A Brief History – The Dispatch Story

The Warwick Valley Dispatch, Warwick’s hometown weekly newspaper, has served the Town of Warwick since its founding in 1885 by George F. Ketchum – one of Orange County’s most well-known newspaper men of his time. Mr. Ketchum’s love of printer’s ink started when he worked at a variety of newspapers until an opportunity came for him to follow his dream of owning a weekly newspaper.

When George was appointed Postmaster of Warwick by President Woodrow Wilson in 1918, he turned the Dispatch over to his daughter, Florence L. Ketchum. Florence abandoned her stage career as a dramatic reader in 1907 to become an assistant at the Dispatch, and later a managing editor. Her capability as a journalist, and her interest in others, were known far beyond the bounds of the Town of Warwick. Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was Florence’s personal friend, considered her one of the outstanding women of her acquaintance.


When Florence became ill in 1943, her niece Betty Jane Banes, the daughter of her only sister, Dr. Jane Ketchum Banes, became the owner. Having deep convictions, Betty was known as a “journalist’s journalist.” She wrote articles, columns and editorials, did bookkeeping, editing and most of the lay-out.

Betty and her husband, F. Eugene (Gene) Wright, Sr., formed a partnership in 1947, publishing both the Warwick Valley Dispatch and the Independent Republican, now the Goshen Independent. Before Betty passed away in 2000, she handed over the reins to her oldest son, the current owner and publisher, F. Eugene (Gene) Wright, Jr. Mr. Wright and his staff continue the tradition of excellence established in its founding and to provide the Town of Warwick with an informative and interesting community newspaper.

Staying true to the premise of what local businesses are all about, the Dispatch doesn’t send the newspaper out of town to be printed. The paper is worked on, laid out and actually printed in the Dispatch building in the Village of Warwick on a Webendorfer offset web press that was purchased in 1972 from The Murray Printing Co. in Forge Village, MA.

The Warwick Valley Dispatch is a legal newspaper. It is the official newspaper for the Town of Warwick; the Villages of Warwick, Florida and Greenwood Lake; the Florida Union Free School District, the Warwick Valley Central School District and the Greenwood Lake Union Free School District; Florida, Greenwood Lake and Albert Wisner Public Libraries; the Warwick Little League; and the Florida, Greenwood Lake, Pine Island and Warwick Fire Districts.

The Warwick Valley Dispatch is located at 2 Oakland Avenue, Warwick NY 10990.

The mailing address is Warwick Valley Dispatch, P.O. Box 594, Warwick, NY 10990.