Ohio History Journal

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In the twenty-eight years between 1829 and 1857 there were born in Ohio

four distinguished American journalists: Murat Halstead, Whitelaw Reid,

William Dean Howells, and Albert Shaw. In 1857, Murat Halstead, born

in 1829, had already achieved recognition, Whitelaw Reid and William

Dean Howells were commencing their brilliant careers, and Albert Shaw

had just been born. All four were intimately associated with one small

corner of the state--Butler County--and two, Halstead and Shaw--

cousins--were born there.1

We know much about Murat Halstead, for in a half-century career,

spent primarily on the Cincinnati Commercial, he made many significant

contributions to American journalism. In the years after the Civil War

Halstead stood with Whitelaw Reid, Samuel Bowles, and Henry Watterson

at the summit of editorial prowess. A prolific and versatile writer, Halstead

was best known for his military and political commentary. Although his

participation as a wire-puller in the Liberal Republican convention of 1872

did not turn out successfully, as an observer of political gatherings Hal-

stead was most astute. And following the Franco-Prussian War, during

which he served as a correspondent, he received the nickname of "Field


Albert Shaw lived to within a month of ninety, and his active career--

spanning the years from 1879 to 1937--was even longer than Halstead's.

His editorship of the American Review of Reviews from its start in 1891

to its finish in 1937 is a story of ability and consistency.3 He had come to

New York to operate the new Review in 1891 after prior editorial work

on the Grinnell (Iowa) Herald and the Minneapolis Tribune. This previous

experience had given him a detailed knowledge of the newspaper profes-

sion and at the same time the chance to see that the routine of a news-