History of Oregon Newspapers/Multnomah County

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MULTNOMAH


The Gresham Outlook, a twice-a-week from the start through most of its history, was launched in 1911, with H. L. St. Clair, former printer on the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a divinity graduate prevented by ill health from preaching, as owner and publisher. The first number came off the press March 3, 1911. The original plant, inventoried at $3,000,—a reminder, incidentally, that the days of starting a newspaper with a plant worth three or four hundred dollars were over—included a Junior Linotype, a small, less expensive model of the Linotype, fit only to set straight matter, without the great adaptability and scope of the larger machines; a "pony" (small) cylinder press, a job press, a small table stapler, a 19-inch paper-cutter, an imposing-stone, a few small tools, and a cabinet of display or "job" type.

The new paper crowded out a weekly already in the field, the Beaver State Herald, which succumbed in about six months. The original quarters were three small housekeeping rooms, and the Outlook has had to move twice since then to accommodate expanding needs. When publication of a monthly magazine for the Multnomah Camp No. 77, Woodmen of the World, of Portland, was undertaken, a full-sized Model K was substituted for the Junior linotype, and later still another linotype was added, with new presses and power equipment.

In 1917 the business was incorporated under the name of the Outlook Publishing Company, with Mr. and Mrs. St. Clair and their son Chase as incorporators and stockholders. The first news writer was A. R. Lyman.

Aside from the editor himself and Chase St. Clair the company has been served longest by Miss Emma Johnson, linotype operator, who went to work on the junior machine a few weeks after the paper started. She was promoted to the standard machine on its installation. Mrs. H. L. St. Clair has served as bookkeeper, office manager, assistant editor and news writer for close to 25 years.

Since the death of Mr. St. Clair in 1938, his sons, L. T. and Chase E., have had charge of the paper.

Gresham's first newspaper, the weekly Gazette, was started by a Mr. Watson early in 1904. Within a few months the paper was taken over by Fred Conley, a local business man, who carried it along until February, 1905, when a group of three Gresham men assumed the financial burden and hired H. L. St. Clair as printer and manager. The name of the paper was changed at that time to the East Multnomah Record. In August, 1905, Timothy Brownhill purchased the paper, enlarged the plant, and changed the name to the Beaver State Herald. He sold to H. A. Darnall in 1908, and Darnall continued publication until August, 1911, when he moved plant and paper to Lents, in Portland, where publication soon was suspended.

Multnomah.—The Multnomah Community Press, lately shortened to Press, member of the Jeffries chain of papers published at the neighboring towns of Multnomah, Aloha, Tigard, and Beaverton, has been running along since 1921, when it was founded by R. P. Conger, with Katherine Shaw as editor. A prior paper, locally owned, called the Citizen, suspended shortly after the advent of the Community Press.