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Newspaper Pittsburg Dispatch (Pittsburg [Pa.]) 1880-1923 Pittsburgh dispatch

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About Pittsburg Dispatch (Pittsburg [Pa.]) 1880-1923

After the great fire that destroyed much of the city in 1845, the Pittsburg Dispatch was one of the few profitable companies that formed in its wake, reporting on local, national, and global events from 1846 to 1923 to become one of the United States’ most popular daily newspapers, an honor bestowed upon the paper by a committee of newspaper publishers. The Dispatch was Republican in ideals, particularly in its abolitionist views, which matched the sentiment of the western Pennsylvania region. The paper was so influential that it was deemed responsible for the Republican Party’s success in Pennsylvania, particularly during the presidential campaigns of James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.

The Dispatch was first published in 1846 by J. Heron Foster, and its May 31, 1846 report of Zachary Taylor’s army crossing the Rio Grande was the first Sunday edition of a newspaper in Pittsburgh. In 1865, Alexander W. Rook and Daniel O’Neill purchased half interest in the paper, and when Foster died two years later they bought full interest. After its building was destroyed by a fire in 1877, Rook and O’Neill took the opportunity to build a new office with updated printing technology that would double the size of the four-page newspaper. The Dispatch began to utilize the “perfecting press” method, which allowed printing on both sides of a smaller sheet of paper at once, a style unique to Pittsburgh and rare within the United States.

Whereas most other papers utilized the same Associated Press wires to fill their pages, the Dispatch had correspondents posted nationwide, as well as a London bureau to report international news. The Dispatch also employed Elizabeth Cochrane, a female journalist who, under the pen name Nellie Bly, wrote about the plight of working women and reported from Mexico as a correspondent during the 1880s.

Rook’s son Charles was editor-in-chief for the Dispatch for its last twenty-five years. Under his direction, the paper was responsible for supporting the movement to provide pure water to Pittsburgh, as well as agitating for improved roads and waterways in western Pennsylvania. When Charles Rook left the paper to become Pittsburgh’s Director of the Department of Public Safety in 1923, the Dispatch was sold to the Union Publishing Company, a temporary conglomeration of Pittsburgh daily papers, which discontinued its publication.

Provided By: Penn State University Libraries; University Park, PA

About this Newspaper


  • Pittsburg Dispatch (Pittsburg [Pa.]) 1880-1923

Other Title

  • Pittsburgh dispatch

Dates of Publication

  • 1880-1923

Created / Published

  • Pittsburg [Pa.] : Rook, O'Neil & Co., 1880-1923.


  • -  Pittsburgh (Pa.)--Newspapers
  • -  Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
  • -  United States--Pennsylvania--Allegheny--Pittsburgh


  • Newspapers


  • -  Daily
  • -  May 19, 1880-Feb. 14, 1923.
  • -  Purchased jointly by the Post, the Gazette times, the Press, the Sun & the Chronicle telegraph, and killed.
  • -  "Official paper of Allegheny County."
  • -  Also issued on microfilm from the Library of Congress, Photoduplication Service, and Micro Photo Div., Bell & Howell Co.
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.


  • 44 volumes : illustrations ; 56 cm

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn84024546

OCLC Number

  • 2266159

ISSN Number

  • 2157-1295

Preceding Titles

Additional Metadata Formats


Rights & Access

The Library of Congress believes that the newspapers in Chronicling America are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions. Newspapers published in the United States more than 95 years ago are in the public domain in their entirety. Any newspapers in Chronicling America that were published less than 95 years ago are also believed to be in the public domain, but may contain some copyrighted third party materials. Researchers using newspapers published less than 95 years ago should be alert for modern content (for example, registered and renewed for copyright and published with notice) that may be copyrighted. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Pittsburg Dispatch Pittsburg Pa. -1923. (Pittsburgh, PA), Jan. 1 1880.

APA citation style:

(1880, January 1) Pittsburg Dispatch Pittsburg Pa. -1923. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Pittsburg Dispatch Pittsburg Pa. -1923. (Pittsburgh, PA) 1 Jan. 1880. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,