Fairchild Newspapers in the West

 

Ovid Bee - March 5, 1856
Northern Californian
For several months we have received a paper from California, called the "North Californian," printed in Oroville, Butte County, by Charles G. Lincoln, in the 10th number of which, received last Friday, dated Jan. 19, we find the following announcement: --

"Our readers will perceive by reference to our first page, that we have disposed of a part of the establishment of the North Californian to Messrs. Fairchild & Evans; and the business will hereafter be carried on in the name of Lincoln & Co." -- And on turning to the first page as indicated, find the names of our brother Oscar L. C., and Wm Evans, both of whom, perhaps, it may be remembered, have worked in this office, the latter in 1853, of whose whereabouts we are pleased to learn.  They are both enterprising young men, and better printers are rarely found, which no doubt accounts for the neat appearance of the "Californian."  They have our best wishes for their abundant success.

Coloma Argus -O.L.C. Fairchild worked here between leaving the Northern Californian and moving to Placerville, California.

Semi-Weekly Observer - Placerville, California - Began February 9, 1859 by J.D. Fairchild and O.L.C. Fairchild it lasted about a year.

Placerville Republican - O.L.C. Fairchild worked as foreman here after the Observer shut down. Then he moved to Austin, Nevada to work the Reese River Reveille.

Georgetown News - Moved and became the
Sierra Democrat
J. DePuy was employed at this newspaper office in Forest City, Sierra Co, California in 1857.

April 11, 1855 - We have a brother now in California, who left here with his parents one year since. He has seen some sixteen summers, and has an experience of four or five years in the “Art preservation of Arts.” He sends us a number of the “Georgetown Weekly News,” a very neatly appearing paper, and writes, “I am at work in this office - $60 per month and board, pretty good.” So we should judge for a boy net yet quite sixteen years of age and one we helped to learn the ARt,- We trust none of our contemporaries will feel discontented in continuing business in this country, or that all the jours will commence a stampede for the El Dorado. We have concluded to stay where we are.

May 6, 1857 - We received by the last Steamer a letter from our youngest Brother, a lad of 19 years, who formerly worked in this office and with us took the initiatory steps in the “Art preservation of Arts,” who is now in California, employed in the”Sierra Democrat” Office, at Forest City, near where our friends “Charley” Jones and “Rube” Denton, from this village are located. As the letter contains items of interest generally, we conclude to give it a place in our columns, nearly entire.

Forest City, Sierra Co,.
March 29, 1857

Dear Brother: I am at present working in this place, in a printing office; the same establishment in which I worked in Georgetown, under a new name and a change of politics. I have been here about two months. When I first arrived here the snow was lying on the ground to the depth of four or five feet on a level. The streets were so blocked up with snow from the house[tops that several tunnels were driven across Main street, under the snow, to facilitate corssing. This is the first winter since I have been in this country that I have had the luck to get so high up in the Mountains, and I hope it is the last. It makes me homesick every time I read the accounts of the pleasant weather they are now enjoying in the vallies and along up in the foot-hills. There the grass is now up green, the flowers are in blossom, and in fact Spring far advanced; here everything is looking dreary, the ground covered with snow, and no prospect of its going off for a month or two. - Eight or nine miles below here, there is scarcely any snow, and sixteen and eighteen miles snow never (or seldom) falls. This place is situated in one of the richest mining sections in the State. The mining is mostly hill or tunnel diggings, I was in a tunnel about a month since to the distance of 1700 feet. The gravel in which the gold is found is full of smooth, large boulders, logs of wood, &c., presenting the appearance, and undoubtedly is the bed of an old stream which was in existence in days gone by. In some instances the dirt found in the “old channels.” is very rich, yielding sometimes as high as from five to eight hundred dollars to the pan: but I do not wish you to think, by any means, that these cases are common, because they are not. There are plenty of men in this country who would be glad to get back to their homes in the Atlantic States if they only had the where with to do so. In running tunnels, for the purpose of “prospecting” the hills, a great amount of capital and labor has to be expended before anything is received in return, and then the chances are four to one if it isn’t a failure altogether. I know of instances where companies have expended $40,000 or $50,000 in a single tunnel and never received the first iota of benefit therefrom; in other cases with an expenditure of that amount, and even a great deal less, the richest kind of diggings have bee struck. Crime is becoming prevalent to an alarming degree in this State. Hardly a day passes without some atrocious deed being committed in some part of the country. The daily papers are filled with the accounts of horrible murders, daring robberies, &c., committed all over the State. Last summer a great excitement was created by the many murders and daring robberies committed by a band of desperadoes under the command of the notorious Tom Bell, who earned for himself a name and a hempen cord. He was caught last Fall and hung without a trial. I chanced to run across your old friend Charley Jones soon after my coming here. I hardly recognized, in the “honest miner,” the rolicking young buck I used to see in Ovid. According to all accounts Charley has some first rate diggings - paying big. Mr. Jones is Justice of the Peace for this district; he resides at a place called Alleghanytown, about 1 ½ miles from here. From him I have had the load of several numbers of the “Bee.” By the last number I see you have been enlarging and making other material improvements to your paper, which adds greatly to its looks. I have not heard from our folks lately. When I was at Georgetown I sent several Nos. of the “News” to you and never received a single paper from you, ans so I “dried up,” just as I will now, unless you send me the Bee. Yours &c. J.D. Fairchild We are in receipt of the Democrat and have responded by forwarding the Bee as we also did while in recipt of the News, if not very much mistaken. We trust therefore our brother will have no occasion to “dry up” on account of our remissness this time at least. He will please pardon us for the liberty we have taken with his letter, and write again soon.

Ovid Bee - May 15, 1867
Silver Bend Reporter -- Our three brothers, all practical printers, are “branching out” up in Nevada – the State of their adoption.  They have long been “running” a sprightly little Daily at Austin City, under the name of J.D. Fairchild & Co., and have recently started a small neatly printed Weekly at Belmont, in Nye Co., under the firm name of Oscar L. C. Fairchild & Co., the title of w’ch heading this article, it being ‘an Independent Journal’ devoted to the Mining, Manufacturing and Agricultural interests of “Eastern Nevada.” – They have all become married men since settling there – seemingly willing to do their part in increasing the population.  We wish the trio abundant prosperity in both undertakings – for having been proved, they three have all been ‘found worthy.’  We are in the receipt of the 3d No. only.

Note - The paper was printed in Belmont, Nye County, Nevada.  One reference,  "History of Masonry in Nevada", Br. C.W. Torrence, 1944, published by the Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons, indicates that the first issue of the Silver Bend Reporter was March 30, 1867 and a copy of that number, and one dated October 26, 1867, were included in the cornerstone of the new Masonic Hall in Austin, Nevada.  The information was taken from the "Reese River Reveille" of Monday, November 4, 1867.  In February, Mahlon moved a quantity of surplus material and a press from the office of the Reese River Reveille to Belmont.  The delay was due to the cold weather and the difficulty in finding a building that could be used to house the press.

Ovid Bee - June 26, 1867
We received June 17, our brother’s paper, the “Silver Bend Reporter” of May 18, printed at Belmont, Nye Co., Nevada, thro’ the Dead Letter Office, at Washington, in a sealed letter envelope, duly franked.  The following letter accompanied it:

Post Office Department,
Washington, June 13, 1867
Sir:  The enclosed was received at this Department in its present condition, supposed to have been the result of an Indian depredation on the Overland Route, and is forwarded by the earliest Mail, by order of the Postmaster General.

E.S. Childs,
Acting Second Ass’t P.M. Gen’l.

The paper was folded in wrapper and addressed in the usual way, the only peculiarity being its soiled condition, with blood stains upon it in various placed, the blank edge of white being quite well saturated with the “Life-giving current” doubtless of some “Lot the poor Indian” or some unfortunate white man in its passage hitherward.  It evidently passed thro’ some sharply contested battle, about which there is a mystery yet unsolved.  Could it reveal the unwritten history of its travels, it wou’d no doubt prove highly interesting as well as horrible.

Note -Newspapers formed an integral part of early Belmont. There were three papers that originated in the early years: The Silver Bend Reporter, The Mountain Champion and The Belmont Courier. The Silver Bend Reporter was the earliest and the first issue was published on March 30, 1867. The paper was run by Oscar Fairchild and Mahlon, his brother, was the editor. The paper started out, as most did, as a weekly, but was soon twice a week, published on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Things did not work out for the paper, the reason is unknown. It closed on July 29, 1868, and was moved to Austin. Evidently, Mahlon was disgusted with Belmont and let it be known in the final editorial: "The local support received by the Reporter has amounted to but a moiety of what it should have been and with business as it now is at Belmont, even the local columns of a weekly newspaper can contain but meager scraps of information swelled to importance only by an imaginative brain and painted by some valuable pen." He added, angrily, that because Austin had always been the true center of attention in Nevada, he would move the newspaper there. Despite his attitude, the paper was crammed full of advertisements from local businesses.

Ovid Bee - February 19, 1868
REESE RIVER REVEILLE – We read with much interest the contents of the above named paper, published at Austin, Nevada, which has lately been added to our exchange list.  It is a daily, about one-quarter the size of the GAZETTE, and though small is spicy.  The terms are only $24 per annum!  To pay the difference in exchange, we propose that brother Fairchild appropriated in our name a small mining tract on Lander Hill, and sell it out at the first favorable opportunity’ after taking from the proceeds sufficient to pay his demand, he may remit balance by draft – not one of Lincoln’s kind, however. – Geneva Gazette.

We are also in receipt of the Daily Reveille, spoken of above, printed by our Brothers.  No wonder our friend PARKER likes the paper for it is edited, and ably too, by an Angel!  [Corydon was referring to Myron Angel, a cousin to the Fairchilds.]


Oakland Daily News - in 1871 O.L.C. Fairchild and William Gagan bought this paper. Fairchild became sole proprietor on Gagan's death in 1873. He remained there until 1877 when he returned to Nevada.

From the Stockton Daily Independent - Monday, 2 Oct 1871

OAKLAND ‘DAILY NEWS’ -- Oscar L. FAIRCHILD, for years editor and proprietor of the Reese River ‘Reveille,’ Austin, Nevada, has purchased an interest in the ‘News,’ and the same hereafter will be published by GAGAN & FAIRCHILD. The ‘News’ is one of our most valuable exchanges, and we expect it will take still higher rank under the new management.


Tuscarora, Elko County, Nevada - Two newspapers began publication in 1877.   The Tuscarora Times started on March 24 under the guidance of E.A. Littlefield, also publisher of the Elko Weekly Post.  The weekly publication was issued on Saturdays at a cost of $5 per year. On May 23, C.C.S. Wright began publication of the Mining Review.  The paper came out twice a week initially but later became a daily. The two papers enjoyed a friendly competition, so much so that the two papers merged on January 3, 1878, and the Tuscarora Times-Review was born.  The new owners were Oscar Fairchild and John Dennis. The paper was a daily and was not published on Mondays.

A new newspaper tried to challenge the powerful and revered Tuscarora Times-Review.  In 1881, that paper had been cut back to a weekly by owner Oscar Fairchild. The Daily Mining News made its first appearance in January, 1883. The paper was run by Harry Fontecilla and despite high hopes for success, it was never able to gain a footheld with the presence of the Times-Review.

During 1895, the Tuscarora Times-Review shrank to two pages and then shut down on October 5 . The Fairchild newspaper legacy was over. Oscar Fairchild, who had come to Tuscarora in 1877, died of heart failure in June, 1897, at the age of 67. Both he and his son, Tracy, had run the Tuscarora Times-Review from its inception.  Besides running the paper, Oscar ran a dairy near town and served as postmaster for 10 years. Before coming to Tuscarora, Fairchild had run papers in Placerville, California; Virginia City; Pioche; and Belmont. He also had founded the Reese River Reveille in Austin.

 

The Town That Died Laughing
The story of Austin, Nevada, rambunctious early-day mining camp, and of its renowned newspaper,
the Reese River Reveille.
- Quoted from the end flap of the book
by Oscar Lewis
Little, Brown and Company
1955

Oroville Mercury - Oroville, California - Mahlon was editor of this paper from 1882 to 1884.

References:
The Ovid Bee - Editorial Columns
The Town That Died Laughing

Last Update March 7, 2012
Copyright 2001-2012, Mark W. Swarthout, Esq.