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Publication Details

Western liberal.

More information about this newspaper title may be available on the source website.

Source: Chronicling America [US Library of Congress]

Country: United States

State: New Mexico

City: Lordsburg, N.M.

Issues of this title available in Elephind: 936

Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 4,392

Earliest Date: 4 January 1889

Latest Date: 28 June 1918


Western Liberal

The Western Liberal was published weekly in Lordsburg, New Mexico, between November 11, 1887, and September 25, 1919.  The January 14, 1889, issue stated that a reader could obtain a one-year subscription for $3.00, six months for $1.75, or three months for $1.00.  Single copies sold for 10 cents.  The subscription rates remained steady through at least July 1916.  The paper strongly supported the Democratic Party.

The seat for Hidalgo County, Lordsburg traces its roots to October 18, 1880.  A small camp had emerged as the Southern Pacific Railroad reached the area from the west attracting railroad workers and freighters, gamblers, cowboys, merchants, and journalists.  It is unclear how Lordsburg acquired its name, although several competing stories are regularly told.  Some say that a man named “Lordsburg” owned restaurants along the railroad and that the town took his name.  Others maintain that “Lordsburg” was an engineer and head of a construction crew at the camp.  Most believe, however, that the town was named for Dr. Charles Lord, a New Yorker who moved west during the Civil war and who became a prominent businessman in Tucson, opening a distribution and banking business, Lord and Williams.  When freight handlers at the nameless railroad camp in southern New Mexico came across goods from Lord and Williams, they shouted, “Lords,” for short, which the camp workers all understood to mean that the items belonged to Lord and Williams.  Eventually, the camp took on the name Lordsburg.  A short-lived newspaper, the Lordsburg Advance, served the small community from 1883 to 1885. The Western Liberal lasted for 32 years and was succeeded by the Lordsburg Liberal.

Don H. Kedzie, editor of the Western Liberal, served as a postmaster in the 1890s while he was also an active journalist.  A postmaster’s responsibilities were so undemanding that editors could hold both positions easily.  Politicians considered a postmastership a reward for past political support and an unwritten contract for future cooperation.

The Western Liberal published occasional Spanish language content, usually limited to legal notices.

Provided by: University of New Mexico