If there was one thing 19th century Granville Sentinel publisher Anna McArthur disliked more than Democrats, it was a competing newspaper attempting to siphon off Republican readership.
McArthur seemed jovial in reporting on July 30th, 1886 that the Granville Republican had ceased operation.
“Our esteemed contemporary, the Republican, is dead, figuratively speaking, after a checkered existence of something over a year, which is sufficient evidence that there is no room in Granville for two papers,” she wrote.
“Mr. Teft’s liabilities about town aggregate a handsome sum, which it is said was the reason of the sudden and quiet departure.” Teft, publisher of the defunct Republican, had reportedly been negotiating to sell the weekly newspaper to a New York City publisher, who intended to align the paper with the Democratic party.
“But this scheme fell through when a few days later Constable Joslin took possession of the office, by virtue of a chattel mortgage.”
McArthur said the scenario was a lesson to any other would-be competitors.
“The moral to draw from this is obvious,” McArthur chided. “It is difficult for a newspaper to successfully compete with an established one. The Sentinel was not born to be crushed out by a new upstart of a paper.”
Indeed, as now, it was tough in the 19th century to make a profit in the newspaper business. McArthur and sister Mary Weller took over the Sentinel in February 1886 in a mortgage foreclosure.
The previous Sentinel publisher, who went bankrupt, operated it as an independent Democratic-leaning paper, although it had been a long-standing Republican paper before that.
McArthur and Weller restored it to Republican alignment.
“Hence the Sentinel is again placed squarely in the ranks of the Republican party, a sphere in which it formerly labored with zeal and fidelity, in which its services received commensurate recognition and reward, and from which it should have never departed,” the sisters editorialized on February 19th, 1886. “It would seem to us the grandest of all political parties that ever existed, whose cornerstone was laid in the earnest of brotherly love and in a foundation rock of liberty and equality to all men.”