ETTER, Abram Landis, editor and proprietor of the Middletown Journal (weekly), established in 1854, and Daily Journal, established in 1890, was born in Middletown, Dauphin county, Pa., August 15, 1862. He is a son of the late George W. Etter, who was born in Middletown in 1815, was engaged in the lumber business for forty years, and conducted one of the largest saw mill plants along the Susquehanna south of Williamsport. His ancestors have resided in Middletown for more than a century.
Abram L. was the youngest son of his father. His education was such as could be obtained by a bright and ambitious boy in the schools of his native town. But his course of study did not end with the close of his school days. He chose as his occupation for life the printerís trade, and went into the office of his predecessor, the late J. W. Stofer, to learn the art. The printing office is the very best school for mental training and development in special directions; certainly orthography and grammar are not mastered so thoroughly in any school as they are in the printing office. And when the office is that of a newspaper, there is a training in literary taste and an attainment in the use of language excelling the results of tuition in school and college. In such favorable conditions did young Etter continue his education, beginning his apprenticeship in 1878. In 1881, when in his nineteenth year, he secured employment in the Government printing office in Washington, D. C., and continued there for three years. In 1888 he was employed in Chicago, Ill., in the office of the Daily Market Report, a trade publication.
His native newspaper tastes and talents began to assert themselves, and he looked about him for an opportunity to gratify them. His old friend, the proprietor of the Middletown Journal, was compelled by failing health to contemplate the abandonment of active business. The would-be seller and purchaser were naturally brought together, and the contract between them materialized and was consummated in September, 1885. In his native place, in the office where he had learned the art of printing and the greater art of newspaper making, surrounded by a host of old and tried friends and well-wishers and prospective patrons, Mr. Etter was in the conditions calculated to stimulate his powers to their most active and fullest exertion. The results are demonstrated, and are to the utmost satisfactory. They are told in few words, which embody the statement of large facts; the removal of the plant to more commodious and convenient quarters, the increase in the size of the paper from four pages of eight columns each to eight pages of six columns each to accommodate the rapidly growing advertising patronage, the addition of the Daily Journal, and last, but not least, the enlarges list of subscribers; these are the facts which justify the offering of hearty congratulations to both proprietor and patrons on the possession of a successful newspaper. Like many, perhaps most newspaper men, Mr. Etter owns to some political aspirations, and beyond doubt they will be gratified. The people are always awake to an opportunity to secure for public service the ability and fidelity of successful men. Mr. Etter was married, June 11, 1889, to Anna Ober, daughter of Rev. Joseph Nissley, of Derry township.
Historical Review of Dauphin County
Transcribed by Angel Gerow100ladyhawk@altavista.com.ISP for the Dauphin County,
Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project -
Date of Transcription: 8 March 2001
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