|Founded||1862 (as The Gazette)|
|Headquarters||600 SW Jefferson Ave.
Corvallis, OR 97333
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2008)|
The Corvallis Gazette-Times is a daily newspaper in Corvallis, Oregon, United States. The newspaper, along with its sister publication, the Albany Democrat-Herald of neighboring Albany, Oregon, is owned by Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa. The Corvallis newspaper has a daily circulation of 11,524, and a Sunday circulation of 12,021.
The paper was created in 1909 as the result of the merger of two competing weekly newspapers, The Corvallis Gazette, and The Corvallis Times.
The Times was operated by N.R. Moore, who had leased the paper from B.F. Irvine, who had left Corvallis to write editorials for the Oregon Journal in Portland, Oregon. The Gazette was under the direction of Charles L. Springer, formerly of Montesano, Washington and owned by M.S. Woodcock, a prominent Benton County lawyer and businessman who later opened a successful bank in the county, and later served as Corvallis Mayor. According to historical accounts, they decided on the name Gazette-Times after a coin toss.
The Corvallis Gazette
The Gazette first appeared in Corvallis in 1862 as a Republican pro-Abraham Lincoln newspaper, with T. B. Odeneal as its editor. Odeneal had previously edited another Corvallis newspaper, The Democratic Crisis, a pro-Southern newspaper, beginning in 1859. Odeneal had been converted to the Republican cause after Lincoln's election as United States President in 1860.
Later editors of The Gazette included W. F. Boyakin in 1865 and William B. Carter later in the 1860s. Under Carter the paper came to support the cause of prohibition. This was a controversial political stance to take in a town where half the businesses were saloons.
The paper's advocacy of prohibition changed in 1870 when Samuel L. Simpson became editor in 1870. In an editorial explaining the change he wrote:
"Temperance ceases to be the speciality of this paper, as, in fact, it is not the forte of the present editor. Right here the bright habiliments of neutrality are laid aside forever, and wheeling into line the good champion of prohibition goes down in the smoke and fury of political war."
Carter later returned as editor and remained at that post until his death in 1880. Later editors included W. P. Keady, later Speaker of Oregon House of Representatives in the Oregon Legislative Assembly; Will H. Parry who later founded the Capital Journal in Salem, Oregon; and later Springer, who launched the Gazette's daily edition in 1909.
The Gazette was known briefly as a The Union Gazette following its 1899 merger with the Oregon Union which had been founded in 1897. The Union portion of the name was soon dropped.
The Corvallis Times
The Times traces its lineage first to the founding of The Corvallis Chronicle in 1886. During the 1880s the construction of the Oregon Pacific Railroad dominated local politics in Corvallis and surrounding Benton County. The Gazette's owners, M.S. Woodcock, A.P. Churchill and Wallace Baldwin, who had taken over the paper in 1884 were closely allied with the interests of the railroad.
Gazette editor C.A. Cole, was according to one account fired for refusing to obey instructions of the paper's owners to support a Democratic, pro-railroad candidate for state senator. He lost his job the day after the election. Wishing to explain to the community why he had been fired, Cole secured permission to publish an issue under the condition that the proofs first be submitted for approval by a railroad representative. Cole never did submit the proofs for approval.
Republicans, sensing opportunity, decided to finance another paper. The Corvallis Chronicle debuted as a weekly paper published on Fridays in 1886, with Cole as its editor. The paper did not succeed and soon folded.
In 1888, a local businessman, Robert Johnson, who had previously worked as city editor of The Gazette, bought the Chronicle's printing press and assets at a sheriff's auction. He launched The Corvallis Times with the slogan "Independent, Fearless and Free." Johnson operated The Times until 1893, when he sold it to Benjamin Franklin Irvine, a telegraph operator for the railroad. Irvine acquired another area newspaper The Benton Leader, founded in 1882 with The Times.
The Gazette and Times combine
The events leading to the combination of Corvallis' two major newspapers began in 1908. Times owner Irvine had taken a job writing editorials for the Oregon Journal and had leased the paper out to N.R. Moore, who then purchased the paper outright in 1909. With economic conditions improving in the city, Moore had planned to begin publishing a daily edition.
Springer had come to town and purchased the Gazette and on May 1, 1909 published its first daily edition. It had four pages and five columns.
Still, neither Springer, nor Moore had sufficient resources to publish a daily newspaper over the long term. They agreed to consolidate, and flipped a coin to decide the name. The first issue of The Gazette-Times appeared on July 2, 1909.
Claude Ingalls, who came to Corvallis from Washington, Kansas bought out Springer's share in the paper in 1915. Myron K. Myers bought out Moore's share in 1923. Myers' son, Bruce, later shared ownership with Ingalls' son, Robert C. Ingalls. They assumed the top positions at the paper when their fathers retired in 1950.
Lee Enterprises bought the newspaper on October 1, 1969 and continues to operate it to the present day.
- Turnbull, George Stanely. History of Oregon Newspapers. Portland, Oregon: Binford & Mort Publishers. 1939. PP. 225–232.
- Corvallis Gazette-Times (official website)
- Lee Enterprises site about the Corvallis Gazette-Times