News for an Empire

J. Howard Watson came with his handsome wife Katheryn. Homer J. Carr, the Chicago Tribune’s marine editor, came to serve The Spokesman as mining editor.

From the Chicago Times the new venture drew a twenty-oneyear-old reporter, Charles B. Dillingham, who in later years was to gain fame and fortune as a theatrical producer in New York City. He produced more than 150 plays, became owner of the Globe Theatre, and managed a galaxy of stars including Elsie Janis, Julia Marlowe, Margaret Anglin, Henry Miller, and Fred Stone.

Counting Mrs. Johnson, literary editor, the editorial staff of the new daily numbered thirteen. The first issue of The Spokesman, an eight-page, standard-size newspaper with six columns to the page, was published March 9, 1890. Articles of incorporation for the Spokesman Publishing Company were filed in the office of the Secretary of State, Olympia, March 27, 1890. The incorporators were J. F. Johnson, H. T. Brown, and J. H. Watson.

Experience gained on important Eastern newspapers by Watson, Johnson, and associates was in evidence in their new daily. The first issue was a lively, well-edited and conveniently arranged presentation of the day’s news. The left-hand “car” on page 1 read:

'ERE'S YER PAYPUR" BRIGHT AND NEW GLISTENS ALL OVER WITH MORNING DEW.

and the right-hand “ear” :

PERT AND CHIPPER

AS PURE'S THE SNOW JUST ENOUGH COLIC

TO MAKE IT GROW.

The editors devoted five columns on the first page to an article entitled “Spokane Grit,” which reviewed progress made in Spokane Falls since the great fire. Readers were pridefully reminded: “It is now only a little more than six months since the business district of Spokane, comprising fifty-four acres, was a great field of ashes and toppling walls/ 5 and: “Tents still dot the burnt district here and there, in which thousands of dollars of business is transacted daily, while at the sides of these dwarflike temporary abodes rise high in the heavens monster blocks of artistic masonry. Line cuts showed ten of these “mountains of brick and iron.”

There were thirty-one columns of display advertising, two of them on page i, featuring the “Gents 5 Furnishing Department” of the White House, M. Kaminsky’s “Big Broad-Axe of Reductions” and a real-estate dealer’s boastful “Simpson takes the cake! But the cake is too small. He wants to own the bakery.”