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Country: United States
City: Ritzville, Wash.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 443
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 1,798
Earliest Date: 2 February 1898
Latest Date: 17 October 1906
In the spring of 1878, Philip Ritz led a group of white settlers into northern Adams County, Washington, staked off the land that would become Ritzville and within a year, began growing wheat. This tract of land had previously been a main thoroughfare used by the Nez Perce and other Pacific Northwest Native tribes and is located 65 miles southwest of Spokane. By 1881, the Northern Pacific Railway line reached the area, bringing more settlers and officially establishing the town of Ritzville. Ritzville was chosen as seat of Adams County in 1884 and was officially incorporated into Washington Territory in 1888. It was described in the Ritzville Journal Times - Pioneer Edition (1949) as “a lusty pioneer town in those days, with horses and wagons lurching up and down Main Street and even a few cows wandering through the main thoroughfare.” After Washington was admitted into the union in 1889, Ritzville was incorporated under state law the following year. Ritzville is surrounded by thriving wheat fields and relies on a prosperous flour milling industry which dates back to 1906 when the first mill, Ritzville Flouring Mill, was built and began operation.
On February 3, 1898, John Albert Thompson, then sheriff of Ritzville, began publishing the Republican weekly, Adams County News. He died in October of that year and left the paper under the management of his son J. Ray Thompson and his business partner Edgar DeWitt Gilson. Gilson quickly took responsibility for the paper and served as editor and manager. During his tenure, Gilson also served many other posts such as county clerk and superior court clerk (1899-1903); Ritzville sheriff (1904-08); and secretary of the Washington State Press Association and Washington delegate for the National Editorial Association (1904-05), in addition to his many local business interests. In October 1906, Gilson sold the Adams County News to the Journal Herald Publishing Company to become the president of the Washington Sheriff’s Association. Gilson went on to serve as mayor of Ritzville in 1912.
In 1906, Journal Herald Publishing changed the title to the Washington State Journal and Adams County News in November 1907. Publication continued under this title until November 17, 1910, when the paper merged with the Ritzville Times and became Washington State Journal and Ritzville Times which ceased publication December 27, 1917.
Provided by: Washington State Library; Olympia, WA