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Contributed by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records: State Library of Arizona
The weekly Arizona Citizen, published by surveyor General John Wasson, arrived on the Tucson scene in 1870. Although Wasson publicly insisted that the Citizen was a successful business proposition, according to William H. Lyon in Those Old Yellow Dog Days: Frontier Journalism in Arizona, 1859-1912, Wasson viewed the newspaper business as a means of supporting and promoting federal officeholders in the territory. Due to his position as surveyor general, Wasson often left the daily operations of the newspaper to others, including his printer, Rollin C. Brown. After Anson Pacely Killen Safford left as governor, possibly reducing Wasson's political favor, and after the territorial capital moved back to Prescott in 1877, taking with it revenue from public printing, Wasson sold the Citizen to former San Carlos Indian agent John P. Clum. Brown stayed on as the paper's foreman after the Citizen was relocated to Florence. When Florence failed to boom as expected, Clum moved the weekly newspaper back to Tucson in 1878. While the weekly Citizen continued publication, he started the Daily Arizona Citizen [LCCN: sn84021922] in 1879.
The weekly Citizen encountered some unanticipated hurdles, including competition with the Arizona Star [LCCN: sn84021914]. In an effort to share the paper's financial burden, Clum made Brown a partner in 1880. Expenses, however, became too much and Clum sold full ownership of the weekly Citizen to Brown that same year. From April to December 1880, the paper was called the Weekly Arizona Citizen. Thereafter, it was known as the Arizona Weekly Citizen. Catastrophe hit when fire destroyed the Citizen's office on June 10, 1881. By August, Brown brought on Jayne Adams Whitmore as a partner to offset some of the expenses. In an effort to implement more cutbacks, the weekly Citizen and the Arizona Daily Journal [LCCN: sn84027581] consolidated their job printing offices. The following year, the Journal failed and Brown and Whitmore incorporated the Citizen Publishing Company. Problems continued until 1883, when both men finally quit the paper.
The widowed weekly Citizen passed through several hands over the next two years until Herbert Brown became general manager in 1885. He stayed on as the paper's manager, and then owner, for more than a decade. Unfortunately, like his predecessors, Brown worked his way into government positions that often took him away from the newspaper. In 1898, Brown was appointed superintendent of the territorial prison at Yuma. By then, the weekly Citizen was financially insolvent. Still, the paper limped on until 1901, when James T. Shannon bought it and changed it to a Democratic organ under the editorship of O'Brien Moore.
In 1901, the daily paper's masthead changed to the Tucson Citizen [LCCN: sn84020674]. In 1910, the weekly Arizona Citizen reverted to a Republican periodical after being purchased by James T. Williams, Jr., Allen B. Jaynes and John B. Wright. The weekly Arizona Citizen became the Arizona Citizen and Weekly Tribune that same year, only to cease publication in 1912. The daily print edition of the Tucson Citizen [LCCN: sn86014563] ceased publication on May 15, 2009; an online edition of the paper continues today.
Arizona Citizen Titles Available on AMP
Years of publication: 1870-1880, Years digitized: 1870-1880
Weekly Arizona Citizen
Years of publication: 1880-1880, Years digitized: 1880-1880
Arizona Weekly Citizen
Years of publication: 1880-1901, Years digitized: 1880-1896