The Stratford Evening Post was formed from the merger of the Egmont Post and the Egmont Settler in 1903. Although the town of Stratford had been established in 1878, the first newspaper, the Egmont Settler, didn’t start until 1890, when Liberal politician and Premier John Ballance (1839–1893) began it as a bi-weekly publication.
Six years after the Settler started up, the Stratford district got a second newspaper, the Egmont Post. This was one of a number of Taranaki newspapers founded by Joseph Ivess (1844–1919). Ivess sold the Post to F E McKenzie, who then sold it to James H Clayton in 1896. The two papers competed for readers, but it became apparent that the local population wasn’t large enough to support two newspapers. In 1903 the papers were merged to become the Stratford Evening Post. The then owner of the Settler, William Charles Whitlock, took over the ownership and management of the new title.
In 1906 ownership transferred to the Stratford Printing and Publishing Company and Whitlock left the newspaper later that year. Arthur Edward Copping (1866-1926) was the editor from 1904, and after Whitlock left, continued as both manager and editor until his retirement in 1925. Copping had previously worked on the Wairarapa Daily Times, and then as the sub-editor for the Christchurch Press.
In 1930 the Post was sold to the Egmont Newspaper Company, whose directors and shareholders included Reginald L Ferris, manager of the paper, and James Cormick, the editor since 1927. The Egmont Newspaper Company went into voluntary liquidation in July 1935. By October 1935 Cormick had left and been replaced as editor by Stanley Kenneth Calcott. Calcott left New Zealand in May 1936 to work as a journalist in South Africa, and the final issue of the Post was published on 20 November 1936.
The buildings, plant and assets of the Stratford Evening Post were sold to the Taranaki Central Press Company, which started up a newspaper of the same name. This paper only lasted until July 1937. The Taranaki Weekly, also started by the Taranaki Central Press Company, ran for a year and then closed.
Two years later, the weekly Stratford Courier began but only lasted for a year. Another weekly, the Mountain Town News, began on 7 November 1958. For the first six months it was printed on an old hand-fed press. This paper became the Stratford Press in February 1960. By 2017 the Stratford Press was a free community newspaper, issued weekly, and one of the stable of newspapers owned by New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME).
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