The San Jose Mercury News was first published, on this site, on June 20, 1851. Known as the San Jose Weekly Visitor, it was the city's fist permanent newspaper. The paper changed owners and mastheads several times before becoming the San Jose Weekly Mercury in 1861. In 1901, E.A. and J.O. Hayes bought the paper merging it with the San Jose Herald. Brothers whose vast wealth derived from their Ashland iron mine, they saw the press as a vehicle for political reform. The Hayes family controlled the paper until 1952, when it was purchased by Ridder Publications. In 1974, Knight Newspapers merged with Ridder to form a new company, Knight-Ridder.