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Ellensburg Dawn

Modified on 2012/11/06 09:35 by D. Shawn Schollmeyer Categorized as Kittitas county

Table of Contents [Hide/Show]

   Digitization plan
      NEH Approved Essay
      Essay Notes


  • Ayer Annual1
    • Content: Populist; Ind. Dem.
    • Established: 1894
    • Pages: 4
    • Size: 13x20 ; 15x22
    • Editor: Robert A. Turner
    • Publisher: Robert A. Turner
  • Frequency: Saturday
  • Coverage
    • Region:
    • County: Kittitas county
  • Unique ids
    • The reformer's dawn (OCLC #781972759, LCCN 2012252554); covers Nov. 1893-Jan. 1894.
    • Dawn (Ellensburg, Wash. : 1894) (OCLC #17308839, LCCN sn 88085011); covers Aug. 4, 1894.
    • The Weekly dawn (OCLC #781971529, LCCN 2012252559); covers Aug. 11, 1894-Jan. 12, 1895.
    • Dawn (Ellensburg, Wash. : 1895) (OCLC #781973481, LCCN 2012252560); covers Jan. 19, 1895-Mar. 11, 1898
    • The Ellensburg dawn (OCLC #17308844, LCCN sn 88085012); covers Mar. 18, 1898-?

Digitization plan

e.g. 2008-2009 grant
  • Plan to digitize 1894-1913 - 6 reels


  • Preceding title: The dawn. (Ellensburg, Wash.) 1894-1898
  • Succeeding title: The Ellensburg democrat. (Ellensburg, Wash.) 1914-1915
  • Related titles:

NEH Approved Essay

Robert A. Turner, a newspaperman from Missouri, moved to Washington for health reasons in 1890. He and his wife, Minnerva, first settled in Seattle, but when he could not secure an adequately affordable space for his paper plant, they moved to Ellensburg in 1891. In November 1893, Turner began publishing a 12-page monthly, the Reformer’s Dawn LCCN sn88085011, to advocate for the People’s Party and the Populist movement which “was sweeping westward with wonderful strength and had just reached Kittitas county in force,” according to Turner in An Illustrated History of Klickitat, Yakima, and Kittitas Counties. The paper quickly achieved popularity, and by August 4, 1894, Turner changed the title to the Dawn. In his editorial for the inaugural issue, Turner stated, “we find we cannot successfully combat the evils that obstruct the reform movement with a monthly, hence have concluded to publish a weekly.” After only one issue, Turner changed the name to the Weekly Dawn to reinforce and reflect the more frequent publication. The paper was published under this title from August 11, 1894 to January 12, 1895, and then reverted back to the Dawn from January 19, 1895 until March 11, 1898. On March 18, 1898, the newspaper was renamed the Ellensburg Dawn.

By 1900, the thriving town of Ellensburg had several established creameries, stock production ranches (cattle, horses, hogs, and sheep), gold and coal mines, and small-scale mills and was the division headquarters of the Northern Pacific Railway. Because interest in the Populist movement was dwindling, Turner changed the Ellensburg Dawn’s political affiliation to Independent and turned his and the paper’s efforts to promoting the general welfare and economic development of Ellensburg and Kittitas County. By 1906, the Ellensburg Dawn was published on a semiweekly basis.

Turner was appointed postmaster of Ellensburg in 1914 and became extremely busy with the Thrift Stamp and Liberty Bond campaigns as well as with other wartime duties. After 25 years of editing the paper, Turner leased the Ellensburg Dawn to Arthur Slemmons and Jefferson D. Mathews in 1915. It was absorbed by the Ellensburg Democrat LCCN sn88085013, which was published from January 29, 1914 to June 10, 1915, when it was then sold to William Dadler who continued to publish the paper as the Inter-mountain Register LCCN sn88085014 until 1917.

Essay Notes

Ellensburg Public Library. "Newspaper, Hay and Furniture." 1910?-1919?/2010. http://content.statelib.wa.gov/u?/ellensburg,1647

Ellensburg Public Library. "Turner's Print Shop." 1900?-1909?/2011. http://content.statelib.wa.gov/u?/ellensburg,1890

An Illustated History of Klickitat, Yakima, and Kittitas Counties, with an Outline fo the Early History of the State of Washington. Evansville, IN: Unigraphic, 1977. http://catalog.lib.washington.edu/record=b1847306~S6

Palmer, Gayle. L. ed. Washington State Union List of Newspapers on Microfilm. Olympia, WA: Washington State Library. 1991. http://catalog.lib.washington.edu/record=b2574142~S6

"Postal History Dates to 1873." Daily Record, 67:194. March 29, 1967. p.6

The Reformer's Dawn. Vol. 1, no.1-Vol. 3, no.1. Ellensburg, WA: Dawn, 1893-1894. http://catalog.lib.washington.edu/record=b5087802~S6

Turner, Robert A. “The Newspapers of Kittitas County.” The Coast, 15:5. May 1908. p.348. http://books.google.com/books?id=37IRAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA348&lpg=PA348&dq=robert+a+turner+and+ellensburg+dawn&source=bl&ots=uSHylYnVYH&sig=ty_ovQo6OhWfcrs0FP-HHkZl2QY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=vRQFT8ffNaSZiAKfmYW5Dg&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=robert%20a%20turner%20and%20ellensburg%20dawn&f=false


  1. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual -- 1897 -- 824
  2. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual -- 1906 -- 895
  3. NDNP Candidate Title List (Appendix A1.2)
  4. Chronicling America record (LOC) - The Ellensburg dawn
  5. WorldCat record - The Ellensburg Dawn
  6. WSL record - The Ellensburg Dawn
  7. UW record - The Ellensburg Dawn



  • Filmed by: University of Washington Library
  • Positives held by: UW
    • Call Number: A3921
    • Library holds: 1894-08-04 - 1913-12-25 (incomplete), 6 reels
    • Film condition: 1B position, no resolution target,
  • Negatives held by: UW
    • Call Number: A3921


  • film quality eval notes 1894-08-04 1898-12-30: Pages are a little light, but generally clear and legible. Some pages are very faded. There are about 8 issues that were either printed sideways or photographed incorrectly that are very difficult to read. If original paper dimensions are 13x20, then reduction ration is about 18x. It is possible that this paper was smaller though. Many of the images from 1896-1898 are very faded.
  • Film eval notes 1899-01-06 1903-12-30: Gutter shadow is present and the right and left sides are cut off many of the early issues on this reel. Contrast varies widely throughout the roll and many are very faded.
  • Film eval notes 1904-01-07 1905-12-28: The contrast is very poor throughout the reel.
  • Film eval notes 1906-01-04 1907-12-27: About one page per issue has very poor contrast. Some odd pages have right edge cut off; 1/4 of pages are very faded; Image quality poor overall.
  • Film eval notes 1908-01-03 1909-12-31: Some pages are light but overall are better than previous reels.
  • Film eval notes 1910-01-06 1913-12-25: Gutter shadow is present, causing some distortion. The right and left sides are cut off on many issues on this reel.


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