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About Idaho Springs siftings. (Idaho Springs, Colo.) 1900-1905
Idaho Springs, Colo. (1900-1905)
- Idaho Springs siftings. : (Idaho Springs, Colo.) 1900-1905
- Place of publication:
- Idaho Springs, Colo.
- Geographic coverage:
- John D. Williamson
- Dates of publication:
- Vol. 1, no. 1 (Dec. 22, 1900)-v. 5, no. 24 (May 27, 1905).
- Clear Creek County (Colo.)--Newspapers.
- Colorado--Clear Creek County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01225720
- Colorado--Idaho Springs.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01251706
- Idaho Springs (Colo.)--Newspapers.
- Available on microfilm from the Colorado Historical Society.
- Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 4 (Jan. 12, 1901).
- Latest issue consulted: Vol. 3, no. 41 (Sept. 26, 1903).
- sn 90051005
- Succeeding Titles:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Idaho Springs Siftings and Idaho Springs Siftings-News
In January 1859, George A. Jackson, while casually panning for gold at his camp in the mountains west of the rough mining settlement of Denver City, Colorado, struck it rich, washing out several gold nuggets in his drinking cup. The news of Jackson's discovery helped set off the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. Jackson's original camp changed names several times as it swelled with "Fifty-Niners" seeking the next motherlode: Jackson's Diggings, Sacramento City, Idahoe, and finally Idaho Springs. By 1866, the gold deposits began to decline, but increased silver mining in the area buoyed Idaho Springs. The Silver Panic of 1893 brought about major economic decline, but the development of logging and ranching kept the town afloat.
The Idaho Springs Siftings started publication on December 22, 1900. It was founded by M.J. Bowen, edited by Fred G. Shaffer, and published by John D. Williamson. When the paper debuted, Shaffer was quoted to have said, "There is a field in Idaho Springs for a progressive, up-to-date Republican newspaper. Siftings will occupy that field." The Siftings advertised itself as a "fair-fighting, uncompromising Republican paper" and proclaimed in its masthead "The People Say: 'It's a Good Paper.'" The Salida Mail noted that the Siftings "differs from the ordinary weekly paper, using book paper, half-tone illustrations and wide column measure. Mechanically it is very neat indeed and in quality of matter it is bright as the average Colorado sunshine." The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction called the paper "one of the healthiest looking cherubs in the Centennial state...for live local matter it would be hard to beat and its editorial utterances are outspoken." By 1902, Shaffer and Williamson were able to add a new cylinder press to the plant that could churn out 2,000 copies in an hour and planned to add a linotype machine. The Clear Creek Topics called this "an innovation in these parts and speaks well for the publishers' prosperity--and nerve."
In April 1903, Williamson, along with other Idaho Springs businessmen, formed the Siftings Publishing Company, which took over publishing the paper. At the same time, Shaffer retired as editor to pursue mining interests, having written a book on the matter, The Shining Mark and the Mining Shark. By May, Idaho Springs miners staged a strike, demanding an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage of $2.75 per day. The Siftings published the following opinion, "While sentiment was undoubtly [sic] with the union in its demand for a minimum wage...it is unquestionable overwhelmingly against it in its demand for eight hours and other frivolous propositions regarding time."
John T. Mallalieu purchased the Siftings in the spring of 1905, as well as the longstanding Idaho Springs News, and consolidated the two papers under the name Idaho Springs Siftings-News. Mallaileu published the paper until 1915, when he sold it to Irwin G. Stafford, who in turn sold it to Lee H. and Bertha C. Hoffman in 1920. Under the proprietorship of the Hoffmans, the Colorado Transcript reported, "Prosperity has hit the Idaho Springs district to such an extent that the Siftings-News is now being issued twice a week. And the Sifting-News is now a real newspaper, under its wide-awake news editors, Mr. and Mrs. Hoffman." The prosperity was short-lived. Lee Hoffman died in July 1921 after a short illness attributed to a nervous breakdown and heart trouble. Bertha Hoffman scaled back publication to a weekly issue, and on December 4, 1921, Bertha Hoffman closed the doors of the Siftings-News for good.
Provided by: Idaho State Historical Society