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Mosca - Hooper Newspaper History

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By: Melvin McAllister

Tribune. Garrison had a weekly newspaper from almost the first day of its existence. The first Garrison Tribune was 16 April 1891. This very first newspaper was actually printed and published in Stratton Nebraska as this is where the publisher was from. Danford was the original publisher and editor of that first paper.

Mr. Danforth was the original owner of the Hooper Tribune. He owned and published it for several years. Mr. Hitchcock was the owner and publisher of the Mosca Herald. Mr. Hitchcock was also from Stratton NE. About 1897 or before, Mr. Hitchcock bought the Hooper Tribune and both papers were printed in Mosca. Later, the plant was sold to Mr. Reed who continued to print the paper in Mosca. A November 1895 noted Hon. P. B. Gates, as editor of the Garrison Tribune in an article.

Pliney Chapman was the editor until 1902 when he moved to Canon City. C. F. Chapman (Pliney's brother) was then manager. Being editor and manager meant writing a short gossip column, getting ads and subscriptions. In about 1904, a San Luis firm bought the plant from Mr. Reed and it was moved to San Luis Colorado (Which happened to be the County seat at that time.). Mr. J. R. Valdez leased the press and bought the Tribune. Jose R. Valdez was first listed as the Printer in January of 1910. He was listed as Publisher in 1911. Chapman and Pyke were still listed as Manager and Editor respectively in 1911. Mr. Valdez also published the El Heraldo, a Spanish language newspaper in San Luis until 1948. Mr. Chapman and Judge Pyke had very little to do with the Tribune except as already noted-writing the gossip column, getting ads and getting subscriptions.

At one time, W. R. Pyke was accused of using the Hooper Tribune to influence his furtherance as a Commissioner. He was the County Commissioner at the time and of course had much business in San Luis which was then the County Seat. He of course denied using the paperto influence any of his causes and at that time denied as ever having been an editor or officer of the newspaper..

In February 1914, the Hooper Tribune became The Hooper-Mosca Tribune. The format changed considerably. The front page had local Valley news. The typeset was much neater. The most noticeable change was that it was an Alamosa oriented paper. It had Alamosa business advertisements, articles about Alamosa and articles about Alamosa people. Articles about outlying communities including Hooper and Mosca were secondary. It has a Hooper section written by Mr. Pyke. His section was much more wordy than in the previous papers. Clifton Weber replaced W. R. Pyke as Hooper contributor in 1920 and continued until 1922 when the paper quit being published. The new Tribune of 1914 now carried local Mosca news as well as local new of other towns such as Bowen and San Luis. The Hooper-Mosca Tribune would have more aptly been called the Alamosa Tribune. The Courier and the Hooper-Mosca Tribune must have been the same newspaper with different titles and credits. The titles and credits were frequently interchanged in the newspapers that I researched. The Heading may show Hooper-Mosca Tribune and the credit shows Courier.

Much of the information in this manuscript of Life in Hooper was take from the Tribune and the Courier (The Courier had various names such as "Alamosa Courier and Alamosa Leader" or just "Alamosa Courier".). The Colorado Historical Society has film reels of the Tribune from October 1897 to January 1914. There are a very few Hooper papers of other dates in existence. A copy of the first Tribune published is owned by the Hooper Baptist Church. Another is a November 1892 Tribune my brother and I took out of the walls of the Town House Hotel when it was demolished in 1939.

During the time when the Tribune was owned by Mosca people, there were Mosca business ads well as Hooper business ads. In fact, there were usually many more Mosca ads. A few times the credits for editor had "Mosca Herald" rather than "Hooper Tribune". I surmise the papers were identical except for the credits. There were no Mosca business ads after June of 1907 (About the time the paper printing moved to San Luis). During the time the Tribune was published in San Luis, there were Spanish language articles and advertisements of San Luis businesses.

The Tribune until 1914 was mostly a canned paper. Canned means some agency sent pre-formatted state, national and world news as well as informational articles. There was only part of a page which was original Hooper or Valley news. The Tribune local news gave details not normally given in papers in later years. It detailed such things as who visited town and who was out of town. It noted who went on a picnic and who had bought a new car. The newspaper also gave moralistic judgment at times.

A 1920 statement of ownership of the Hooper-Mosca Tribune was: Editor, Managing Editor, and Publisher, was C. H. Wilder of Alamosa Another owner was R. E. Wilder of Littleton CO. C.H. Wilder was also the Publisher of the Alamosa Courier at that time.

Hooper Press. Zoe Geiger Crawford notes the Hooper Press was published in the Van Patten building. The Del Norte Inquirer newspaper did not list the Tribune in its 1897 article. Nanelle Mathias (Nanelle Malsbery was an early teacher in Hooper and was related to the Groenendykes who were also educators-one taught at Hilltop school and later was the Superintendent of Costilla Schools.) writes that the Hooper paper was the Hooper Press, put out by Mrs. Etta D. Lane and her young son, Dennis (no date). Herb Oba notes the paper was published in Hooper from 1894 to January 1905 by Press Publishing Company. The editor from 1898 to 1900 was E. D. Bloom followed by E. D. Lane who was editor until the last issue was published in 1905 (Herb Oba notes that E. D. Lane was the editor and publisher of the newspaper in the town of Liberty "The News Distributor" from 1902 to 1905.). After cessation of publication, Etta Lane promptly moved to Thermal California where she soon married again. The newspapers office was in the building that was a grocery most of the time. The building is Lot 7 in Block 17.

The Bulletin. A small newspaper was published from 1 October 1930 to 7 January 1932 or maybe later. The paper was usually 4 to 6 pages and gave school and community information. The paper was apparently published as part of the Hooper School activities. The staff included school personnel, local citizens and citizens from Mosca and Moffat. It gave Hooper, Mosca and Moffat information. It had advertisements for Alamosa and Center businesses as well as for Mosca, Moffat and Hooper. Hooper advertisements were: L. G. Simmons Grain Co.; San Luis Central Garage (Riels); Hooper State Bank; W. P. Geiger; Hooper Lumber and Hardware; Dew barber shop; Borns (ice cream etc.); Leland Born (radios); Hooper Moor Co.; John Chrisman (coal); and H. F. McClanahan (groceries).

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