It was definitely a different type of world in 1871 and a copy of one of Newcomerstown’s earliest newspapers conveys that fact.
Vane Scott, of Newcomerstown, was recently presented an issue of The Newcomerstown Visitor, the village’s first weekly newspaper and the ancestor of The Newcomerstown News, by John Buss, a long-time Newcomerstown resident. The issue is apparently the third issue of the first newspaper in the village.
Scott, who is very active in the Newcomerstown Historical Society, said the copy of The Newcomerstown Visitor, dated Wednesday, Aug. 23, 1871, will likely end up on display at either the Temperance Tavern Museum or the Olde Main Street Museum, both on Canal Street in Newcomerstown.
While the copy is in fairly delicate condition, even the front page offers some interesting items.
A list of "Secret Societies" having meetings includes Nugen Chapter No. 124 R.A.M., Lone Star Lodge No. 175 F&AM, Newcomerstown Lodge No. 445, IOOF (International Order of Odd Fellows), and Hope Forever Lodge No. 541, LOGT.
A church directory includes the Lutheran Church, Rev. U.J. Knisely; Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. A. A. Thumpson (not Thompson); Methodist Church, Rev. H.B. Knight. Those are the only churches in the front page directory.
City officials were: Mayor C.F. Davis; H.G. Little, clerk; Marshal F.M. Swan; and council members G.B. Smith, A.J. Wilken, I.B. Vogenitz, William Marlatt, William Neighbor, and C.F. Hicks. The Smith and Wilken names were preceded by "Honorable," but not the remaining four, with no explanation given.
A single copy, by mail, for an entire year, was $1.50.
Advertisements were given a prominent place on the front page, including W.B. Sultzer, dealer of "Clothing, Gents Furnishing Goods, Clothes, Cassimeres, Vestings"; H.W. Huff on Main Street, with "Saddles, Harness, Bridles, Collars &c"; the Newcomerstown Woolen Factory, James Pilling proprietor.
A "Business Directory" included J.H. Mulvane,"manufacturer and dealer in all kinds of tobacco, cigars and stuff"; J.W.S. Goudy, physician and surgeon, office on Main Street; A.M. Beers, M.D., physician and surgeon, office at the corner of Bridge and Main streets; United States Hotel, J. Cole proprietor, "every attention paid to the comfort of guests"; W.R. Shields & Co., "Dealers in medicines, paints, oils, dye, stuffs, perfumery, stationery, and pure liquors for medical purposes"; J.H. Frees, "Photographs, ambrotypes, gems"; W.S. Kline & Co., insurance in "all kinds of agricultural implements": J.H. Thompson, "Dealer in toys, notions, fancy goods, perfumery &c"; W.E. Baxter’s, confectionary and bakery, "Very best fresh bread, cakes and pastry always on hand"; G.W. Mulvane & Co., Tanners and dealers in leather and shoe findlings": Robert Bricker, "Manufacturer and Dealer in all kinds of furniture. Coffins always on hand"; Nicholas & James, Attorneys at Law; L.L. Cantwell, Attorney at Law and Justice of the Peace; W.H. Smith, Homeopathist; and Stencils, apply to E.M. Yingling, Railroad Depot, Newcomerstown.
Of the seven columns on the front page, four are devoted to a series of articles, of which no author is listed. The first is "How I Secured a Berth" about someone (it doesn’t say male or female) securing a berth on a railroad train from Philadelphia. "An Exhausted Husband" is a letter from a young wife in New York to her aunt in Boston. Then there is a section about Spanish customs and another about Russian proverbs.
The last column on the front page is simply a list of "Facts and Fancies," including:
• Utah has a learned pig who plays seven-up.
• There are 78 female preachers in the United States.
• "Where the woodbine twineth" must be in Canada. That’s where all the rascals go.
• For interviewing his wife with a pitchfork, Mr. Falony contributed $20 to the support of Chicago justice.
• Anthony Moore of Collinsville, Conn., is the father of nine stalwart boys whom he wants to match in a base ball contest with any picked nine of brothers in the State.
• Roguery is the last of trade.
The other pages in the Newcomerstown Visitor are filled with similar news and advertisements, including an item where the President of the United States pardoned a man for selling liquor without paying a special tax.