Universal York

Part of the USA Today Network

The York Gazette got around

Northwest quadrant of square. Photo by Von Neida & Coombs, photographers in York around 1870
Northwest quadrant of square. Photo by Von Neida & Coombs, photographers in York around 1870

I have been looking at old photos of York’s square, following the various sites where Punch, the wooden cigar store statue, offered his bundle of cigars over the decades. The earliest photo of Punch (see above) also shows a very large sign for the Gazette Printing Office atop the building.

Then I came across a souvenir brochure put out by the Gazette in 1899, and I found that newspaper office had moved often. That must not have been easy as printing presses got larger and heavier. Here is a recap of the moves and owners, extracted and interpreted from the brochure:

The York Gazette, a German newspaper, was first known to be printed by Solomon M[e]yer in York in 1796. In 1804, then owner Christian Schlichting sold it as sold to Star[c]k and Lang[e], Hanover printers, who changed it to the Hanover Gazette. Publication was carried on by their successors in Hanover until 1864.

The first English Gazette appeared on May 18, 1815, published by William C. Harris on the east side, first block, of West Market Street, next to the German Reformed Church, a site now known as the old Woolworth building.

The paper moved the next year to George Haller’s house, next to Gottlieb Ziegle’s tavern, which was on the southeastern quadrant of the square at the corner of George Street. It stayed there during the owner ship of W.M. Baxter and successors King and Mallo, until they moved the office back to West Market Street in 1820, to James Lloyd’s house, between Judge Barnitz’s and the Reformed Church. Mallo died in 1820, succeeded by a Mr. Abbott, who was replaced by Henry Welsh in 1824. King and Welsh moved it to the southwest corner of Market and Beaver in 1829. The Gazette moved across Market Street, a few doors below York Bank [now M&T offices] in 1833. During that period George A. Barnitz succeeded Welsh in 1829, in turn replaced by Adam J. Glossbrenner in 1835. King died in 1835 and David Small joined Glossbrenner.

As the brochure puts it “The paper continued to perambulate about the town, for later in 1835, we find it located on the west side of Beaver Street, and the next year across the street a few doors north of the National Hotel… .” It moved to Charles Weiser’s building, later the site of the Lehmayer building [north side of East Market Street just east of the square] in 1847. Glossbrenner left the Gazette in 1858, replaced by William H. Welsh. They moved to the Jordan building in Centre Square in 1865, staying there until 1889, so the photo dates to sometime in that period.

Small and Welsh sold the Gazette to a stock company formed by Adam F. Geesey, Stephen G. Boyd and Guy H. Boyd in 1886. That company moved to 12 South George Street in 1889, where they were located when the brochure was issued in 1899.

I will have to check city directories at York County Heritage Trust to see where the paper was based the next 50 years. Mid 20th century the Gazette successor, the Gazette and Daily, later to become the York Daily Record was on the north side of the first block of East King Street, on Industrial Highway in East York and on the west side of the second block of South George Street until moving to the present location on Loucks Road, northwest of the city.

Fellow blogger Jim McClure is the real expert on York newspapers over the past 200+ years. Just do a search on his York Town Square blog to learn more.