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Country: United States
City: The Dalles, Or.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 2,091
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 8,382
Earliest Date: 15 December 1890
Latest Date: 30 June 1899
Located in northern Oregon along the Columbia River, The Dalles, a prime center for trade, commerce, and shipping, is historically known as the end of the Oregon Trail. The Dalles Daily Chronicle and its weekly counterpart, The Dalles Weekly Chronicle, were founded by a group of local stockholders on December 10, 1890, in response to a partisan battle for control of municipal water rights and in opposition to a competing newspaper, The Dalles Times-Mountaineer. John H. Cradlebaugh was the first editor of the Chronicle, followed by Hugh Gourlay in 1891 when Cradlebaugh became editor of the Hood River Glacier. DeWitt Clinton Ireland was editor for a time, but moved on to the Wasco County Sun in 1893. Other editors of the Chronicle at the turn of the century included Samuel L. Brooks, Frederick Wallace Wilson, Richard J. Gorman, Miss Rose Mitchell, and John Mitchell, with Cradlebaugh and Rose Mitchell serving more than once.
The Chronicle featured international news under major headlines on the front page, followed by national, statewide, and local items of interest and various “How To” columns. The paper also reported briefly on cultural practices, such as the “curious Indian custom” of the potlatch, “a thing so foreign to us…that we have no word or phrase to give its meaning.” Conflicting opinions on cultural and ethnic diversity abound in early issues, with use of the term “red men” followed by support for Native American citizenship and voting rights on the Umatilla reservation, disapproval of Chinese immigration to the United States through Canada, and surprise at “A Negro Servant’s Wit.”
The Chronicle was a Republican voice, asserting that “There is no reason why every man on the Republican ticket of Wasco County…should not be elected.” After backing the Republican Party during a local election in 1900, the paper claimed, “The Chronicle has nothing but kind words personally for the Democratic candidates,” but a few issues later the paper stated, “The Democratic party is between the Devil and the deep sea.”
Ben R. Liftin, the Chronicle’s most prominent editor, arrived in The Dalles three days before Christmas in 1906 with only 20 cents in his pocket. When he came to work for the Chronicle, he found the plant to be a mess. Liftin cleaned up the shop and became co-manager in 1908, then bought the paper with Herbert G. Miller in 1909. In 1915, the Chronicle was sold to Clarence Hedges, but Liftin remained as manager.
In 1923, Liftin became the sole proprietor and was immediately entangled in a local controversy. Many of his advertisers threatened to withdrawal their financial support if his paper covered the scandalous divorce of a prominent businessman. However, he was steadfast, printing the news in the face of boycotts and attempts to stifle his press. Liftin retired from the Chronicle in 1947 and served as president of The Dalles Chamber of Commerce and director of the Oregon State Editorial Association. The Dalles Chronicle continues to publish the news today.
Provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR