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The Raymer enterprise. : (New Raymer, Weld County, Colo.) 1910-19??
Alternative Titles:
  • Raymer enterprise and Stoneham news
Place of publication:
New Raymer, Weld County, Colo.
Geographic coverage:
  • New Raymer, Weld, Colorado  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Raymer, Weld, Colorado  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
S.P. Majors
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1910.
  • English
  • Colorado--Weld County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01209092
  • Weld County (Colo.)--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Available on microfilm from the Colorado Historical Society.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 16 (Sept. 1, 1910).
  • The Stoneham News appears inside The Raymer Enterprise Sept. 1, 1910 and Sept. 8, 1910.
sn 89052040
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The Raymer enterprise. September 1, 1910 , Image 1


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Raymer Enterprise

Raymer--like many of the small agricultural communities in northeastern Colorado-- started as a homestead, purchased in 1888 by Emma J. Courtright. Within the year, Courtright sold the land to the Lincoln Land Company, which platted the area and named the new townsite after George Raymer, the Assistant Chief Engineer of the Burlington and Missouri Railroad. The first newspapers, the Raymer Ranger and Raymer Herald, began publication and the first town elections were held. Lots in the new township went up for sale in the spring of 1889, but only five sold. Most of the buildings in the town were started but never finished and Raymer was abandoned by the early 1890s. However, the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909 revitalized the area of Raymer. In 1910, the Post Office was changed to New Raymer as not to be confused with Ramah, Colorado.

S.P. Majors settled in New Raymer in 1910, bringing with him a small printing outfit with which he began printing the weekly Raymer Enterprise on May 14, 1910 (copies up to September 1, 1910 were not saved). Early issues of the Enterprise included a supplement of the Stoneham News, chronicling a small prairie town close to New Raymer. As the town boomed, so did the printing shop, and Majors added more equipment to his outfit. Under Majors, the Enterprise engaged in a bit of a rivalry with the editor of the Keota News, Clyde Leslie Stanley. The Keota News was published 15 miles from New Raymer, in another town with homesteader roots. Stanley took issue with Majors' backhanded compliment that the News was "extremely nice for 'so small a place'" and wondered "when Raymer ever got to be a large town... when Raymer ever got to a point when she does as much business as Keota... when Raymer can produce as live a bunch of business men as Keota can boast of." Ironically, Keota was all but abandoned by the 1950s.

By September 1911, Majors sold his interest in the Enterprise to C.R. Graves, an editor from Iowa, who settled in Raymer in 1910. Majors eventually left New Raymer in 1913 to manage the Iliff Independent. The Keota News noted in September 1912, that "Editor Graves is getting out a good paper; and as is common with publishers of country weeklies, it is expending more labor and money than the returns would seem to justify." Graves expanded the paper and the shop, building a new office building, installing a Miehle cylinder press to accommodate the paper's advertising patronage, and purchasing a Model "K" linotype. Local students were trained by Graves to set type and run the linotype, and they learned the printing business from Graves. The paper was originally listed as "Independent" in N.W. Ayer & Sons Newspaper Annual and Directory, but owing to Graves' political affiliation and involvement in Colorado state government, first as a Weld County representative and later as a state senator, the paper was later identified as "Republican."

With a peak circulation of around 400 subscribers, the Enterprise encompassed Raymer news and news from surrounding Weld county townships, state news and "Colorado Legislative Doings," national and international news in the "Latest News Epitomized" (from telegraphic reports), and serial content like "Sunday School Lessons", "Home Town Helps", and "The American Home." Agricultural news and instructional columns from the Farmers' Education and Co-Operative Union of America were prominently featured. During the United States' involvement in World War I, the Enterprise published war news, including draft notices, and Graves offered to send free copies of the paper to local soldiers stationed in Europe. Graves also included perennial coverage and editorials concerning the proposed division of Weld County and the formation of Pawnee County, particularly since he was the chairman of both the Eastern Weld County Commercial club and the Pawnee County Club. The dream of Pawnee County was never realized, and many of the small communities surrounding Raymer were abandoned during the drought and dust storms of the 1930s and the resulting government buyouts under the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act. C.R. Graves closed shop on the Raymer Enterprise in 1939. Arrangements were made with the Sterling Farm Journal to finish out the unexpired subscriptions.

Provided by: History Colorado