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Weekly herald. : (Chitina, Alaska) 1931-1933
Place of publication:
Chitina, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • Chitina, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
A.C. Nelson
Dates of publication:
  • Jan. 18, 1931-Jan. 22, 1933.
  • English
  • Alaska--Chitina.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01211178
  • Chitina (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • Hand-lettered and typed with original drawings.
sn 87073016
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Weekly herald. January 18, 1931 , Image 1


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Weekly herald

The Chitina Weekly herald was started on January 18, 1931 by three local Chitina children, brothers Philip and Adrian Nelson and their friend Billy Moore. They drew inspiration from Thomas Edison, who published a newspaper called the Weekly herald when he was young, and they aimed to match the 400 subscribers that Edison reached. Adrian Nelson was the editor and publisher, Philip Nelson the reporter and business manager, and Billy Moore the assistant editor and circulation manager. They created the Weekly Herald Press Co. to publish their paper and handle local print jobs.

The paper reported primarily on local and Alaskan news and provided school news and reports first-hand. Their classmates occasionally provided news reports from the school. The herald also weighed in with editorials on topics like prohibition, the problem of people selling liquor to Alaska Native people, and dog attacks. Itfeatured hand drawn illustrations on its pages and even occasionally drawings of the staff.

On June 10, 1932, a short note was published, in lieu of the regular edition, explaining that Billy Moore had tragically died in an accident while playing with Adrian and Philip near the Copper River, devastating the town. However, the herald continued publishing until January 22, 1933, when Adrian and Philip released the final issue of the paper after the Herald's second anniversary. They remarked that the paper had started as something of a game, but it had grown quickly and ended up taking up much of their time.

In the final issue, Adrian and Philip revealed that they had only gotten up to 357 concurrent subscribers, but remarked that "not failure but low aim is crime," and hoped that they had kept the paper "up to the standard we think [Billy Moore] would like." They thanked the many people, and even the Associated Press, who had sent letters of sympathy after Billy Moore's passing. The herald had subscribers in 47 states and 16 other countries and had received reviews from dozens of magazines and newspapers. Adrian and Philip thanked the magazines and newspapers for their support and encouragement, as well as their subscribers, and said they were happy to have had a chance to help Alaska and hoped "we have made you feel acquainted with those fine Sourdoughs."

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections