About Kootenai County Republican. (Rathdrum, Idaho) 1899-1903
Rathdrum, Idaho (1899-1903)
- Kootenai County Republican. : (Rathdrum, Idaho) 1899-1903
- Place of publication:
- Rathdrum, Idaho
- Geographic coverage:
- J.F. Yost & A. Gould
- Dates of publication:
- Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 19, 1899)-v. 5, no. 50 (Oct. 30, 1903).
- Semiweekly May 13-Oct. 30, 1903
- Rathdrum (Idaho)--Newspapers.
- Sandpoint (Idaho)--Newspapers.
- Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
- Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 2 (May 26, 1899).
- Published in: Sandpoint, July 12, 1901-Oct. 30, 1903.
- sn 89055035
- Succeeding Titles:
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- First Issue Last Issue
Kootenai County Republican
The first issue of the Kootenai County Republican was published on May 19, 1899, in Rathdrum, in Idaho's northern "panhandle." John F. Yost, publisher and proprietor, established the Republican as a four-page, six-column weekly paper, published on Fridays. The seat of Kootenai County from 1881 to 1908, Rathdrum is located 12 miles northwest of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and 25 miles east of Spokane, Washington. In addition to reporting on developments in Rathdrum, the Republican covered news from the nearby towns of Kellogg, Post Falls, Priest River, Athol, and Bonner's Ferry.
The Silver Blade, a rival paper that Yost himself had established in 1895, was awarded the county printing contract in 1900. As owner of the Republican, Yost complained that the Blade was owned and operated by county officials, namely Probate Judge John C. Brady. Additionally, the Republican had an ongoing rivalry with the Coeur d'Alene Press, another weekly publication in the county. Yost once pointedly wrote, "The Press evidently needs to be reminded of the old adage, "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones."
Kootenai County, which was later divided to form Bonner County in 1907, had a booming timber and lumber industry. Multiple columns in each issue of the Republican were dedicated to legal notices of land claims related to timber use. In July 1901, Yost moved the Kootenai County Republican to the town of Sandpoint and expanded the paper to eight pages, stating that "Sandpoint is the key to the timber and lumber industries and therefore to the commercial situation in the northern half of Kootenai County." In the same year, an article in the Republican described Idaho's "white pine belt" as a most valuable lumber asset.
The Northern Pacific Railroad was key in supporting the timber industry in northern Idaho and in providing passenger transit to and from remote mountain towns. On April 20, 1900, the Republican published an article entitled "Northern Pacific's Commendable Action," which described how the railroad would discharge "all alien labor employed by them in this county," namely Chinese railroad workers. The article referenced Idaho's anti-alien law which was "unanimously endorsed by the public." Whether it was "constitutional or not," the Republican stated that corporations ought to "show a little respect to the wishes of the people with whom they transact business" by getting rid of immigrant workers. Anti-Chinese sentiments regularly appeared in the paper.
The Kootenai County Republican began running as a four-page semi-weekly in May 1903, "owing to a rapidly increasing demand for advertising space and a fast growing subscription list," given the tripling of the population of Sandpoint in the preceding two years.
The Republican continued publication until October 1903, when John F. Yost chose to pursue apolitical career and sold the paper to the News Publishing Company, owned by Albert Filson and George R. Parker. They changed the name of the publication to the Northern Idaho News , which continued as a Republican paper in Sandpoint and ran until 1944.
Provided by: Idaho State Historical Society