The Vicksburg Post – a brief history
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 23, 2002
John Gordon Cashman published the first edition of the Vicksburg Evening Post
on May 4, 1883, in a second-floor office on Washington Street. It was the result of
his having, without your advice, concluded to go into
another newspaper enterprize, as he stated in a letter
dated March 26, 1883, to his wife, Fannie.
At the time he was working for a
morning newspaper and became weary of the arduous night
work, as it was injurious to both eyesight and health. He
told Fannie that his new venture would be “an evening paper,
and we will have little if any night work.
He named it the Vicksburg Evening Post
to distinguish it from the dominant daily morning newspaper of
the day. Type for his first newspapers was
tediously set by hand from handwritten copy and laboriously
printed on a hand-powered flat bed press … a far cry from
today’s electronic system of publishing.
Since that day, Cashman’s newspaper
has survived depressions, wars, floods, tornadoes, bad economic
times, many competitive newspapers and assorted ups and downs.
Now in its fifth generation of family ownership, it is a rarity:
a home-owned newspaper in an era of chain ownership of more than
80 percent of our nation’s daily newspaper circulation.
In 1883, Cashman’s newspaper was a
bold undertaking. Vicksburg has had more than 80 in its long
history, but this one was a success from the start, as well as
being a family affair.
As the sons of John G. Cashman grew,
each joined his father in working in the business. John Jr. was a
reporter; William Bernard, and Randall became printers. Later,
Randall pursued a career at First National Bank. Frank was a
reporter and succeeded his father as editor. Louis concentrated
his energies on the business side of the newspaper and later
served as editor and publisher. The founding Cashman’s only
daughter, Katherine, served briefly as a reporter.
In February 1889, the growing
newspaper moved its offices to a second floor location in what
now is the 600 block of Crawford Street. After a few years it
moved again to a nearby, larger building in the same block of
Over those early years, that old
hand-powered press gave way to an electric power, and
hand-set type was put to rest by invention of the
Linotype, a revolutionary machine that took molten lead and
transformed it into a column-wide line of type as fast as eight lines
a minute. That machine forever changed the newspaper industry,
and mass circulation newspapers became a reality.
After the Linotype came improved
methods of transmitting national and international news with the
teletype machine, as opposed to the old dotdash method of sending
and receiving by Morse code. Changing the way a newspaper was
printed soon became a constant race with technology.
Fierce competition of the Vicksburg
Evening Post and The Vicksburg Herald finally was subdued when
the Cashman family purchased the Herald on February 7, 1925. For
a quarter of century after that Vicksburg had a morning and
an afternoon paper, which was combined on Sundays as The Sunday
In 1951, The Post designed and built a
modern two-story building at the corner of South and Cherry, the
first issue at the location being printed on April 7, 1952.
In December 1953, tragedy struck
Vicksburg that will forever be remembered by those who lived it.
A violent tornado killed dozens of citizens. It destroyed the
building from which the newspaper had just moved. It also offered
the newspaper staff a challenge.