History of Oregon Newspapers/Douglas County
Roseburg.—Roseburg journalism had an eventful start, what with fire and firearms. The first newspaper was the Ensign, a four-page weekly, at $3, published by Gale Brothers (H. R. and Thomas). The first issue appeared (28) in May, 1867. The plant was destroyed by fire in September, 1871; publication was resumed January 6 of the next year. For a time in 1871 the little town of about 500 had two newspapers, since the Plaindealer was started in '70. The Ensign was sold to R. Tyson of The Dalles Republican in 1872. He then began publication of the weekly Pantograph, a four-page seven-column paper, for which he charged $2.50 a year. The paper suspended in a few months.
The Plaindealer, ancestor of the Umpqua Valley News was start ed as a Democratic paper, in March, 1870, by William Thompson, picturesque westerner, who, born in Polk county, Missouri, in 1848, had come to Oregon in 1852 and settled near Eugene. There he attended Columbia College for one term, having for schoolmates such outstanding journalists as Harrison R. Kincaid and Joaquin Miller. With some type-setting and editorial experience under his in Civil War belt, obtained on the Eugene Herald-Register-Review years and the Guard in 1867-8, during which he became publisher of the paper at 18 and sold out for $1200— with all this background he accepted $1000 bonus from some good Joe Lane Democrats at Roseburg and started the Plaindealer for them. In his book, Reminiscences of a Pioneer, written in his old age at Alturas, California, he tells the story of his Roseburg experience:
My success (he wrote) was phenomenal (29), my sub scription list running up to 1200 in two years. [Phenomenal if true, with the town's population only a few hundred.]. . . Success was not attained without gaining the enmity and bitter hatred of my would-be rivals in business. Theirs was an old established paper (the Ensign, started in 1867) conducted by two brothers, Henry and Thomas Gale. . . They sought to regain (business) by indulging in abuse of the coarsest character. . . June 11, 1871, I went to my office. ...to write my letters...on leaving the office I was joined by a young friend, Mr Virgil Conn. As we proceeded down the street towards the post office I saw the brothers standing talking on the street. . . I saw at once it was to be a fight. . .
He was, he went on to write, wounded in the neck, the bullet lodging back of his eye. Also, as he tells it, he was hit with a cane and shot several other times. He returned the fire, seriously wounding one of the brothers (H. R.) Thompson's condition was so serious that noted surgeon, Dr. Sharpies, was summoned from Eugene to attend him. H. R. Gale died in 1889, never having regained his strength after the shooting.
Thompson was then only 23 years old. Recovering slowly from his wounds, he sold the paper February 1872, to L. F. Mosher, who soon associated with him John W. Kelly. Thompson then went to Salem and published the Mercury.
The Plaindealer (later the Umpqua Valley News) became Republican recalled by 1874 and so continued. The Plaindealer is recalled by L. Wimberly, old-time publisher of the Roseburg Review (30), as a powerful political paper in the 80's.
The Independent was the successor of the Ensign and the Pantograph, appearing in April, 1875, under the direction of John W. Kelly, newspaper man from Walla Walla, Boise, LaGrande, Portland, and Salem. It was a four-page paper, eight columns, for which the publisher charged $3 a year. Kelly was a strong writer and well versed in the so-called "Oregon style." He could, as Mr. Wimberly remembers, "burn 'em up when he felt so inclined." This paper was the forerunner of the Roseburg Review. Thus we have here already the two ancestors of the present News-Review—the Plaindealer and the Independent. The Independent, Walling says (31), "was sold to the Democrats in 1882."
The publishers of the Plaindealer include some well-known figures in Oregon journalism—besides Thompson, Kelly and his partner L. F. Mosher there were W. A. McPherson (1874) and W. H. Byars, who came the next year and remained for several years. Both McPherson and Byars were prominent in Salem journalism—McPherson as publisher of the Statesman in the more or less difficult days following the departure of Asahel Bush from the paper, and Byars as publisher of first the Statesman and later the Capital Journal in Salem. Under Byars the Plaindealer ran its first daily edition from February to April, 1879.
Another Roseburg paper of the late seventies was the Western Star, Democratic, started by C. L. Mosher in 1877. The paper (32) "went broke, and its former opponents got its type and machinery." Walling gave up the job of tracing out all the Roseburg papers of the period, saying (33) "There have been sporadic sheets, generally dailies . . . political. Their young lives were invariably crushed out before they had attained a sufficient importance to demand a place in history." Among the editors of the Star was Fred Floed.
Newspaper promotion on the banks of the Umpqua was more active, apparently, in the 70's, after the coming of the railroad, than at any other time in its history.
Under the editorship of Rev. J. R. N. Bell, later of Corvallis, the name of the Independent was changed in 1882 to the Roseburg Review. Bell was managing editor of this influential paper, which became, as indicated above, the Democratic organ.
In 1887 there appeared on the newspaper horizon a young man who, after leaving the University of Oregon (1886) and teaching a term of school, had just cut his first journalistic teeth out at Oakland, a few miles north. He had been running the Umpqua Herald there. In Roseburg he got in touch with S. F. (Fred) Floed, experienced newspaper man, and they formed a partnership to publish a twice-a-week in competition with the two established weeklies, the Plaindealer and the Review.
Floed & Fisher christened the paper the Umpqua Herald, same as the paper Fisher had just given up at Oakland. He had, indeed, brought along with him the same old Washington hand-press on which he had run it off. The new paper was issued semi-weekly, the first in the town and one of the first in the state.
Soon a consolidation was effected with the Review under the Review's name. J. R. N. Bell was still editor, and Floed became his partner. Fisher sold out his interest but was back in a few months, buying out both partners in this stanch Democratic paper. This was about 1888.
L. Wimberly, Roseburg native who had learned the cases in Roseburg printshops, became a part owner with Mr. Fisher in the Review in 1890, starting a period of 30 years' ownership of papers in the town, the longest in the history of Roseburg. He later became sole owner of the Review.
The paper in 1890 was one of the several nine-column papers printed in Oregon since statehood. First enlarged in 1887 from 7 to 9 columns, it had been back down and was now up again to 9. On the first page (issue of December 11, 1890), the weekly, issued Thursday, claiming 2,000 circulation, had four columns of advertising on the left side of the front page, including the usual medicine ads. The rest of the page was taken up with a mass of miscellaneou:s material, clipped from here and there, some of it news, some of it "literary" matter. On page 2, besides the land notices and more than four columns of other advertising, there was in excess of three columns of editorial, heavily political. The local news coverage, apparently, was excellent. The whole nine columns of page 3 were occupied with local news, with plenty of detail but rather formless writing. Page 4 was virtually all advertising. The paper had been semi-weekly for two months in 1889 but was now back to a weekly.
THE RAILROAD TO THE SEA
A railroad from Roseburg to ocean transportation at Coos Bay was a dream of those early years. It had been, in fact, a hope of several communities since the coming of the north-and-south line in the 70's.
Every western Oregon town, and some of the eastern ones, had dreams of railroad development and perhaps saw itself as a terminus of some line or other. That the road was never built is no fault of theirs or of the Roseburg boosters who fought for it and were ready to bleed for it financially.
In the weekly Review of Thursday, January 16, 1890, appeared one of the earliest stories promoting the project. The headline:
Our Enterprising Citizens Called to the Front
Plan of Work to be Mapped Out-Earnest Work Begins to Count
Then follows, at the top of the story, the following list of names:
T. R. SheridanDr. S. K. Buick
J. C. FullertonW. S. Hamilton
B. C. Agee
Then the story:
The above gentlemen are the Committee appointed to assume charge of the preliminary matters to secure a Railroad from Roseburg to Coos Bay. . .
The business now before the committee is to correspond with the Coos County parties and secure the active cooperation of Coos County in this matter. Some efforts will also be made to secure a proposition from Railroad men concerning the building of the road. A mass meeting will then be called and the committee will make its report and the work of soliciting funds will then begin in earnest.
* * *
Work must commence this year!
Let everybody say so and it will be so!
The road will be a paying investment and will be the initial step to a great trans-continental line making Roseburg the junction of two great systems of railroads!
It will reduce freight rates.
It will give us the San Francisco market.
It will open up a new country of which every mile has resources in agricultural land, or timber or mineral wealth.
It will raise the price of grain.
• • • •
You want it,
We want it
Everybody wants it
And furthermore, all are determined to have it!
Just one word more.
Don't discourage it.
Don't say you can't build it,
Don't be a Mossback
Don't be a Clam
Boom the Railroad, Read the Bugle Call, Invest in Real Estate, get a move on and sing
"The Ocean to Roseburg!"
Now, after a start like that, it's a pity the project didn't succeed. The townspeople, valiantly led by their newspapers, were raising money for several years. For a time the trouble seemed to be that the railroad people preferred to connect the coast line with the main line at or near Wilbur. Then the depression of the 90's came and cut off most of the railroad building. The line was finally put through from Eugene to Marshfield in 1917.
The Review Publishing Company, with Wimberly, Floed, and Fisher associated, was organized February 12, 1891. Mr. Floed retired from the company June 13, 1902, and acquired an interest in the Marion County Democrat, Salem, with E. H. Flagg.
Shortly before this time the Review began the practice of running under its masthead on the editorial page a list of new subscribers.
Charles H. Fisher now carried his name at the masthead as managing editor, with Wimberly first as local editor, then as associate editor.
Mr. Fisher had the old Jeffersonian idea of cheap and restricted government activity. The newly created forest service was seen chiefly as an item of needless expense. An editorial in the Review now a newly established daily paper, August 5, 1898, called the rangers' work
a vacation in the mountains at $50 a month . . . and nothing more. . . The creation of forest reserves on a large scale with a big army of officials . . . is an extravagance and is wholly without benefit to the public. Times are hard and the compensation of labor is falling, but the expenses of the government are increased on every hand, and taxes are constantly becoming more burdensome. Where will it all end?
Mr. Fisher did not live to get a look at a national budget of the 1930's.
One of Mr. Fisher's interesting departures while in charge of the Review in 1894 (it was then a semi-weekly) was to sell space in the paper to the Populists, in which they could express them selves in any way they wished in "America's Greatest Country Newspaper," as he was calling the Review. In the issue of June 11, 1894, he was busy explaining to indignant Populists that the proposed charge for a Populist column was not a discrimination but that he would have charged the Republican or the Democratic county central committee twice as much because the Populists "had no paper in the country, and we like to see fair play in politics as well as in everything else." "The Review," he said, "claims no dis tinction as a political organ, but it does claim to be a newspaper, and one of the best in the state, too." He finally leased a column to the Populists, who ran the People's Party county ticket and some editorials favoring fiat money, etc. At the head the editor disclaimed for the Review all responsibility for anything in the column. It was continued through the campaign, filled with Populist doctrine. One day (April 19) a fictional conversation appeared:
"Poor Smith, I see the sheriff has closed him out at last."
. . .
"Pa, this is a bankers' panic, aided and abetted by such men as Cleveland, Sherman, Voorhees, Hoar & Company. It is another step toward serfdom for the masses."
Mr. Fisher continued as managing editor of the Review until February 5. 1901, with the paper firmly established since March 1, 1898, as a daily except Sunday publication, the only one then in Oregon south of Eugene. It was a five-column tabloid, about half advertising, 2 columns of advertising on the left side of the front page. Typographically it was a neat paper. He had not been get ting along well with the Plaindealer editor, but that had nothing to do with his departure. He left for Boise, Idaho, where he was a founder and the first editor of the Capital News. In his valedictory he said, in part:
The name of L. Wimberly appears as editor February 7, 1901, and B. W. Bates as foreman. This was an association which was to be resumed many years later. The battle for circulation between the two papers was spirited. In 1903 the Plaindealer reported 1800 and the Review 2,000. Both were semi-weeklies. The Evening Review claimed 450. In 1908 the News, successor to the Plaindealer, was claiming a few hundred more than its rival.
To my friends in Douglas county I say farewell and will ever treasure and value their friendship. To my enemies, and they are a necessary result of fearless, out-spoken journalism, I also bid good-bye and call accounts settled.
The Plaindealer was pounding along down the years as a regular Republican organ. Successive publishers after W. H. Byars were E. G. Hursh (1883-5), D. S. K. Buick, Benjamin & Buick, F. P. Cronemiller, who sold to ex- Postmaster W. F. Benjamin in 1894 after three years at the helm; J. B. Eddy, who bought out W. F. Benjamin, C. Y. Benjamin retaining an interest; E. D. Stratford.
In 1899 W. C. Conner, who has owned and edited a lot of newspapers in western Oregon in the last forty years, came from Myrtle Point, where he had been publishing the Enterprise, to be co-publisher of the twice-a-week Plaindealer with F. W. Beach, formerly of Lakeview and later of the Hotel News at Portland. This regime, which began April 17, 1899, was succeeded in August, 1902, by that of H.. H. Brooks editor and Mary K. Brooks proprietor. Brooks ran under his masthead a statement that the
"editor of the Plaindealer has no intention of making a false statement reflecting upon the life or character of any person, officially or otherwise, and any statement published in these columns will be cheerfully corrected if erroneous and brought to our attention by the aggrieved party or parties."
This sounded like good newspaper ethics. Brooks, however, was having his troubles. His name dropped out of the masthead May 5, 1904, and in an affidavit published in the Plaindealer June 2, W. C. Conner. former owner, alleged that Brooks had bluffed and bullied him into giving him on option on a half interest in the plant. He accused Brooks of using blackmailing methods and said he was forced finally to accept 45 cents on the dollar for his interest in the paper. June 27, 1904, there appeared in the paper a notice of the reorganization of the Plaindealer with W. C. Conner editor and F. H. Rogers manager. In a short time the paper, still a twice-a-week, was sold and in 1906 the name was changed to the Umpqua Valley News. The paper was now owned by a group of local Republicans made up of A. C. Marsters, coming owner, editor, and publisher. In 1911 he sold the paper to Carl D. Shoemaker, later state game commissioner, and M. J. Shoemaker, who continued to run Republican. After six years the Shoemakers sold the paper back to Bates., Dr. K. L. Miller, George L. Brown, "Bill" Cardwell, and others. They hired W. E. Willis as editor and manager, and B. W. Bates, formerly of the Review, to run the mechanical department. Bates bought out the others in 1907 and started the Evening News, a daily, in 1908,
The period of the World war saw the papers running along, the Review and the News, both evening papers, and neither making much money under the intensive competition in a small city. Wimberly and Bates had been partners on the Review, were on friendly terms and not disposed toward mutual throat-cutting. Finally they got together to discuss the question of consolidating the papers. Mr. Bates found himself unable to raise the money his competitor was asking for the Review. Mr. Wimberly, who was feeling less robust than usual, finally, so the story goes, offered to let Mr. Bates take the paper over, with the idea that he would pay for it as soon as he could. Payments proved difficult until one day Roseburg found itself the center of one of the great murder mysteries of recent times—the Brumfield case of 1921. Remember it? The prosperous dentist who murdered a rancher, partly burned the body in Brumfield's car at a dangerous spot in the road where the dentist had been saying he feared he would have a wreck, then disappeared, leaving, he hoped, the impression that he had been the victim of the expected accident. Detectives uncovered the crime. Roseburg became the centre of nationwide interest. Metropolitan papers sent their reporters to the scene. Columns and columns of copy were sent out daily for weeks. The Oregonian sent young Don Skene, even then a recognized clever writer but not yet an experienced reporter. Charlie Stanton, Roseburg newsgatherer, used to coach him on the beginnings of his stories, which were still bothering Don. The story was the beginning of a career for Don Skene which sent him to New York and Europe and landed him among the top-flight newspaper writers of the country (34).
Well, anyhow, this story was the making of the News-Review. The circulation went up from 1500 to 24OO while the excitement was on—and it lasted some time, until finally Brumfield, convicted of murder, and awaiting execution, hanged himself at the state prison. The paper was now "paying big," and there was no trouble about the payments to Mr. Wimberly. B. W. Bates and his son Bert G., who had become a partner and conducted "Prune Pickin's," one of Oregon's good columns, had a fine property to sell when they disposed of it to the Frank Jenkins-Ernest Gilstrap combination in March 1929.
Harris Ellsworth, who was acting as the first field manager for the Oregon State Editorial Association (now the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association), was made editor of the News-Review and is now in his eleventh year on the job. The newspaper operates its own radio, KRNR.
Mr. Wimberly of the old Review, who retired from journalism in 1920, has been living in Los Angeles.
Some of the other Roseburg newspapers:
There was the little Roseburg Champion, started (and practically finished) May 31, 1903. On its very first issue an accident on the press pied the forms of hand-set type in a hopeless heap, and a smaller makeshift paper that Sunday morning was the result. The Champion was licked in the first round—and it didn't "come back."
Back in 1906 J. W. Strange & Son, W. D. Strange, now in charge of the News-Review mechanical department, started the Spokesman, an independent weekly, issued Thursdays, which ran for about two years.
The Roseburg Oracle, a job printer's publication, came and left in 1900.
Two papers were started in 1914—The Oregon Grange Bulletin, semi-monthly, which the veteran C. H. Bailey continues to edit at Roseburg for the State Grange, and the Tax Liberator, a monthly started by Robert E. Smith, outstanding authority on taxation, which was moved to Portland and there ran for many years.
Clyde S. Shaw, of Oakland, started the Roseburg Chieftain, a weekly paper, in 1931. continuing it until 1938, when he sold to Steen M. Johnson, formerly of the Sheridan Sun.
Bert G. Bates and associates launched the Roseburg Times as a twice-a-week in 1934, raised it to a daily the next year. But the field did not require two dailies, and the paper was suspended in 1936.
Oakland. —This little town served in the 80's as the starting-point for an outstanding newspaper man. In 1886 just after finishing a year or two in the University of Oregon, Charles H. Fisher provided himself with capital by teaching school for a few months, and then, with the help of an older brother, William H., a Roseburg merchant, purchased (1887) the Umpqua Herald, which Milton H. Tower had just started in Oakland, population not more than 400. After a few months of rustling items, setting them up, and pulling the lever of an old Washington hand-press, young Fisher suspended the paper, moved to Roseburg (35), and started another Umpqua Herald there. But that's a Roseburg story. Mr. Tower is now (1939) a resident of Portland.
The Oakland field was then taken over by the Enterprise, a Friday weekly published by Mr. Tower. The paper too suspended, after Thomas R. Gribbe had conducted it for a year (1888).
The Observer was next, established in 1890 as a Friday weekly by H. J. Richmond. It was gone before the call came for information for the newspaper directory of 1892.
Next came T. G. Ruth, with the Gazette, started in 1897 and continuing for two years. The Oakland Owl followed. D. E. (Dave) Vernon, who founded this paper April 6, 1899, was the actual ancestor of the present Oakland Tribune. He carried the paper for many years, once selling to W. C. Black, then buying it back. The name was changed to the Advance, and so it was in April 1919, when Claude A. Riddle, who before 1918 had been publishing the Riddle Tribune, moved to Oakland, leaving the field to Carl P. Cloud with his Enterprise. Riddle changed the name Advance to Tribune. He sold to Don Carlos Boyd, who after a few months sold to Rev. R. A. Hutchinson, Congregational minister, well known in the Northwest (1920).
Mr. Hutchinson was succeeded in 1921 by the present owners. Albert Lea Mallery and his wife, Olive S. Mallery, who had arrived less than a year before from Minnesota, Mr. Mallery's native state, where he had edited the Alexandria Post-News. In 1925 the Mallerys left Oakland, and for six years the paper was run by Clyde S. Shaw, formerly of the University Press, Eugene, and his sons, Barney and Dudley, together with Mrs. Shaw. Mr. Mallery returned in 1931 and since then has conducted the paper, assisted by Mrs. Mallery.
In 1924 and 1925, while at Oakland, Mallery served as president of the Oregon State Editorial Association.
Drain.—This little Douglas County town, former seat of a state normal school, has had several newspapers, pone of which, until the present Drain Enterprise, endured. The Drain Echo seems to have been the first of Drain's newspapers. The founder of this Friday weekly was E. W. Kuykendall. Two years later he was succeeded as editor-publisher by J. M. McCollum, who in turn was followed in 1888 by E. P. Thorp, who founded the Cottage Grove Leader in 1899 and printed it in his Drain office for three months before installing a plant in Cottage Grove. Thorp continued the Echo at Drain until 1895, when he moved to Cottage Grove and combined the Cottage Grove and Drain papers as the Echo-Leader. Mr. Thorp died in 1897, and the Echo was suspended. The Drain Press followed, conducted by Edwin Rhodes, but it was discontinued in 1898.
Miss Laura E. Jones started the North Douglas Watchman, a Thursday weekly, in Drain in 1898. She continued in charge until 1900, when she sold to Benton Mires and Herman Miller. This paper was discontinued in 1901, to be followed by the Nonpareil, edited and published by A. T. Fetter. Later publishers of the Nonpareil were F. H. and E. A. Rogers, Sloan P. Shutt, C. L. Parker.
Drain's present paper, the Enterprise, was started May 4, 1922, by W. A. Priaulx. now of Chiloquin. Three years later the present publisher, H. R. Young, purchased the paper. Mrs. Young is his linotype operator.
Riddle. —This little town, on the railroad, takes its journalism in connection with its little neighbor, Canyonville, three miles distant, on the highway. The same paper serves in both communities a population of several hundred.
The Riddle Enterprise seems to have been the town's first paper. W. C. Conner, of Thorp & Conner, Drain and Cottage Grove publishers, started it in 1893, suspending Myrtle Point in 1897.
The field was taken over by the Mite, founded by Claude A. Riddle, former compositor on the Review and later editor or printer on other Douglas county publications. The little paper, started in 1896, gave up the struggle August 1897. It had been well named, for Publisher Riddle had gauged the size of the paper by the size of the field—four pages 6×11 inches, at $1 a year.
In 1909 Mr. Riddle was back with another paper, which is regarded as the actual ancestor of the present South Umpqua News. This was the Tribune, issued Thursdays. With the exception of 1911, when R. K. Trivett held the helm, Mr. Riddle carried on until 1917. Two years later Carl P. Cloud, formerly a Tribune employee, launched the Enterprise and installed a linotype for his little paper, then the smallest Oregon town to boast machine composition, and carried on until 1925, when he sold to A. W. Anderson. The next year Ben E. H. Manning took over, continuing until January 3, 1930, when he was killed in an automobile accident. The paper was then handled by L. M. Kusler owner, with K. C. Gaines editor and publisher. H. J. Wilkins succeeded Mr. Gaines in 1931. L. E. Gaines took charge in 1935. The paper is published (1939) by W. C. Pelham.
For several years after 1904, while Riddle was without a publication, the Canyonville Echo was conducted by Harriet E. Scovill. Miss Margaret Scovill was in charge when publication was suspended in 1909, as the Riddle Tribune took up the battle.
Sutherlin.—The Sutherlin Sun had a comparatively short career (born August 29, 1910); but its editor and owner. Will J. Hayner, with 70 years of printing and publishing and editing experience behind him, was, so far as this writer has been able to learn, the old est newspaper man in experience, if not in personal age, in the state of Oregon and one of the oldest in the country.
With the exception of four months of the eight years he was postmaster under the Wilson administration Mr. Hayner was continuously the Sun's editor and publisher. In that brief period the paper was directed by Lewis M. Beebe, now a California newspaper man, who had been editor of the Springfield News for several years.
Mr. Hayner was assisted by his wife, Mrs. Mary L. Hayner. For several years she operated the paper's linotype, which was the first typesetting machine she ever had seen.
The Sun's plant was destroyed in a fire which swept the little business district of Sutherlin September 19, 1938. Mr. Hayner did not feel able to start again in such a limited field.
Will Hayner was io years old when he began his printing career, in the office of the Allegany County Reporter, county seat weekly in Belmont, New York. The Reporter had a circulation of 1200 and was printed on a Washington hand-press. "It was my job," Mr Hayner told this writer, "to ink the forms after every paper was printed, and this job generally covered a period from about 4 in the afternoon until 1 or 2 o'clock the following morning-the length of time depending on the amount of beer the pressman drank during the process." After a few years of working on several newspapers in and near Belmont, young Hayner hit the road as a typographical tourist, meeting interesting old-timers and having experiences which have put life into a book he has prepared for publication entitled The Trail of a Typo. He came to Sutherlin from Burley, Idaho, where he had edited the Bulletin for several years. EXTRA!-Just as this proof is being read, the irrepressible old publisher is resuming publication of the Sun (September).
Gardiner and Reedsport.-These little towns on Winchester bay, at the mouth of the Umpqua, have a journalism story going back to 1902, when the Gardiner Gazette was founded by H. C. Davis. His successor at the helm within a few months was O. L. Williams who carried on until 1906, when Miss Edith Smythe took hold. She announced for the 1908 Ayer's directory a circulation of 160 at $1.50 a year. It is therefore not surprising that the community lay fallow journalistically for several years, from 1909 to 1913. Through its early years the paper was printed in the Roseburg Review office.
The Port Umpqua Courier, present Reedsport-Gardiner publication, printed at Reedsport, was established at Gardiner April 24, 1913, by J. H. Austin. He moved the paper to Reedsport in 1918, put in a plant, and began printing the paper in his own office.
Meanwhile George H. Baxter started the Index at Gardiner, continuing after the departure of the Courier. He suspended in 1921.
That same year George J. Ditgen and Maurice Richards became the publishers, and in 1923 were claiming 600 circulation. In 1926 James W. Reed became editor for Ditgen, and the circulatiorn claim was boosted to 1,000. Four years later the paper came into the possession of Reeds, Inc., with Robin Reed, former world's amateur lightweight wrestling champion, brother of James, associated in the concern, and Fred Sefton editor. B. W. Talcott, ex perienced newspaper man with daily experience in Eugene and else where, edited the paper from 1931 to 1933. Since then Robin Reed, owner, has been, most of the time, in personal charge. C. A. Riddle, of Riddle, Oakland, Roseburg and other points, an experienced printer and editor, was associated with Mr. Reed in the editing and management for a time. The present (1939) managing editor is Lila Babbitt.
Glendale.—S. P. Shutt was the founder, in 1902, of the Glendale News, one of many papers he either founded or edited durinig his lifetime of newspaper work in the Northwest, mostly in Ore gon. The paper was launched in 1902 as an independent weekly, issued Fridays. Later editors were William E. Homme (1907), J. L. Campbell (1908-24), Carl P. Cloud (1924), Howard F. Griffin (1925). In 1926 the paper was purchased by C. J. Shorb, of Mac's Printing Company, Gold Hill, who made it a member of his chain of weeklies and changed the name to the Log. After 1930 the paper had a succession of editors. For the last year the editor has been Wallace G. Iverson.
Myrtle Creek.—Charles W. Rice retired in June, 1937, a few months before this was written, after 31 years' continuous publication of the same Friday weekly paper, the Mail, a record equaled by few publishers in the history of Oregon. The paper was founded in 1903 by H. A. Williams, who sold the next year to Lew L. McKenney. In 1906 Mr. Rice purchased the paper, which was Republican and has so remained, under his ownership. The next publisher, A. K. Lulay, formerly published the Siuslaw Region at Florence and later for a time was in charge of the mechanical department of the Stayton Mail. Mr. Rice died in Pasadena, California, where he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, in February 1938. The present (1939) publisher is Claude Riddle.
Medford.—"Newest town in southern Oregon, is an important station on the railway. . . likely to become an important shippingpoint. In the winter of 1883-4 about forty wooden buildings were put up, and foundations of a brick building of considerable size laid." Walling's History of Jackson, Douglas, Curry and Coos Counties, page 375.
Medford's journalism history and, in fact, its history in general, begins in old Jacksonville. Jacksonville goes right back to the fifties, and Jacksonville's first newspaper, the old Table Rock Sentinel, back to 1855 (36).
Jacksonville was an early southern Oregon metropolis. Situated near a rich mining region and having the advantage of location on the route to California, it grew from trading post to a