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HISTORY VISITING OUR STORIED PAST


Cook’s first wood-fired steam engine, in 1888.


Francis H. Cook (background, third from right) was part of a motorcade to the summit of “Old Blady” to christen it “Mount Spokane” on August 23, 1912.


never hesitant about speaking his mind and never worried about the consequences. When he saw some- thing he felt was wrong or was not in the general interest of the public, he wrote about it and, of course, suffered the consequences. The Northwest


Tribune of


Cheney, sometimes a critic of Spo- kane activities, was complimentary of Spokane Falls in its November 12, 1880, issue: “Last week we made a visit to the prosperous town (Spokane) which has now attained a considerable prominence all over the Pacific coast.” The article men- tions many well-known families of Spokane at that time, whose names remained prominent well into the 20th century: James N. Glover, F. R. Moore, and A. M. Cannon, as well as businessmen Frederick Berg, J. S. Graham, and Louis Zei- gler, among others. It described Spokane as a pret-


ty place and, with keen foresight, declared: “Some day a first class educational institution will be established here and no place will enjoy more religious advantages.” The November 12th edition also


152


included a column from nearby Deep Creek—written on October 27th, author unknown—which was not complimentary to Francis Cook. There is no explanation for the following harsh words: “We consider Francis Cook,


publisher of the Spokan Times, to be too poor a specimen of the editorial fraternity to waste many words on, so we will drop him here.” A month later the Tribune criti-


cized Cook because he was trying to recruit new businesses to Spo- kane Falls, when representatives of those businesses already existed in the town. Apparently the Tribune felt competitive business should not be given the opportunity to advertise. “While it is properly right for


any newspaper man to solicit busi- ness for his paper ... the course of the Times editor is denounced by the entire newspaper fraternity as dishonorable, unprofessional and productive of the rebuke he is now receiving—the strong condemna- tion of all businessmen.” Cook was able to take this sort


SPOKANE CDA • July - August • 2011


of criticism in stride, and by June of 1881 announced that, after July 1st, his paper would be published six days a week. He remarked on June 30th: “Already the citizens interested in the growth of this new country have guaranteed a liberal support for the daily Times, which will enable us to print a creditable little paper. It is very pleasant to notice the marked interest taken in this enterprise by every business man and friend of progress.”


Competition from the Chronicle


Not every businessman agreed.


Three of the “prominent” town fathers in Spokane Falls were eager to join the critics. In opposition to Cook’s paper, on June 29, 1881, James Glover, along with assis- tance from good friends, A. M. Cannon and J. J. Browne, started a newspaper of their own, the Spo- kane Chronicle. Its editor was a man by the name of C. B. Carlisle, about whom very little is known. Unfortunately, the first issues of


the Chronicle no longer exist, but early editorials that are available


were critical of both Cook and the Spokan Times. James Glover, owner of


the Chronicle, couldn’t


resist writing his own opinion. His words were insulting and, in some instances, untrue. In the issue of September 28, 1881, Glover wrote: “As the fellow, Cook, who runs


the advertising sheet here, mis- named a newspaper, has seen fit to attack me personally, forbearance has ceased to be a virtue. ... this fellow Cook has been a detriment to this people. The paper has been the laughing stock of the commu- nity and principally noted for the callow ignorance exhibited and the unusual shelling of the truth. Just after starting here, he explained he needed money to pay freight on his press ... to pay it back in thirty days. I loaned him $100. He sneaked away and to this day, I hold that due bill. ... I should have compelled him to pay it long ago but for the sake of his wife who is a lady. [He proceeded to belabor Cook for his treatment of the boys who worked for him, and finished with the fol- lowing]: Cook is, too, a pillar of the Congregational Church – a Trust-


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