From the Butte Record

Last Saturday I went to the Chico Museum to hear David Little, recently retired editor of the Chico Enterprise-Record, speak on the history of our hometown newspaper.

month april issue date april 28 1855 page 1

The Butte Record, published at Bidwell Bar, was the first newspaper in Butte County. C.W. Stiles saw the need for a local newspaper, gathered financial support, and purchased a printing press. Stiles, however, had no experience editing or printing a paper. He hired Harry De Courcey, previously of the Calaveras Chronicle, to edit the paper, and L.P. Hall to run the press.

Their tenure was short-lived. In the very first issue of the Butte Record, the following item appeared:

month november issue date november 12 1853 page 2

Butte Record, November 12, 1853

De Courcey was forced to give up the editor’s chair. His resignation notice appeared in the same issue.

month november issue date november 12 1853 page 2(1)

So it was an argument over politics that brought out the Bowie knife. Lively times in frontier journalism!

The Sacramento Daily Union reported the incident and said

Mr. Stiles has been compelled to take up the pen editorial, which he acknowledges to be foreign to his vocation. His first efforts, however, are highly creditable to his abilities.

But Stiles soon found a more lasting editor. George Crosette, who was managing a hotel in Oroville, had grown up in the printing business and took over as editor. He bought the paper from Stiles and continued as editor for many years. In 1864 the paper moved to Oroville and in 1873 Crosette moved it to Chico, where it became the Chico Record.


About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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