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Newspaper The Spokane Press (Spokane, Wash.) 1902-1939

About The Spokane Press (Spokane, Wash.) 1902-1939

The Spokane Press was founded in 1902 by Edward Willis (E.W.) Scripps as part of his newspaper chain. Scripps, his sister, Ellen Browning Scripps, and George Putnam were partners in the venture. Scripps wrote that “the journalistic policy of the new paper…be that of advocate and special pleader of the poor classes as against the whole plutocratic and aristocratic combinations, political, economic, and social.” Scripps himself did not oversee the day-to-day operations of the paper, but the Spokane Press fulfilled its mission of serving the working classes by supporting labor issues and maintaining its price at one penny per issue. The Scripps papers also appealed to their readership through illustrations and cartoons and short, humorous articles and by championing causes such as public ownership of utilities.

The Press was published in the evening, daily except Sunday. It began as four pages in 1902 and increased to eight pages in September 1908. In 1909, a second edition was added, called The Night Pink or the Pink Baseball Extra. The main coverage area of the Spokane Press was eastern Washington, although as part of the Scripps network, it fed news items to other Scripps newspapers around the country. Its circulation was 7,729 in 1912 and 7,405 in 1922. Unlike its sister papers in western Washington (the Tacoma Times and Seattle Star), the Spokane Press did not prove profitable. Under most circumstances the paper would have closed immediately, but Scripps conceived of the Press as a “buttress” paper that strengthened the Seattle “pillar” paper by providing news from eastern Washington to the Seattle Star and other Scripps papers. It was therefore allowed to continue printing, subsidized by the Tacoma and Seattle papers.

In 1920, E.W. Scripps quarreled with his son James Scripps, and the five Pacific Northwest Scripps newspapers were brought under the exclusive control of James. James died in 1921, leaving his widow Josephine to manage these papers, which were the core of the Scripps-Canfield League (later called the Scripps League). They included the Los Angeles Record and Portland News, as well as the Seattle Star and Tacoma Times. The Spokane Press remained under control of the Scripps League until it ceased publication on March 18, 1939, citing financial difficulties.

Provided By: Washington State Library; Olympia, WA

About this Newspaper


  • The Spokane Press (Spokane, Wash.) 1902-1939

Dates of Publication

  • 1902-1939

Created / Published

  • Spokane, Wash. : Press Pub. Co.


  • -  Spokane (Wash.)--Newspapers
  • -  Washington (State)--Spokane
  • -  United States--Washington--Spokane--Spokane


  • Newspapers


  • -  Daily (except Sunday)
  • -  No. 1 (Nov. 7, 1902)- ; -37th year, no. 119 (Mar. 18, 1939).
  • -  Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.


  • volumes

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Newspaper

Library of Congress Control Number

  • sn88085947

OCLC Number

  • 18446894

ISSN Number

  • 2328-5710

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

The Spokane Press Spokane, Wash. -1939. (Spokane, WA), Jan. 1 1902.

APA citation style:

(1902, January 1) The Spokane Press Spokane, Wash. -1939. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

The Spokane Press Spokane, Wash. -1939. (Spokane, WA) 1 Jan. 1902. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,