News for an Empire

For one of his nomadic nature, Brown had stayed put a long, long time due, we may infer, to the steadying influence of family responsibilities, for besides Mary Rose Brown there were now a boy and girl, named after their parents, to take into account, and the soldier-printer was a highly conscientious man. However, the family doctor was emphatic in saying that Mary Rose should move to a milder climate; so, after ten years as part owner and business manager of the Butte Miner, Brown sold his interest in that paper. Early in 1886, in search for a new opening, he visited Spokane Falls. His enthusiasm for the town is indicated by a quotation from an exchange printed in the March 13, 1886, issue of the Spokane Falls Review. It was from the Butte Free Press and read :

Mr. H. T. Brown, late of the Miner, is back from a trip to Spokane Falls, with which town he is more than pleased. He says it is the prettiest town in the mountains.

It wasn’t long before the soldier-printer was back in the community that had impressed him so favorably. On March 23, he and his family registered at the California House, just across the street from the Spokane Falls Review’s place of business. Dwellings were scarce but the Browns were able to rent a rambling frame structure on Fifth Avenue and on April 1, 1886, the ex-soldier wrote a check on the First National Bank of Spokane Falls for some dishes and, soon afterward, other checks for furniture and a carpet, evidence that he was getting his family settled in the new location. And since he was an ex-cavalryman, it is not surprising that before too long he wrote a check for the goodly figure of two hundred dollars for a horse.

Horace Titus Brown
Horace Titus Brown (1844-1900)

Brown was a tall, angular man with pointed features, blue eyes, brown hair and drooping mustache, with the energy, boldness, and resourcefulness in evidence during his years of soldiering. A hard, conscientious worker, he felt more comfortable in the sort of clothes favored by the frontiersmen.

“I don’t ever recall seeing Father wearing a white shirt,” said his daughter, Mrs. Alex Howie.

Rumors were abroad in Spokane Falls that Horace Brown intended to establish a Democratic daily in town with full Associated Press dispatches. Dallam beat him to the punch in signing up for the AP service himself then sold Brown a one-third interest in his paper to help finance the deal. On July 2, 1886, Brown wrote a check for $1,875, binding the bargain.

A third man, Henry W. Greenberg, was admitted to the firm. After learning to set type in his native Minnesota, Greenberg had run a string of small country weeklies in the Middle West. When he came to Spokane Falls in the fall of 1883, the missionary-publisher, H. T. Cowley, gave him a job in the Chronicle’s “type-setting room,” as it was then called. Greenberg became foreman, at times acted as reporter. He and Cowley would go out and get the news, then come back, set the type, and print it.

Each of the three partners on the Review concentrated on a single phase of the enterprise: Dallam, editorial; Brown, business; Greenberg, mechanical.