WALDON’S PONDERINGS: Is the Carson City Gazette still ‘a fine publication’?

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:52 am on Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Now that past issues of our newspaper have been digitally archived and are available for more accessible search and perusal, I thought I would try to start writing a regular local history column.

My hope is to take a look back at local history and relate those old stories to our present day and age with the goal of providing context and perspective for the ongoing and unfolding stories of our local communities.

I’ll start with an article published 100 years ago this week on March 18, 1914. H.E. Cowdin, who was then the publisher of the Carson City Gazette, was the subject of a flattering article in an issue of The Publishers’ Auxiliary, a trade magazine.

The complimentary write-up included a photograph of Mr. Cowdin. The article reads as follows:

“H.E. Cowdin purchased the Carson City Gazette on July 1, 1911. Mr. Cowdin’s father, C.H. Cowdin, established the Rockford (Ohio) Register in 1871, which paper his brother, C.R. Cowdin, took charge of in 1883, owing to his father’s ill health. He left to in 1889 to establish the Belding Banner.

“H.E. Cowdin took the management of the Register and conducted it until September 1910. Mr. Cowdin, when he began editing the Register, was but 18 years old. This Ohio paper was conducted by the Cowdin family for nearly 40 years.

“The Gazette is a good newspaper property and is better equipped than an ordinary office in towns the size of Carson City and even larger. It has an average subscription list which has been increased over 200 in the past two years and a half and is still growing.

“Mr. Cowdin issues special holiday numbers each year and frequently is obliged to use 12 pages for his papers. The paper has a fine advertising patronage from the home merchants, which shows their appreciation of its quality. It is a fine example of a successful weekly paper conducted with care and foresight and made valuable by its high quality, which meets the approval of all its readers.”

Not a bad little write-up. I wonder what our current readers and advertisers think of the Gazette one century later? Changing times and technology have had a major impact on newspapers, but we continue to work to create a quality publication each week. We try to provide a mixture of information — some helpful, some heartwarming, some challenging and thought-provoking.

I hope you readers will let me know what features you enjoy seeing in the pages of the Gazette and what areas can be improved. I’ll be happy to publish some of your responses and will definitely take your feedback into consideration. Email me at ewaldon@staffordgroup.com or write to The Gazette, P.O. Box 340, Greenville, MI 48838.

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