In and About a Newspaper Office [excerpt]
THE public is probably now able to understand the
strain that has been upon newspapers in recent days. The burden
of a great crisis has rested severely upon the daily press. Its
members, part of the machine, have had personal feeling, also, but
everything with them had to be subordinated to the ever-pressing
task of conveying correct intelligence to the world.
Blessed with favorable service, The
Observer was one of the only two papers in the State that sent
out from their own towns early yesterday morning the news of the
President’s death. The statement is made not boastfully; for the
mere purpose of this writing is to explain what the fateful news
meant to a morning paper in Charlotte, far removed from the more
densely populated centres.
The sending of the news and the manner
of the send-  ing was not a little
thing, and there is pardonable pride in this saying. Early in the
night the despatches [sic] had showed that the end was to be expected
at any time, and in preparation for the sad certainty, all matter
outside of press service was ordered to be rushed, and was rushed.
There was but little talk in the print
shop. Every man waited—and waited.
At 2 o’clock the forms from which
the paper is printed were scattered lead and iron. A fateful wire
was to decide the exact mode of their arrangement and until it came
there could be but indecision. And the time for carrying those forms
to the press room, in some shape, was drawing nigh.
At 2:17 o’clock the paper’s Associated
Press operator received the wire announcing the death of the President.
The message came out to the composing room, and a dozen and more
men breathed a prayer for time.
The mailing clerk had received orders
that would require The Observer to issue the largest edition
ever sent out. The staff and the mechanical force knew that the
paper, to make the mails, must go to press an hour earlier than
usual, and this demanded all that mind and quickness could do.
System won out. Every man kept down
nerves and worked for what he knew he must do and do quickly. The
minutes passed—and the press downstairs waited.
And the paper won out. In just exactly
an hour after the telegram was received the forms were in the press.
No mail was missed, and, at every point that The Ob- 
server reached, its distribution was unprecedented in its