In 1919, a trio of local newspapers consolidated under a new publisher, and a fresh aggregated title. The Daily Wood River Times-News-Miner, kept the legacy—and, for the most part, the names of its forerunners—into what counted as Blaine County’s Jazz Age.
The editorial board, from what you might glean out of the archives available through the Community Library’s Regional History Department, probably didn’t care for jazz all that much.
In 1920, the paper lapped up stories of the First Red Scare, as it punched Warren Harding’s ticket to the White House. It pulled Associated Press headlines of labor strife from Chicago to Denver, and Bolsheviks warring in eastern Europe. (There wasn’t much talk of the 19th Amendment, which granted women right to vote that August.)
Closer to home, bootleggers rumbled over Trail Creek and turned the hills around Carey, briefly, into a gangster film, exchanging gunfire with law enforcement during the first year of American Prohibition. Smugglers typically got the minimum: 30 days in jail and a $50 fine. In the pages of the paper, they publicly swore off the stuff.
By then, the Times-News-Miner could have been the Times-News-Farmer. Seams of ore largely sat unworked as many of the men who might have worked them tilled fields throughout the south county. Grain was going gangbusters, the paper reported, along with market summaries, water calls, and neighborly looks over the occasional fence.
The valley was a different place and a similar one, all at once, and the Times-News-Miner clocked it all. The paper cost you a nickel, five cents more than the Express does today. A five-room house in Hailey cost you $1,350, a bit less than today. And, by a $7.80 automotive stage, it took something like seven hours to get from the Rialto Hotel to downtown Boise.
Sept. 3, 1920 was a Friday. The forecast called for rain. Anita Stewart was staring in “The Combat” at the Liberty Theater— “an absorbing dramatic production, and the star is a popular screen actress,” the paper read. Mutt and Jeff promised a palate cleanser either way. Tourists were working their way out of the mountains, then as now, and the promise of an Idaho fall tinged the air.
Here’s a look back at two of those pages—with some highlights broken out along the way. To see the page in full, visit The Commmunity Library Jeanne Rodger Lane Center for Regional History or go to comlib.org.
1. Tourist Travel Dropping Off
“The cooler nights of the last few days have caused campers to leave for warmer localities, although there is considerable tourist travel yet. It will continue to be fairly good for some time. But the height of the season has passed.
People from the lower country, when the nights are hot, like to camp out here. But when the nights get down to the freezing point in the hills, they get uncomfortable, and seek their homes.
Really this is the finest time of the year in the Wood River country for outing recreation. The days are just comfortable and the nights are not too cold if campers have plenty of warm, light blankets. The flies and mosquitoes, of which there are not many, have all disappeared.
Residents used to this climate prefer this time of year for camping instead of July and August. The Fresh nights, evening and mornings are really invigorating. They put a feeling of energy into the system that warmer weather fails to do.”
2. Not So Many Dogs
“There are now fewer dogs in the city than at any previous time in its history. This is accounted for by the fact that the dog poisoner killed off 36 of the animals this spring; and another fact is that some owners, rather than have them around and pay the annual license upon them, have got rid of their dogs—sold, given away or killed them off.
City Marshal Allen has so far this year sold only 14 dog licenses, and has kept a pretty close eye on all canines subject to the license.”
3. Over from Boise
“Frank Lee and G. C. Hendrickson motored over from Boise today. They were accompanied by Mrs. Ed. Lamb who has been in the capital city for the past two weeks visiting her sister, Mrs. Charles Bonner. Mr. Lee came over to look after his mining interests in Kelley gulch where he has some men working. Mr. Hendrickson came over for the ride and a visit with friends.”
4. OWN YOUR OWN HOME
“SOME SUMMER SNAPS. SOME ALMOST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
$1350.00— Buys a good five-room house, close to school. Fine trees and lawn. $760.00 cash will handle. Balance like rent.
$600.00— For 6 of the best residence lots In Hailey. Fine location, close in, 180 feet frontage on First Avenue.
$100.00— Per acre. One of the best forties in the valley. 1884 water. 35 acres in alfalfa. Good 5 room house, barn and other buildings.
$65.00— Per acre. One of the best farms in Blaine County. 100 acres in crop. Fine water right. Well improved. Good buildings. Easy terms. This land easily worth $100 an acre. Half cash, balance 6%.
$30.00— Per acre. 120 acres at Glendale. 50 in cultivation. 5 miles from Bellevue. Easy terms. Owner’s illness cause of sale at this price.
SEVERAL OTHER BARGAINS. LET US SHOW YOU A FEW.
JOSEPH W. FULD, Hailey, Idaho.”