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The Caldwell tribune. [volume] : (Caldwell, Idaho Territory [Idaho]) 1883-1928
Place of publication:
Caldwell, Idaho Territory [Idaho]
Geographic coverage:
  • Caldwell, Canyon, Idaho  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
W.J. Cuddy
Dates of publication:
  • -no. 207 (Dec. 30, 1893) ; v. 11, no. l (Jan. 9, 1894)-v. 46, no. 14 (Apr. 5, 1928).
  • Began with Dec. 15, 1883 issue.
Weekly <1895>-Apr. 5, 1928
  • English
  • Caldwell (Idaho)--Newspapers.
  • Idaho--Caldwell.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01220487
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 2 (Dec. 22, 1883).
sn 86091092
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The Caldwell tribune. [volume] December 22, 1883 , Image 1


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Caldwell Tribune

Caldwell originated as a tiny railroad town in 1883, seven years before Idaho achieved statehood. The Idaho and Oregon Land Improvement Company, an organization closely tied to the Oregon Short Line and Union Pacific Railroads, owned the town site and was responsible for its development. To give Caldwell a promotional push, the general manager and vice president of the Land Company, Robert E. Strahorn, sent to Omaha for a printing press and chose a reporter by the name of William J. Cuddy to publish a local newspaper. The Caldwell Tribune began printing in December 1883. It was a four-page, six-column journal published weekly on Saturdays.

Committed to the Land Company's desire to develop the new town, the Tribune stated on page three of the January 26, 1884 issue the wish for "thousands of others to come share … the inevitable fruits of a good, earnest fight for the development of Idaho and the commercial, social, and political supremacy of Caldwell." Although Caldwell's population was a mere 500, the Tribune optimistically wrote in that same issue that the town, located 30 miles from Boise, was "destined to be the commercial center of all the vast region between Salt Lake and Portland." An article published in the Wood River News-Miner complained that the word "Caldwell" appeared 187 times in the first issue of the Tribune.

Throughout its history, the Tribune was an independent newspaper. It covered local Caldwell news as well as regional news of Boise, other farming communities in Canyon County, and mining sites in Owyhee County. In 1891, the College of Idaho was founded in Caldwell, and the Tribune covered its events and academics.

Anti-Mormonism dominated Idaho politics during these years. In 1882, the U.S. passed a law, the Edmunds Act, which stripped polygamists of their voting rights. In 1884, Idaho's territorial legislature passed a law requiring voters to take an oath swearing that they were not polygamists or bigamists, nor were they members of any organization that advocated those practices. This law, in effect, disenfranchised all Mormon voters in the territory. Although the Tribune claimed to be politically neutral, anti-Mormon sentiments frequently made their way into the paper.

The Tribune changed owners and editors a number of times. George Wheeler replaced William Cuddy as editor, then left when the Steunenberg brothers took ownership from 1886 until 1893. Albert K. Steunenberg went on to become founder and president of the Commercial Bank of Caldwell. Frank Steunenberg became governor of Idaho in 1896; he was elected by a wide margin and re-elected in 1898 but was assassinated in 1905 in retaliation for sending troops to quell mining strikes in northern Idaho. Rees H. Davis, a respected figure in the newspaper industry, served as editor of the Tribune from 1893 until his death in 1906. Walter Barnett, described on page three of the May 26, 1906 issue as "a first class printer in every particular," took over the Tribune in the spring of 1906 and continued as editor for over 20 years. With time, the paper expanded to four pages with eight columns, then eight pages with five columns, and in 1920 became a bi-weekly publication.

The Caldwell Tribune ceased publication altogether in 1928.

Provided by: Idaho State Historical Society