About The newspaper. (Paonia, Colo.) 1904-1910
Paonia, Colo. (1904-1910)
- The newspaper. : (Paonia, Colo.) 1904-1910
- Place of publication:
- Paonia, Colo.
- Geographic coverage:
- C.T. Rawalt
- Dates of publication:
- Vol. 1, no. 20 (Dec. 23, 1904)-v. 6, no. 41 (May 31 , 1910).
- Paonia (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.
- sn 90051107
- Preceding Titles:
- Succeeding Titles:
- Related Links:
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- First Issue Last Issue
Newspaper, Paonia Newspaper, and Paonia Progressive and the Paonia Newspaper
Located on the Western Slope of Colorado, in Delta County, the town of Paonia was founded in 1882 by Samuel Wade. Beside planting the fruit trees that thrived in the area due to optimal growing conditions (warm air at night and cool air during the day), Wade brought peony roots to Colorado. These inspired him to submit "Paeonia," the Latin name for peonies, as a town name. Either due to Wade's misread handwriting or the post office not allowing for the extraneous vowel, the town became known as Paonia.
Following Paonia's boom in 1902 with the arrival of the railroad, C. T. Rawalt founded the Paonia Newspaper there in 1904. Rawalt owned and published papers throughout Colorado, in towns such as Gunnison, Cedaredge, Montrose, Crested Butte, Ramah, Matheson, and Limon, as well as in Laramie, Wyoming. The first issue of the Paonia Newspaper came off the press on August 12 "looking as though it meant business and had come to stay" (Montrose Enterprise, August 19, 1904). The title of the paper was changed in December of 1904 to simply, the Newspaper. By January 1905, the Colorado Transcript ranked it among the leading Colorado weeklies. Rawalt described it as "democratic in politics, liberal in morals and religion and a consistent booster for Delta county and Paonia in particular" (June 11, 1909).
The Newspaper was a four-page weekly, and it carried local, state, and national news; local sports coverage; agricultural and farm news; and social happenings in the region. On June 11, 1909, Rawalt published an ambitious bit of boosterism in the form of a 26-page supplement to the Newspaper, an "Illustrated Homeseekers Edition." The Crawford Chronicle believed it to be "the best writeup ever published of all the sections of the North Folk country. The circulation of this edition will be anywhere between five and ten thousand and will certainly be the means of bringing homeseekers to Delta county." As the Montrose Daily Press put it, "It was brimful of good things concerning Paonia, and one would think the place was certainly the Garden of Eden of the world."
In late 1909, Rawalt sold his paper to the Paonia Newspaper Publishing Company with L.G. Bird acting as president, T.H. Lage as business manager, and Bess Edwards as treasurer and manager of the mechanical department. Lage was a "recent arrival from Wisconsin … by his own confession … a pedagogue politician of the reform type." He claimed to be "a Mugwump, an Insurgent, and a Progressive disciple of LaFollette and Lindsey" (December 17, 1909). Leroy Kennedy replaced Rawalt as editor of the Newspaper, a position he held until May 1911 when he retired from the editorship of the newspaper that by then carried the title the Paonia Newspaper.
With Kennedy's retirement, G.W. Hamilton "shied his castor into the ring." The Montrose Daily Press said of Hamilton, "we know that he is a first-class fellow and will prove a booster in Paonia or anywhere else." Hamilton changed the name of the paper to the Paonia Progressive, saying that "the new name accurately describes the new policy … and purpose. In politics the Progressive will be independent, and as an independent newspaper advocate and support those public measures and policies commonly called progressive" (May 19, 1911).
Hamilton's stint as editor and manager of the Progressive was destined to be short-lived, however, and Milton Spencer, "Paonia's Pioneer Merchant," soon took over. Spencer owned an interest and held a mortgage against the publishing company and took C.T. Rawalt to court in December 1911. Rawalt had defaulted on a payment of $1,000, and Spencer took possession of the paper and conducted its publication under the new name, the Paonia Progressive and Newspaper.
By March 1912, the Paonia Progressive and Newspaper had changed hands again, this time to E.A. Thompson, who purchased the paper from Spencer and planned to change the name back to the Newspaper. However, by June 1912, the Paonia Progressive and Newspaper, was bought out by Arthur Craig and he changed the name to the Paonian. The paper was published under that name until 1990.
Provided by: History Colorado