Syracuse Telegram and Courier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Syracuse Telegram and Courier
Syracuse-telegram 1905-0516.jpg
Syracuse Telegram, 1901
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Charles E. Handy (1902)
Publisher The Courier Publishing Co.
Editor F. L. Hagadorn (1856)
Charles E. Handy (1902)
Founded 1856
Ceased publication November 22, 1905
Headquarters Courier Buildings
Montgomery and Genesee Streets
Syracuse, New York
Circulation 17,120 (1900)

The Syracuse Telegram and Courier was a daily newspaper serving Syracuse, New York. The paper was founded in 1856 and published under a series of different names until it stopped publishing in 1905 due to high levels of debt.


The newspaper began in Syracuse, New York in 1856 as the Syracuse Daily Courier.[1] Throughout the years, the publication changed hands many times. By January, 1867, the paper was known as Syracuse Courier and Union.[2] In September, 1893, it was called The Syracuse Courier and was published by The Courier Printing Company.[3]

During January, 1898, with the publication of Vol I of the Syracuse Telegram and Courier, the newspaper changed names again. The independent newspaper was published daily and had both a morning edition and an evening edition, titled, The Evening Telegram. The newspaper was discontinued due to lack of capital in September, 1905[4] after 49 years of service.[5]

Seventeen years later, in 1922, another publication called the Syracuse Telegram was established by William Randolph Hearst, however, this was a sole and separate company from the newspaper that went out of business in 1905, despite the same name.[6]


Syracuse Courier Building, 1875

The Syracuse Telegram and Courier was a conglomeration of several distinct newspapers that were published in Syracuse, New York over a period of 49 years beginning in 1856 and ending in 1905.

Syracuse Daily Courier, 1856[edit]

The earliest history of the publication began in 1856 when the newspaper was established as the Syracuse Daily Courier. The first editor was F. L. Hagadorn.

The company was headquartered in the Courier Building, formerly known as the Frazee Building, located in Market Square across the street from City Hall at the northwest corner of Genesee and Montgomery Streets.

The daily newspaper was published every morning of the week, except Sunday[1]

Logos 1856[edit]

The Syracuse Daily Courier logo published on March 28, 1857:

Syracuse Daily Courier, logo, March 28, 1857

the Courier building is now renovated by James Prioletti of Marcellus, and houses 9 luxurious apartments and his ameriprise financial offices on the first floor

Syracuse Courier and Union, 1865[edit]

By June 12, 1865, toward the end of the United States Civil War, the publication was called the Syracuse Daily Courier And Union and was published as Vol. 7. The publisher was D. J. Halsted and editor was W. W. Green. The daily newspaper was published Monday through Saturday. The company was headquartered in the Courier Buildings located at Montgomery and Genesee Streets. The newspaper motto was Truth, ever lovely, since the world began---the foe of tyrants and the friend of man.[7]

Two years later, on January 13, 1867, the paper was known as Syracuse Courier And Union and was published as Vol. 5. The publisher was D. J. Halsted and the plant was located in the Courier Buildings on East Genesee Street. The newspaper was still a daily and published every morning of the week, except Sunday.[2]

Logos 1865[edit]

The Syracuse Daily Courier and Union logo, published on June 12, 1865:

Syracuse Daily Courier and Union, logo, June 12, 1865

The logo published on January 13, 1867 was titled Syracuse Courier and Union:

Syracuse Courier and Union, logo, January 13, 1867

Syracuse Telegram, 1875–1878[edit]

The Syracuse Telegram was introduced when the July 27, 1875 of the Syracuse Sunday Times exclaimed that "once the newspaper began publishing, there will be 23,601 newspapers in the whole world."[8] The newspaper had a morning and an evening edition, however, operations were "suspended" by August 8, 1878.[9] It is unknown whether this publication is related to the Courier.

The Syracuse Courier, 1889–1897[edit]

By September 19, 1893, the newspaper was known as The Syracuse Courier and was published by The Courier Printing Company located at 321 East Genesee Street in Syracuse.[3] The publication motto was Official City and County Paper. The newspaper was published every day of the week, except Sunday and the price had risen to 3-cents. There was also a Semi-Weekly Courier that contained a summarized version of the news and was delivered twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday.[3]

On January 23, 1894, John Francis Naab, associate editor of the Albany Arbus, and Herbert E. Prescott, city editor of the same paper, offered $15,124 for the newspaper which was in the hands of a receiver.[10]

Logos 1889–1897[edit]

The logo published on March 9, 1889 was titled The Syracuse Courier:

The Syracuse Courier, logo, March 9, 1889

Syracuse Telegram and Courier, 1898–1906[edit]

The Evening Telegram, A Triumphant Entry, December 19, 1898 - Celebrating the first year of business for the consolidated Telegram and Courier

The Syracuse Telegram and Courier was first published on January 1, 1898 by The Courier Publishing Company located at 231 East Genesee Street in Syracuse. The publication was officially registered as The Telegram and Courier[11] although the masthead displayed The Evening Telegram and Courier logo. Edition was Vol. 1.[12]

The Syracuse Evening Telegram and Syracuse Courier were controlled by Democratic politicians since May 1, 1898 when the plant was purchased from George M. Barnes, receiver, of the defunct Syracuse Courier Company, which went into receivership in April, 1897.[13] By November, 1898, Barnes announced a meeting with the creditors to settle the outstanding bills.[14]

The Syracuse Courier, which had been published as a morning Democratic paper for more than a generation, was changed to The Evening Telegram in December, 1898.[13]

By 1900, Syracuse, New York had a population of 135,000 and the newspaper had a "sworn circulation" of 17,120 daily. It was touted as the "Only penny paper in Syracuse and the Official Democratic Daily of Onondaga County."[15]

Francis A. Willard of Newburgh, New York bought a controlling interest in the Syracuse Telegram in early August, 1900. He had been proprietor and manager of the Newburgh Register for nine years.[16]

Charles E. Handy purchased the newspaper on June 1, 1902[17] and was proprietor and editor of the publication.[18] Handy was a New York newspaperman and had worked for William Randolph Hearst for several years as a "circulation builder".[13]

With the purchase, Handy gained controlling interest in The Courier Publishing Company[13] and later renamed the publishing company to The Telegram Publishing Company.[18] Previously, he had been associated with the San Francisco Examiner and the New York Journal.[13]

"It is reported that Mr. Handy will continue The Evening Telegram as a 1-cent evening paper, giving it a new typographical appearance and making a feature of illustrations. The paper, it is said, will be Democratic in politics with independent tendencies."[13]

John Dunfee
Official City and County Paper - 1901

On June 3, 1903, the newspaper celebrated the first anniversary of Handy's ownership. A local newspaper exclaimed, "the Telegram is a breezy, newsy and fearless newspaper and it is bound to prosper."[17]

Unfortunately, after three years of operation, Handy was deeply in debt. Company earnings reportedly had "sunk $60,000 in three years."[19] The late John Dunfee had a mortgage on the newspaper plant for $26,000. John J. Cummins, executor of Dunfee's estate, and Handy made numerous unsuccessful efforts to sell the property after Dunfee's death.[20] They were finally successful and Handy retired in April, 1905.[21] after selling the business to Willis S. Thompson of Denver, Colorado and Frederick W. Lawrence, of Chicago, Illinois.[19]

At that time, a chattel mortgage upon the Telegram Publishing Co. property was made in favor of the John Dunfee estate for $25,918. It was set up such that the amount was due to Mr. Dunfee "upon four notes and two checks." The mortgage covered all property and machinery and was signed by new owners, Lawrence and Thompson who took charge of the newspaper on April 22, 1905.[21] Lawrence was president of the company and oversaw the editorial department, Thompson was secretary and treasurer and was manager of the business department. Both men were sole directors and sole stockholders.[22]

In short time, by May 29, 1905, the newspaper announced that Thompson and Lawrence, "two Western men, who took hold of the sheet six weeks ago, step out to-night, and Charles E. Handy, who was manager until the Western fellows came, will resume charge."[20]

"Thompson and Lawrence came here with a great blare of trumpets and made a miserable fiasco in a very short time. They declared that Syracusans were dead and proposed to 'boom' the town, but spent their time and energies in telling what great men they were and what poor sticks their neighbors were. Last week there was trouble between Thompson and Lawrence and Cummins. Suddenly, the Telegram began to denounce Cummins. It demanded that he be kicked out of the Democratic party and that the city should go in for municipal ownership of the electric light plant of which Cummins is general manager. The investigation happened, Cummins has put Thompson and Lawrence out, and restored Handy as manager of the paper."[20]

An announcement was made on September 9, 1905 that Norman E. Mack, owner of the Buffalo Times, would purchase the Syracuse Telegram. His plans included adding a "Democratic" morning edition and there was discussion about continuing the evening edition. Mack was a rich businessman and had made all his money in the newspaper industry.[23] It is not known what happened to this proposal.

The newspaper was "discontinued" on November 22, 1905 after Charles E. Handy announced a "lack of capital."[4]

With the demise of the newspaper, the city administration was "deprived of one of its two official papers" which created an "awkward dilemma" that might affect the "validity of ordinances and various orders of the city Common Council." In this state of affairs, the Council invited the Syracuse Herald to step in and fill the gap, thus bridging over the situation.[24] It was also claimed that "publication of this class of matter has cost the city of Syracuse at least $150,000 in the last ten years.[24]

By January, 1906, Charles E. Handy began a new enterprise called the Advertisers News which was published in New York, New York.[25]

Logos 1898–1905[edit]

The first logo published on January 1, 1898 was titled The Evening Telegram and Courier:

The Evening Telegram and Courier, logo, January 1, 1898

On May 16, 1905, the newspaper was simply known as Syracuse Telegram":

Syracuse Telegram, logo, May 16, 1905

By May 30, 1905, as a result of new ownership, the newspaper sported the Syracuse Telegram logo which advertised that it was An Independent Democratic Newspaper however, use of the masthead was short lived as the newspaper eventually failed in November, 1905:

Syracuse Telegram, logo, May 30, 1905


  1. ^ a b "The Daily Courier". Syracuse Daily Courier. Syracuse, New York. January 23, 1857. 
  2. ^ a b "Syracuse Courier And Union". Syracuse Courier And Union. Syracuse, New York. January 13, 1867. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Syracuse Courier". The Syracuse Courier. Syracuse, New York. September 19, 1893. 
  4. ^ a b "Syracuse Telegram is Discontinued". Binghamton Press. Binghamton, New York. November 22, 1905. 
  5. ^ "The Syracuse Telegram Suspends Publication". Gazette & Farmer's Journal. Baldwinsville, New York. November 23, 1905. 
  6. ^ "Gleanings from the Political Arena in General". The Fulton Patriot. Fulton, New York. July 23, 1924. 
  7. ^ "Syracuse Daily Courier And Union". Syracuse Daily Courier And Union. Syracuse, New York. June 12, 1865. 
  8. ^ "City News and Gossip". Syracuse Sunday Times. Syracuse, New York. July 27, 1875. 
  9. ^ "Local Matters". The Phelps Citizen. Phelps, New York. August 8, 1878. 
  10. ^ "A Bid for the Syracuse Courier". The Olean Democrat. Olean, New York. January 23, 1904. 
  11. ^ "The Telegram and Courier". Syracuse Evening Telegram. Syracuse, New York. October 17, 1901. 
  12. ^ "The Telegram Figures in Court". Syracuse Evening Telegram. Syracuse, New York. February 21, 1900. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "New York Newspaper Man Buys Evening Telegram". The Post-Standard. Syracuse, New York. May 17, 1902. 
  14. ^ "Notice". Syracuse Standard. Syracuse, New York. November 23, 1898. 
  15. ^ "A Complete Catalog of Newspapers in the United States". Remington Brothers' Newspaper, New York, 1900. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  16. ^ "Newspaper Changes Proprietors". Oswego Daily Palladium. Oswego, New York. August 8, 1900. 
  17. ^ a b "The Telegram's First Birthday". Oswego Daily Times. Oswego, New York. June 6, 1903. 
  18. ^ a b "The Telegram Changes Hands". Syracuse Telegram. Syracuse, New York. May 29, 1905. 
  19. ^ a b "Local Matters". The Journal and Republican. Lowville, New York. May 4, 1905. 
  20. ^ a b c "Changes Again: Western Fellows Out of Telegram, Handy Back In". Syracuse Journal. Syracuse, New York. May 29, 1905. 
  21. ^ a b "Telegram Mortgage". Syracuse Journal. Syracuse, New York. April 22, 1905. 
  22. ^ "Syracuse Telegram Sold". Gazette & Farmer's Journal. Baldwinsville, New York. April 27, 1905. 
  23. ^ "Newspaper Changes". Oswego Daily Palladium. Oswego, New York. September 9, 1905. 
  24. ^ a b "Official Publication". Auburn Citizen. Auburn, New York. December 9, 1905. 
  25. ^ "Handy Has New Enterprise". Syracuse Journal. Syracuse, New York. January 26, 1906. 

External links[edit]