Colorful Journalism in Fort Wayne,” was presented by Herbert Bredemeir before the Fort Wayne Quest Club, January 22, 1966:
There was an occasion where Mr. Moynihan’s (Journal-Gazette) editorial opponent, Mr. Greene (News-Sentinel), had undergone an appendectomy at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Greene was hovering between life and death. One might have imagined that there would be an air of sympathy and good will at such a time; but Mr. Moynihan, who lived but a short distance from the hospital, wrote in his most unsympathetic editorial:
“A Terrific Stench Was Noticed That Day In The Vicinity of St Joseph Hospital When Doctors Opened-Up Greene!”
Another story about Andy Moynihan said that on one occasion the Western Union clock in the City Room did not keep accurate time. Several of Andy’s calls for repair were to no avail. Andy called to Arnold Scherer to get the ladder and he would personally take down the errant clock. Before the ladder arrived, he had climbed on to a desk, ripped down the clock, spilling acid from the clock’s batteries over the books of the bookkeeper. He then proceeded to carry the clock out of the building and deposited it on the curb for trash pick-up.
From time to time The Salvation Army girls would solicit funds in the newspaper offices by passing around their tambourines. This irked Andy and he would follow the girls around, chanting, “Glory, glory, glory, I don’t believe your sob-story.” Then he would punctuate it with, “Get out of here!”
Carl Suedoff covered the police count and city hall before being transferred to the advertising department. He gave Moynihan credit for cleaning out the police department. Andy went over to City Hall and found the police chief’s office stacked with numerous gifts. At his instigation the grand jury indicted the chief and several other officers. The gifts came from gamblers and residents of the “red light” district on North Calhoun Street. Some of these houses of ill repute even had neon signs such as Fannie Joy, Hattie Hyke, Emma Mason, etc. on their houses.
Mr. Moynihan had an eye for keeping an eye on the business end of the paper while at the same time acting as his own editor. He was the first in Fort Wayne to employ a full-time photographer. “Get me a picture” was a familiar order.
He particularly resented anyone incurring an expense that was not authorized by him. This was of course; a sensible rule but many individuals resent sensible rules. One day when Mr. Moynihan was absent from the office, a typewriter needed minor repairs; and Tom Bresnahan, one of the best city editors, felt that an emergency existed and ordered it to be fixed. About the first of the month the bill came through for the amount of 50 cents and Mr. Moynihan immediately called Bresnahan on the carpet for explanations. Bresnahan explained, but Andy wanted to see the typewriter that had been fixed. Andy went out to the City Room, picked up the typewriter, and carefully looked at the place where the repairs had been made; then carrying the machine out into the middle of the street, he threw the machine violently against the bricks, saying, “There Bresnahan, you’ll have something more to fix.” So we might add again-you don’t have to be crazy to be an editor, but it is not an occupational handicap. Andy Moynihan, who was married to the socially prominent Elizabeth Hedekin sold his interest in the Journal Gazette in 1916. To be continued…
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