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Table of Contents [Hide/Show]

   Digitization plan
      NEH Approved Essay
      Essay Notes


  • Ayer Annual1
    • Content: Republican
    • Established: 1898
    • Pages: 4
    • Size: 18 x 24
    • Editor: E. D. Gilson
    • Publisher: E. D. Gilson
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Coverage
    • Region: Southeast
    • County: Adams
  • Unique ids
    • LCCN: sn87093056
    • OCLC: 17005993

Digitization plan

2010 grant
  • Plan to digitize 1898-1906 (2 reels)


  • Succeeding titles: Washington State journal and Adams County news (sn87093057), Washington State journal (sn87093055)
  • Related titles:

NEH Approved Essay

In the spring of 1878, Philip Ritz led a group of white settlers into northern Adams County, Washington, staked off the land that would become Ritzville and within a year, began growing wheat. This tract of land had previously been a main thoroughfare used by the Nez Perce and other Pacific Northwest Native tribes and is located 65 miles southwest of Spokane. By 1881, the Northern Pacific Railway line reached the area, bringing more settlers and officially establishing the town of Ritzville. Ritzville was chosen as seat of Adams County in 1884 and was officially incorporated into Washington Territory in 1888. It was described in the Ritzville Journal Times - Pioneer Edition (1949) as “a lusty pioneer town in those days, with horses and wagons lurching up and down Main Street and even a few cows wandering through the main thoroughfare.” After Washington was admitted into the union in 1889, Ritzville was incorporated under state law the following year. Ritzville is surrounded by thriving wheat fields and relies on a prosperous flour milling industry which dates back to 1906 when the first mill, Ritzville Flouring Mill, was built and began operation.

On February 3, 1898, John Albert Thompson, then sheriff of Ritzville, began publishing the Republican weekly, Adams County News. He died in October of that year and left the paper under the management of his son J. Ray Thompson and his business partner Edgar DeWitt Gilson. Gilson quickly took responsibility for the paper and served as editor and manager. During his tenure, Gilson also served many other posts such as county clerk and superior court clerk (1899-1903); Ritzville sheriff (1904-08); and secretary of the Washington State Press Association and Washington delegate for the National Editorial Association (1904-05), in addition to his many local business interests. In October 1906, Gilson sold the Adams County News to the Journal Herald Publishing Company to become the president of the Washington Sheriff’s Association. Gilson went on to serve as mayor of Ritzville in 1912.

In 1906, Journal Herald Publishing changed the title to the Washington State Journal and Adams County News LCCN sn87093057 and then to the Washington State Journal LCCN sn87093055 in November 1907. Publication continued under this title until November 17, 1910, when the paper merged with the Ritzville Times LCCN sn87093058 and became Washington State Journal and Ritzville Times LCCN sn89079039 which ceased publication December 27, 1917.

Essay Notes

Adams County Historical Society. History of Adams County, Washington. vols.1-2. 1986. http://catalog.lib.washington.edu/record=b2586686~S6

R.L. Polk & Co. Directory of Adams County, Washington. 1906. http://catalog.lib.washington.edu/record=b2025859~S6

Ritzville Journal-Times: Adams County, Washington, Pioneer Edition. 1949. http://catalog.lib.washington.edu/record=b2964088~S6

Steele, Richard F. and Arthur P. Rose. An Illustrated History of the Big Bend Country, Embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams, and Franklin Counties, State of Washington. 1904. http://catalog.lib.washington.edu/record=b2404138~S6

Washington State Archives: Digital Archives. Gilson Scrapbooks. http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/Collections/TitleInfo/1029

Washington State Library. [Ritzville] Newspaper Publishing History Chart. http://wsldocs.sos.wa.gov/library/docs/iii/charts/ritzville.htm

Washington State Library. Washington History: A History of Adams County and Ritzville. http://www.sos.wa.gov/history/cities_detail.aspx?i=39


  1. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual -- 1900 -- 853
  2. NDNP Candidate Title List (Appendix A1.2)
  3. Chronicling America record (LOC) - Adams County News
  4. WorldCat record - Adams County News
  5. WSL record - Adams County News
  6. UW record - Adams County News



  • Filmed by: WSL for USNP
  • Positives held by: WSL
    • Call Number: 46/389
    • Film condition: 2B position, targeted USNP film
    • Library holds: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 3, 1898)-v. 9, no. 42 (Oct. 17, 1906)
  • Negatives held by: State Archives
    • Call Number: S-00001; Box 2; Reels 90-91


  • film eval notes: 1898-02-02 1902-12-31: some damage at lower edge of page, but there isn't too much information lost. The lower half of the page appears blotchy in some images as if it was damaged by water or mildew, but the text is still discernible. Focus, resolution look good, reduction ratio at 19x. There appears to be water damage from Vol 1, no 1 to Vol 3 no 52. The edges of the paper are tattered. Contrast varies but is generally light.
  • Film eval notes: 1903-01-07 1907-12-26: The film quality is generally good. Some edges are torn but little information is lost. Right edge of title pages are often cut off. Contrast is generally light. Some columns are cut out.


See Adams County News (Ritzville, Wash.) eval spreadsheets


  Name Size
- 800px-Ritzville.jpg 42.46 KB
- gilson_businesscard.png 61.19 KB

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