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Idaho County free press. [volume] : (Grangeville, Idaho Territory) 1886-current
Alternative Titles:
  • Convention clarion
  • Free press
Place of publication:
Grangeville, Idaho Territory
Geographic coverage:
  • Grangeville, Idaho, Idaho  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Free Press Pub. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 18, 1886)-
  • English
  • Grangeville (Idaho)--Newspapers.
  • Idaho County (Idaho)--Newspapers.
  • Idaho--Grangeville.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01226219
  • Idaho--Idaho County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01217581
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Daily ed.: Daily press (Grangeville, Idaho), <May 17, 1899->.
  • Includes a supplement about the Idaho County Sunday School Convention called: Convention clarion, May 24, 1901.
sn 86091100
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Idaho County free press. [volume] June 18, 1886 , Image 1


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Idaho County Free Press

Aaron F. Parker began publishing the Idaho County Free Press in June 1886, in Grangeville, Idaho. He had previously been a newspaper man in Lewiston, the former territorial capital of Idaho. Before Idaho achieved statehood in 1890, many residents of Northern Idaho had wanted the region to be annexed by Washington State rather than remain united with Southern Idaho. Parker opposed annexation by Washington, an unpopular position in Lewiston at the time, so he moved to Grangeville and began carrying out his anti-annexation campaign in the columns of the Free Press. The motto underneath the paper's masthead was "Montani Semper Liberi," or "mountaineers are always free."

The Free Press supported the development of Idaho County, including the opening of reservation lands for white settlement, the expansion of railroads, and the upkeep of wagon roads to connect Northern and Southern Idaho. It promoted agriculture, stock-raising, and mining, described as "the three great industries of the county." For many years, mining dominated Grangeville, but as the mines were exhausted, men turned their attention to raising stock and, gradually, to agriculture. The pages of the Free Press documented this shift.

Parker's Free Press was independent in politics and described itself as having "the freedom and impartiality of independent criticism." The paper was published weekly and consisted of six to eight pages with six columns. It included news of surrounding Idaho County, Montana, and Washington.

Aaron F. Parker left the Idaho County Free Press in September 1900, selling the business and equipment to Elmer McBroom, citing poor health and "long felt need of a rest" as the reasons for his retirement. From October 1900 to January 1907, McBroom ran the Free Press with the same independent reporting that it had always demonstrated. He sold the paper to Lloyd A. Wisener, who changed it politically to support "the principles of democracy as advocated and practiced by Jefferson, Jackson, and Bryan." Wisener was also the postmaster at Grangeville, and in October 1922, after his appointment was renewed for an additional four years, he sold the Free Press to James Clifford Safley, who had been serving as editor for a number of years. Also in 1922, the Free Press absorbed the Republican Grangeville Globe, which had been established in 1907.

The Idaho County Free Press still remains in print at the present day.

Provided by: Idaho State Historical Society