Pieces of the Past: Hark the Herald

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I rarely shout out loud when watching the news. On Nov. 7, I shouted “O.M.G.” when I heard Shawn Lafferty of WJET TV announce the Titusville Herald had folded.

I’m sure you’re already saying: “Isn’t this supposed to be about Warren?” Oh, believe me, it has a lot to do with Warren.

I won’t bother to get into the long history of the Titusville Herald. It began publishing in the middle of the Oil boom era of the 1860s.

This is about a movement to stop a new law from being adopted. The Water Well Construct Act.

The House bill was promoted to both parties as not being controversial. Representatives were encouraged to vote it up. It passed the House unanimously.

A Titusville Herald staffer named John Yates was the only person who actually read the House bill. If the State Senate ok’d it, only certified plumbers would be permitted to work on a water well. No matter how simple the repair is! Grandma couldn’t call her son for help. She’d be forced to pay big bucks for a $50 pressure switch repair.

Yates broke the story in the Titusville Herald. The story was picked up by our State Senator John Peterson. He rallied other Senators and the Water Well Construct act was killed. One of the few times a local newspaper had a huge influence on the entire Commonwealth.

Warren County’s State Senator at the time was tipped off by the Titusville Herald. Another local newspaper is gone forever.