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Branford Review

is Founded

by Lois C. Flesche



            To reach the Branford Review office when it first opened in 1928, the number you called was 737. And a copy of the first newspaper would have cost you five cents. Today the Review phone number includes seven digits and cost per issue is 50 cents. Times have changed.

            The first edition of the Review was published on April 13, 1928. Its founders and owners were Myer and Jennie Leshine, owners of a stationary store and printing business in Branford.

            In that first edition, the Editor, Francis L.H. Gill said it was being “published in the interest of the people of Branford and the surrounding communities”, which included North Branford, East Haven and Guilford as well as Branford.

            The newspaper was started with the support of the Chamber of Commerce and despite some financial problems, particularly in the early years; the Branford Review has been published without interruption each week since.

            In the April first edition Gill said: “one of the greatest assets in any community is a newspaper published in the interest of the town in every respect. One that will give just credit to the activities of the community.”

            Leshine continued publication until February21, 1952 when he sold the Review to the Free Press in turn sold it to the Hamden Chronicle in March 1956 and the Chronicle sold it to the Curtis Johnson Publishing Co., Inc. in 1958. Sam B. Warner, publisher of the Shore Line Times Company, acquired the Review in 1960. In November 1972, its ownership again changed when Warner sold his newspapers, including the Review, to Richard B. Lightfoot. Subsequently, in 1978, Lightfoot sold to Capital Cities Inc., current owner of the chain.

            Meyer Leshine, born in the small Russian town of fastov in the Ukraine in 1888, immigrated to the United States in 1902 with his widowed mother and four siblings. They settled in New Haven and, with the help of relatives, purchased and operated a market in the Hill section of the city. In 1912, anxious to relocate to a more rural setting, Mrs. Leshine, Meyer’s mother purchased a stationary store from the Clancy family and moved her family to Branford.

            Leshine’s ambition was for the Review’s success. When he sold in 1952, he wrote: “my only wish is that more community spirit may prevail here so that we may make Branford a better town in which to live.”

            Meyer died in 1956. His heritage lives on.


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