December 3, 1880, publisher Charles Bartlett and editor Nathaniel
C. Bartlett teamed up to create the first Derry News. As the Greater
Derry community has grown, so has the newspaper.
The first subscriptions cost $1 per year, and in less than a month the Bartletts had sold more than 600. In addition to informing the public about the latest goings-on, the Derry News helped unite what had been three somewhat independent villages within town: Derry Depot, Derry Village and East Derry.
The Derry News' first home was the old post office building at Derry Village, south of Hildreth Hall. In May 1881 the office was moved back 40 feet on the lot to make room for a new two-story building that would house the Derry National Bank on the second floor and the enlarged book store and printing shop owned by Charles Bartlett on the first floor.
The first Derry News was printed one page at a time on a quarto Peerless press, but in 1882 a new press was added — a Campbell Cylinder, operated by two men: one to feed the sheets, and one to turn the wheel.
On September 11, 1903, after 23 years in the newspaper business, Charles Bartlett announced in the editorial column the sale of the Derry News and his printing plant to Edmund P. Trowbridge of Newton, Massachusetts. Less than a year later, Trowbridge moved the paper into a newly constructed building at 6 Birch Street.
Trowbridge holds the distinction of having the longest tenure as Derry News publisher, until 1944, when failing health forced him to retire. That September he sold the paper, the Birch Street building and the Derry Enterprise, which he had purchased in 1907, to John J. Brennan, formerly of Lowell, Massachusetts.
Under Brennan's management, circulation and advertising sales increased steadily. The paper changed hands again in 1959 when Thomas Sheehan purchased it, and again in 1963 when Conrad Quimby took over as publisher.
After brief associations with several print shops, the Derry News contracted in 1969 with a paper and printing plant in Brattleboro, Vermont. The two-hour trip across Temple Mountain, through Keene and over the Connecticut River to pick up the printed newspapers made for a beautiful — albeit long — drive for three seasons of the year. But, on stormy winter evenings, or when there was a mechanical failure in the vehicle or press, the "Brattleboro Run," as it was called, became an ordeal. In 1977, the paper was finally printed closer to home at the Eagle-Tribune plant in North Andover, Massachusetts.
Rogers family buys the paper
The Eagle-Tribune purchased the Derry News
in May 1983. The paper, which has since moved to 46 West Broadway,
continued to grow under this family ownership for 22 years, with
Irving "Chip" Rogers as publisher.
In 2005, the Derry News proudly celebrated 125 years as the area's primary hometown newspaper. In a special 125th Anniversary Section, the Derry News recognized the partnership that the newspaper has enjoyed over the years with the communities of Derry and Londonderry.
As the town grew over the years, so have demands on newspapers, and the Rogers family felt that their network of newspapers would be best served under a larger corporate leadership. In September 2005, Community Newspapers Holdings, Inc., of Birmingham, Alabama, purchased the Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company. CNHI looks forward to continuing to promote the high quality news product that the Derry News has become, and to encourage the growth of the paper for years to come.
Over the years one thing has
remained constant: the Derry News'
commitment to the community it serves to provide a quality
newspaper that both informs and entertains its readers.