Early Newspapers, Folts Institute, Organizations


The following three passages are sections from the scarce booklet "Panorama and History of Herkimer, NY 1725-1900." All spellings of the words are as in the book, including "Corea" instead of "Korea"! Photographs of village homes from this booklet are listed in the Town of Herkimer section, under the heading "Herkimer Pictorial Collection."

Source: "Panorama and History of Herkimer, NY 1725-1900"

Herkimer Newspapers.

The first newspaper published in this village was the "Herkimer Telescope," established in 1802, and of which Benjamin Corey was editor and proprietor. In 1805, David Holt became editor and proprietor of the "Telescope," and changed its name to the "Farmer's Monitor." The only copy of the "Monitor" known to be in existence, is dated September 2, 1806, and may be found among the collection of old newspapers possessed by the Herkimer County Historical Society. The publication of the "Monitor" was discontinued in 1807, its place being filled by the "Herkimer Pelican," which was started by Benjamin Corey after he had sold the "Telescope." The publication of the "Pelican" was discontinued in 1810. Then followed the "Herkimer American," established the same year by John H. Prentiss and H. Prentiss. Thurlow Weed was a compositor on the "American" in 1812. This paper was discontinued in 1831. The "Bunker Hill" was also established in Herkimer in 1810 by G. G. Phinney. The motto of this paper was, "Live Free or Die; Death is Not the Greatest of Evils." Phinney launched the "Honest American" in 1812. Both of these papers, the "Bunker Hill" and the "Honest American," passed out of existence some time prior to 1821. John Carpenter bought out the "Herkimer Herald" in 1828, and continued its publication until about 1830, when it was discontinued.

The Republican "Farmer's Free Press" was established here in 1828, printed by David Holt, and edited by B. B. Hotchkiss. The "Press" was short-lived. Next came the "Herkimer Journal" in 1837, printed by Edward P. Seymour, and edited by John C. Underwood. The "journal" passed into the hands of Obadiah A. Bowe in 1838, who conducted it until 1844. In April, 1845, Hon. George W. Smith became the editor of the "Journal," and continued as such until 1848, when he became one of the publishers of the "Northern New York Journal," and afterwards the editor of that paper. Hon. Amos H. Prescott was the editor of the "Herkimer Journal" during the presidential campaign of 1848, and in the following year Orlando Squires secured control of the paper and removed it to Little Falls.

In 1844 the plant of the "Frankfort Democrat" was removed to Herkimer by its owner, Joseph M. Lyon, and the publication of this paper was continued here under the title of the "Herkimer Democrat." In 1848 the "Democrat" was purchased by Hon. Robert Earl, who continued as sole publisher and editor of the paper until 1850, when Christopher C. Witherstine acquired a half interest therein. Mr. Witherstine became the sole owner of the "Democrat" in 1853. In 1854 Jacob S. Hays became associated with Mr. Witherstine in the publication of the paper, and the partnership was continued until Mr. Hays' death in 1856. In 1860 Mr. Witherstine sold his interest in the "Democrat" to Henry G. Crouch, and removed to Illinois. Mr. Crouch continued the publication of the "Democrat" until 1864, when Mr. Witherstine returned to Herkimer, and again became proprietor of the paper. In 1875 Horatio P. Witherstine became associated with his father, C. C. Witherstine, in the publication of the "Democrat," and in 1892 the latter sold his interest in the paper to John W. Comings. who retired in 1894. The business of the paper was then conducted by H. P. Witherstine until May 28, 1900, when the "Democrat" passed into the hands of Frank P. Addy. who conducted it as sole editor and proprietor until November 26, 1900, when he in turn sold the paper to A. F. Flummerfelt.

The "Herkimer County Record" was founded by George W. Nellis, Jr., in 1888. In July, 1896, Mr. Nellis sold a half interest in the paper to Walter E. Harris. A few months later Mr. Nellis sold his interest to J. B. Fanckboner, previous to which Edwin Knight was associated with Mr. Nellis for a short time in the conduct of the "Record." In 1897 Harris & Fanckboner sold out to Emanuel Lyon, who continued as sole editor and proprietor of the paper until April 1, 1899, when he disposed of the establishment to Root & Horton. The latter firm conducted the "Record" until August 1, 1900, when Mr. Nellis again became the sole owner of the paper. On the 8th day of September following, Mr. Nellis sold the "plant, subscription list and good will" of the "Record" to Small & Getman, and that firm continues the publication of the paper as a Republican weekly under the name of the "Telegram-Record."

The "Herkimer Citizen" was started about January 1, 1885, by George W. Weaver and Charles S. Munger. On January 1, 1889, Mr. Weaver sold his interest in the paper to Arthur T. Smith and Frank E. Easton, who with Mr. Munger, formed the Citizen Publishing Company, which has since conducted the "Herkimer Citizen."

On the 1st day of November, 1898, Charles M. Redfield began the publication of the first daily newspaper in Herkimer, under the title of "The Evening Telegram." Thomas C. Murray was associated with Mr. Redfield as editor. On January 21, 1899, Mr. Redfield sold "The Telegram" to Edward Small and John L. Getman, Mr. Murray continuing as editor of the paper until the following August, when he retired and was succeeded by Raymond E. Porter.

Folts Institute

The Folts Mission Institute was opened on the 13th day of September, 1893, and dedicated by Bishop E. G. Andrews, of New York City, on the 21st day of November following. It is a Biblical Institute and Training School for women, and consists of a plant, which includes the Institute building, the Professors house, the residence, six cottages, and beautiful grounds, all of which is worth at least one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This valuable and beautiful plant belongs to the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to whom it was presented by George P. Folts and his wife, Elizabeth M. Folts, in 1898. The donors also made provisions for the carrying on of the Institute. The Institute has five departments of instruction and training, viz: The English Bible, History of Christianity and Comparative Religions, Sociology, Applied Christianity. and Church Pedagogy.

There are also four adjunct courses, including Instrumental and Vocal Music, Elements of Practical Medicine, Book-keeping, and Physical culture. The work in each department and in every course is of the most thorough and practical kind, and the methods followed are scientific and fully abreast of the times.

The Institute has an experienced corps of paid professors and instructors, whose time and skill are devoted to the training of the students and the advancement of their interests.

The Kindergarten Training Department is conducted by an able and experienced teacher and has the recognition of the Department of Public Instruction of the State.

The Institute has, at the present time, a working library of over four thousand volumes which meets the needs of the various departments. Additions of later works are made as required. The Institute has representatives in China, Corea, Japan, India, Italy, Mexico, Chili, Argentine Republic, Alaska, Utah, Nebraska, Massachusetts, and other parts of the home land. The officers of the Institute are President, Bishop E. G. Andrews; Vice President, Mrs. Harriet B. Skidmore; Recording Secretary, Rev. Stephen L. Baldwin; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Marie Orme Allen; Treasurer, Mr. George P. Folts; Executive Committee, George P. Folts, Mrs. Esther E. Baldwin, Mrs. Annie R. Tracy.

The grounds, which are beautifully kept, contain the Institute and the residence of Mr. and Mrs. George P. Folts.


HERKIMER'S social, fraternal, beneficiary and other organizations include the following: Kappa Gamma Chi Club; Young Men's Catholic Club; Remikreh Club; Child Study Club; Herkimer Literary Club; Progressive Club; Myrtle Chapter, 0. E. S.; General Nicholas Herkimer Chapter, D. A. R.; Bethel Lodge, I. 0. 0. F.; Aaron Helmer Post, No. 404, G. A. R; Aaron Helmer W. R C., No. 125; Herkimer Lodge, No. 423, F. & A. M.; General Nicholas Herkimer Council, 0. U. A. M.; Banyan Tree Lodge, No. 374, K. of P.; St. Francis De Sales Branch, No. 109, C. M. B. A.; Herkimer Council, No. 336, R. A.; Herkimer Tent, No. 349, K. 0. T. M.; Fort Dayton Band; St. Francis De Sales Branch. No. 591, L. C. B. A.; Germania Maennerchor; Herkimer Board of Trade.

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Created 8/15/01
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