The Library of Congress > Chronicling America > The Chitina leader.

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1756-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more

The Chitina leader. [volume] : (Chitina, Alaska) 1910-1928
Place of publication:
Chitina, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • Chitina, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
W.A. Steel, H.G. Steel
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1928?
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Sept. 24, 1910)-
  • English
  • Alaska--Chitina.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01211178
  • Chitina (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • Vol. and issue numbers irregular.
sn 95060001
View complete holdings information
First Issue Last Issue

The Chitina leader. [volume] September 24, 1910 , Image 1


Calendar View

All front pages

First Issue  |  Last Issue

The Chitina leader

The Chitina leader was started on September 24, 1910 by Harry and Will Steel, who were owners of the Cordova Daily Alaskan. The first issue of the Leader was released to coincide with the completion of the railroad from Cordova to Chitina. Harry Steel was one the first to take the train to Chitina. To produce the Leader, Steeland his brother would commute from their printing shop in Cordova to Chitina. In a special edition on November 12, 1910, the paper trumpeted the completion of a trail from Chitina to Willow Creek that connected with the Valdez to Fairbanks trail. The Leader argued that the new trail connecting with Chitina was far superior to the old and "in the face of all opposition, the travel will be directed this way, as there isn't a better road in the North." The Leader sent 1,000 copies of this special edition to every camp in Alaska and coastal towns along the West Coast.

O. E. Bennett was listed as the city editor for The Chitina Leader until 1911 and was relentlessly optimistic about Chitina, writing in a December 10, 1910 editorial that with the increasing population Chitina would soon "blossom forth into a full-fledged city of substantial importance." Bennett predicted that the coming summer would herald the start of Chitina's major growth and that the Copper River Valley, once developed, would be "uneclipsable" [sic]. The same editorial vehemently denounced territorial delegate James Wickersham for his opposition to private development of railroads in the Copper River Valley, claiming that the "salvation of Alaska" lay in Wickersham's defeat.

Bennett left in 1911 and was replaced by Sydney Charles who helped push for the creation of a school in Chitina. Bennett's departure was supposed to be temporary, but his name never reappeared in the paper, and after Charles left in September of 1911, the only names appearing in the publisher's block were those of Harry and Will Steel. The Leader slowly began to borrow content from the Cordova Daily Alaskan, as articles from the past week of Cordova's daily would make appearances in the Chitina weekly. This accelerated during World War I when much of the content was through wire service. Because so much content was reused from the Alaskan without changing the dates, many publication dates for the Leader are speculative due to the mismatching printed dates and the dates of the content. The Leader's final issue was published on November 24, 1928.

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections