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Contributed by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records: State of Arizona Research Library

Navajo County

Established in Holbrook, Arizona, as the Argus on December 12, 1895, the paper became known as the Holbrook Argus beginning May 12, 1900, and continuing until it ceased publication on February 4, 1913. According to Newspapers and Periodicals of Arizona 1859-1911 by Estelle Lutrell, the Argus started out as Democratic in orientation, switched to being a Republican paper in 1896, and returned to the Democratic fold in 1906, remaining there until the end of its run.

Albert Franklin Banta, the first editor of the Argus was a colorful pioneer of early Arizona. Banta was connected to, edited, and helped publish some half dozen or more papers all across the Territory, including one of Arizona's earliest, the Arizona Miner [LCCN: sn82016242] at Fort Whipple in 1864. Banta served as a government scout and delivered mail in the north and also from Tucson to Fort Goodwin and back up north again to Fort Apache. While in St. Johns, where he started the Arizona Pioneer [LCCN: sn00060070], Banta was attacked by the founder of the town, Sol Barth. According to William H. Lyon in Those Old Yellow Dog Days while "[Sol] Barth was strangling Banta [his] brother Nathan Barth pulled a gun and opened fire putting a bullet through Sol's hand and wounding Banta in the neck." Banta survived the gunshot, dying of old age in the Pioneers' Home in Prescott in 1924. According to Newspapers and Periodicals of Arizona 1859-1911, Banta had a career as a politician in Arizona prior to 1890 under the name C. A. Franklin. Under that alias, Banta served as district attorney and probate judge of Apache County and even a member of the Territorial Legislature in 1883.

Lutrell traces the pedigrees of some of the other editors of the Argus. Christian O. Anderson had previously founded the Arizona Range News [LCCN: sn95060997] in Willcox. Louis D. and John H. Divelbess, editors of the Argus from 1903 until 1906, were educated in Holbrook and had large cattle holdings. Lloyd C. Henning was the owner and editor most connected to life in Navajo County and Holbrook. He started his career as a newspaperman, editing the St. Johns Herald [LCCN: sn94051692] and operating the Winslow Mail [LCCN: sn96060765] in conjunction with the Holbrook Argus. Eventually, Henning acquired banks and telephone companies in Holbrook and Navajo County, as well as serving as the clerk of the Superior Court of Navajo County, a member the Board of Supervisors, and even Mayor of Holbrook. Henning sold the Argus to Bauer & Co. in 1909. They operated the paper with Henning as editor until it closed up shop four years later.

 

 

The Argus Titles Available on AMP

The Argus
Years of publication: 1895-1900, Years digitized: 1895-1900

Holbrook Argus
Years of publication: 1900-1913, Years digitized: 1900-1913

 
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