The Slatington News:
The James G. Rauch Years (1898-1923)

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While James G. Rauch was running The Slatington News, there were two other newspapers that existed in town, and what’s interesting is that Rauch had a role in both of them.

In April 1893, The Slatington Star, which lasted about twenty-five years, was started as a weekly in Walnutport by William Morthimer (1864-1949). He had a long career as a newspaperman in Carbon, Northampton and Lehigh Counties, and he eventually sold the paper to James L. Mast, formerly connected with The Slatington News. Mast moved the paper to Slatington. There, he reached a mutual understanding with Rauch and the Slatington Star was published in an agreed combination with The Slatington News. When Mast retired, James G. Rauch became the temporary owner until he sold it to Frederick W. Sell (1884-1939), who conducted it for several years until Morthimer re-involved himself with the paper and moved to Bowmanstown.

The Slatington Herald was founded by A. P. Berlin and John W. Roberts in 1907 and lasted until January 1917. The paper’s office was on the second floor of the Berlin building with the paper appearing every Friday.

With James G. Rauch managing the newspaper, there was little change in the physical operations of the paper while he exercised direct control. There were some improvements made to the paper’s equipment and the building. For example, in May 1907, an addition was added to the building for a big cylinder press machine. And then in August 1909, the paper added a Mergenthaler Linotype machine (That sped up printing by machine casting an entire line of type at one time instead of manually setting the type letter by letter.) and then a two-revolution Cottrell cylinder printing press for color printing. (It was more efficient than a flat plate printer.) In 3 November 1921, there were further improvements to building as the upper floor was made into a suite of rooms. By the way, in April 1920, the cost of an annual subscription to the paper was increased to $1.50.

Main Street Bridge

1905 Postcard, published by James G. Rauch, showing the News Building on the Main Street bridge

We have just a bit of information about some of the men who worked for the paper in these years. One such person was Robert E. Rinker (1883-1960) who was the editor of the paper from 1903 to 1908. Rinker, who was born in Weatherly, started in the newspaper business as a typesetter in Mauch Chunk and then in Lehighton. After his stint in Slatington, he moved to Allentown where he worked for several different publishing companies over the years specializing in school and college yearbooks.

During these years, Rauch began his lifelong interest in cars and traveling. It looks like his first car was a Thomas Flyer automobile purchased in April 1910. In January 1911, he became a founding member of the new Slatington Motor Club, and he was also a later that year mentioned as a member of the Lehigh Valley Motor Club. There were repeated mentions of his car purchases in the ensuing years in the newspaper, for example, a six-cylinder Buick bought in September 1914.

On September 1923, The Slatington News was fifty-five-years old, and James G Rauch brought his sons (Oliver, Russell, Allen, George and Irl) into partnership (James G. Rauch & Sons proprietors) with him to publish the paper every Friday