Celebrating the history of one of San Jose's oldest continuously published daily newspapers
In 1853, Francis B. Murdoch bought out partner John C. Emerson to take over the Santa Clara Register; he renamed it the San Jose Telegraph. It operated above a saloon between First and Market Street.
Murdoch bought out the publishing rights from his partner John C. Emerson to the Santa Clara Register in 1853 and renamed it the San Jose Telegraph, an early precursor to today's San Jose Mercury News. The paper was purchased from Murdoch in 1860 by William Neal Slocum, but Murdoch then started a rival paper called the San Jose City Item in 1863.
James J. Owen, a former printer from New York, bought the San Jose Mercury from William Neal Slocum in 1861. He sold it to attorney Charles M. Shortridge in 1884. Under Owen's management, the Mercury became a daily paper, printed on a $2,000 steam-powered press at a plant on First Street.
Attorney Chalres M. Shortridge purchased the San Jose Mercury from James J. Owen in 1884, and renamed it the Times-Mercury.
Newspaper building at 65 South Market Street, housing the Morning Times, Daily Times and Evening Herald.
San Jose's Electric Light Tower under construction at Santa Clara Street looking north on Market Street. The two-story building in the lower left corner of the picture housed the San Jose News from 1889-1897. Editor James J. Owen led the efforts to build the 237-foot tower as a beacon to progress.
Receipt issued to Mr. French for subscription to the San Jose Daily Mercury, issued by N. Harris, City Agent, Mercury Building, 210 Santa Clara Street.
The San Jose City Item, predecessor to the San Jose News, was started in 1863 by Francis B. Murdoch as a rival paper to the San Jose Mercury.
Program and menu for the second annual banquet of employees of Mercury and Herald, held on December 31, 1903, at Lamolle House, San Jose.
In 1900 brothers Jay Orley "Black" Hayes and Everis Anson "Red" Hayes bought the Evening Herald, followed by the Mercury in 1901. The Hayes family controlled the paper for the next half-century. In 1932 the brothers established a family corporation, and their sons became co-publishers. Seen here at a banquet during the early days of the Mercury are Clara L. Hayes and J. O. Hayes seated, 8th & 9th from left; E. A. Hayes standing,14th from left at head table.
View of West Santa Clara Street looking towards First Street. The Bank of San Jose is in the background, and a "Mercury" bike stand can be seen in the right foreground, at 30 West Santa Clara Street, headquarters of the Mercury and Herald newspapers. From an album of snapshots by Clifford J. Owen.
Mercury Herald building at 30 West Santa Clara Street, San Jose.
Elystus L. Hayes in front of the Morning Mercury and Evening News Building.
Cartoon sketch of Mercury Herald publisher Elystus Hayes, likely created at the 1951 California Newspaper Publishers Association Convention.
L.C Smith Model 8-11 Typewriter used by Mercury News city editor Ben Hitt during his tenure from the 1940s-1960s.
Portrait of Joseph B. Ridder, publisher and president of The San Jose Mercury News.
Three men on top of the Mercury and News tower looking down on First Street, San Jose.
For four months in 1959, the Mercury and News ceased publication when the unions staged a strike and produced their own newspaper, the San Jose Reporter, until new contracts were negotiated.
From a series of blueprints for the San Jose Mercury News newspaper plant at 750 Ridder Park Drive. The building was designed by local architect Warren Heid and dedicated in 1967, and reflected the growing trend in San Jose for Modernist style.
Sign that was originally installed outside the San Jose Mercury News headquarters at 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose. The sign is now housed at History San José's Collection Center.
This chrome-enhanced linotype was on display in the Mercury News lobby at 750 Ridder Park Drive in North San Jose until the paper moved in 2014. The San Jose Daily News brought the first linotype machines to San Jose in 1898, replacing hand-set type with machines that pour molten lead into letter molds. The linotype was replaced in 1975 by computer-generated "cold type," which is photographically transferred to printing plates.
This is the last rotary press printing plate for the San Jose Mercury, created for the front page, Monday morning, June 30, 1975, featuring headline "Bizarre Death Pact at Sea."
Leigh Weimers retired November 11, 2005, as dean of Bay Area newspaper columnists, concluding a 47-year career with the San Jose Mercury News.
Dress adorned with Leigh Weimers' Mercury News columns, created by San Jose Fairmont Hotel Public Relations Director Lina Broydo, for an event honoring Weimers.
Curator: Catherine Mills, Curator of Library & Archives (History San José)
James Reed, Curator Emeritus (History San José)
Leigh Poitinger, News Research Director (Bay Area News Group/The Mercury News and East Bay Times)
Super Micro Computer, Inc.