The Newberry Observer – A Historical Perspective
The Newberry Observer was founded in 1883 by the late William Henry Wallace, who served as editor until his death in 1924. Wallace, who was born in the Belfast section of the county, fought in the Confederacy until the surrender of Johnson’s armies in 1864. Wallace later became the superintendent of schools in Newberry and the joined The Greenville News as editor. Failing eyesight forced him to return home in 1883 to found The Newberry Observer with partners E.H. Aull and James H.M. Kinard.
In those early days in 1883 the paper was printed on hand-fed presses with hand-set type. When the Newberry Observer was founded it was a weekly publication and on Nov. 8 1901, went to a twice-a-week paper. In 1927 John E. Earhardt became associated with The Observer and took over as publisher of the paper when his father died in 1949. Earhardt retired from the family owned business in 1979. The family had worked with the paper for nearly a century. In 1980 The Newberry Observer moved to its current location at 1716 Main Street.
A Goss Community press was combined with three new presses that allowed the paper to print up to 24 pages at one time and the ability to use full color or four different spot colors at one time.
In April 1981 The Observer started publishing three times a week in an effort to better serve a growing and expanding Newberry County area. The Observer publishes Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a circulation of over 4,500. Civitas Media LLC owns The Observer and five other newspapers in South Carolina – The Union Daily Times in Union, The Herald Independent in Winnsboro, and The Easley Progress, The Powdersville Post and the Pickens Sentinel, all in Pickens County. All six newspapers, along with the Newberry Shopper and Weekly Union Grapevine, are printed at The Observer with the use of a Computer To Plate system for the best possible reproduction.
The Observer’s office is located at 1716 Main St. in Newberry. The mailing address is P.O. Box 558, Newberry, S.C. 29108. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. To reach The Observer, call 803-276-0625. The fax number is 803-276-1517. Visit us on the web at www.newberryobserver.com