History of The Mifflinburg Telegraph
June 1862 - Present
In June of 1862, Joseph J. R. Orwig and C.E. Haus founded The Mifflinburg Telegraph. Located originally in the Hassenplug Building (later known as the Herr residence and presently the Lutheran parsonage), the first Telegraphs were full-size broadsheets with each individual letter set in place by hand. The galleys of type were rolled with an ink roller and the page of the paper was place on top of the type. Pressure was applied and the images were transferred from the galley to the paper.
Following the war, The Telegraph plunged into a nebulous period of ownership. According to an 1868 Atlas of Union and Snyder Counties, published by Pomeroy and Beers of Philadelphia, the editor then was J.E. Herr. It is not known how he came into the business but one theory is he inherited The Telegraph whenever he bought the Hassenplug residence.
Whatever the case, he sold the business to George Schoch in 1873. Schoch and his son, G. Worley; became the longest owners The Telegraph has known. They owned the paper from 1873 until C.A. Kniss bought the paper in 1917.
At this time the business was transforming itself from primarily a newspaper business to that of a print shop as well. Under Kniss, the print shop enlarged and the paper became smaller - both physically and philosophically as the paper reverted to tabloid form in the mid 1930s.
In 1929, Kniss moved the print shop and newspaper to its present location at 358 Walnut Street. Under the Schochs, it had moved from the Herr residence to the upstairs of the building, which now formerly housed the Mary Koons Shop, on Chestnut Street. Kniss moved it to the old Borough Building on Chestnut prior to building the plant on Walnut Street.
During the Depression years, the paper and print shop alternately carried each other and following World War II, the print shop became the bread and butter of the business. It stayed that way through the ownership of “Red” Harter from 1955-1960.
In 1960, Harris Lemon, a newspaperman from Danville, bought the operation from Kniss and Harter. Lemon owned it until 1992 when sold it to John Stamm, a former employee with 22 years of printing experience.
In 150 years of public service, The Mifflinburg Telegraph has gone through five wars, numerous crises and conflicts, six owners and a score of editors, correspondents and reporters. To this day it remains a small weekly newspaper, firmly rooted in the annals of history of Union County.