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Table of Contents [Hide/Show]

Title info
   Digitization plan
   Essay Draft
      Essay Notes

Title info



  • Ayer Annual 18901; 19002
    • Publish day: Saturday
    • Content: Republican
    • Established:1888
    • Pages: 8; 6
    • Size: 24x36 in.; 18x24 in.
    • Editor: Thos. Neill; Wilford Allen
    • Publisher: Thos. Neill; Allen Bros.; Sargent & Neill6
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Coverage
    • Region: Southeast
    • County: Whitman
  • Unique ids
    • LCCN: sn88085488
    • OCLC: 17408151

Digitization plan

2008-2009 grant
  • Reduction ratio high (20-25:1)
  • Waiting on new density readings
  • Received order 2008-12-01
  • WSL ordered duplication and testing of 1888-1922 (11 reels) from Proquest.


  • Continues: NA
  • Continued by: NA

Essay Draft

Thomas Neill was a lawyer and Irish immigrant whose ambition led him westward. He started his career as a newspaperman in the town of Dawson (ND), where he married Ada Allen. Frustrated with the pace of development in Dawson and lured by an magazine promotional piece, Neill became interested in the tiny town of Pullman in Washington Territory. He brought his editor, J. J. Sargent, and his wife with him where they founded the Pullman Herald together in 1881. Brothers-in-law Wilford, Ira, and Karl, who each would later serve as editors, soon followed.

Fire and water are early themes in the history of Pullman, and their interplay is well-documented in the pages of this paper. Fires in 1886 and 1887 had decimated the city's business district. The civic-minded Herald began a series of editorials arguing for a fire department. In the September 14, 1889 issue the editors wrote, "Moscow [ID] had decided to bond the city for $30,000 for water works while Pullman protects itself from fire with talk...[shall we wait] until the fiery demon sweeps us into oblivion, and then blame ourselves for our almost criminal neglect?" A third fire swept through the town in July 1890 before the citizens took action.

Despite these early setbacks, the city grew persistently and the Herald staff, especially the "fighting editor" Wilford Allen, lobbied aggressively on the town's behalf. The first oil streetlights were co-sponsored by the paper in 1890, the paper celebrated the wells of the city (dubbing Pullman "The Artesian City,") and a a branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad was aggressively sought. This early mania for self-promotion and development was largely driven by Washington statehood in 1889 and the promise that a new state agricultural school that would be built east of the Cascades. Though Pullman seemed an unlikely candidate, Thomas Neill, Wilford Allen, and other early residents persistently lobbied the legislature and in 1890 the Washington Agricultural College (now Washington State University) was located in Pullman, thus ensuring the long-term viability of the community. A military college was also located in Pullman in 1891.

Around 1906 prohibition of alcohol was a heated topic in Pullman. The Herald promoted the "dry" side and in 1907 the Pullman News was started to argue the "wet" side. The town had a third paper at that time (the Pullman Tribune [LCCN: 88087185]).. The fight was quite bitter, but by 1910 Pullman was declared "dry." In 1911 the News was absorbed by the Herald and in 1919 the Tribune followed suit. In that year the Chamber of Commerce pledged itself to "discourage attempts at funding another paper in Pullman...one is sufficient: two would only create antagonism."

Floods were a common nuisance in Pullman, as were fires that destroyed wheat fields and equipment. An article in February of 1918 reported that these fires had been set by members of the I.W.W. Extreme farm debt and depressed commodity prices were persistent issues in Whitman County, and the Populist movement took hold in Pullman during the late 1800s. In 1909 the Pacific Farmer's Union purchased the Herald from Wilford Allen. The paper was edited and eventually purchased by William Goodyear, with Karl Allen serving as co-editor.

An index of this paper from the 1880s through the 1920s in available through Washington State University website.

Essay Notes

Pullman History: Fires (1886, 1887, July 3, 1890); Artesian Wells, 1890 Washington Agricultural College (WSU), 1906-1908 Prohibition debate; 1910 Pullman is "dry";1910 Flood; wheat farming; Pullman Military College (war coverage);

Pullman Herald History: Thos. Neill, m. Ada Allen; brings Mr and Mrs JJ Sargent, brothers-in-law Wilford Allen, Ira Allen, Karl Allen, father in law King Prince (KP)Allen, from Dawson ND.


  1. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual -- 1890 -- 731
  2. N.W. Ayer & Son's American newspaper annual -- 1900 -- 853
  3. NDNP Candidate Title List (Appendix A1.2)
  4. Chronicling America record (LOC) - Pullman Herald
  5. WorldCat record - Pullman Herald
  6. WSL record - Pullman Herald
  7. WSU record - Pullman Herald
  8. Pullman Herald - 1938-11-04, accessed in Dubuar Scrapbook 71
  9. Index of vital records from Pullman Herald, 1888-1929, compiled by Whitman County Genealogical Society, Available at WSU.
  10. City of Pullman websitehistory
  11. Pullman Herald, the first 100 years, 1888-1988 book
  12. Notes from Incidents in the early history of Pullman by Thos. Neill, (founder of Pullman Herald):



  • Filmed by: Bell and Howell (State Archives started filming in 1986)
  • Positives held by: WSL, WSU
  • Negatives held by: Proquest
  • Holdings:
    • Location: WSL
    • Call Number: NEWSPAPER 10/87
    • Lib. has Nov. 3, 1888 - Feb. 4, 1989
      • Known gaps
        • Missing all 1892 issues


Part of batch2 - delivered to OCLC in WSL_Metadata_2009-04-01 zip file.lrobinson, 2009/04/01 10:12

Finished density readings and sent 11 reels to OCLC lrobinson, 2009/03/31 14:12

Reduction ratios not consistently above 20x - evaluation finished. Waiting on duplicate density readings lrobinson, 2009/03/24 10:22

Evaluation of reel #3 stopped - reduction ratio seems to have increased to 25+:1 (based on original size recorded in Ayer Annual and size of film). Waiting to hear from OCLC if they can get 300 ppi on this film. lrobinson, 2009/01/15 08:58

Never heard back from either board member at WSU lrobinson, 2009/01/15 08:55

Found WSU database of indexed article titles from the Pullman Herald. Need to research further and see if other work has been done (digitization?) on this title and if we can possibly integrate their indexing lrobinson, 2009/01/08 13:10


See Pullman herald eval spreadsheets (Google)



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