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The Homer homesteader. : (Homer, Alaska) 194?-19??
Place of publication:
Homer, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • Homer, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
W.R. Benson
Dates of publication:
  • English
  • Alaska--Homer.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01217115
  • Homer (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • Description based on: Vol. 3, no. 13 (July 22, 1946).
sn 97060092
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The Homer homesteader. July 22, 1946 , Image 1


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The Homer Homesteader

The Homer Homesteader first appeared on April 14, 1944, and was Homer's first commercial newspaper. The Homesteader was a two-page newssheet that used a cursive font and featured many hand-drawn illustrations. The paper was produced on a mimeograph machine by William R. Benson, a businessperson in Homer. Unreliable shipping to Homer meant that printing supplies did not always arrive on time, and the Homesteader had to borrow paper from locals to print issues on several occasions.

Benson was a relentless promoter of Homer and eternally optimistic about the city's potential. He argued, in the April 28, 1947 issue, that "there is a time in the history of every Alaskan town, when it either surges ahead and developes[sic] into a live community, or degenerates into a ghost city." Benson proposed and promoted developments to avoid the latter of those options. Among the things he advocated for were a greenhouse, the digging of deep wells to provide water, reliable electric service, and the development of the nearby coal veins.

His calls for change earned some criticism from other citizens, but he countered in the September 22, 1947 issue that these complainers were "poor hapless souls, who spend their idle hours picking to pieces someone who is trying to do something constructive." It seems that much of Benson's campaigning worked. By the time Benson suspended publication in December of 1949, many of the improvements he had argued for had been realized.

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections