway.

In 1841, a Hannibal Gazette was published by Henry La Cossitt, editor. In 1850, the Hannibal Journal was sold to Raymond and Buchanan, who were succeeded the same year by Orin Clemens, who changed the name to Western Union, then sold in 1853 to William League. In 1860 League sold to Frasee, Ebert and Co. It was then consolidated under the name of Han­nibal Courier. Birch and McDowell were the editors.

The True American, a weekly (Know Nothing) paper began in 1855, with Brown and Dalton as editors.

The National Democrat weekly was started in 1857 by Albert Clark, but continued only one year. It was succeeded by the Hannibal Democrat in 1860 by Ament, Appler & Regan and later changed to the Evening News. It was suppressed by Federal Troops for disloyalty.

The Evening Press, in 1861, owned by Dr. H. H. Meredith, was suspended as all hands entered the Union Army.

The Chronicle, owned by A. Sproul and William Frasee in 1862 was changed to the name of Moniter.

Other publications included a paper called “West and South” by Thos. Hawkins, 1868. The Hannibal Clipper, 1870, by Dowler Newberry was a monthly costing 25 cents per year. The Daily Clipper, in 1874 was sold to James Hayward and Coontz, who consolidated with the Herald under the name of Clipper-Herald and then changed the name to Morning Journal in 1883.

Today we have one daily, the Courier-Post, one weekly, The Labor Press. On Feb. 26, 1918, the Hannibal Journal was consolidated with the Cour­ier-Post. It has grown from a circulation of 2,500 subscribers to the present total of 11,500. The fire in 1925 when the office was located on the North­west corner of Third and Broadway, was costly. When moved to the present location of Third and Center the paper became one of the most efficient newspapers.

In 1941 the Courier-Post was granted a permit to operate a radio station and K.H.M.O., a 250 watt station was built on Lindell Avenue. In 1948 a 5000 watt permit was granted and a new station was built in Ralls county. In 1953 K.I1.M.O. was sold and the Courier-Post joined Lee Broadcasting, Inc.

E. L. Sparks retired after five decades of service, and was succeeded by his son E. L. Sparks, Jr. as publisher. R. C. Carroll, Editor, B. E. Emerson, Business Manager, P. R. Munson, Adv. Mgr.; B. B. Watson, Ed. O’Neil, and others are on the staff.