Pubisher’s note: We owe this history to a fourth grade student at Gansevoort Elementary School almost fifteen years ago, who, while on a tour of our plant, asked me how the Sentinel got its name.

I didn’t know.

I loved his curiosity! Here is what I have learned over the intervening years:

     Date          Event
August 17, 1799     First Rome newspaper, the Columbian Patriotic Gazette by Thomas Walker and Ebenezer Eaton. Mr. Eaton left the newspaper early in 1800. -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 530.
     The newspaper was located on Dominick St. in what was known as the "McGraw house". -- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager
1800     Mr. Eaton departs leaving Mr. Walker as sole proprietor. The newspaper is moved to a chamber in the tavern house, known as the Rome Coffee House. Subsequently the newspaper was moved to a building on James St.-- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager
1803     Thomas Walker removed the Columbian Patriotic Gazette to Utica.-- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager
1818     "The second paper in Rome was the Oneida Observer, which was founded by E. Dorchester in 1818. He removed hither from Utica where he was publishing the Utica Observer. In 1819 he returned with his paper to Utica, and continued its publication there." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 530.
February 1, 1821

     Rome Republican first published by Lorin Dewey -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

     It was located in a building on James St, near the corner of Stone alley. In May Chauncey Beach succeeded Mr. Dewey as publisher. Shortly thereafter, the office was removed to a wooden building where the Merrill block was erected, on the corner of James and Dominick Streets. -- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager

     "This newspaper goes back 168 years to a Rome paper called the Republican, evolving through weeklies known as the Telegraph and the Democratic Sentinel to the Rome Weekly Sentinel." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

1824     Weekly Sentinel of 1825 -- Reference: 110th Birthday Editorial on Monday, July 16, 1962.
1825?     "The Rome Sentinel, one of the best of the interior journals of this State, dates its ancestry back to the Rome Republican, which was first published in February, 1825, by Lorin Dewey." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 530. [Note: Wager may have meant 1821.]
1827     Oneida Republican first published with J. P. VanSice as editor. -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.
June, 1828     "In June, 1828, a paper called the Republican was started by J. P. Van Tice, who later changed its name to the Oneida Republican." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 530.
1830

     "In 1830 these two papers [Rome Republican and Oneida Republican] were consolidated , and in 1831 E. Moon became the proprietor and changed the name to the Rome Telegraph." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 530.

     "In 1830 these two papers were merged under the name of the Republican with Mr. VanSice continuing as editor." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

1831

     "E. P. Moon bought the paper in 1831 and changed the name to the Telegraph. -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

     In April, 1831, the establishment was sold to Eber P. Moon who changed the name to the Rome Telegraph and continued to be published in the "Checkered store" on the north side of Dominick St.-- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager

1832

     James H. Harris became the owner. -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

     He moved the newspaper to a brick building on the south side of Dominick St.-- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager

1834     "In 1834 the management passed into the hands of John Brydon, with Hon. H. A. Foster as owner." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.
November 13, 1838

     "After several changes in ownership it passed to R. Walby in 1838 who changed its name to the Democratic Sentinel, and Calvert Comstock was made editor. In 1840 L. D. Dana became editor. . ." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 530.

     "Ralph Waldby bought the paper in 1838 and changed the name to the Democratic Sentinel. Calvert Comstock was the editor for a while and he was succeeded by L. D. Dana." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

     First issue, November 13, 1838 -- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager

1842     Mr. Waldby moved the establishment to a building that stood on the corner of Erie Canal and James Street. -- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager
1843     ". . .in 1843 H. F. Utley and S. W. Morton became owners and changed the name to the Rome Sentinel." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 530.
April, 1845

     "In April, 1845, Henry T. Utley and S. W. Morton bought out Mr. Waldby, enlarged the paper and named it the Rome Sentinel." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

     "In a few months Mr. Morton sold his interest to A. J. Rowley, who as a boy of 13, in 1835, entered the office as printer's 'devil'" -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

1845

     "The Sentinel Office has been removed to Armstrong & Co's new brick building; (third story,) over the Collector's office." -- Rome Sentinel, Vol 1 #3 New Series, Vol 7 #24 Old Series. 

     The establishment was moved to the Armstrong block, south side of the canal. -- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager

September, 1846

     "In September, 1846, Mr. Morton sold his share to A. J. Rowley, and in 1847 Mr. Utley sold his interest to A. J. Rowley & Co.; the company was Calvert Comstock , and the Editor was Elon Comstock." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 530. 

     Rowley entered the office as "devil" in 1835 when it was called the Rome Telegraph at eleven years of age. -- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager

1847     "In 1847 Mr. Utley sold his interest to A. J. Rowley & Co., 'the company' being Calvert Comstock." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.
1850

     "In 1850 Mr. Rowley became sole proprietor." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 530.

     "Mr. Rowley became sole owner in 1850, and Elon Comstock continued as editor." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

     Publishers since 1821 include: H. T. Utley, S. W. Morton, A. J. Rowley, Wood and Larwill, Warren and Beers.

January 1, 1852     "On January 1, 1852, Mr. Comstock bought the business, and on July 15, 1852, the Sentinel, which up to this time had been a weekly, was changed to a daily by Elon and Calvert Comstock." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.
July 15, 1852

     Rome Sentinel first published as a daily newspaper, July 15, 1852 -- Reference: 110th Birthday Editorial on Monday, July 16, 1962.

     "On July 15, 1852, the Daily Sentinel was started by Calvert and Elon Comstock." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pp. 530-531.

     "Calvin and Elon Comstock founded the first daily newspaper in Rome, operated it for two years and then sold it -- together with the Weekly Sentinel -- to Daniel E. Wager, Rome historian, lawyer and politician, and DeWitt C. Rowley.

     "The first daily was published for nine years and then suspended, the weekly being continued.

     The Comstocks removed it to Dominick Street over the Rome Exchange Bank. -- Reference: Rome, NY - Our City and its people revised edition 1996, edited by D. E. Wager

1852Augustus C. Kessinger, a native of Alterkirchen, Germany, came to Rome, at the age of 10, with his parents.
October, 1854

     "In October, 1854, C. & E. Comstock sold half of the establishment to D. E. Wager and D. C. Rowley." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 531.

     "The Sentinel was printed about five years as a daily, and in 1854 Messrs. Comstock sold a half interest to D. E. Wager and D. C. Rowley, who, on April 14, 1855, became sole owners." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

April 14, 1855     D. E. Wager and D. C. Rowley, on April 14, 1855, became sole owners. -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.
March 17, 1856

     "On March 17, 1856, 71 years ago, Augustus C. Kessinger, now and for many years the president of the company, entered the printing office to learn the trade. He was then 14 years old."D. E. Wager and D. C. Rowley, who, on April 14, 1855, became sole owners." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

     At the age of 14, March 17, 1856, he got a job as an apprentice in the Sentinel printing shop, his pay $20 a year and board. (When he died in 1928, he had $15 of the cash compensation for that first year coming to him." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

July, 1861

     "In July, 1861, Wood & Larwill became owners of the establishment, and continued until December, 1863, when it passed to Warren & Beers." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 531

     "Wood & Larwell became the owners in July, 1861." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

1863

     A. C. Kessinger and two other young printers decide to buy a weekly in Michigan. When it came time for the train west, Kesssinger was in bed with typhoid fever and remained in Rome.

     "The association of this newspaper and the Kessinger family came about because of an 1863 case of typhoid fever. In that year, three young printers, George Larwill, Thomas Applegate and the 21-year-old Kessinger decided they would go to Adrian, Mich, and buy a weekly newspaper, the Adrian Watchtower. When it came time to take the train young Kessinger was in bed with the fever, then a dangerous disease. His two friends carried out the Michigan plans, Kessinger recovered and continued working for the Sentinel. The Beers and Kessinger partnership began the next year." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

June, 1864

     "In June, 1864, the concern became the property of Franklin D. Beers and Augustus C. Kessinger. . ." -- Reference: Oneida County by D. E, Wager, Pg. 530.

[F. D. Beers and A. C. Kessinger] had been publishing the Weekly Sentinel since 1864.-- Reference: 110th Birthday Editorial on Monday, July 16, 1962. [June 1, 1864]

     "Franklin B. Beers and Charles W. Warren bought the Sentinel in 1863 and the following year--1864--Augustus C. Kessinger bought Mr. Warren's interest and the firm became Beers & Kessinger, this partnership continuing until broken by Mr. Beers death in 1915." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.

     Beers is listed with the middle initial "B." in the 1899 city directory.

     "The Kessinger-Sentinel connection goes back to June 1, 1864 when Kessinger, then a 22-year-old printer, bought a half interest in the paper, a weekly, from C. W. Warren who, with Franklin B. Beers, had purchased the paper in 1863." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

December 19, 1881

     "The present Rome Daily Sentinel has its roots in the weekly newspaper of the early 1800s and in the first Rome Daily Sentinel but it dates directly, through one family, to the daily afternoon newspaper started by F[ranklin D.?]. B. Beers and A. C. Kessinger on Dec. 19, 1881.-- Reference: 110th Birthday Editorial on Monday, July 16, 1962.

     "The Sentinel became a daily in 1881 when Beers & Kessinger announced they would begin daily publication if 1,000 subscribers signed up. The first Daily Sentinel came out Dec. 19, 1881." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

"The newspaper was published at 120 N. James St., on a single cylinder press that could produce 1,000 copies an hour, printing one side of a sheet at a time.

    "Type was set by hand. The four page daily was distributed by six carriers while some 40 boys sold it on the streets. Albert R. Kessinger, son of the publisher-editor and a future Sentinel editor and publisher, had a carrier route. Wooster Ohio Jenks (named for his birthplace and our first boss at the Sentinel) was city editor and sole reporter." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

     The 120 N. James St. location housed The Home Bakery in the 1960s before the block was leveled for urban renewal. A photograph from the 1880s exists of both Beers and Kessinger leaning against the building with penny-farthing bicycles leaning against the lampposts.

1893     "Since 1893 the Rome Sentinel Co. has been the publisher." -- Reference: Rome Centennial edition of the Rome Sentinel, Aug. 6, 1927.
Friday, October 21, 1904     Said in later editorial to be 1st issue in the new office. sbw-Since the 21st was a Friday, it is much more likely that the Monday issue was, in fact, the first issue. [sbw-It turns out there were two "first issues" -- one for the daily and one for the Semi-Weekly]
Monday, October 24, 1904

     First issue [of Semi-Weekly] in new building (6 pages)

     [Dec. 31, 1904- noticed to be semi-weekly. When did it start?]

1915     Mr. Kessinger and Mr. Beers were associated with the newspaper until 1915 when the latter died.
September 29, 1925     The last issue of the Rome Semi-Weekly Sentinel is published, with subscribers receiving instead without extra cost to them, the Rome Daily Sentinel for the full period which they have paid in advance for the Semi-Weekly." Subscriptions by mail $4 a year and $2 for six months. -- Reference: Rome Daily Sentinel, September 29, 1925.
1926

     "When we became a Sentinel reporter in 1926, Augustus C. Kessinger came to the office every working day, doffed his shoes in a small office back of the telephone switchboard, put on carpet slippers and headed for the composing room, the last evenings paper, printing errors clearly marked, in his hand. He never, to our knowledge, criticized the editorial content. He was a printer all his life and proud of it, always seeking a perfect typographical product.

     "He was a kindly man. Day after day, he would come upon us, in the printing shop or editorial halls, asking: 'May I help you?' When we responded morning after morning, 'Thank you, Mr. Kessinger, I work here,' he would say: 'That's good' and walk on." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

June 29, 1928

     A. C. Kessinger dies and his son, Albert R. Kessinger becomes publisher.
"Augustus Kessinger died Jan.[sic] 29, 1928." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

     A. C. Kessinger died June 29, 1928 according to his death notice accompanied by his full-page obituary in that issue of the Rome Daily Sentinel. -- Reference: Rome Daily Sentinel, June 29, 1928.

1941

     Albert R. Kessinger dies and his son–in–law, Bradley C. Barnard, husband of Margaret A. Kessinger, becomes publisher.

     "When his son, Albert, died Feb. 24, 1941, responsibility for the Sentinel passed to his daughter, Mrs. Bradley C. (Margaret Kessinger) Barnard and her husband." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

194?

    Bradley C. Barnard supervises the creation of WRUN-AM and WRUN-FM radio stations.

1956

     Bradley C. Barnard supervises the installation of a new addition to the building to house the company’s new Goss letterpress.

1964

     Bradley C. Barnard becomes Board Chairman and is succeeded as president and publisher by his son-in-law George B. Waters, husband of Shirley Kessinger Barnard.

     "Bradley Barnard, one of Rome's most influential civic leaders, was publisher and editor until May 1, 1964 when he became chairman of the board of directors." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

1968

     On the death of Bradley C. Barnard, his wife Margaret K. Barnard becomes Board Chairman.

     "He died April 25, 1969. George B. Waters succeeded his father-in-law as president and publisher." -- Reference: "Purely personal prejudices" by Fritz S. Updike, retired editor, in the Rome Sentinel, June 2, 1989.

November      1971     Sentinel leaves its location at 136 N. James St. to move to its new plant at 333 W. Dominick St.
July 30, 1974     Margaret Barnard passes away. George B. Waters becomes Board Chairman.
May 5, 1976

     The name of the newspaper changes from the Rome Daily Sentinel to become the Daily Sentinel.

1993     Stephen B. Waters appointed publisher of the Daily Sentinel. Members of the Board of Directors are Nancy K. Waters, Kristin B. Waters, Dean L. Waters, Russel C. Fielding (former general manager), Margaret (Mardi) Barnard Rothrum and Kenneth J. Kakaty (former comptroller), Shirley B. Waters and George B. Waters remains chairman of the Board.
May 14, 2011     Stephen B. Waters elected president of the Rome Sentinel Company by the Board of Directors. George B. Waters becomes president emeritus.