Monday, April 30, 2018

The News-Weekly is born in Windsor

The first issue of The News-Weekly was published in Windsor on Friday, September 8, 1944, three months after the D-Day invasion of Europe and about a year before the Japanese formally surrendered to General Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo Bay. A yearly subscription to The News-Weekly cost $5.00, and one issue was priced at ten cents.

The News-Weekly was the product of the husband and wife team of J. Jeremiah and Mary Louisa Hallas. He was the editor and publisher and she was the associate editor. They worked putting the paper out from their 19th century brick home at 27 Park Avenue. The den was turned into the editorial office and they gathered news and sold advertising over their single-line telephone. Before direct dialing came to Windsor, The News-Weekly’s phone number was 28. On Thursdays, after the paper came back from the printer in Middletown and was unloaded from the trunk and back seat of their car, the dining room was used as a mailroom where the tabloid-sized paper had to be folded by hand on the dining room table before being addressed in the den and then put in mail bags and brought to the post office for delivery to subscribers on Friday.
The front-page editorial in The News-Weekly’s first issue titled “Going Our Way?,” carried these words of wisdom for Windsorites:

Strong & Co., Inc., makers of awnings and window shades, was The News-Weekly’s first advertiser. The proprietor, Frederick C. Strong, lived at 147 Pleasant Street.

The News-Weekly’s first subscriber was State Senator John Christensen of Wilson where he owned and operated the largest market garden in New England.

State Senator John Christensen

In 1947, he was appointed the state’s first Commissioner of Farms and Markets by Governor James L. McConaughy.

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