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Contributed by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records: State Library of Arizona
According to Estelle Lutrell's Newspapers and Periodicals of Arizona 1859-1911, the Arizona Weekly Enterprise was founded in Florence, Arizona, in April of 1881 with George B. Taylor as editor and business manager. The paper quickly passed into the hands of editor and manager Thomas F. Weedin, a member of the territorial legislature. Weedin would guide the paper through a long stable period, eventually selling it for $3,000, according to Those Old Yellow Dog Days: Frontier Journalism in Arizona 1859-1912. Its author William H. Lyon states that the arrival of the Enterprise in Florence indicated the paper's importance for farming and ranching. The same could be said for the nearby town of St. John, whose paper and prosperity dried up much faster than Florence's.
Weedin was an important figure in Arizona's newspaper industry. In addition to serving in the territorial legislature (on the printing committee) and as the first mayor of Florence, he was also the clerk of the U.S. Court and held a number of other official positions. As editor of the Arizona Weekly Enterprise and a politician, Weedin was deeply embroiled in a printing scandal. John Marion, who established the Prescott Courier [LCCN: sn95060710] was bombarded with so much of the printing business from the territorial government that he had to subcontract out to other printers. Weedin received a substantial amount of money from Marion, some $2,500, causing the attorney general to sue, and even threaten prison, for Weedin. Despite all of this controversy, Lutrell quotes the October 1, 1916 issue of the Arizona Daily Star [LCCN: sn84020668] as saying Weedin "made his name a synonym for all that is worthy and acceptable in public service."
The Arizona Weekly Enterprise continued publication for another seven years after its sale, its editorship taken up by Rollin C. and George W. Brown until it folded in 1894. In 1891, the Arizona Weekly Enterprise became the Arizona Enterprise [LCCN: sn95060734] and moved to Tucson in 1892. Weedin continued in the newspaper business, founding the Arizona Blade [LCCN: sn95060503] and purchasing the Florence Tribune [LCCN: sn94050572]. He consolidated them as the Arizona Blade and the Florence Tribune [LCCN: sn94050553] and then as the Arizona Blade-Tribune [LCCN: sn95060501], serving as editor from 1902 until 1913.
Arizona Weekly Enterprise Titles Available on AMP
Arizona Weekly Enterprise
Years of publication: 1881-1893, Years digitized: 1881-1890