News for an Empire

In 1882 this promoter-journalist started the first telephone line in eastern Washington from Colfax to Almota. He extended the system rapidly and a telephone exchange was established in Spokane Falls. On January 1, 1887, sixty-two patrons could give a fellow citizen a ring and wish him “Happy New Year.” The service rapidly fanned out to take in Wardner and other towns in the Coeur d’Alenes. Another line built that same year along the Spokane and Palouse Railroad connected Spokane Falls with towns in the Palouse country and beyond the Snake River to Dayton.

On July 6, 1887, Hopkins called Frank Dallam on the telephone from Colfax to let the Review’s editor know that the line had been completed to that point.

For only a few months longer was Dallam to answer calls as editor of the Review. Disagreements arose between him and his partners, resulting in his selling out to Brown and Greenberg in the fall or early winter of 1887. However, in the four years Dallam had edited the Review, he had made a lasting mark on journalism in Spokane. He had kept his paper abreast of the swift changes which he saw taking place in the field he served and which he shrewdly appraised. After selling his interest in the Review, Dallam remained in the Inland Empire another thirty-six years, saw his faith in Spokane more than justified. On January i, 1889, he bought a paper in the Big Bend, the Davenport Times. That year he was elected to the constitutional convention from Lincoln County, and, in the fall of 1890, he was appointed by President Harrison to serve as receiver of the land office at Waterville. He was the first president of the Washington Press Association.

In March, 1909, he bought an interest in the Oroville Gazette, which had been established in May, 1904, by Fred J. Fine. On April 26, 1912, his son, Frank M. Dallam, Jr., bought Fine’s interest. Frank Dallam, Sr., had charge of the Gazette until the fall of 1923. After a period of ebbing fortunes, on May 25, 1897, he had established the Palmer Mountain Prospector, at Loomis, Okanogan County, and published it for eleven years.

When he was eighteen years of age, Frank Dallam, Jr., learned to set type on the Prospector. Six years later he was setting type for a paper of his own, the Riverside, Washington, Argus, a weekly. After a year and a half as newspaper proprietor he got a job in the advertising department of the Wenatchee, Washington, Daily World. Frank Dallam, Jr., was secretary to two state governors, Albert E, Mead and M. K. Hay, and also to the state senate for two years. In 1917 he went overseas with the Forty-first Division, Washington National Guard.

In 1923 he established the Kelsonian Tribune at Kelso, Washington. His father joined him there and built a home where he and Mrs. Dallam lived until his death, February 12, 1928. In May, 1938, Frank M. Dallam, Jr., joined the staff of The Spokesman-Review as political editor and a few months later became its chief editorial writer, a position he held until he retired from newspaper work April 4, 1949, to become a member of the Board of Prison Terms and Paroles, Olympia, Washington.

Advances in the mechanical production of Spokane newspapers were reflected in the establishment of the Spokane Falls Typographical Union, August 19, 1886. H. W. Greenberg, although an employer of printers, was a charter member, his application being needed to form the necessary quota for the institution. Although the International Typographical Union was founded in 1852, it did not as yet have permanent headquarters and would not for another two years.

Establishment of the Spokane Falls local marked a transition in typesetting on the Review. Once an editor’s function, the work was now done by compositors trained for that trade. What took place in Spokane Falls had occurred in the same way and for the same reasons elsewhere, but usually not so fast. The Spokane Falls Review had started out as a one-man industry. In three years and three months specialization had caught up with it. The typographical union proved its social value for it was a pioneer in establishing disability benefits and pensions for its members. As late as 1900 the life span of the average American printer was estimated as only 41.25 years. As the printing trade became one of dignity and comfort, printers lived the Biblical span of years, became respected and influential members of their communities. Various members of the Spokane Falls Local No. 193 became public officials such as alderman, police judge, city commissioner, county assessor, county treasurer, and state legislator. One member of the local union, Herbert B. Gaston, a proofreader, became assistant editor of the Spokane Daily Chronicle, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.

Brown and Greenberg held onto the Review for only a few months after buying out Dallam. In April, 1888, they sold it to a group of four men: Patrick Henry Winston, James Monaghan, C. B. King, and Willis Sweet.

Horace O. Brown, son of Horace T. Brown, believes the price paid for the Review by these four men was $20,000. That it was a substantial sum is indicated by the fact that after the deal was made, Brown and Greenberg divided something over $13,000 in cash. For an unpaid balance of $10,000 they took notes, secured by a tightly drawn chattel mortgage. The sellers soon invested their surplus funds in other businesses: Greenberg in a job-printing plant, Brown in the bookstore of J. M. Knight.

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