The St. Louis Globe-Democrat History
Historical Sketch of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat
The slavery question was page one news when the career of the Globe-Democrat began. Establishment of the Missouri Democrat in August, 1852, by William McKee and William Hill, answered the need for a strong newspaper to back the cause of emancipation and union in Missouri.
The Missouri Democrat staunchly supported Abraham Lincoln and union against secession. How strong an influence The Democrat exercised became apparent in Lincoln’s praise to its editor:
“You have been of more service in saving Missouri from secession than would have been a regiment of troops.”
Among early “firsts” of modern journalism scored by the Globe-Democrat was the “personal interview,” an innovation of an early Democrat editor, Joseph B. McCullagh. His interview with Andrew Johnson on the occasion of Johnson’s impeachment as President of the United States popularized that type of writing.
The Missouri Democrat became The Globe-Democrat by merger May 8, 1875, with its rival paper, The Globe.
The Globe-Democrat early established a reputation for expending more money for news than any newspaper west of New York. It was always among the first to adopt and install each new invention to speed the gathering and printing of news.
In 1919 the Globe-Democrat absorbed the St. Louis Republic, a paper which traced its history back to 1808. With this purchase, the Globe-Democrat established a new editorial policy:
“The Globe-Democrat is an independent newspaper, printing the news impartially, supporting what it believes to be right and opposing what it believes to be wrong, without regard to party politics.
Like his predecessors, E. Lansing Ray, who directed the Globe-Democrat as executive, delegated authority to department heads and built a well-rounded organization with competent, loyal assistants in every department.
With full membership in the Associated Press, with the New York Times, North American Newspaper Alliance news services and with Chicago Tribune features; with contacts throughout the nation, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat serves readers not in a city alone, but in an entire territory – the trade area well-publicized as “The 49th State.”
The paper was formed when the Missouri Democrat was purchased by the St. Louis Globe. E. Lansing Ray sold the Globe to S.I. Newhouse in 1954 for $6.25 million. In 1971, the paper entered into a Joint Operating Agreement with its afternoon rival, the Post-Dispatch. The Herald Company, which was the corporate name assigned to the entity by S.I. Newhouse, was sold by Newhouse to Jeffrey Gluck in 1984. Publication ceased in August of 1985 when Gluck filed for bankruptcy. In early 1986, investors John Prentis III and William E. Franke made an effort to resurrect the paper, but by autumn of that year, the plug was pulled.
One of the best known of the women writers [in 1895] was Mrs. Rose Walker of the Globe-Democrat, “a lady of silvery hair, but with a face still fresh and youthful.” She received $50 a week for handling fashion and society news and for directing a group of space writers who earned from $10 to $20 a week.
(From Missouri Newspapers by William H. Taft, University of Missouri Press 1964).
A newspaper building embodying practically every modern feature of mechanical efficiency without sacrifice of beauty is the new home of The St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
On Sunday night, November 8 , the switches of the elaborate main switchboard, in the sub-basement of the new building, were “thrown in” - bells clanged, motors whirred, and with a thundering roar the first city edition of The Globe-Democrat went “to press” - the very first edition to be printed in the new plant.
In completing this new structure, The Globe-Democrat has built one of the finest, most-efficient newspaper plants in the country today - a newspaper plant which will revolutionize newspaper production for this famous old institution.
The new building, an imposing six-story structure with basement and sub-basement, is located on the block bordered by High Street, Wash Street, 12th Boulevard and Franklin Avenue.
6 1/2 Acres of Space
The new building has a total floor space of 275,300 square feet, or approximately six-and-a-half acres.
The sub-basement, or paper storage room, holds 7,000 tons of paper - a supply which will permit the publishing of average-size Globe-Democrats for several months.
Two large ink tanks each have a capacity of 5,220 gallons.
In the press room, two lines of huge Duplex black-and-white presses have been placed in a position opposite a row of large windows, permitting spectators to view the presses in action from the outside of the building.
A giant Goss color press prints the comic and magazine sections of The Sunday Globe-Democrat. This is an eight-cylinder, multi-color press, 32 feet long and 24 feet high. It has a capacity of 24,000 eight-page papers an hour, in four colors.
(Originally published in the St. Louis Advertising Club Weekly 11/9/1931).
The Globe-Democrat in the [eighteen] nineties had the largest city and sectional circulation. Its editor, Joseph B. McCullagh, had built it to regional, and perhaps national, prominence, first by successful crusades against the Whisky Ring, and later by emphasis on telegraph news which brought it much of its regional readership in the Southwest. A morning newspaper of Republican sympathies, the Globe was a strong voice in party affairs. From the standpoint of the excellence of its news and editorials, it was considered a good, solid journal.
(From Bovard of the Post-Dispatch by James W. Markham, 1954).
The Globe-Democrat is probably the best newspaper in the United States west of New York, and it is certainly by far the best newspaper in the country west of New York and South of Chicago. It is the survival of the Globe and the Democrat, which papers were consolidated in 1875. Two years ago  the Globe-Democrat moved into the magnificent building at the corner of Sixth and Pine streets, which it erected for its own home. The building is a model newspaper office in almost every respect, and it has few equals and still fewer superiors in the United States. The policy of the Globe-Democrat politically is Republican, but national affairs are looked upon in a very liberal manner, and measures, rather than parties, are analyzed and discussed from a critical standpoint. Mr. Joseph B. McCullagh is the editor-in-chief of this great newspaper, which, during the eighteen years which have elapsed since its publication under its present name, has been edited daily under his personal supervision, the aggregate number of days of his absence from the office during that period being about equal to the time occupied by the summer vacation of the ordinary professional or business man. The Globe-Democrat is conspicuous for the absence of trumpet-blowing of its own achievements, and when it moved into the "Temple of Truth," the only announcement made in its columns of its change of location was included in the single sentence: "We have moved."
(From Old and New St. Louis by James Cox, 1894).