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Kennewick Courier

Modified on 2012/08/15 15:07 by Britta Anson Categorized as Benton county, South Cascades region

Table of Contents [Hide/Show]

   Digitization plan
      NEH Approved Essay
      Essay Notes


  • Ayer Annual1
    • Content:
    • Established:
    • Pages:
    • Size:
    • Editor:
    • Publisher:
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Coverage
    • Region: South Cascades
    • County: Benton
  • Unique ids
    • LCCN: sn87093029
    • OCLC: 16996215

Digitization plan

2010 grant
  • Plan to digitize 1905-1914 (5 reels)


  • Preceding title: Columbia Courier, 1902-1905
  • Related titles: Kennewick Reporter (Kennewick, Wash. : 1911-1914), Kennewick Courier-Reporter

NEH Approved Essay

Columbia Courier LCCN sn87093028 and Kennewick Courier LCCN sn87093029

Originally inhabited by Wanapum Indians, the naturally arid area that would later become the community of Kennewick, Washington, was avoided by white settlers for much of the 19th century after being described by a Hudson’s Bay Company governor as exceptionally “sterile.” This changed temporarily in the 1880s and again in the early 1890s with the construction of a railroad bridge over the Columbia River and a few failed irrigation schemes. However, Kennewick’s population growth began in earnest when the Northern Pacific Irrigation Company began advertising farmable land in 1902.

The ensuing flood of settlers included Elwyn P. “Pea” Greene, a newspaperman from Milton, Oregon, who began publishing Kennewick’s first weekly paper, the Columbia Courier, on March 27, 1902. From the start Greene eschewed political affiliation while embracing commerce, writing facetiously that “not many of us are here simply for our health.” By cultivating a symbiotic relationship with the town’s fledgling business community, the Courier expanded its readership and promoted Kennewick’s growth. As the population surged from about 50 to 400 inhabitants by 1903, the paper expanded from four to twelve pages. Christian O. Anderson, an attorney and entrepreneur from Arizona, purchased the paper in March 1903. The Courier changed hands again in August 1904 when William J. Shaughnessy bought the paper and began publishing an additional miniature daily edition, which continued until 1906.

Kennewick officially incorporated in February 1904, and when Lauren W. Soth assumed leadership of the Courier on April 28, 1905, the name was changed to the Kennewick Courier. The paper continued to support the area’s commercial growth and report on its flourishing agriculture, such as the record strawberry crops of 1905 and 1906 and the appearance of the town’s first cherry orchards in 1907. Following Soth’s tragic demise during a typhoid outbreak in January 1910, long-time Courier reporter Ralph E. Reed purchased the paper from Soth’s widow and persuaded Earle C. Tripp to come from Seattle as co-publisher. However, new competition brought hard times for the Courier, forcing Reed to seek additional income to keep it afloat. In 1914, Reed, Tripp, and Alfred R. Gardner, editor of the competing paper, the Kennewick Reporter LCCN sn87093032, together formed the Kennewick Printing Company and merged their newspapers under the name the Kennewick Courier-Reporter LCCN sn87093042.

Essay Notes

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

An Illustrated History of Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas Counties, With an Outline of the Early History of the State of Washington. Chicago: Interstate Pub. Co., 1904. http://uwashington.worldcat.org/title/illustrated-history-of-klickitat-yakima-and-kittitas-counties-with-an-outline-of-the-early-history-of-the-state-of-washington/oclc/2097023&referer=brief_results

Kion, Mary Trotter. Kennewick, Washington. Chicago: Arcadia, 2002. http://uwashington.worldcat.org/title/kennewick-washington/oclc/51319665&referer=brief_results

Lamb, Charles. “Kennewick Had A Daily Newspaper 50 Years Ago.” Tri-City Herald, March 6, 1956. (Interview with Kennewick Courier Editor Ralph E. Reed) http://uwashington.worldcat.org/title/tri-city-herald/oclc/17157840&referer=brief_results

Lyman, William Denison. “The Press of the Yakima Valley” in History of the Yakima Valley, Washington: Comprising Yakima, Kittitas, and Benton counties. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1919. http://uwashington.worldcat.org/title/history-of-the-yakima-valley-washington-comprising-yakima-kittitas-and-benton-counties/oclc/18287826&referer=brief_results

Reed, Mrs. R.E. “Brief History of Kennewick up until 1909.” Tri-City Herald, March 7, 2012. (Originally published February 19, 1950; Mrs. Reed was the wife of Kennewick Courier Editor Ralph E. Reed) http://uwashington.worldcat.org/title/tri-city-herald/oclc/17157840&referer=brief_results

Wilhelm, Honor L., ed. “Irrigated Washington Along N.P.R.R.: Ellensburg, North Yakima, Prosser, Kennewick and Pasco.” The Coast 9:5 (1905): 176-180. http://uwashington.worldcat.org/title/coast/oclc/13210641&referer=brief_results


  1. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual -- 1907 -- 907
  2. NDNP Candidate Title List (Appendix A1.2)
  3. Chronicling America record (LOC) - Kennewick Courier
  4. WorldCat record - Kennewick Courier
  5. WSL record - Kennewick Courier
  6. UW record - Kennewick Courier



  • Filmed by: WSL in Olympia 1953
  • Positives held by: WSL
    • Call Number: 8/63
    • Film condition: 1A position
    • Library holds: Vol. 3, no. 51 (Apr. 28, 1905)-v. 12, no. 52 (Mar. 27, 1914)
  • Negatives held by: Proquest
    • Call Number: 67020


  • film eval notes, 1903-05-27 1905-05-26: position changes from 2B to 1A 1905-01-06; first issue of Kennewick courier begins 1905-04-28. Some pages are damaged (articles have been cut out). Focus and resolution look good. Lighting seems consistent and there is good contrast between text and page. Reduction ratio is well within acceptable range.
  • film eval notes, 1905-06-02 1906-12-28: Contrast is mostly good. Gutter shadow is present and some pages are cut off along the edges.
  • Film eval notes 1907-01-04 1909-01-08: Gutter shadow is present and some pages are cut off at the binding. Contrast and resolution are mostly good.
  • Film eval notes 1909-01-01 1911-03-17: All of 1910 is missing from the reel. Gutter shadow is present. Contrast and resolution is mostly good.
  • Film eval notes 1911-03-24 1912-09-24: Gutter shadow is present and some pages are cut off at the binding. Contrast and resolution are mostly good.


Link to Kennewick Courier eval spreadsheets



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