Our Past | 1922: The end of the Mansfield News

Selected by Karen Larsen

The following content comes from an article published in the Aug. 3, 1922 edition of the Waterville Empire-Press which tells the story of the end of the Mansfield News.


The Mansfield News Burned to Death

The fire which destroyed the Mansfield News printing plant a couple of weeks ago, has resulted in the publication being put to death in rather a cruel manner. Editor and proprietor Mrs. J.W. Wright, according to her farewell, decided to let the town of Mansfield be without “light,” for the reason that she “did not get the post office.” She says sufficient business is not in sight to warrant buying a new “outfit.” The subscription list has been turned over to the Withrow Banner.

The Mansfield News has had a most remarkable career. When the News was established by B.N. Kennedy, the Empire-Press editor felt that the territory belonged to us. We had a paper at Bridgeport and had served that section for a number of years. Mr. Kennedy came to Bridgeport to see us and said that he had to leave Coulee City and wanted to take the field.

Kennedy gave the people of Mansfield a very good paper for a couple of years, but the businessmen decided they wanted a change so they bought the News and E.P. Murphy of Entiat was at the helm for a time, followed printers that were not printers — school superintendents and others. It finally fell into the hands of B.C. Furgeson, a practical printer, who bought a Linotype and for a time the paper enjoyed robust health. In fact, Mr. Furgeson used to feel sorry for us Waterville publishers, because we were not making any money. Mr. Furgeson’s health failed and he passed to the Great Beyond, and the business again drifted to the “rocks.”

Mrs. Wright then decided to try her hand in the newspaper game, purchased the plant and owned the paper until its death occurred recently.

As we glance back over the ups and downs of the News, we think it can be truthfully stated that it had one of the most checkered careers, for a 10-year-old, of any publication that has ever existed in America. If Mansfield had not been one of the most loyal communities in the country, the News would have passed on before. It seems that after having such a desperate struggle for existence, it deserved a better fate than being burned to death.