Thomas H. Todd, founder Long Island City Star

Thomas H. Todd founded the Long Island City Star newspaper before Long Island City was  incorporated, the first issue was published on October 20, 1865. It was the only paper in the area at the time. Todd was schooled in journalism at the Flushing Journal. Within a month of the first publishing, the friendship and patronage of the late Oliver Charlick, president of the Long Island Railroad, was secured. The railroad regularly took out paid ads in the paper, allowing it to continue when the initial years were quite lean .In 1876, the Star went daily. Its circulation grew from a few hundred to some twelve thousand per week by 1896.

Mr. Todd went missing in January 1901. A body was found in Flushing Creek in June 1902 and identified by his wife and 2 sons. But, after hearing evidence at an inquest, the family decided it wasn’t him. Meanwhile, other family members still swore it was Todd. But the inquest jury declared it wasn’t him.

By November 1902, there was a nasty battle of an “alleged will” presented by the two sons who charged that their mother and their sisters was not competent to serve as administrator of the will.

No one is sure what happened to Mr. Todd. The day he vanished, he reported for work in the morning, but looked so bad he was sent home. It was thought he would take the train to Flushing, where he lived, but instead he boarded a ferry bound for James Slip. He always had $100 with him and there is speculation that he just disappeared on his own.

Mr. Todd was highly respected for his newspaper and the work it did in the community. The paper existed until 1968 and had expanded to cover much of southern Queens and Greenpoint Brooklyn.

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