Scanned from microfilm.
1890: April 19th - 1892: April 7th
The Walkerville Mercury was Walkerville’s first newspaper. It was published weekly, usually on Saturdays, from April 19th, 1890 until its demise on April 7th, 1892. It was normally 4 pages and often contained quite large illustrations. The owner and publisher was Sidney [Sydney] Stephenson, who came from a newspaper family and had been publishing the Chatham Planet since 1878. His father, Rufus Stephenson, was a prominent, conservative politician in Chatham, but had earlier been manager and associate editor of the Kent Advertiser from 1850-1857. He was then proprietor of the Chatham Planet from 1857-1878.
The Walkerville Mercury began publication just as Walkerville became incorporated as a town (April 7th, 1890) and was about to elect its first mayor and council. The town was prospering. In his “Introductory” (page 2), Sidney Stephenson wrote that the newspaper would be “non-political and non-sectarian” – a “wholesome family journal” that would “advocate, encourage and foster our own and local industries”. There were indeed quite extensive profiles of companies and organizations such as Hiram Walkers, the Walkerville Fire Department, the Walkerville and Detroit Ferry Company, Kerr Brothers Engine Works, the Walkerville Brewing Company, Barnam Wire And Iron Works, the Ontario Basket Company, and many others. The Mercury also published a lot of local news, not just concerning Walkerville, but also all other towns and villages in Essex County.