Early employees of The Sun …


Kevin Doonan

In celebration of National Newspaper Week, everyday between now and Friday I will be posting an old newspaper articles, letter, or essay written about The Evening Sun and other Chenango County publications, many which no longer exist.

The following letter was sent to the editor of The Evening Sun (then The Norwich Sun) in 1941, and describes for its readers a first person account of the inception of the The Evening Sun (then The Morning Sun) in 1891.

Some Early EmployeEs Of The Morning Sun Are Named By Halbert

March 18, 1941

Mr. P. L. Clark

Editor Norwich Sun,

Dear Sir:

Having read your story of the fiftieth anniversary of The Sun in last night’s issue, I thought perhaps I could add a little light about those early days.

I was serving the third year as apprentice printer in the office of The Telegraph, when Reed Campbell started The Sun. One reason, perhaps, that there was no statement of ownership and editorial responsibility might have been that Reed was a traveling salesman, selling cloaks for a New York firm, he had only a four months’ season with an eight months’ vacation, and it was during one of these vacations that The Sun was started and before the paper was fairly on its feet it was time for Reed to start on his annual trip, but he postponed the matter so long that another man was sent out to cover his territory. He had tried to keep the secret of his venture from employers, but was unsuccessful.

Reed Campbell was his own editor, but on the staff was quite an assortment of young men, of whom I can recall only a few. There was Paul Abell, the father, I think, of Sinclair Abell, Richard Frink, a printer who also worked at the case some of the time, John A. (Sparks) Randall, Harry Follett, a lawyer lately deceased, and sundry others.

In the mechanical department the foreman was George Willard, a New Berlin man, who later became the local editor and still later publisher of the New Berlin Gazette. The ‘devil’ was George Carley. who finally became the local editor and later owned and published one of the Cooperstown papers and was also postmaster of Cooperstown. There was a young lady, (Lucy – - – last name forgotten) sorted cases during the day and set some of the editorials. A varied assortment of printers worked there on time or another, Frank Wilbur, called “Cap I” because of his protruding eyeballs, Arthur F. Arrow, Lynn B. Marvin, later on the old Binghamton Republican and then to New York. They had no pressman and Reed made a deal with me whereby I arose at two-thirty in the morning and went in and put the paper to press. This arrangement continued for two-thirty in the morning and went in and put the paper to press. This arrangement continued for about two months when I believe Carley took over the duties of pressman in addition to his other work. After completing my apprenticeship I held down a case there for about a year, after which Reed and I could not seem to agree, and my connection with the paper was severed.

Sincerely yours,

A. E. HALBERT.