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Brooks and Lillian C. Darlington started The Arizonian in Scottsdale, Arizona, in January 1953. Brooks served as the weekly newspaper’s Publisher and Editor, while Lillian held the title of Women’s Editor. The newspaper described itself as “The Modern Successor to ‘The Weekly Arizonian’, the Territory’s First Newspaper, Estab. 1859,” and this tag line appeared on each issue’s masthead. The Weekly Arizonian [LCCN: sn82014067] was the first newspaper published in the Territory of Arizona beginning in Tubac in 1859.
Of his decision to name his new enterprise after the territory’s first newspaper, Darlington wrote, “The Arizonian has something of a tradition to uphold, if only by voluntary adoption,” though The Arizonian was more of a lifestyle read than its predecessor. In the first issue the editorial policy states, “Our primary aim is to entertain, divert and inform, if not to instruct, the grand people who count themselves Arizona fans.”
Dwight W. Koppes succeeded Darlington as publisher and editor, 1954-1959, and Patricia Hartwell served in this role from 1963-1967. As the paper’s readership increased, so did the number of credited contributors. The Arizonian was published under the company, Desert Paradise Publishers, Inc. throughout its run which ended in November 1969 when the paper ceased publication.
Scottsdale, founded by Winfield Scott, had been established as a city just two years prior to the start of the paper. To influence the town’s growth, The Arizonian often featured advertisements for new subdivisions and town attractions. The “Mary Copa” column of the paper showcased the arrivals and departures of residents and relatives around Scottsdale. A large full-page image graced the front page of each issue, usually depicting a western theme in lieu of a traditional headline. Weekly issues routinely featured editorials to cover relevant community news. In a 1954 article titled, "What I Like About Scottsdale", Janis Holloway described the city as a “small, western town with its vast desert and tall mountains beyond” in addition to “an artist colony, resort capitol, style center, and more friendly people than you can count.”
In the 1950-60s, Arizona’s population grew rapidly. The newspaper chronicled this post-World War II growth in Scottsdale. For instance, in a Fall 1965 issue, The Arizonian compiled a special report about the upcoming bond election. The Money Step committee, chaired by Donald L. Roberts, sponsored this issue to support the growth of the Civic Center in Scottsdale and renovations for community areas, such as libraries and parks. The paper promoted the mid-century lifestyle in Scottsdale by reporting on the city’s growing arts and cultural scene, as well as covering events such as festivals, pageants, school programs, and engagement announcements.
Note that aside from the two publications already mentioned, there were several other newspapers published in the state titled The Arizonian or something similar. These include The Arizonian [LCCN: sn94051567] published in Safford 1898-1901; The Weekly Arizonian published in Tucson 1868-1871 [LCCN: sn84024829]; the Duncan Arizonian [LCCN: sn95060762] published from 1908-1915; The Monthly Arizonian [LCCN: sn95060598] out of Rio Rico 1991-1997; the Weekly Arizonian [LCCN: sn96060654] published in Tubac 1997-1998; and Arizonian [LCCN: sn2001060046] published in Nogales 1998-1999.Dates of Publication1953-1969Frequency of PublicationWeeklyPlace of PublicationScottsdale, 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.