(as it appeared in the November 2, 1928 – Fortieth Anniversary Section of Pullman Herald)
“Advertisement Brought Herald to Pullman in Fall of 1888”
In the early summer of 1888, while living in Kidder
county, Dakota territory, now North Dakota, my attention was called to an
article in the Northwest Magazine published at Minneapolis, in regard to the
Palouse country and the new towns on the Spokane and Palouse branch of the
Northern Pacific railway, then in the course of construction from Spokane to
Genesee. The article stated that Pullman desired a newspaper and as I was then
the owner of a small newspaper plant and was looking for a new location for it,
I decided to make an investigation. In August of 1888 I visited Pullman with a
view of establishing a newspaper if conditions were favorable.
It was the custom at that time for towns desiring a newspaper to offer a bonus to the one who would establish one, and Pullman was no exception, but after I had satisfied myself that Pullman had a future I told the “boosters” that I did not want a bonus, for if the paper would not pay without a bonus it would not pay to bring the plant here and besides I wanted to be entirely free to move the plant at any time, if it did not pay to operate it. I told them that I would establish a paper here if the business men would guarantee to furnish eight columns of advertising during the first year at $1 an inch. Every business man signed up for a certain number of inches of advertising and I returned home with over eight columns of advertising guaranteed for one year. In view of the fact that Pullman at that time had a population of only 300 people and 23 businesses of all kinds, it was a very generous guarantee and it was faithfully carried out.
The plant was shipped to Pullman during the first part of October and the first issue appeared on November 3, 1888. The first paper that came from the press was sold at auction for $50, J.M. Hill, who was then county commissioner, being the successful bidder.
The business places included three agricultural and implement houses, three saloons, two hotels, one gent’s furnishing store, two general stores, one grocery store, two livery stables, two blacksmith shops, one drug store, one furniture store, one hardware store, one butcher shop, one bank, one barber shop and three grain warehouses. The business section of the town was between Grand and Alder streets and consisted of frame buildings except one two-story brick building. The board sidewalks on each side of Main street had been built by the property owners without regard to grade, so that the walk in front of one building was from one to four feet higher or lower than that of adjoining buildings and connected by from one to four steps which made it extremely dangerous for pedestrians after dark without lanterns, which everyone carried. There were no buildings east of Alder street and none north of Railroad. The principal residence section of the town was what is now called Pioneer Heights, formerly called Methodist hill.
The first public enterprise to be advocated by The Herald was the lighting system to consist of two oil lamps, one at the O.R. & N. depot and one at the corner of Main and Alder streets, which were the two most dangerous places for pedestrians. The Herald offered to erect the lamps if the council would furnish the oil and keep them lighted. This was done and these two lamps constituted the street lights until the fire on July 3, 1890, when the entire business section burned to the ground.
At the time of the fire the Northern Pacific railway had made a survey and had commenced the grading of a road from Whelan to Lewiston. For a time there was considerable talk on the part of the business men about moving to Whelan, but in a short time the railroad company was induced, through the efforts of the Pullman “boosters” to change its location and run its line from Pullman to Lewiston, which gave the Pullman business men the courage to rebuild with brick.
A water and sewage system was constructed, streets were graded, sidewalks build and an electric lighting system installed, and the foundation laid for the present city.
J. J. Sargent was the editor of The Herald from its establishment to 1890, when Wilford Allen and Ira G. Allen, brothers of the present editor, purchased the plant and conducted the paper until 1909, when it was taken over by the Pacific Farmers Union, by whom it was operated until 1010 (error) when it was sold to William Goodyear.