Lake County Examiner

Lake County examiner
[LCCN: sn97071141]
Lakeview, Lake County, Oregon


The southern Oregon town of Lakeview, established in 1876, served as the perfect central location for early commercial sheep and cattle raising, and developed into an agricultural and logging town now sometimes referred to as “Oregon’s Outback.” At 4,798 feet in elevation, Lakeview is known as “the tallest town in Oregon” (Town of Lakeview).

The Lake County Examiner [LCCN: sn97071141] was launched by Charles A. Cogswell and Stephen P. Moss as a weekly paper, with Frank Coffin as editor. The early issues of the Examiner were printed in extremely small type, and as a good representation of journalism at the time, the front page often featured anecdotes, fiction, and feature stories as opposed to actual news. The paper was offered for $3.00 a year, or $2.50 if paid in advance.

After a few years, the Examiner obtained an Eight-Medium Gordon-Franklin job press and a wide variety of type. An issue from 1882 claimed that the Examiner “is the organ of no person, clique, or corporation; will always be found ready and willing to advocate any measure tending to advance the interest of the county at large and express its opinion upon all matters within its province without fear or favor.”

Around 1883, the State Line Herald [LCCN: sn93051667], established in 1878 as Lakeview’s first newspaper and first publication in southern Oregon west of the Cascades, merged under the Examiner title, and the paper adopted Republican politics. A number of partners took ownership of the Examiner in the 1880s: Fuller Snelling and Charles Cogswell in 1884, Bruce Allen and Frank W. Beach in 1885, and Beach & Beach in 1886, comprised of Frank W. Beach, who later conducted the Portland Pacific Northwest Hotel News [LCCN:unknown], and Seneca C. Beach, who had moved from Iowa to Oregon in 1881 and worked with Joseph A. Bowdoin to publish the first issue of Klamath Falls’ first newspaper, the Linkville Weekly Star [LCCN: sn99063818], of which he became editor and publisher in 1891.

The great Lakeview fire of May 22, 1900, took its toll on the buildings, businesses, and newspapers of the Lakeview district, but the Examiner was able to save enough material and equipment to put out an extra edition the next day and lend its equipment to the Lake County Rustler [LCCN: sn97071139], a local People’s party newspaper that had been established in 1895.

A few years after the fire, the Examiner expanded into an eight paged paper, 26x40 inches in size, with eight columns to a page.  Issues from the early 1900s featured political cartoons and a regular “Candidate Column” for political candidates, as well as opinions on legal decisions and economic disparages. Advice and opinions on women’s fashion and beauty notes appeared frequently, and columns “for the housewife” were intermingled with articles claiming that “college educated women make the finest mothers,” written by a woman, and “The Ballot is Woman’s Right,” written by a man. The Examiner printed numerous short stories written by men and women, as well as poems, land and mining notices, county news, announcements for community meetings, and business prospects for Lake County, “The future garden spot of the Northwest.”

In 1905, C. Oscar Metzker took over the publication and had a linotype installed. In 1911, Fred P. Cronemiller and his family, founders of the Klamath Falls Evening Herald [LCCN: sn99063812], purchased the Examiner. Upon his father’s death in 1924, G.D. Cronemiller, took over as editor and continued with the publication until October 24, 1935, when C.J. Gillette and Hugh McGilvra of Forest Grove purchased the paper.

Prepared with reference to:
Town of Lakeview. “Lakeview, Oregon.” Accessed Aug. 4, 2011.
Turnbull, George S. History of Oregon Newspapers. Portland, Oregon: Binfords & Mort, 1939.

- Written by Sheila Rabun