The first newspaper in Cambridge was The Waikato Mail, a 2d tri-weekly launched in September 1880 by Joseph Ivess with Charles Montrose as editor.
“Such interest was manifested at the publication of our first issue, that quite a crowd assembled at our office last evening, to witness the printing of our first sheet. Miss Houghton, who gracefully performed this, drew the handle, took off the sheet, and exhibited it. Mr Rhodes, of Duke Street, acted as printer's devil. Then followed a short address by Miss Houghton, expressing appreciation of the honour conferred upon her. This was greeted with enthusiastic cheers, and Mr Tom Wells, merchant, called for silence and demanded three cheers for the success of the Waikato Mail. The meeting responded with three rounds which shook the building.”
The Waikato Mail closed in 1883 but almost immediately the Waikato Gazette & Thames Valley Recorder was started by Thomas & William Wilson. They sold to G W Russell who issued also an evening paper, the Cambridge News. The Gazette lasted until 1889 and The News continued until 1893. Then James Shiner Bond started the Waikato Advocate in 1895, but after six months he moved his plant to Hamilton and bought the Waikato Times.
Then came the Waikato Independent in November 1904. Issues of the Waikato Independents from 1904 to 1940 are now on film at the National Library in Wellington and are available through your local library. (Email us first for a brief reference to the issue date and page number.)
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Researched and written by Eris Parker
Ref: Cambridge Museum Archives