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Country: United States
City: Pendleton, Umatilla Co., Or.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 3,278
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 27,314
Earliest Date: 13 October 1904
Latest Date: 30 March 1915
Established in October of 1875, the weekly Pendleton East Oregonian was distinct in offering subscribers a bonded guarantee that they would not lose their money. Paying upfront for a subscription was risky, as money was scarce and many papers went out of business a few months after publishing the first issue. The East Oregonian was a success, attracting local advertisers and satisfying everyone on the subscription rolls. Tensions began to surface, however, as it became evident that the paper would be a Democratic mouthpiece, a feature that alienated Republican advertisers. After a group of Democrats purchased the periodical in 1877, local businessman Lot Livermore withdrew his financial support and backed a Republican paper, the Pendleton Independent.
James H. Turner was the principal investor in the new East Oregonian Publishing Company and assumed the mantle of editor. In 1880, Lewis Berkeley Cox joined as editor, publisher and half-owner. Cox soon moved on to a career in law, but he made a number of improvements to the periodical, such as doing away with the ready-print content that made up half the paper. The next editor-publisher, Charles Christie, pledged that he would not stomach the “personal journalism” that was practiced on Oregon editorial pages in those days. A few weeks later, he announced his retirement due to “ill-health.”
Cox returned and ran the paper until January 1882, when the East Oregonian was acquired by an emigrant from Virginia, Charles Samuel Jackson. Jackson had arrived in Pendleton two years earlier, friendless and running short of funds, but he quickly established his name in the community. He was a local “character” with a reputation for eccentric behavior and self-effacing humor, coupled with business acumen.
On March 1, 1888, the East Oregonian appeared as the daily evening edition, fulfilling Jackson’s fondest ambition for his paper. His salutation indicates he viewed this as a wild undertaking--“[we plan] to make it as much of a newspaper, as nearly a newspaper, as is possible in a town of this size.” Yet the East Oregonian has endured as a daily paper down to the present day.
In 1902, Jackson purchased the Portland Oregon Daily Journal. Before moving to Portland, he appointed Fred Lockley to manage the East Oregonian and to travel throughout rural eastern Oregon on horseback, drumming up subscribers for the retooled Oregon Daily Journal. Lockley proved so successful in this endeavor that Jackson balked at the size of the subscriptions list. He decided that Lockley’s new customers should instead be served by the East Oregonian. Jackson advised Lockley to keep up his rural travels, but with the purpose of collecting stories for the East Oregonian. Thus it became a regional paper, with a correspondent assigned to a wide-ranging “beat” in the days of horseback and wagon travel.
The East Oregonian has maintained a good reputation as a “newsy” paper. Affectionately known as the E.O., it is the only Umatilla County newspaper from the 19th century to have been published without suspensions or title changes.
Provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR