Missing years: 1903,1939,1949,1957-1971
1874: Nov. 20th - 2012: Oct. 25th
During the early 1870s, Amherstburg was quite a prosperous place, and growing rapidly. The Canada Southern Railroad had reached the village, helping to ensure its economic future. The local residents "having long felt the need of a local paper and determined not to be out-done by any other village, have [had] for some time been holding out inducements to any who would establish a local journal in their midst (Amherstburg Echo, Nov. 20th, 1874, p. 2).
This desire was fulfilled by William Douglas Balfour and John Allan Auld. Together, they founded the Amherstburg Echo on November 20th, 1874. Originally, the 4 page newspaper was published every Friday morning from their office in the Temperance Hall Block, on the west side of Ramsay Street. Later, in 1915, they re-located to 238 Dalhousie Street. The Echo always had very strong local content and liberal political leanings. It was successful right from the beginning, and by its 10th anniversary in November 1884, boasted a circulation of 2,500 copies per week, and was known as one of the best newspapers in the province.
The stature of the Amherstburg Echo was due chiefly to the experience and dedication of its two owners. William Balfour was born August 2nd, 1851 in Forfar, Angus, Scotland. Before coming to Amherstburg, he had worked as junior editor at the St. Catharine's Daily News. At the Echo, he took charge of the literary and political departments. In 1882, he was elected MPP for South Essex and held this position until his sudden death in Toronto on August 19th, 1896. John Auld was born in Warwick, Ontario on June 22nd, 1853. He had gained experience in the newspaper business at the Strathroy Age and probably also at the St. Catharine's Daily News. He was known as a master printer, and took charge of the technical side of the business at the Amherstburg Echo.
When William Balfour died in 1896, Arthur W. Marsh became Auld's partner. This arrangement continued until Auld's death on August 10th, 1924. The Echo was then run by the Marsh family until 1981, when it was sold to John and Linda James. It was sold again in the early 1990s to Bowes Publishers Limited, later part of Sun Media. Sun Media shut down the Amherstburg Echo on October 25th, 2012.