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The Mohave County Miner, Mohave County Miner and Our Mineral Wealth
Anson H. Smith published the first issue of the weekly Mohave County Miner in the back of Hyde’s Drug Store in Mineral Park, the county seat, on November 5, 1882. Edited by druggist James J. Hyde, the seven-column newspaper was printed on one of the first Chicago stop-cylinder presses ever manufactured. Charles W. Beach, publisher of Prescott’s Weekly Arizona Miner had arranged the purchase for Smith in Phoenix. Because Smith had originally come to Arizona as a miner, the Mohave County Miner initially focused more on mining than politics. Mohave was a Republican county, so Smith, although himself a Democrat, announced in his first editorial that the paper would be “devoted to the interests of the Republican Party,” adding, however, that “but a very small portion of our columns will be devoted to political discussion.”
One year to the day from the first issue of the Mohave County Miner, Smith married Nellie Hughes, the daughter of his mining partner. The couple had 10 children and 19 grandchildren and lived to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Smith, who liked to play faro, won enough money from Kingman’s “Judge” James Reed Russell to erect a building on Beale Street for his publication. It was said that Smith returned to the game whenever he needed more money to finance construction and that he reveled when Judge Russell walked by the newspaper’s office and said, “I helped Anse put up that building.”
After relocating in 1885 to Kingman, a burgeoning town along the new Santa Fe Railroad, Smith started the weekly Wallapai Tribune and in 1886 sold his interest in the Mohave County Miner. James J. Hyde stayed on as editor until 1887, when the paper moved its operations from Mineral Park to Kingman, the new county seat 16 miles to the south. Anson Smith repurchased his stock in the Mohave County Miner in 1891 and remained editor and publisher until 1894. Minnie A. Sawyer took the editorial reins in 1895.
In 1893, the weekly “free silver” Our Mineral Wealth was established in Kingman with Kean St. Charles as editor and publisher. Although St. Charles remained affiliated with the paper until 1922, Samuel N. Whitaker became editor in 1916 with the Kingman Publishing Company as publisher. Edward S. Hanson took over editorial direction in 1917. That same year Anson Smith became editor of the Miner once again, and in 1918 the Mohave County Miner combined with Our Mineral Wealth to form the weekly independent Mohave County Miner and Our Mineral Wealth. This title lasted until 1922 when the newspaper once more became the Mohave County Miner ; it stayed under that masthead until 1974.
Smith was associated with the Mohave County Miner for 54 years until his death in 1935. He promoted many activities to benefit the community, including the construction of the road from Oatman to Topock, the Mohave General Hospital, and the Hoover Dam. He also represented Mohave County in the Ninth State Legislature.