Rival Edmonds newspapers merge on February 10, 1910.

  • By Charles P. LeWarne
  • Posted 6/22/2009
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 9064
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On February 10, 1910, two rival Edmonds newspapers, the Review published for five years by Missouri T. B. Hanna (1857-1926), and the Tribune, published since 1908 by W. H. Shumacher, merge under Shumacher’s Tribune Company.  A week later the paper becomes the Edmonds Tribune-Review.  The weekly community newspaper will struggle and thrive over the next seven decades, depicting the life and growth of a Puget Sound community from a population of 1,114 in this year of its founding to 27,679 in 1980. During this period Edmonds will change and evolve from a relatively isolated mill town on the western shore of Puget Sound to a suburban complex bridging the area between Seattle and Everett.

Newspapers in a Small Mill Town

First settled by Euro-Americans in 1866, Edmonds truly got underway a decade later.  The town incorporated in 1890, which was also the founding year of its first newspaper, the short-lived Chronicle.  At least two small papers followed, and then for several years there was none, until the Review was founded by Richard Bushell Jr. in August 1904. He sold it the following January to Frank H. Darling and Hanna, who became the primary owner, the first woman newspaper publisher in the state.  Two years later, two recently arrived Illinoisans started the Tribune as a rival, later selling it to attorney T. A. A. Siegfriedt, who subsequently sold it to local businessman Shumacher. 

When Hanna, citing family reasons along with a growing interest in promoting woman suffrage, sold her paper to Shumacher, the two were merged, becoming the Edmonds Tribune-Review. The personal rivalries in a small town were reflected in the paper’s early columns.

Reporting the News From Edmonds

In 1921 ownership passed to Ray V. Cloud, a recent Ferndale, Washington, publisher whose tenure lasted more than 30 years. Cloud became personally identified with the paper and its town, chronicling local events and playing a leading role in state publishing circles. In 1953 he drew upon his experience and upon newspaper columns to publish Edmonds: The Gem of Puget Sound: A History of the City of Edmonds, which in 2009 remains the only substantial history of the town.  He died at the age of 80 in 1974. 

Meanwhile ownership had passed to another longtime publisher, Earl W. Clark, whose journalistic career had begun in his native Ohio and continued in West Virginia and then Port Angeles, Washington, until he took over the Tribune-Review in 1954.  After 11 years, Clark returned to Port Angeles where he continued to write and take part in community activities until his death in February 2007.  These two men helped make the newspaper a mainstay of local and area news. 

The next owner, Jones Osborn, soon sold the paper to Tom Code who owned the recently established rival The Enterprise.  For several years Code continued to publish the older paper as an adjunct to his own, eventually phasing it out in the early 1980s.  For many months, for instance, its masthead read “The Enterprise incorporating TRIBUNE-REVIEW,” sometimes adding “Edmonds edition.”

During its heyday, the Tribune-Review was, like many other contemporary small town papers, the chief chronicler of local events, issues, personalities, businesses, and gossip.  Its advertising enlightened residents about local stores and services often providing substantial detail; classified advertising columns gave regular citizens the opportunity to broadcast items to purchase or sell.  For about two decades the Tribune-Review included a page or more for the Edmonds High School newspaper, the Wireless, until 1946 when it was feasible for the school to publish separately.  Long after its demise the Tribune-Review  remains the principal source of information about life in the community between 1910 and 1980. 

Growth and Newcomers

As Edmonds and its surrounding area grew in the decades following World War II, the paper added columns and sections devoted to new subdivisions and entire new towns.  Indicative of the growth of south Snohomish County, the Edmonds School District had been created to serve the small community on Puget Sound, but it came to also embrace the new cities of Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway, and Brier as well as contiguous unincorporated areas. 

Such developments not only attracted new residents but also gave birth to new businesses and entire shopping areas with minimal ties or allegiance to the older, well-established Edmonds. As a result, several rival papers came into being, including a regular south Snohomish County edition of the daily Everett Herald.  In the late 1980s former Tribune-Review publisher Clark summed up the rapid changes: when he purchased the paper in 1954 “Edmonds was a small town and when we sold out [in 1965] it was a suburban rat race” (“Many Changes,” 17).

There is a certain irony that the growth of the town and its hinterland, which the newspaper had portrayed and encouraged, thus played a role in bringing about the paper’s demise.  By that time, the small-town Tribune-Review was meeting changes and challenges outside the local area that it no longer seemed able to serve as effectively as it once had or as several newcomers could promise.

Sources: Ray V. Cloud, Edmonds, The Gem of Puget Sound: A History of the City of Edmonds.  (Edmonds: Edmonds Tribune-Review Press, 1953);  Edmonds: 100 Years for the Gem of Puget Sound, A Special Commemorative Issue  Presented by The Edmonds Paper ed. by Harry Reinhert (Edmonds: The Edmonds Paper, 1990); “Ray V. Cloud, ex-publisher, dies at 80,” The Seattle Times, April 4, 1974; “Services Friday for former managing editor of Port Angeles Evening News,” Peninsula Daily News (Port Angeles), February 21, 2007;  Edmonds Tribune-Review, February 10, 17, 1910 and other issues to February 1982.

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