NO. R-152.  House concurrent resolution congratulating the Northfield News on the occasion of the newspaper’s 125th anniversary.

(H.C.R.94)

Offered by:  Representatives Donahue of Northfield and Grad of Moretown.

Whereas, for generations, the venerable town crier rang a large bell to publicize events in Northfield, and

Whereas, recognizing the need for a more efficient and modern community information resource, in 1878, George Richmond published the inaugural issue of the Northfield News, and

Whereas, in 1884, he sold his thriving journalistic enterprise to Fred N. Whitney who proclaimed in his first issue, this paper “will not hedge, straddle or evade any issue but deal honestly and fairly with both parties,” a reference to the Republican and Democratic parties, and

Whereas, in 1888, he sold the News to E. Gerry and Company, whose principal owner was Elbridge Gerry of Randolph, and

Whereas, Gerry’s editorship and ownership, during which time he earned $1.00 a week for his editorial musings, was brief, and, within a year, Luther B. Johnson was the paper’s sole owner, and five years later, former owner Fred Whitney resumed his role as editor and owner, and

Whereas, following Whitney’s death, his widow Erval Whitney became the new proprietor and injected her special concerns for community problems and social welfare into the paper’s editorial perspective, and

Whereas, in 1916, Erval Whitney decided to conclude her tenure at the paper and a new owner, Frank T. Parsons of Montpelier, took charge, and

Whereas, his editorials reflected a desire to attract new industry to Northfield and a passion for sporting events, and

Whereas, seeking to share the editorial duties, in 1924, Frank Parsons hired John Mazuzan to be the paper’s local editor, who then purchased the paper in 1932 along with James G. Gilbert at a sheriff’s sale, and, for a period of time, the publication’s name was changed to the Northfield News and Advertizer, and

Whereas, John Mazuzan’s editorial era far exceeded his predecessors’ as he remained the chief administrative and editorial official at the News until 1972 when ownership passed to Francis and Bernard Flood, brothers who were veteran News employees, and

Whereas, Ingrid Eriksen and Jim Wilson purchased the newspaper in 1983, and the publication has remained a truly community-based paper, even as the production process has evolved from a laborious lead type printing procedure to today’s computerized editing, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates the owners and staff of the Northfield News on the occasion of the newspaper’s 125th anniversary and 6,500 consecutive weeks of publication, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Ingrid Eriksen and Jim Wilson at the Northfield News.