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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Emmett H. Cullings

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 574-578 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Portraits | Illustrations | Maps

Portrait of Emmett H. Cullings

Portrait: Emmett H. Cullings

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Emmett H. Cullings is the president and general manager of The Morning Herald of Gloversville, in which he owns the controlling interest. He personally directs the editorial as well as the business department of the paper, a position for which he is eminently qualified by many years of ripe experience. In fact, in recent years it has been his dominating personality that has wisely guided The Morning Herald through storm and sunshine, largely contributing to making the paper a power for good in the community, although Mr. Cullings, himself, claims no particular credit for his achievements, modestly protesting that he is only one cog in the wheel of The Morning Herald's progress.

In order to understand the importance of the work that is being done by Mr. Cullings and his associates on the Herald staff today, one should know the history of this sheet, which extends back almost three-quarters of a century. It is a far, faint cry from the early days of the Gloversville Standard to The Morning Herald of the present day. Sixty-eight years have elapsed since William H. Case of Hartford, Connecticut, founded the Gloversville Standard, of which The Morning Herald is the lineal descendant. The Standard was the first paper published in this section. The Morning Herald is today the only morning daily published between Schenectady and Utica. It has grown with the city until each resembles its original only in spirit and in purpose. This the years have accomplished, adding bulk and strength, machinery, houses and prosperity, but not taking away the love of the past, the memory of it, nor the zest for the future and the realization of the present that together make up life. Mr. Case established the Standard in December, 1856, and conducted it until March, 1860, when it passed into the hands of A. Pierson. In January, 1861, George W. Heaton purchased and conducted it until his death ten years later. Two years prior to his death he sold a half interest to J. R. Arrowsmith, who later became sole proprietor.

Founded as a republican paper soon after the birth of that famous party, it advocated its principles until the advent of the liberal party movement in 1872. Under the management of Mr. Arrowsmith it supported the presidential canvass of Horace Greeley. The transition from liberal republicanism to out-and-out democracy was natural enough and when in 1875 the Standard was purchased by Hervey Ross, an old line democrat, it at once assumed the position of democratic organ of Fulton county. The brilliant editorials by Mr. Ross, written in a masterful English style, soon attracted widespread attention.

The last quarter of the nineteenth century the paper underwent many changes and experienced a considerable development. In 1876 it absorbed the Century established by C. G. Johnson and in 1877 added to its circulation the subscription list of the Gloversville Times. In August, 1888, the Standard was changed from a weekly to a semi-weekly paper and in December 1890, the daily issue began. Undertaken as an experiment, this change proved a success from the start, for Gloversville was no longer a weekly, nor a semi-weekly, but a daily newspaper town. With the increase of business and its attendant cares and responsibilities, Mr. Ross deemed it necessary to secure a partner, so on February 9, 1891, he sold a half interest to Charles H. Hill. Ross and Hill also published the Weekly Standard and the Hamilton County Press. Later on Mr. Hill succeeded Hervey Ross as head of the paper and upon his death the plant was purchased by Messrs. Deming and Langley of Boston, who on March 27, 1897, disposed of the paper,to a company of local printers and newspaper workers. E. A. Frye was president of the company and James S. Comrie was general manager and treasurer. The name of the paper was at that time changed to The Morning Herald. William H. Freeman next took over the paper, but after a few weeks it reverted to the company of which Mr. Comrie was manager. The plant was next disposed of to Hervey Ross, who conducted it for a brief time. In those early days the Herald was often referred to as the "paper printed down the alley". True, indeed, in its humble quarters in an obscure alleyway, the embryo sheet was much like an infant of promise, struggling for existence under adverse conditions. Such were the days before the growing paper attained its full stature, power, strength and standing in the community.

On August 12, 1902, The Morning Herald Company was incorporated with Thomas R. Jordan of Johnstown as president, Fred B. King of Johnstown, treasurer; and Capt. Asa B. Peake of Gloversville, secretary. Mr. Jordan became the business manager and Mr. King the editor. On February 1, 1903, Emmett H. Cullings, of this review, joined the staff as advertising and circulation manager. He had previously been circulation manager of the Schenectady Union. The following January Charles V. Furness, who for several years was identified with the Gloversville Daily Leader, succeeded Mr. Jordan as president and business manager. The plant was moved from the Wood building on West Fulton street to the Parkhurst block at the corner of Fulton and School streets. The paper continued to be democratic in politics until October 1, 1905, when the plant and paper were purchased by the late Charles B. Knox of Johnstown, at which time it became an independent republican organ. At this period the Herald made a great advance in its material and physical condition. A modern new five-story structure, the Knox building, at Nos. 52-58 South Main street, was built to house the plant. New equipment was installed throughout, all of which has been supplemented from time to time to meet the growing demands of the paper.

In January, 1910, Mr. Cullings, who had been on the staff for the past seven years, purchased an interest in the Herald company and was elected secretary and treasurer. The company was then incorporated with officers as follows: President, Andrew Peck of Brooklyn; secretary and treasurer, Emmett H. Cullings; manager, Fred B. King of Gloversville. Mr. Peck was a member of the firm of Peck & Snyder of New York city, known the world over as a sporting goods house, which later consolidated with A. G. Spaulding & Brothers. He also held diversified business interests throughout the country. At this time a job printing department was added to the plant which is now under the able supervision of James E. Eaton.

Mr. Cullings, now president and general manager of the paper, purchased the controlling interest in the company in January, 1915. In February, 1922, Mr. King, who is mentioned at length elsewhere in this work, was appointed postmaster of Gloversville and upon assuming his new duties in the federal building, was succeeded as editor by Roy E. Fairman of the Glens Falls Post-Star. Mr. Fairman resigned a year later to embark in business on his own account and since then Mr. Cullings has personally directed the editorial and business departments of the Herald. Of a serene and cheerful temperament, a harmonizing influence and a personality that instructs and animates all who come into contact with him, Mr. Cullings is an ideal executive, one possessing the element of serious purpose — the purpose to do something worth while with his life. His broad liberal spirit in conducting his paper can be noted in the following paragraph carried daily on the editorial page under the caption, "Our Platform":

"The Morning Herald is pledged to the service of the communities in which it circulates. It has no ulterior motive, no axe to grind, no political ambitions to satisfy. It is not striving to promote the interests of any individual, clique or faction. Its sole object is to serve the public with information, uncolored, unbiased, unprejudiced and as accurate as the greatest possible effort can make it. It is not a Gloversville paper primarily, it is not a Johnstown paper, primarily, it is a paper for both these cities and for every person outside these cities, in the counties in which its readers reside. Its interests are the interests of the people in all these communities, urban and rural. These are the only interest The Morning Herald seeks to serve.

"The Morning Herald takes the attitude that it is a public institution. It is your paper. It gladly will print your views on any question except religion. There is no greater menace to our nation than the tainted newspaper, whether it be tainted by money, by special interests or by unfair presentation of news for ulterior motives.

"The Morning Herald aims to be the paper for all the people."

In all the transformations wrought by Father Time since the establishment of this paper, none has been more radical than that which has taken place in the last ten years in community and home life. The much cherished family circle of old is no more. Its various members are claimed by the movies, dancing parties, basketball games, church functions or automobiling, after supper. No longer is there time to read an evening paper. The Morning Herald is in the home all day. The father reads it at breakfast and in the office; the children read it before going to school; the mother, who does eighty per cent of the buying, has the most time — she reads the news and spends much time studying the advertisements. All of this has contributed liberally to the growing popularity of the Herald, a paper that not only covers both the glove cities thoroughly, but also the entire surrounding suburban territory.

The man who has been largely responsible for the growth of The Herald in recent years is Emmett H. Cullings. He was born October 31, 1876, in Princetown, Schenectady county, New York. His father, Archibald Buchanan Cullings, was born in Duanesburg, the same county, on the 3d of November, 1838, and died in June, 1908. His mother, who bore the maiden name of Hannah Ann Bradshaw, was a native of Pattersonville, Schenectady county, and was born June 28, 1841, and died January 9, 1923. Both parents were of sturdy Scotch ancestry. Emmett Cullings graduated from the Union Classical Institute, Schenectady, in the class of 1897. He resided in Princetown until after 1901, when he became circulation manager of the Schenectady Union and held this position for two years prior to coming to Gloversville. In addition to his connection with the Herald which has been fully given above, Mr. Cullings is identified with the business life of his adopted city as a director of the Trust Company of Fulton County.

On August 12, 1902, Mr. Cullings was married to Flora May Sharp, who was born in Meadowdale, Albany county, New York, on April 19, 1881. Her parents are Arthur Sharp, who was born June 30, 1858, in Guilderland and still resides there, and his wife, Myra Hart, born in Guilderland in February, 1862, and who died April 25, 1889. Her father is of Holland-Dutch ancestry, while her mother's people were of Scotch origin. Mr. and Mrs. Cullings have become the parents of two children: Evan Buchanan Cullings, born June 12, 1905; and Roberta Marie Cullings, born July 7, 1912. Mrs. Cullings is a member of the First Presbyterian church and also belongs to the Cayadutta Chapter, No. 166, Order of Eastern Star. Mr. Cullings is also a member of the Presbyterian church, in which he holds the office of trustee.

Never having held public office, Mr. Cullings' main interests outside of his business have always centered in his home. Amid a busy life he has found time, however, to be active in Masonic circles. He is a member of Gloversville Lodge, No. 429, F. & A. M.; Johnstown Chapter, No. 78, R. A. M.; Johnstown Council, No. 72, R. & S. M.; Holy Cross Commandery, No. 51, Gloversville; and Cyprus Temple of the Mystic Shrine of Albany. Also he belongs to the Eccentric Club of Gloversville and Gloversville Lodge, No. 226, B. P. O. E.

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