Warning. Cloning this item will not retain its parent-child relationship.
The Coolidge Examiner
The Coolidge Examiner was first published on March 7, 1930, as a souvenir issue for the dedication of the Coolidge Dam. Ted Healy, publisher and editor, claimed it was the first newspaper published and printed in Coolidge, Arizona. Its predecessor, the Coolidge News [LCCN: sn94050538] was published by Al and Marge Wilke, starting in 1928. Healy had worked at other Arizona newspapers in Nogales and Phoenix, and in 1913 he founded the Casa Grande Bulletin [LCCN: sn94050532] with Angela Hutchinson Hammer, publisher of several Arizona newspapers and the first woman inducted to the Arizona Newspaper Association Hall of Fame. The Examiner, published weekly, prided itself on focusing on local news, and its slogan was “Circulation covers Casa Grande Valley Like a Blanket.”
Disputes over water rights, especially between white settlers and indigenous populations, permeated the West, and Healy’s involvement in these water endeavors appeared frequently in his newspapers. Indeed, when Healy took over the Bulletin in 1915 after political differences with his business partner, Hutchinson Hammer, he included a slogan under his name: “[a]dvocating pumping plant irrigation for the reclamation of a great inland empire.” A significant event for Coolidge was the controversial Coolidge Dam. Healy advocated for it, and at the dedication of the dam in 1930, he presented the first copy and special issue of the Coolidge Examiner that celebrated the new dam to President Calvin Coolidge; Charles A. Stauffer, publisher of Arizona Republican [LCCN: sn84020558]; and Will Rogers, famous actor and humorist.
Charles W. Hooper took over as editor and publisher in February 1931. In his first issue, Hooper commented that “the responsibility for a good paper does not rest alone upon the editor, but on the community as well,” and solicited his readers’ support. The Examiner still focused heavily on local stories but had also started to include national and international news, as well as serial fiction, comic strips, and extensive advertisements. Hooper published the Examiner until March 1935, when Max Williams succeeded him for a short time. Hooper returned as manager of the paper in November 1936, with Jack Stevens as editor. By 1937, Anton Runbeck, Hooper’s son-in-law, replaced Stevens as editor. The paper remained with the Hooper family until October 1940. For a time, Richard James Jones, founder of the town of Coolidge, owned the paper and leased it to the publishers, until his death in 1941. Harold H. Wrenn then published the newspaper from 1941 to 1959, when he sold the Coolidge Examiner, San Manuel Miner [LCCN: sn 95060929], and Florence Blade-Tribune [LCCN: sn 95060502].
For the thirty-fifth anniversary of the town of Coolidge, University of Arizona journalism students wrote a special edition of the Coolidge Examiner in 1960. The newspaper published this special issue at its plant in collaboration with the students. In more recent years, the Examiner has “continue[d] its tradition of setting aside one edition each year to honor the beginning of this ever growing community.”
Essay provided by University of Arizona Libraries.Dates of Publication1930-currentFrequency of PublicationWeeklyPlace of PublicationCoolidge, ArizonaLanguageEnglishPermissions and ReuseThe contents of the Arizona Digital Newspaper Program (ADNP) are available to the public by our partners for using in research, teaching, and private study. Please note that U.S. Copyright and intellectual property laws apply to the digital resources made available through this site.