WA Secretary of State Wikis


Grant Admin
Newspaper Titles
Progress Reports
Working Groups

Search NDNP Wiki:

Advanced Search »


All pages


Chronicling America (LOC)
About NDNP (NEH)
WSL Online Newspapers
WSL catalog
UW catalog


Table of Contents [Hide/Show]

   Digitization plan
      NEH Approved Essay
          Aberdeen Herald LCCN sn87093220
      Essay Notes


  • Ayer Annual1
    • Content: Democratic
    • Established: 1886
    • Pages: 8
    • Size: 15x22; 28x44 (1890)
    • Editor:
    • Publisher:
  • Frequency:
  • Coverage
    • Region: Southwest
    • County: Chehalis
  • Unique ids
    • LCCN: sn 87093220
    • OCLC: 17196902

Digitization plan

e.g. 2008-2009 grant
  • Plan to digitize 1890-1917 - 19 reels (UW)


  • Preceding title:
  • Succeeding title:
  • Related titles:

NEH Approved Essay

Aberdeen Herald LCCN sn87093220

Aberdeen Weekly Herald LCCN sn90099799

Aberdeen is the largest city in Grays Harbor County (known as Chehalis County until 1915), situated on the central Washington coast. Named for Aberdeen, Scotland, the city is located at the confluence of the Chehalis and Wishkah Rivers, just east of Grays Harbor itself. The first white farmers settled in the area in the 1860s; in the following decades, Aberdeen blossomed into an industrial city that boasted numerous sawmills and salmon canneries. By the 1920s Aberdeen declared itself “The Lumber Capital of the World,” but the following decades saw a decline in industrial activity, the economic effects of which are still felt today.

Hunt and Kaylor’s Washington, West of the Cascades (1917) describes the Aberdeen Herald as the city’s first newspaper. Politically, the paper supported the Democratic Party. According to J. Orin Oliphant’s “Newspapers of Washington Territory,” the weekly Herald started publication on October 20, 1886, under 18-year-old Harford Charles “Harry” Telfer. In 1887, according to Ayer’s Directory of Newspapers, control passed to Edward C. Finch, a real estate man who ran the paper for one year before leaving to found the rival Aberdeen Bulletin LCCN sn90098840. For a short period beginning in 1889, the paper was called the Aberdeen Weekly Herald. Over the next decade, under a series of editors, the paper’s circulation dwindled, amounting to just 450 readers by 1897. In 1898, the Herald was acquired by one of Grays Harbor’s most prominent citizens, John J. Carney, a pioneering Aberdeen sawmill operator, merchant, and land developer who had become the town’s postmaster and then editor of the Elma Chronicle LCCN sn87093214 and the Washington Economist LCCN sn87093199. Carney merged the Economist with the Herald and went on to lead the paper longer than any other man, serving as editor and publisher until the Herald’s demise on July 1, 1917, with the exception of a short period in 1915 when John A. Stimson served as editor. From about 1904 until about 1911, the paper was published twice a week. Circulation reached its highest point in 1916, at 2,100 readers.

During these years, Aberdeen was known as a rough-and-tumble frontier town. Major topics covered in the Herald include the discovery of oil in the nearby Hoh River valley and the killing spree of Billy Gohl, “the Ghoul of Grays Harbor,” a union agent who may have murdered as many as 250 sailors in Aberdeen between 1903 and 1913. Gohl was convicted of two murders in 1910, and he died in an insane asylum in 1927. During this time, Aberdeen was known as an important union town and an organizing center for the International Workers of the World.

Essay Notes

Aberdeen is the hub of Grays Harbor, an area of industry. Greatest claim to fame is as the birthplace of Kurt Cobain.

According to Supplemental Washington Newspapers, in 1887, editor and publisher was Harford C. Telfer. In 1888, it transferred to Edward Finch, and then to F.R. Wall in 1890.

According to Mitchell's Washington Newspapers, Herald began in 1885 by Telfer, 1887 Finch was ed. & pub., 1889 F.R. Wall, 1892 L.H. and F.R. Wall, 1895 James F. Girton, 1898 John J. Carney, 1915 John A. Stimson ed., Aberdeen Printing Co. pub., 1916 John J. Carney ed & pub.

Founded in 1886 by Edward C. Finch, a 25-year old real estate man. He sold the Aberdeen Herald in late 1888 and later ran the Aberdeen Bulletin with his younger brother and the Aberdeen Weekly Record.

John J. Carney, postmaster of Aberdeen, purchased the Montesano Economist in 1895 and consolidated it with the Aberdeen Herald in 1898.

From Washington, West of the Cascades: historical and descriptive; the explorers, the Indians, the pioneers, the modern, Vol. 2, 1917, Herbert Hunt and Floyd C. Kaylor

Ayers Annual 1917 Publisher and Editor: John J. Carney


  1. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual -- 1908 -- 903
  2. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual -- 1890 -- 727
  3. NDNP Candidate Title List (Appendix A1.2)
  4. Chronicling America record (LOC) - Aberdeen herald
  5. WorldCat record - Aberdeen herald
  6. WSL record - Aberdeen herald
  7. UW record - Aberdeen herald



  • Filmed by: University of Washington Library
  • Positives held by: UW
    • Call Number: A4508
    • Library holds: Nov. 3 1886; Oct. 23 1890-June 29, 1917 (incomplete)
    • Film condition: 1B position, resolution target present, reduction ratio target present.
  • Negatives held by: UW
    • Call Number: A4508; A7251 (for issue 1886-11-03 only)


  • film qual eval 1890-10-23 1893-10-05: red. ratio matches if page dimensions were 15x22. Photographer cut off right side of even numbered pages and left edge of the left column of odd numbed pages is illegible until April 16, 1891. Gutter shadow/distortion a problem throughout this reel.
  • film eval notes 1893-10-12 1896-10-01
    gutter shadow and information loss is still a problem at the edge of the pages. There are some out of focus pages (estimated 1 of 40 images is too blurry to read at beginning of reel. No duplicates present. This problem gets worse towards the end of the reel, with about 1 of 20 images blurry.) For the most part the contrast is good and very few images appear faded.
  • Film eval notes 1896-10-06 1899-09-27: gutter shadow and information loss at edges evident. Many blurry pages (one per issue).
  • film eval 1899-10-05 1901-12-26: gutter shadow
  • film eval 1902-01-09 1902-12-29: a few out of focus pages and poorly photographed pages, but there is no gutter shadow and contrast and quality is generally good.
  • Film eval 1907: Good contrast. Often the 2nd and 4th pages of an issue have poor focus. It appears that some of the issues are bound but most are loose leaf.
  • film quality eval 1908-01-02 1908-12-31: reduction ratio on target matches caliper measurement. Pages appear to be legible with very few stains or damaged parts. Good contrast.
  • Film eval notes 1909-1910: Film eval: Generally good but several torn pages.
  • Film eval notes 1911: Generally good. Numbering is very erratic throughout the year.
  • Film eval notes 1912: Frame size increases beginning at 6/20/12. Film eval: Contrast in the second half of the reel is very poor. Pages are very dark.
  • Film eval notes 1913-1915: Contrast varies widely throughout the reel.
  • Film eval notes 1916: Contrast varies widely and reinforcements from the binding are visible on the reel.


Link to Title Spreadsheets (Google)


  Name Size
- aberdeendollars.png 237.85 KB

ScrewTurn Wiki version Some of the icons created by FamFamFam.