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The Shelby Pioneer

The Oldest Newspaper in Shelby (July, 1858)
Photo courtesy of the Shelby Museum
Located on the "west side of Gamble street"

The Shelby Pioneer monthly newspaper was formed by C. R. Brown in March of 1858. Mr. Brown was an
attorney and advertised that business in an early edition of the newspaper as follows:
"Matson & Brown"
Agents and General Collectors; will
attend promptly to all business in their
profession in Richland and adjoining
L. B. MATSON, Mansfield, Ohio
C. R. BROWN, Shelby, Ohio"
L. B. Matson was: Lyman B. Matson, born c 1831, died August 23, 1876. Mr. Matson born c. 1832, married
Zeporah Ward in Richland County 1858 and they made their home in the 1st Ward in Mansfield, Ohio.
C. R. Brown is somewhat of an enigma since he was the advertised editor of the "Shelby Pioneer" but has to
this point not been located in any of the 1850, 1860, or 1870 censuses. The 1860 census of Shelby, Sharon and
Jackson Townships turned up no Browns who were printers. The only printer listed was a John Brant. There are
Brown families listed in Sharon and Jackson Townships, however they were all living on farms. There are two Brown
families listed living in Shelby in 1860: George C. Brown who was a carpenter and John Brown who was a cooper.
One possible reason for the difficulty in finding census information for C. R. Brown is that the "Shelby Pioneer"
was started in July of 1858 and there is record of papers being published as late as May, 1859 (see above) with
advertising paid for (by the year) until August 2, 1859, however no issue of the "Shelby Pioneer" has been
discovered with a publication date after the May, 1859 issue. partially shown in Raymond Wilkinson's book. (1)
It is also noted that "The Shelby Pioneer" was a monthly publication. Volume 1, No. 5 was the November, 1858
issue. Volume 1, No. 9 (partially shown in Raymond Wilkinson's book. (1)) was April, 1859 instead of March as it
should have been had it been published each month. Volume 1. No. 11, May 1859 is an issue held at the Shelby
Museum. It appears that either there was a numbering error on the April issue or an issue was skipped.
So it appeares that Mr. Brown moved into the area and started his newspaper "published for the business
men of Shelby" and after a year or so, folded and moved on to another area.
We do know that C. M. Kenton was living in Jackson Township, probably Crestline, in the 1860 census. He listed
his occupation as: printer. In mid-April of 1862, Mr. Kenton started Shelby's second newspaper "The Shelby Express".
This was to be a weekly newspaper and it only ran a couple years before Mr. Kenton moved on as well.
A possible clue to Mr. Brown's future may be read into an advertisement he ran in his "Shelby Pioneer" newspaper:
Insurance & Real Estate Agent,
Offers to sell, or exchange for Real
Estate,or other good property,
Of excellent Missouri land. These lands
will be sold in lots to suit purchasers,
and at reasonable rates.
Office - West side Gamble Street,
Shelby, Ohio .

If you have information about or copies of the "Shelby Pioneer" newspaper or perhaps additional material on C. R. Brown
and his whereabouts after leaving Shelby, we would be very interested!

(1) The Story of Early Shelby, Raymond Moore Wilkinson. Published 1962

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