My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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J. P. CHEW, editor and publisher of the Gazette and Torchlight, Xenia. The rapid advancement which civilization has made during the present century, is largely to be attributed to the press. As a disseminator of news the printing press is indispensable, as an educator its influence is immeasurable. There is no region in the United States where the newspaper does not enter, either fresh from the press or yellow with age. The old problem, “Is the pen mightier than the sword?” has been solved long since by practical experience. If Archimides could have placed his famous lever upon a printing press, he would have come nearer moving the world than if he had secured what he wished, a base outside of it from which to operate. Greene County is notably a county of newspapers, while the editorial staff is represented by pleasant, forcible, and pointed writers, who advocate their various political views and principles with much ability and success.

Among the various newspapers which mold the public opinion of the citizens of Greene County, very prominent mentiou belongs to the Gazette and Torchlight, and among the successful editors and capable business men who compose the editorial staff, one of the most noticeable is J. P. Chew, who is so ably conducting the above-mentioned paper. Two papers were consolidated to form what is now the daily and semi-weekly Gazette and Torchlight, and as “in union there is strength,” so by joining these prominent newspapers, an added stimulus was given the political and social circles, as represented by one of the most influential papers of the community.

On September 18, 1838, the Torchlight was established, and the funds necessary to found and conduct it were subscribed by sixty-nine citizens. From its first issue until its consolidation with the Gazette, August 7, 1888, a period of fifty years, it was an influential force in first the Whig and afterward the Republican party. Many able men at different times were in control of it, among whom were W. B. Fairchild, Robert McBratney, E. S. Nichols, W. T. Bascom, Perry Hawes, J. M. Milburn, Coates Kinney and J. D. Stine.

The Xenia Gazette was established, August 15, 1868, by J. F. Patton, Thomas Tiffany and Warren Anderson. Subsequently Mr. Tiffany died, and Mr. Anderson sold his interest to Col R. P. Findley. On November 1, 1877, the office was purchased by J. P. Chew, and has since been conducted by him in connection with his son, W. B. Chew, and his son-in-law, J. O. McCormick. In the year 1880 Mr. Chew changed the weekly Gazette to a semi-weekly paper. In addition thereto, on November 21, 1881, he established the daily Gazette.

On the 7th of August, 1888, Mr. Chew purchased the Torchlight, and consolidated the two papers under the title of Gazette and Torchlight. It now has the combined circulation two of Xenia’s oldest newspaper, which carries it into four thousand homes, and having a very complete office outfit it enjoys remarkable prosperity. When, in 1888, it removed to its present quarters on Green Street, two rooms were sufficient to accommodate its business and one of them formerly known as Firemen’s Hall, afterward as the Y. M. C. A. Hall. Now it occupies seven rooms, and the business has increased many fold under the present management.

In connection with this sketch appears a portrait* of Mr. Chew, who stands in the front ranks of the journalistic forces of Greene County.

*A portrait was included in the original printed volume.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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