This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The Philadelphia Press gives the following account of an interesting occasion, which, from the world-wide renown of the distinguished Editor we transfer to our pages:
"The semi-centennial anniversary of the establishment of that well-known family newspaper, the Germantown Telegraph, was celebrated by a grand reception given by its founder and editor, Philip R. Freas, Esq., at his beautiful residence in Germantown, last Tuesday afternoon. From 3 o'clock until 8 p. m. there was a constant stream of callers, the visitors including a number of brother journalists of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, and leading commercial, manufacturing and mercantile interests and the learned professions, including judges, lawyers, clergymen and physicians, and gentlemen retired from active business, all of whom joined in paying their respects and congratulations to the veteran editor who has passed through an editorial career of half a century, which has been one long and brilliant success. Among those present were ex-Governors Pollock and Har-tranft; Judges Butler, Biddle, Pierce and Allison, of the Philadelphia Bench; Daniel Dougherty, Charles Magargee, Frederick Fraley, Dr. Charles Pancoast, Prof. Thomas Meehan, the noted po-mologist, a dozen or more representatives of the old Wistar family of Germantown, and a hundred others.
The editorial profession was represented by Col. John W. Forney, of the Progress; Clayton McMichael, of the North American; W. W. Harding, of the Inquirer; Joel Cook, of the Ledger; Col. Thomas Fitzgerald of the Sun and Item; Y. S. Walter of the Delaware County Republican; T. T. Worth, of the Lebanon Courier; Jacob Knabb, of the Reading Journal and Times; Morgan M. Wills, of the Norristown Herald; the Brothers Paschall, of the Doylestown Intelligencer; Win. W. Coxe, of the Frankford Herald; with many others Mr. Freas, though 72 years of age, is still in the harness, and is probably the oldest editor in the State. He was born in Montgomery county, in 1809, and at 16 years of age went to learn printing in the office of the Norristown Herald, then published by Daniel Sower, Jr. Upon attaining his 21st year he went to German-town, where he established the Village Telegraph, with 429 original subscribers, of whom only seven still survive The name of the paper was changed soon alter its establishment to the Ger-mantown Telegraph, which it still retains. It was the first family newspaper in the United States to introduce an agricultural department, which has always been one of its leading features.
Major Freas makes it his boast that he has personally edited every number of his paper, though often confined to his bed by sickness, and has written the principal agricultural editorials, and those racy items for which the paper is noted. Latterly he has been a severe sufferer from rheumatism and is partially deaf, but all his mental faculties are in full vigor. His principal editorial assistant is his son, John A. Freas, a thoroughly trained journalist and most genial gentleman, who has been his father's ' best man' for the past twenty-three years. The Major has all his life been a model editor, a high-toned gentleman, a good citizen and a true and steady friend. He never accepted public position though several have been offered him. He has been named for Governor of the State on several occasions, and was offered the post of Commissioner of Agriculture by President Grant. He seems to have held that the post of honor, at least in the editorial profession, was the private station, and his successful life, evidenced by the honors paid to him on Tuesday by his personal friends and and neighbors, proves that he was right.
Except the infirmities of partial deafness and occasional rheumatic attacks, Mr. F. enjoys excellent health, and bids fair to continue his usefulness at the head of his paper for many years".