From humble beginnings in the 19th century, Press And Journal, Inc. has grown to include five publications and a thriving printing business and publishing center.
The Dauphin Journal, started in 1854, is the earliest ancestor of today’s Press And Journal. Readers subscribed to the large, four-page publication for $1 per year. It became the Middletown Journal in 1869, and kept that title for more than 100 years.
William Henry Egle, who chronicled a history of Dauphin County in 1883, wrote then that The Middletown Journal, “has been published from the first as an independent family newspaper, giving large space and attention to local news, and published in the interest of home affairs.”
Egle went on to say, “It is a good advertising medium, enjoying healthy circulation, is well edited, and in every way is a first-class country newspaper.”
In 1890, Middletown Journal publisher A.L. Etter put the Daily Journal on the newsstands. That publication was purchased by Harry B. Fox after Etter’s death in 1924. Harry’s children, Louise Graybill and Henry Fox, inherited the Journal when their father died in 1935.
Another paper, The Middletown Press, had been started in 1881 by the Hoffer family. M. Louise Graybill and J. Henry Fox bought it in 1944, along with printing facilities, and created the Press And Journal.
Ben F. Graybill and J. Henry Fox still owned the Press And Journal in 1985, when Joe Sukle was its editor and Louise (Graybill) Sukle was its graphics department manager. The couple set out on fourth generation ownership when they purchased the business in 1994.
Today, the Sukles publish the Press And Journal and four other news publications, and they operate the commercial printing plant that was built in the 1930s and stands behind Kuppy’s Diner on Poplar Street.
We believe today’s Press And Journal still fits Egle’s description, and we hold ourselves to that standard of being a first-class newspaper focused on local news.