By Samantha Edwards
The Herald is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding this year.
The Snowflake Herald, which was renamed the Silver Creek Herald in 1998, began its career as an “up-to-date, weekly newspaper,” on July 27, 1913. Robert C. Smith was the publisher, and H.B. Thompson was the editor and manager. The first edition proudly stated its primary objective under the headline The Herald–Its Promises:
“The Herald was not conceived alone with the object in view of filling a long felt want, but rather with the idea of up-building Snowflake and Navajo County and publishing the unlimited and little known resources and opportunities of this section of Arizona.”
Reliability and impartiality were values that the Herald committed to uphold. Following the paragraph above, the Herald promised that it would “…maintain an independent attitude in politics and express itself without censorship upon all public questions…It will be the aim of the Herald to be complete and reliable in all its publications and this in face of any and all opposition with the view of maintaining an up-to-date weekly newspaper of high standard.”
The first issue of the Herald contained several interesting stories and advertisements. One of the stories, Larson-Treat Nuptials, included a lengthy invitation to the wedding of Mr. Wallace H. Larson and Miss Augusta Treat. The invitation, which filled up a half-page of the four-page paper, expressed that a parade, social hall entertainment, a play, a children’s dance, races, and a magnificent ball would be included in the festivities of the three-day celebration.
The famous Hotel Holbrook and the Arizona Co-Operative Mercantile Institution were featured in the Herald’s first advertisements. Many local businessmen also placed advertisements, including J.E. Crosby, an attorney at law; J.H. Lionbarger, a general blacksmith; Owen Freeman, a barber; Wallace H. Larson, an insurance agent, and others.
After the death of R.C. Smith in 1920, his wife Sarah T. Smith and their son Rick continued to publish and set the type for the Snowflake Herald. Unfortunately, the Herald ceased publication in 1942 due to decreasing business.
Twenty-one years later, in 1963, the Herald was reborn by the Richards brothers. They were the editors and owners of the Holbrook Tribune-News. Although the Richards suffered many challenges as newspaper publishers, including a dishonest employee and a strike, they, too, understood the value of a reliable community newspaper. “There have been times when the immediate future looked anything but rosy…(but) we never doubted that the newspaper field in the northeastern Arizona presented a bright picture.”
The Richards brothers sold the Herald and the Tribune-News to the Four Corners Development Company in February 1965. Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Wright purchased the papers nearly three years later. The Wrights sold the papers to Paul and June Barger in 1969. The Herald and the Tribune-News have been distributed by the Barger family ever since.
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By Samantha Edwards