Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy 100th birthday Clearwater Tribune, Clearwater County’s official newspaper

By Alannah Allbrett
  As the Clearwater Tribune celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, we want to remember other noteworthy things which were going on in the world in 1912. Interspersed in this story are some bits of history which help put our own into perspective.
·  In 1912, the last emperor of China, Hsuan T'ung, was forced to abdicate, and the Republic of China was established on January first. China also adopted the Gregorian calendar that year.
  Newspapers in the west, in 1912, had about as colorful a history as the old west from which they sprang. They included political feuds, bickering between rival editors, and racial comments. They were short on sensitivity and euphemisms were unknown.
·  In 1912, English explorer Robert F Scott, and his expedition, reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had gotten there before them.
  If someone was ill, the papers did not hesitate to pronounce the victim, “will die,” “will recover,” or (when in doubt) “may die” – not exactly what a person wants to read about themselves when trying to recover from an illness.
·  In 1912, the U.S. Marines invaded Honduras. May 30, they were sent to Nicaragua, and on May 30 they landed in Cuba.
  According to the late historian, Bob Spencer, “As long as it was printable, no epithet was too strong when applied to an opposing editor or rival politician. History is filled,” he said, “with beaten, maimed, or dead editors, although the latter weren’t numerous, since the average gun-toter of the period was a lousier shot than the dime novels of the time would have us believe.”
  Publishers of the time were not expected to be “neutral” on any given issue; they were in fact, allowed to express political and personal opinions. In 1916, then Publisher of the Clearwater Tribune, I.R. Crow, was stumping in the gubernatorial campaign trying to get Moses Alexander elected. Alexander served as the 11th Governor of Idaho from 1915 until 1919. He was Idaho's first and, so far, only Jewish Governor.
·  In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state, and Arizona was admitted as the 48th.  On Aug 24, the Territory of Alaska was organized.
  The first newspaper to get a toe hold into Clearwater County, in May of 1899, was the Orofino Courier.  It was published by the Greer Brothers using a small Army press which was common in those days because it was relatively easy to move and to set up.
·  In 1912, On April 15, the RMS Titanic sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York.
  The paper was located in a little, wooden clapboard building below Canada Hill (behind the former Health and Welfare building) on the corner of Third and Johnson Avenue. The paper was printed with page one being on the right side, where the last page would be positioned today, so one would read it from the back to the front.
·  In 1912, the Summer Olympics were held in Stockholm, Sweden, with the U.S. taking home 63 medals (25 gold, 19 silver, and 19 bronze).
  The Orofino News came along next. It ran from 1903, published by W.M. Chandler. In the same year The Optimist, published by Charles Hoffstetter, came to Orofino. It is unknown how long either of those two newspapers stayed in business. The oldest edition of The Optimist, found in the Clearwater Historical Museum, is dated April 21, 1905.
·  In 1912, The [Boy] Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal Charter.
  The Orofino Tribune, a democratically slanted paper, came into being in September of 1905. W.C. Foresman was the editor and the publisher; I.R. Crow took over the publication in 1912.
·  In 1912, in the first official Major League game, Guy Zinn was the first batter to step up to the plate and the first to score a run in stadium history. The event did not get much media coverage because the game was played just a few days after the historical sinking of the Titanic.
  The counterpart of the Orofino Tribune, as the name implies, was the more republican slanted paper, the Clearwater Republican which began in March of 1912. Crow retired, and the two papers, which had an intense political rivalry during their publishing histories, merged to create today’s Clearwater Tribune.
·  In 1912, a meteorite, with an estimated mass of 190 kg exploded over the town of Holbrook, AZ causing approximately 16,000 pieces of debris to rain down on the town. The largest stone recovered weighed about 14 pounds.
  In 1923, a fire completely destroyed the Clearwater Tribune office and all of its printed copies from previous years. The paper was then housed in the building immediately south of its present location on  Main St.
·  In 1912, the first Balkan war was going on (1912-1913).
On Monday, Jan 2, Clearwater Tribune Publisher, Marcie Stanton and her husband Darold, were celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary. They were notified that a fire had broken out at their print shop on Grangemont Rd.
  The building, housed the WWII era press equipment used for printing the paper. Severe damage to the building and loss of heat needed to operate the pres, forced the Stantons to move the printing process to Lewiston.
  The upside of that move, allowed the Clearwater Tribune to switch simultaneously to the easier-to-hold size of today’s newspapers with 11” wide by 21” tall format.
  Despite two fires and two floods, the Clearwater Tribune has stood the test of time and is the “official paper” of Clearwater County – now with an online edition, a blog, and a presence on Facebook. Visit us online at:

1 comment:

  1. What a fun read. I love old newspapers.-Catfish