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 Thurston County Newspapers

Bucoda
Enterprise,
established in November, 1889, by R. F. Pattison and J. W. Julian and its publication continued until 1894 when it suspended and the plant was moved to Cosmopolis. (J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, page 118.) No files have been located.

Olympia
Capital, in 1886, J. N. Gale, a former publisher of the Transcript and, later, of the Echo, established the New Transcript, as a weekly temperance paper. The failing health of the publisher prevented success and in 1888 he sold the paper to H. W. Bessac. He changed its name to Review and in 1889 sold it to J. C. Rathbun, who, in 1890, sold it to B. M. Price. Mr. Price changed the name to Capital and for a few months issued an afternoon edition. From Mr. Bessac's ownership, the paper had been Republican, but in 1892 it became an advocate of the People's Party. (J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, pages 117-118.)

Columbian, the first newspaper published in the northern half of the old Oregon Territory, issued its first number on September 11, 1852. The people north of the Columbia River were agitating the organization of a new Territory to be known as the Territory of Columbia. That was one reason for establishing the paper and was also the reason for choosing the name Columbian. The equipment for the paper was brought from Portland in the schooner Mary Taylor in the summer of 1852. The press was an old Ramage, so called because it was constructed by Adam Ramage, who went to Philadelphia in 1790 and is believed to have been the first builder of presses in America. This particular press has had a remarkable history. It was used in Mexica for the printing of pronuncimientos until 1834, when it was moved to Monterey, California, for a similar service. In 1846, it was moved to San Francisco, where the Star and, later, the Alto California were printed on it. When Thomas J. Dryer established the Portland Oregonian, this same old press printed the first issue on December 4, 1850. After serving the Columbian, it printed the first paper in Seattle and pioneered in other towns. It is now a prized relic in the University of Washington museum. (George PI. Himes, in the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, Volume IV., page 375, note; and Clinton A. Snowden: History of Washington, Volume III., page 147.) The men who established the Columbian were James W. Wiley and Thornton F. McElroy. The first issue announced that it would be published every Saturday at "$5 per year by mail or taken at the office." Another announcement declared: "Neutral in Politics. Devoted to the interests of Oregon, and the Territory north of the Columbia River in particular." Agents for the paper were announced as follows: "Isaac N. Ebey, Whidby's Island; Henry C. Wilson, Port Townsend; Balch & Palmer, Steilacoom; W. W. Miller, Nisqually; E. D. Warbass, Cowlitz Farms; S. S. Ford, Sen., Chickeeles; Chas. C. Terry &; Co., New York [first name of Seattle]; D. F. Brownfield, New Dungeness; F. S. Holland, Oregon City." The reading matter in that first issue includes: an article of two columns by W. D. Porter, taken from the National Intelligencer; an adventure story entitled "Misfortunes of Jack Beckler." "The Battle of Platsburg," one column; and five columns were devoted to the printing of the oration by D, R. Bigelow, delivered in Olympia on the previous Fourth of July. There were forty-two advertisements in the issue and several of them were illustrated with symbols such as house, tree, cow, ship, shoe, horse and steamboat. In the third issue there is an article headed, "To the Residents of Northern Oregon," advocating the election of delegates to a convention to petition for the organization of the proposed new Territory of Columbia. This cause was followed up vigorously in the following issues. In March, 1853, Mr. Wiley retired from the paper. Of course, it could not have been known in Olympia that on the second day of that very month the new Territory had been created, but with the name changed from Columbia to Washington. Mr. Wiley was succeeded by J. J. Beebe, who remained in the firm for four months, retiring on July 13. On September 17, Mr. McElroy retired and Matt. K. Smith took charge of the paper. On December 3, J. W. Wiley and A. M. Berry appear as publishers with Mr. Wiley as editor. The name of the paper was then changed to Washington Pioneer and soon afterwards to Pioneer and Democrat. (H. H. Bancroft, Works, Volume XXXI, pages 77 and 377.) The subsequent record will be traced under the title of Pioneer and Democrat. Complete files of the Columbian are in the possession of Harry B. McElroy, of Olympia; the University of Washington Library, and the State Library at Olympia.

Commercial, Age, given by former writers as the predecessor of the Courier. Mr. C. B. Bagley says that is not true. Instead it was the lineal successor of the Territorial Republican. Both those papers were founded and conducted in the interest of Selucius Garfielde in his campaigns for Delegate to Congress. After his second election Commercial Age discontinued. (Interview with Victor J. Farrar in April, 1921.) The Seattle Intelligencer for July 18, 1870, quoting the Olympia Tribune, said: "The Commercial Age printing material was sold last evening (11th inst.) to Messrs L. G. Abbott and R. H. Hewitt for the sum of $2,800. The purchasers finish the public printing and continue the publication of the temperance paper. The Age is a thing of the past."

Courier, the second paper published in Washington Territory was the Puget Sound Courier, established at Steilacoom on May 19, 1855, by William B. Affleck and E. T. Gunn. The paper continued only about a year, but the name was revived for a publication in Olympia. Mr. Gunn was a capable newspaper man. When a serious bolt was made from the Republican Party in 1867, he began in Olympia a paper called the Transcript, which he continued until his death in 1883. With the influence of this paper and others a fusion was effected between the bolting Republicans and the Democrats, resulting in the election of Judge O. B. McFadden to Congress over Selucius Garfielde, the Republican nominee. This aroused the Republicans who organized the Puget Sound Printing Company, including Surveyor General (afterwards Governor) Elisha P. Ferry and E. P. Beach. They purchased a plant in Port Townsend and on January 1, 1872, they published in Olympia the first issue of the Puget Sound Daily Courier. In announcing the event, the Seattle Intelligencer on January 8, 1872, said the new paper would support Republican measures and men and it would be under the editorial charge of Mr. E. V. Leveridge, who was then on his way to assume those duties. He did not remain in Olympia long and Mr. Beach took active charge of the paper. Henry G. Struve, then a lawyer in Olympia, did much editorial work. While the paper was started as a daily, a weekly edition was also published. In December, 1872, Clarence B. Bagley became business manager and city editor. On June 1, 1873, he and John R. Harned purchased the plant and the newspaper. In that year, 1873, Mr. Bagley secured the office of Territorial Printer, which position he held for ten years. On November 1, 1873, the publishing firm was styled C. B. Bagley & Co., and two years later it was just C. B. Bagley. Mr. Bagley's early manhood was devoted to printing and newspaper work. There is an interesting reason for his entering that field. Soon after the Civil War, while holding a minor political position he conceived the idea of getting onto the market a deck of playing cards after the style of those used in the popular game of authors. Instead of the names of writers and titles of their works, he used the names of Union Generals and the battles they had fought. He took his cards to be printed in the office of Mr. Randall H. Hewitt of the Echo. Superintending that job, led him to determine to become a printer. As soon as his political employment ended he went into the Echo shop and he says he became a competent journeyman in three months. A financial venture by his father drew him to Seattle and he forgot the printing plan until his friends Garfielde and associates had encountered financial difficulties and sent for Mr. Bagley to come to the aid of the Courier. This he did as related above. In December, 1874, the Puget Sound Daily Courier suspended, though the weekly edition continued. Early in 1877 a coalition was made with a paper called Olympian and the Daily Courier was issued for a short time. In 1884, Mr. Bagley sold the newspaper and plant to W. H. Roberts and F. A. Dunham, who continued the Weekly Courier and for a time issued also the Daily Critic. In 1885, the paper was sold to Thomas H. Cavanaugh who, on December 5, 1885, changed the name to Partisan. (Clarence B. Bagley, "Pioneer Papers of Puget Sound," in the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, Volume IV., pages 380-381; J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, page 116; H. H. Bancroft, Works, Volume XXXI., page 377.) There are partial files of the Courier in the Seattle Public Library and in the Library of the University of Washington.

Daily Critic, issued for a short time by W. H. Roberts and F. A. Dunham from the office of the Courier. No files have been reported.

Daily Olympian, not to be confused with the Evening Olympian mentioned below. In 1871, there came to the Territory, Francis H. Cook, a young but skillful and experienced newspaper man. He got employment in the Courier office and in a few weeks became its foreman. In 1874, he bought the Echo, a paper started in 1868 by Randall H. Hewitt. Evidently the vigor of Mr. Cook disturbed the unstable newspaper equilibrium in Olympia. A combination was made between Clarence B. Bagley, of the Republican Courier, and John Miller Murphy, of the Democratic Standard. Together they would publish the Olympian, ostensibly for boom purposes, but really to freeze out Cook's Echo. The Olympian was to be strictly non-partisan. Mr. Bagley and Mr. Murphy were each to have charge of alternate issues of the paper. Mr. Cook promptly accepted the challenge and for a few weeks devoted his columns to a "History of the Combination," to which the Olympian made almost daily reply. The harmony between Mr. Bagley and Mr. Murphy continued until the fall campaigning approached. On August 31, 1876, they frankly announced their inability to longer pull together. The paper passed into the hands of Mr. Bagley on September 2. He issued it from the Courier office as an out-and-out Republican journal, supporting his faction of the party. After the campaign, on November 21, 1876, he sold the Olympian to Mark Dobrin, who edited it until February 7, 1877, when it was suspended. The battle against Mr. Cook was apparently successful as he moved to Tacoma in 1877 and resumed a newspaper career in the "Terminus City." There is a file nearly complete in the Seattle Public Library. It begins with Volume I., Number 1, February 28, 1876. (J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, page 117; Clarence B. Bagley, "Pioneer Newspapers of Puget Sound," in the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, Volume IV., pages 381-382; Julian Hawthorne, History of Washington, Volume I., pages 429-434.)

Echo, the Seattle Intelligencer on August 17, 1868, made this announcement: "We have received the prospectus of the Temperance Echo, a paper to be devoted to temperance and education. It it to be published in Olympia, under the control of a committee designated by the temperance organization of the Territory." The first number appeared on October 1, 1868. At the end of the first year the plant was bought by L. G. Abbott and C. B. Bagley, but Mr. Bagley soon sold his interest to J. H. Munson. In October, 1870, Mr. Munson became sole owner. The Olympia Transcript on February 18, 1871, announced: "Mr. R. H. Hewitt has again become publisher of the Temperance Echo, of which Mr. L. P. Vernon is editor and Mr. J. H. Munson proprietor." In November, 1873, the paper was acquired by James N. Gale, who sold it during the next year to Francis H. Cook. He changed it to a political paper. This brought about the successful coalition against him the results of which are told in the sketch of the Daily Olympian (Charles Prosche, Washington Press Association Proceedings, 1887-1890, page 26; J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, page 116.) There are incomplete files of both the weekly and daily issues in the Seattle Public Library.

Evening Olympian, begun in the latter part of February, 1889, by John Miller Murphy, publisher of the Standard. This venture was in compliance with a contract with real estate men for a period oi six months. At the expiration of the contract the city was facing an election as to the retention or removal of the capital for the new Slate. The Board of Trade then helped the little paper to publish until after the election. (J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, page 118.) No files have been reported.

Far West, in 1865, E. W. Foster issued this monthly magazine devoted to morals, religion, health, education, and agriculture. Competition in that line from older communities was too keen and the magazine was short lived. (H. H, Bancroft, Works, Volume XXXI., page 379.) No files have been reported.

New Transcript, begun in 1886 by J. N. Gale, who sold the plant to H. W. Bessac in 1888. Subsequent sales and changes of name resulted in the Capital See Capital.

Northwest Democrat, see Pioneer and Democrat. Northwest Teacher, a monthly, devoted to the interests of education, was founded by E. E. Follansbee, principal of the public schools, and continued publication until 1890. (J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, page 117.) No files have been reported.

North-Western Farmer, a short lived paper beginning on January 2, 1875. The Seattle Intelligencer of January 9, 1875, thus announced the new arrival: "The new Grange paper has just issued its first number. It is a seven column sheet, and is published by R. H. Hewitt, Esq. at Olympia." The paper suspended on December 11, 1875, when it was merged with the Temperance Echo. Incomplete files are in the Seattle Public Library and the University of Washington Library.

Overland Press, a paper with a brief but rather spectacular career, was founded on July 29, 1861, by Alonzo M. Poe. He was the Olympia agent for the Victoria, B. C., Press. That paper had a rival in Victoria, called the Colonist. Of course there was great interest in news of the Civil War. The steamer Eliza Anderson left Olympia for Victoria every Monday morning. The Colonist put on a special reporter who gathered all the war news received in Olympia during the week and edited the items on the voyage to Victoria, thus "scooping" the rival Press. To overcome this advantage, Mr. Poe arranged with John Miller Murphy of the Washington

Standard, to put the collected war news into type and run off a supplement to be used by the Press as soon as the steamer arrived in Victoria. The brilliant scheme was so successful that Mr. Poe conceived the idea of a newspaper, featuring the war news. The plant of the Pioneer and Democrat, including the Ramage press used by J. W. Wiley and T. F. McElroy in publishing the Columbian, was for sale. Mr. Poe bought it and began the Overland Press. It is an error to say that this enlivened interest was the result of war news received in Olympia by telegraph. Governor William Pickering on September 5, 1864, sent to President Lincoln a greeting which began: "Washington Territory this day sends her first Telegraphic Dispatch," and the next day the President replied briefly. However, the pony express had been put on between the Missouri River and Sacramento, reducing the time of transporting news to ten or twelve days. The war news then reached Olympia only three weeks old, when, before that, it had been six or more weeks old. The pony express also probably suggested the name of Overland Press. In commenting on this achievement, in 1889, Charles Prosch said: "Poe was wide awake and enterprising and succeeded in making his paper popular both on Puget Sound and in Victoria, obtaining in the latter place a larger patronage than any journal on this side of the boundary ever before or since that period acquired." (Washington Press Association Proceedings, 1887-1890, page 24.) Mr. Poe associated with himself J. W. Watson. Later the paper passed into the hands of Wilson & Head and still later was acquired by Bion F. Kendall. This brilliant young lawyer had been Prosecuting Attorney for the Central District, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives for two sessions, Librarian of the Territorial Library and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Washington Territory. When he acquired the newspaper he frequently contributed to its columns. He was attorney for the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company, in a bitter contest. One of the buildings of the company was burned and the Overland Press intimated that Horace Howe was responsible for the conflagration. Howe, on meeting Kendall, struck him with a switch and Kendall opened fire with a revolver, wounding Howe. He then published his version of the controversy. On January 7, 1863, Horace Howe, Junior, visited the office of the Overland Press and fatally shot Kendall, saying he did so in self-defense. On being admitted to bail, young Howe disappeared. On January 12, 1863, the Overland Press appeared with "turned rules" of mourning and carrying a strong editorial on the life and character of B. F. Kendall. G. Abbott and J. W. Watson, employees of Mr. Kendall, bought the paper. In 1863, Mr. Watson sold his interest to R. H. Hewitt and moved to Seattle. Abbott & Hewitt continued the publication, but they changed the paper's name to Pacific Tribune. (Clarence B. Bagley, "Pioneer Papers of Puget Sound," in the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, Volume IV., pages 373-374; J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, pages 115-116; Washington Historical Quarterly, Volume X., page 236; Clinton A. Snowden, History of Washington, Volume IV., pages 189-190.)

Pacific Tribune, as Bancroft points out, this paper had a longer lease of life than many of its predecessors. (H. H. Bancroft, Works, Volume XXXI., page 378.) In 1863, L. G. Abbott and R. H. Hewitt became owners of the Overland Press and changed its name to Pacific Tribune. In 1866, Mr. Hewitt was in charge but he sold out to Charles Prosch, formerly of Steilacoom, in 1867. During a session of the Legislature that year the paper appeared as a daily the first daily in Washington Territory, but the weekly was continued also as the more durable form. Under the Prosch ownership, the firm name changed frequently; in 1867, it was Charles Prosch & Company; in 1868, Charles Prosch; and later, Charles Prosch k Sons; in 1870, Charles Prosch & Son; in 1872, Charles Prosch, and later, Thomas W. Prosch. On October 4, 1869, the daily edition was resumed. Three volumes containing partial files of the paper are in the University of Washington Library. The Seattle Intelligencer on September 9, 1872, announced the sale by Charles Prosch to his son, Thomas W. Prosch, as of September 4, and said that the Pacific Tribune made a neat appearance in a new dress of type. The same Seattle paper announced on August 9, 1873, that the Pacific Tribune had been moved to Tacoma. Its history will be resumed in the record of the Tacoma papers. (Charles Prosch, Washington Press Association Proceedings, 1887-1890, page 25. Mr. Randall H. Hewitt, who was associated with this paper during its first four years under the name of Pacific Tribune, gave evidence for the United States in the case against the Puget Sound Agricultural Company on November 20, 1866. In his deposition he said he was about twenty-seven years old; that he was a printer and editor and publisher of the Pacific Tribune. In 1863. Mr. Hewitt published from the press of the Washington Standard a pamphlet of fifty-eight pages entitled, "Notes by the Way; Memoranda of a Journey Across the Plains from Dundee, Illinois, to Olympia, Washington Territory, May 7 to November 3, 1862." In his older years he published a large book on the same theme. In 1876, he removed with his family to Los Angeles, California. His son, Leslie R. Hewitt, a native of Olympia, is now (1922) a Judge of the Superior Court at Los Angeles.

Partisan, when Thomas H. Cavanaugh bought the Courier in 1885, he changed its name to Partisan. He continued its publication until December, 1889, when the paper was sold to the State Printing & Publishing Company, with O. C. White, then Territorial Secretary, as manager. While Mr. Cavanaugh published the Partisan he also did the Territorial printing. Mr. White became State Printer during the first session of the State Legislature and soon afterwards his company sold the Partisan to J. W. Robinson, a lawyer, who placed in charge C. M. Barton and H. L. Gill, both of Tacoma, as editor and business manager, respectively. He also changed the name of the paper to Tribune, which was continued as an afternoon daily until the spring of 1893. (J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, page 116.)

Pioneer and Democrat, the third and last name of Washington's first newspaper. While the Columbian was advocating the creation of the new "Territory of Columbia," it was non-partisan, that, too, at a time when Whigs and Democrats were in bitter opposition. News reached Olympia that the new Territory had been created on March 2, 1853, but with the name changed to Washington. The publisher did not change the name of his paper to any such title as "Washingtonian" but continued under the old name until December 3, 1853. At that time there was a complete reorganization. J. W. Wiley came back as half owner with A. M. Berry, and these new proprietors gave the paper its second name, Washington Pioneer. The nonpartisan veil was promptly thrown aside as may be seen by the following notice under the head of "A Fresh Start," in the issue of December 3, 1853 : "In presenting the present number of this paper to the public, we have the satisfaction of saying that the Columbian has become the Washington Pioneer that it has been purchased 'body and boots' from Whig influence and interest, has been paid for, that the present editor is half owner of the establishment and as long as he continues as such that the paper will continue to be a straight out, radical Democratic journal, an uncompromising political opponent to everything that bears the garb or assumes the form of Whiggery, 'soft-shellism,' faction, and in short all things opposed to the true interest of the people, or the Democratic Party." In that same number there appeared the prospectus of another journal to be published by N. H. Doyle under the name of Northwest Democrat. Mr. Doyle was induced to abandon his own plan and to join with Mr. Wiley and Mr. Berry, whereupon the paper received its third name, Pioneer and Democrat, on February 4, 1854. The paper received the contract to do the Territorial printing and Mr. Berry went east to secure materials. There he died of malignant smallpox at his old home in Greenland, New Hampshire, in August, 1854. George B. Goudy became associated with the publishers on December 16, 1854, and in the following August became sole proprietor, although Mr. Wiley remained as editor. Mr. Goudy retired in August, 1856, and was succeeded by Edward Furste, who conducted the paper with Mr. Wiley. Soon after that, Mr. Wiley withdrew and Mr. Furste joined the editorial staff, becoming sole editor and proprietor in May, 1858. Mr. Furste is said to have cleared $10,000, largely from the Territorial printing contract. In November, 1860, he sold the paper to James Lodge. The paper was suspended in the spring of 1861, after the inauguration of the first Republican administration. This paper skipped an issue during the Indian war and on November 9, 1855, explains it by saying: "the hands in the office were either acting as volunteers or were engaged in the work of fortifying Olympia." H. H. Bancroft, the Pacific Coast historian, pays the paper this compliment: "Historically, the Pioneer and Democrat is of more importance than any other journal or journals." Complete files of the paper are in the University of Washington Library and the private library of Harry B. McElroy, of Olympia. (H. H. Bancroft, Works, Volume XXXI, pages 77 and 377 ; Charles Prosch, Washington Press Association Proceedings, 1887-1890, page 24; J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, page 115.)

Republican, in 1885, Mr. P. P. Carroll established a weekly paper with this name, but it was short lived. Edwin N. Fuller says the firm name was Carroll & Son. (Washington Press Association Proceedings, 1887-1890, page 83.)

Review, the name of a paper from 1888 to 1889, during its transition from the New Transcript to the Capital. See Capital.

Territorial Republican, established by J. R. Watson on August 10, 1868. Its birth was announced by the Seattle Intelligencer on August 17, 1868. The Olympia Transcript on August 21, 1869, had this notice: "Dead - The Republican of last Monday announces the demise of that paper. The effects of the establishment go into the hands of a company that proposes the starting of a new paper." See Commercial Age, where Mr. C. B. Bagley states that the paper was the successor of the Territorial Republican. Incomplete files of the paper are in the University of Washington Library.

Transcript, issued first on November 30, 1867. S. D. Howe and Marshall Blinn, leaders of a bolting wing of the Republican Party, bought materials for a newspaper and placed them in the hands of J. N. Gale and E. T. Gunn. The independent Republican paper was spirited, newsy, and attractive. It soon acquired much influence. When it helped a successful fusion with the Democrats the Courier was brought into existence to save the day for the regular Republican organization. See Courier. In 1868, T. F. McElroy was associated with Mr. Howe in the ownership but in 1870 it passed into the hands of Mr. Gunn, who continued its publication until his death in 1885. Mr. C. B. Bagley, who was of the opposite wing of the Republican party at that time, says that E. T. Gunn was one of the most widely known and popular of the old-time newspaper men and that his Transcript was the neatest and best printed of all the early papers, and for many years exerted much influence in political affairs. The paper ceased on the death of its editor. Partial files are in the University of Washington Library. (C. B. Bagley, in the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, Volume IV., page 380; Charles Prosch, Washington Press Association Proceedings, 1887-1890, page 25; H. H. Bancroft, Works, Volume XXXI., page 379.)

Union Guard, a few of the first copies of this short-lived triweekly of 1866 are in the University of Washington Library, The publishers were J. N. Gale & Co. ''for the Union Publishing Club." It is a small sheet, intensely partisan for the "Union" side in those reconstruction times. Most of its shafts are aimed at John Miller Murphy who was then supporting the administration of President Andrew Johnson.

Unitarian Advocate, the United States census of 1880 says monthly magazine was suspended in March, 1880. No other facts have been found nor have any copies been located.

Washington Democrat, founded in November, 1864, by Urban E. Hicks. The Democratic papers had ceased and this was an effort to give that party an organ. The Republicans were in power and there was no public patronage for the paper. It suspended in July, 1865. (J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, page 116.)

Washington Pioneer, see Pioneer and Democrat.

Washington Standard, established by John Miller Murphy on November 17, 1860, this paper achieved the distinction of being the oldest continuous publication in the Territory and State of Washington. The time was most propitious for the founding of this paper. In that very month, Lincoln had been elected. Soon after the inauguration of the first Republication administration the Pioneer and Democrat ceased publication. Of course, the Washington Standard got all the public patronage. Mr. Murphy espoused the Union cause throughout the Civil War. However, he defended President Johnson during the reconstruction difficulties and, in 1868, he went permanently into the Democratic camp. Thereafter he enjoyed the profits of public printing only at such times as his party was successful. Publishing the Washington Standard was Mr. Miller's life work. In addition, he printed many pamphlets and occasionally he printed other papers as Daily Olympian (with Clarence B. Bagley) and Evening Olympian. Mr. Bagley was a contemporary publisher, once an associate but mostly an opponent. In 1903, he wrote sympathetically about the Washington Standard and its venerable publisher, as follows: "Its first number was largely written, set up and printed by its founder, John Miller Murphy, and now, almost forty-three years later, it is his proud boast that it has never missed an issue, has never changed its name and that not a single one of its weekly issues has failed to have more or less editorial matter from his pen." (In the Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, Volume IV., page 374.) Mr. Murphy was the guest of honor at a banquet in Olympia held on November 19, 1910, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of his paper. On July 31, 1912, after exceeding his half century in newspaper harness, Mr. Murphy sold his paper to Messrs. J. H. Brown, Eagle Freshwater and J. De K. Brown. On December 20, 1916, the veteran editor died. In early life there was little promise of the success Mr. Murphy was to achieve in later years. He was born in Federdam, near Fort Wayne, Indiana, on November 3, 1839, the son of John and Susan (Miller) Murphy. His father was an Irish immigrant, a millwright by calling, and his mother was of Pennsylvania Dutch extraction. At the age of seven years, being left an orphan, he was given to the care of his sister, Mrs. George A. Barnes, of Cincinnati. In 1850, he accompanied the sister's family across the plains to Portland, Oregon, where Mr. Barnes became a merchant. Here the lad attended school and in his odd hours was at work in the store, thus early acquiring that intimacy with human nature so valuable to the journalist. The family moved to Puget Sound in 1851 and Mr. Barnes's new store was the second one to be established in Olympia. Mr. Murphy later said that he felt he could not get very far working for relatives and decided to seek his fortune on his own account. He apprenticed himself in 1856 to learn the printer's trade in the Oregon Weekly Times, John H. Waterman, editor. Carter & Austin, owners. He carried the first news route for the newly established Portland Oregonian and later became that paper's dramatic critic. He worked for a short time on the Argus in Oregon City, and in 1860 he decided to become a publisher. In July, of that year, he established, with E. V. Coon, the Vancouver, Washington, Chronicle. Within a few months he decided to return to Olympia, where he established the Washington Standard, as already related. At the time of the "golden jubilee" celebration and later, at the time of his death, the newspapers were lavish in their praise of his long sustained industry and enterprise. It was recalled that he had served many good causes and had held many offices. On the domestic side it was recalled that he was survived by his second wife and by three of his ten children. His surviving children were Mrs. Stella Carroll, of Seattle; Frank Murphy, of Olympia; and Charles B. Murphy, of Tacoma. Two complete files of the Washington Standard are in existence, one at the office of publication, and one in the private library of Harry B. McElroy, of Olympia. There are also partial files in the University of Washington Library and in the State Library, at Olympia. (J. C. Rathbun, History of Thurston County, page 115; Charles Prosch, Washington Press Association Proceedings, 1887-1890, page 25; issues of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1910, 1912 and 1910.)

Washington AHGP |  County Newspapers

Source: Washington Historical Quarterly, Volume 13-14, 1923


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