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About The Holly chieftain. (Holly, Colo.) 1897-1987
Holly, Colo. (1897-1987)
- The Holly chieftain. : (Holly, Colo.) 1897-1987
- Place of publication:
- Holly, Colo.
- Geographic coverage:
- H.W. Milford
- Dates of publication:
- -v. 22, no. 2 (June 21, 1918) ; 22nd year, no. 3 (June 27, 1918)-27th year, no. 47 (May 8, 1924) ; v. 27, no. 48 (May 15, 1924)-July 30, 1987.
- Began in 1897?
- Available on microfilm from the Colorado Historical Society.
- Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 2 (Feb. 12, 1897).
- Issued with: Lamar daily news (Lamar, Colo. : 1982), Nov. 10, 1982-Aug. 5, 1987.
- sn 90051185
- Preceding Titles:
- Succeeding Titles:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Holly, Colorado, home of the The Holly Chieftain, is in Prowers County, on the eastern plains of the state. Before white settlement, the area, which includes the Arkansas River valley, was the homelands of the Comanche people. Powers County was also home to the Kiowa and the Cheyenne by the early nineteenth century. The area around the town of Holly was settled by prominent cattleman Hiram S. Holly in the 1870s. The Holly Ranch became a center for trading, and the resulting community would eventually become the town of Holly, officially incorporated in 1903. With the end of the cattle industry in Prowers County following devastating blizzards in the winters of 1885-86 and 1886-87, agriculture became the primary industry, particularly the cultivation of sugar beets.
Holly's first and only newspaper, The Holly Chieftain, was founded in 1897 by H.W. Milford, a Kansas newspaper publisher who picked up and moved his plant across state lines to Holly. The first edition of the weekly Chieftain was issued on February 11, 1897. The Pueblo Chieftain noted that it "had a curiosity to see its little namesake, the Holly Chieftain. It has made its appearance in the mails, and is all right, a Chieftain not to be ashamed of. The paper is newsy and readable" (February 25, 1897).
In December 1905, H.W. Milford retired after publishing the Chieftain for eight years, selling it to J.M. Miner. Miner's wife was steadily engaged in the business of running the Chieftain, so much so that the paper's publication firm was incorporated as Miner & Miner, and Mrs. Miner acted as the paper's city editor. J.M. Miner used the Chieftain as a pulpit to urge city officials to close gambling houses in the town, and The Montrose Enterprise wrote that "if it is not done the Chieftain will close them single-handed and alone" (May 24, 1907). In retaliation for this campaign, poolroom owner S.E. Lewis attacked and severely beat up J.M. Miner.
After two years of ownership, in late 1907, Miner sold the Chieftain to Louis N. Zalinger and moved to Grand Junction, Colorado to helm The Herald. Zalinger was the former editor and publisher of the Denver Eye and the founder of the Republican newspaper the South Denver Sun. Zalinger published his first issue of the enlarged Chieftain in January 1908. Zalinger's political opinions, specifically attacking alleged dereliction of duties by the town treasure, L.M. Appel, caused him to run afoul of the Black Hand. Zalinger received the following letter, which he reproduced in the Holly Chieftain: "Keep your d–d mouth out of the treasurer's business, or we will run you out of town. We mean it. --BLACK HAND. July 2, 1909). Zalinger responded, "The Chieftain is ready, Bud! Now make your bluff stick" (July 2, 1909).
By December of 1913, Zalinger leased the Chieftain plant to R.E. Wilson, so that he could travel. Wilson expanded the paper to ten pages, which included six pages of home print and only four of "patent" (pre-printed, syndicate content). The Telluride Journal described it as "wide-awake and newsy from the start to the finish" (May 14, 1914). Zalinger returned to the paper in June 1915, as it began its nineteenth year of publication. Two years later, Zalinger sold the Chieftain to Lee Meadows. Meadows only owned the paper for eight months before selling it to W.H. Woodhouse, a newspaper man and member of legislature from Kansas. In August 1918, the Chieftain was sold again to C. Clinton Page.
R.E. Wood, who edited and published The Lamar Daily News, sold his interest in that paper to purchase the Chieftain in October 1920. Wood had a new Hoe cylinder press installed and was able to enlarge the paper from a five-column to a seven-column quarto. At the beginning of 1922, the Chieftain yet again passed into new hands, those of Charles A. Tenny, who assumed control of the paper, as he said, "with a keen sense of responsibility, feeling that our influence, humble though it may be, must count for or against the building up of a good citizenship" (The Holly Chieftain, January 5, 1922). Along with the Chieftain, Tenny also bought the Granada Leader and the Bristol Record.
In the years that followed, the Chieftain was owned, edited, and published by several people: Dewey O. Linder; T.J. Gardner; D. Maynard Wood; Thomas and Maxine Dugan; Fred Pottorf; and Tom and Ava Betz. It finally merged with The Lamar Daily News in 1982.
Provided by: History Colorado