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The Arizona Silver Belt and Daily Arizona Silver Belt
The Globe Arizona Silver Belt was first published on May 2, 1878. The weekly paper quickly became the dominant voice for community growth and improvement. The town of Globe emerged as an outgrowth of silver mining claims in the area beginning in 1873. First named Globe City, it was surveyed in 1876 and officially incorporated on May 1, 1878. An isolated mining camp in rugged terrain, Globe struggled to build connections to the outside world. The Arizona Silver Belt’s founding editor, Aaron H. Hackney (“the conscience” of Globe), led the fight.
As the community’s only newspaper, the Arizona Silver Belt reported on the struggles of the mining camp and was the voice for civic improvement. As such, it became an early advocate for telegraph and railroad connections, better roads, improved mail delivery, and civilizing institutions. Until the end of the Indian wars in the mid-1880s, problems with Apaches on the nearby San Carlos reservation frequently appeared in the paper. A year after the newspaper’s creation, Hackney donated the lot for Globe’s first church. The newspaper office burned down in 1884, not an uncommon occurrence in territorial Arizona, but was quickly rebuilt.
Mining, as the dominant economic activity in Globe and much of the territory, occupied a prominent place in the newspaper. Nevertheless, the Arizona Silver Belt was both comprehensive and balanced. Hackney’s comments on miners’ efforts to unionize in 1896 epitomized his unbiased approach to the news: “It is not our purpose to describe the merits of the controversy, but to give the facts pertinent to a clear understanding of the present crisis.” He also reported that “the sympathy of the community is with the miners.”
Joseph H. Hamill became the editor and proprietor of the Arizona Silver Belt following Hackney’s death in December 1899. He continued Hackney’s forceful and balanced approach to reporting the news. On October 14, 1906, Hamill decided a daily edition of the paper was needed and commenced publication of the Daily Arizona Silver Belt. After being purchased by Cleve W. Van Dyke in 1912, the paper moved to the neighboring community of Miami, where it continued to publish both daily and weekly editions. The daily edition of the newspaper, simply entitled the Arizona Silver Belt, remains in publication today.