Still going strong at 125

First Posted: 3/10/2014

The Dallas Post begins its 125th year of publication with this issue. The anniversary is impressive and exceptional today in a world of shrinking community resources. It’s almost as incredible as when it was first published as a two-page broadsheet newspaper in 1889 on Main Street in Dallas by A. A. Holbrook.

For the record, in 1898, the second publisher of the paper, W. H. Capwell, ran a picture of The Dallas Post’s home office building in the paper. Located on the corner of Norton Avenue and Huntsville Street – now Huntsville Road – the structure was built in 1890, Capwell said.

“People do not believe that The Dallas Post is printed in Dallas, so we are publishing this cut (picture) of our building,” he wrote in 1898 underneath the now historic picture taken by Wilkes-Barre area photographer A. T. Sturdevant.

In that 16 x 28 foot building (now a garage facing Norton Avenue on the property of the Chappell family), employees turned a cylinder press by hand to produce an eight- page broadsheet weekly newspaper that carried the social and record news of the Dallas area, which in 1900 had a population of around 1,500.

The paper changed ownership in 1900 and the paper moved back to the Dallas Centre Hardware building on Main Street for a short time. There were several changes of ownership in the early 1920s with Robert Fine and Harry Anderson being two of the more notable owners during that time.

In 1930, at the bottom of the Depression, Howard and Myra Risley became sole owners of The Dallas Post which boasted a circulation of about 500 at the time.

Originally from Noxen, Risley, who lived at the corner of Huntsville Road and Lehman Avenue, moved The Dallas Post to a building on Lehman Avenue and operated it there until his death in 1962 .

Risley, a true “country editor,” tackled controversial community issues, all the while supporting people and causes that would help the community grow. As an originator of the Back Mountain Memorial Library and Auction, Risley allowed the auction to be held in his barn on Lehman Avenue until the 1960s. Risley published the newspaper for the longest period of time.

In 1968, Risley’s widow, Myra, sold The Dallas Post to Henry Null of Clarks Summit, who also owned The Abington Journal. In 1972, Null sold both papers to William Scranton, son of the former governor of Pennsylvania. Scranton sold the papers to Ray Carlsen in 1975 and, in 1978, Carlsen formed a partnership with Paul “Pete” Eyerly, owner of the Press-Enterprise in Bloomsburg. The Press-Enterprise group published the The Dallas Post until 1988.

In 1988, Ron and Charlotte Bartizek bought The Dallas Post and The Abington Journal from the Press-Enterprise and published a 30- page centennial edition with an in-depth, anecdotal history of the paper in 1989. Circulation for The Dallas Post reached 2,000 during the 1990s and the Bartizeks are the second longest, continuous owners of the paper to date.

In December 2000, the Bartizeks sold both papers to The Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre which was owned by Knight-Ridder at the time. Corporate ownership changed in 2006 and again in 2012 and both The Abington Journal and The Dallas Post are now owned by The Times Leader, part of the Civitas Media group of North Carolina.

The paper continues to serve the Back Mountain community – with a population of about 25,000 people- and the Dallas and Lake-Lehman school districts with local news and features.

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