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Tombstone Daily Prospector, Tombstone Prospector and Arizona Kicker
According to William H. Lyon in his book Those Old Yellow Dog Days, Frontier Journalism in Arizona 1859-1912, the Tombstone Daily Prospectorwas conceived by James Reilly, Joseph Pascholy, Andrew Ritter, and Stanley C. Bagg to offset what “Some powerful Tombstonans suspected” were “sinister forces at work behind the editorial masthead” of the Tombstone Epitaph. The Daily Prospector was established on March 7, 1887, as an independent paper that ran every day except Sunday under the supervision of J. J. Nash and Ridgley Tilden, editor and publisher.
Feeling the need for a more combative approach, Bagg, who viewed the Epitaph as little more than the “mouthpiece of a Cochise County ring centered around the courthouse,” took over as editor and sole owner of the Daily Prospector in 1889. In 1891, the newspaper’s masthead changed to simply the Tombstone Prospector. Two years later, Bagg decided to publish the Wednesday edition of the Prospector under the title Arizona Kicker.
Despite having bought out his former partners, Bagg continued to rely on contributions from concerned citizens and investors to keep the Prospector running. After losing a suit he had filed against Cochise County, Bagg strongly criticized the presiding judge, William H. Barnes, who in turn sentenced Bagg to jail on charges of contempt. Upon his release, Bagg was angry that none of his Democratic friends had come to his defense and temporarily leased the Prospector out to the Republican Central Committee for $500. He took great satisfaction in the fact that the Democrats lost the next election.
William Hattich took over as owner and editor of the Tombstone Prospector in 1895. Since the weekly Tombstone Epitaph had merged with and become the Sunday edition of the Tombstone Prospector two years before, Hattich effectively ran both newspapers. In 1913, Hattich took the Prospector into the future by converting its print presses to power. Not everyone was happy with the newfangled machinery. Pedro Parieda had operated the papers’ country Campbell presses by hand for 18 years, expertly feeding the press and turning the crank in one smooth movement. When Hattich made the conversion to power presses, Parieda walked out.
Columbus and Carmel Giragi took over the Tombstone Prospector’s editorial reins in 1913, and in 1914 the paper became once more the Tombstone Daily Prospector. The Giragi brothers remained with the paper until 1926. In 1924, despite their earlier political differences, the Tombstone Prospector (which included the Tombstone Epitaph Sunday edition) changed its daily masthead to become the Tombstone Epitaph, which is still in circulation today.