Foremost among the boosters of Los Angeles were the city's dailies, four of 

them on the eve of the real estate frenzy late in 1886.  Both the politically 

independent evening Express and the Democratic morning Herald were well 

established when the Times entered the field as a Republican paper in 1881. 

Shortly after the morning Tribune appeared in 1886 it, like the Times a 

Republican sheet, claimed to be Southern California's largest daily.  Along the 

way other dailies such as the Telegraph, Cole's 1882 encore in the newspaper 

business which lasted only 26 days, failed after brief attempts to compete with 

their larger rivals.

    The Times, distributing its soon-to-be-famous mid-winter edition across the 

country early each year, took the lead in publicizing the Southland, but the 

other dailies engaged in similar boosterism.  Whether it was with special 

editions or pamphlets designed to attract Easterners to Los Angeles, all four 

dailies promoted interest in the region.  

    As part of their effort to lure immigrants westward the papers frequently 

printed feature articles designed to show the attractiveness of certain 

occupations for which the region was particularly noted, believing that the 

columns would be reprinted in the East.  The money to be made in agriculture 

was one such topic, but in early 1889 "Hayseed" felt moved to comment with 

tongue in cheek on another business that had so far been overlooked.

                         {Times, Mar. 24, 1889, p. 3}

                           Hoist Withur Own Petard.

              Los Angeles, March 21.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         For lo, these many days, have all our metropolitan journals 

         waxed warm and eloquent in the very laudable effort to induce 

         the grangers and landowners to raise unlimited quantities of 

         poultry and eggs, potatoes, cabbage, and all sorts of "garden 

         sass," and have given "facts and figgers" to demonstrate the 

         necessity therefor, and the correctness of their 


              Admitted that we ought to have in Los Angeles county at 

         least 50,000 more Cincinnatuses engaged in these noble, 

         honorable and lucrative occupations.  I wish to call 

         attention to one more too much neglected resource which you 

         must certainly admit has been a most powerful, and perhaps 

         the chief factor in building up our property, and inducing 

         immigration, namely journalism.

              The great and crying need of our community today is the 

         publication of at least 500 more able, robust and virile 

         newspapers, and see how a few simple figures will demonstrate 

         that necessity even to the dullest comprehension--a 

         Chinaman's for instance.  There is not a journal in the city 

         that will not claim that it has been the means directly of 

         inducing the immigration and settlement of at least 1000 

         heads of families in our midst, and this claim no one can 

         dispute.  Each one of these settlers has brought here on an 

         average not less than $2500, total for each journal 

         $2,500,000.  Multiply this by 500 (the number of newspapers 

         we ought to have) and we have a grand total of 


              Beside the vast addition to the wealth of the community, 

         it is well known that any journal is a mine of wealth to the 

         proprietor.  It is not long since one of our papers, 

         according to its own statement, owing to the immense demand 

         and the impossibility of procuring a supply of white paper, 

         had to reduce it from an eight to a four page journal, and 

         you, Mr. Times, must blushingly admit there are "millions in 

         it," otherwise a suit or two every week for $50,000 damages 

         would not be brought against you.

              Then it is well known we import vast quantities of 

         literature from foreign parts--San Francisco, Chicago, New 

         York, Boston, etc., which is a constant and heavy drain upon 

         our resources, and the money for which ought to be kept at 

         home.  By all means, give us more newspapers.


    Los Angeles was awash with newspapermen and former newspapermen in the 

1880s.  They came from the old school, having learned the trade, like Otis, on 

the job.  When Cornell University announced that it would establish a school of 

journalism, "Reporter" sneered at the idea, doubting that such a school could 

possibly teach a neophyte what he really needed to know to become a practical 


                         {Times, Aug. 17, 1888, p. 3}

                            A School of Journalism.

              Los Angeles, Aug. 14.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         note the fact that Cornell University is inaugurating a 

         school of journalism.  This innovation may be a success, but 

         I doubt it.  Will it teach the school to meekly listen to the 

         gentle (?) reproof of the city editor, as he calls their 

         attention to the fact that they have been gloriously 

         "scooped," and learn them to formulate a valid excuse 

         therefor?  Will they learn to bear in silence the painful 

         operation of that "blue pencil" as it vivisects and mutilates 

         their "best lines?"  Will they learn to submissively accept a 

         midnight detail, in a driving storm, to the scene of a fire 

         or crime two miles away and no streetcars running?  Will 

         there be a polytechnic department attached, wherein the 

         budding journalists will be taught to hang to a transom by 

         their eyebrows while they report the proceedings of a 

         political caucus?  Will they "work in" the usual number of 

         "dull thuds," "killed dead," "widow woman," etc.?  When they 

         write, "I kissed her sub rosa," or, "I kissed her under the 

         silent stars," and it is printed, "I kissed her snub nosa," 

         or, "I kicked her under the cellar stairs," or, "A heart 

         bowed down with grief and care" appears in the morning, "A 

         heart boiled down with grease and care," will they pass 

         mirthfully over the matter, or will they secure a low-browed, 

         thick-set club and lay for the proof-reader and the "slug" 

         that set up that take?  After a cold, muddy, midnight trip of 

         two or three dozen blocks to a fire, and they write a glowing 

         column of how "the devouring midnight flames leaped high in 

         air," etc., it appears "Pat Sheeney's grocery was destroyed 

         by fire last night; loss, $800; insured," will they resign?  

         Will they be taught how to "work in" a "free line ad" for 

         the cigars?  Will they learn to cut a clean collar, shirt 

         bosom and a pair of cuffs out of cardboard?  Will they be 

         taught to sit down on the curbstone and calmly write up an 

         account of a fire in a six-story tenement while the 

         occupants, crazed with terror and pain, are leaping from the 

         windows or falling back into the flames?  Will they be taught 

         to perch on the end of a tie by the side of a railroad wreck 

         and serenely sketch the dying agonies of the passengers, 

         count the dead and wounded and give an estimate of the loss 

         to the company?  

              There are many other points to be learned which cannot 

         well be taught in a "school of journalism."  Practical work 

         in a printing office is far ahead of any college journalistic 



    Even established journalists such as Otis, experienced by "practical work 

in a printing office," sometimes found themselves victimized by "authors" who 

submitted material as original when in fact it had been written by others and 

printed previously.  With thousands of newcomers descending upon Los Angeles in 

the 'eighties, it was not surprising that one of them spotted a case of 

plagiarism in the Times.

                         {Times, Aug. 10, 1883, p. 4}

                              A Gross Plagiarism.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I am not surprised 

         that even editors should sometimes become the victims of 

         imposition.  I am aware that their manifold duties will not 

         allow them to be always infallible in the exercise of care in 

         the insertion or exclusion of articles.  Nevertheless, when 

         there is a clear and unequivocal case of imposition and 

         plagiarism, it should be exposed.  The issue of the Times of 

         Wednesday morning contained an article, purporting to have 

         been written for the paper, headed "How a Chinaman Rides a 

         Bronco," over the signature of "S.B.L."  That article, word 

         for word, was published in the Laramie Boomerang nearly two 

         years ago, and was written by Bill Nye.  The temerity and 

         unbounded assurance of "S. B. L." would seem to deserve a 

         brass monument as big as the Normal school building, but to 

         the undersigned a plagiarist appears to merit nothing more 

         nor less than the notoriety which his soul generally yearns 

         for.  I do hope Bill Nye will not see Wednesday's Times, for 

         I apprehend that even his patient spirit would rebel against 

         such wholesale appropriation of his ambitious efforts.   


              Los Angeles, Aug. 9, 1883.

              [We acknowledge to having been victimized by this cheeky 

         literary plagiarist, whose last initial should be omitted in 

         order the more accurately to describe him.--Ed. Times.]

    "Above the fold," newspaper terminology for that portion of the front page 

visible in the newsrack, is important to an editor because the stories and 

headlines selected for that part of the page influence the sale of papers.  To 

a reporter, a byline "above the fold" is an occasion for celebration.  But to a 

Times subscriber in 1887 the fold itself became the subject of a letter to the 


                         {Times, Oct. 24, 1887, p. 8}

                            She Kicks at the Fold.

              The Times is in receipt of the following distressful 


              The Times, Los Angeles--My Beloved:  What are the blank 

         spaces left in your paper for if not to indicate where it 

         should be folded?  If life is too short for you to fold your 

         paper in the middle, have you reliable proof that it be any 

         longer for me?  Darling, if tender words won't reform you the 

         subjoined fact may.  Thus far I have strenuously struggled 

         against the use of the "big, big D" in my frantic struggles 

         to get the paper into a readable position, but there is a 

         limit to human as well as worm endurance, and I feel assured 

         that in some unguarded moment that mild but forcible 

         expression, which cannot be applied to the Mississippi River, 

         will fall like a sweet benediction upon The Times.  If you 

         have no regard for your own soul please have a little for 

         mine, and thereby obtain for yourself that promised covering 

         for your multitude, etc.  Yours everlastingly,

                                       AN OLD AND FOND SUB.

              She appears to have got hold of the only sheet folded 

         crooked since Clark was hung.  The mailing department has 

         been warned.

    A frequent contributor to the letters column, Unitarian minister Eli Fay 

offered his view of the importance of the press, coupling with it an 

explanation for having signed a petition mildly critical of the city's 


                         {Times, April 5, 1888, p. 3}

                              Swallowing Camels.

              Los Angeles, April 4.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Your publication of the names of the ministers who petitioned 

         the newspapers of the city to print on Saturday morning 

         instead of Sunday morning the notices of our Sunday religious 

         services, makes it necessary that I should offer a word of 

         explanation.  When the petition was presented to me for my 

         signature, I hesitated.  I did not believe at all in the 

         thing asked for.  I had and still have no "pious horror" of a 

         Sunday paper properly conducted, and for myself I should 

         greatly prefer to have my services announced on Sunday 

         morning rather than on Saturday morning.  This is a fast 

         age--fast in a good as well as a bad sense; and it is not 

         derogatory to men and women who are borne onward by the 

         mighty, and, in many respects, the regenerating spirit of our 

         day, that they should forget by Sunday morning something that 

         they said or saw or did on Saturday morning; and, therefore, 

         it seems to me to be eminently proper that our pulpit 

         services should be widely advertised on the morning of the 

         day on which they are to be held.  Why not?  Is it wicked to 

         ring in our homes on Sunday morning the bell that calls us to 

         breakfast, or the one in the church tower that invites us to 

         the worship of God?  Is it wrong on Sunday to prepare our 

         food, to ride to church in the horse-cars, to consider our 

         bodily necessities, our human conditions, our intellectual 

         appetites, our aesthetic cravings or what may have transpired 

         in this wonderful world in the preceding twenty-four hours?  

         With all my heart I believe in the religious uses of Sunday; 

         but who does not know that to overdo is to underdo.  I wonder 

         if the ministers, who drew up the petition above-named, 

         stipulate with their publishers that on Sunday mornings no 

         papers shall be left at their doors.  I wonder if they 

         scrupulously decline to read their Monday morning papers 

         because they were set up and printed on Sunday night.  I 

         wonder if true religion is at all promoted by "straining at 

         gnats and swallowing camels."  I wonder if sanctimoniousness 

         and cant ever commended religion to any intelligent mind.  I 

         do not believe in excursions, or picnics, or hilarity, or 

         general dissipation on Sunday, and quite as little do I 

         believe in long faces, in sanctimonious airs, in tormenting 

         the flesh, in mortifying the spirit in a frigid solemnity, a 

         piety that banishes from the home and heart all light and 

         warmth, all natural joy and love of truth.

              Any yet I signed the petition above-named, but I did it 

         as many subscribe to the religious creeds, viz., with large 

         mental reservation.  I did not wish to be regarded as "gladly 

         singular."  Wonderful, delightful and radically and rapidly 

         progressive as is our great human world, there is yet much 

         that merits criticism and even rebuke; and still the cynic, 

         the grumbler, the pharisee, is everywhere voted a bore.  I 

         yielded reluctantly and against my better judgment.  I know 

         that some preparation of mind and heart for a religious 

         service is a primary condition of appreciating it, but as all 

         people are neither saints nor philosophers, nor able, even, 

         to pass unharmed an unemployed hour, it is a very serious 

         question whether a good Sunday paper is not a blessing 

         instead of a curse, whether tithing mint, anise and cummin, 

         helps on the kingdom of God.

                                              ELI FAY.

                                THE RIVAL PRESS

    Throughout its first decade the Times faced formidable opposition from the 

other dailies.  Unlike modern journalistic policy, which disdains vitriolic 

attacks on the competition, late 19th century Los Angeles newspapers derided 

their competitors in news columns and editorials.  Nor was this simply good 

natured joshing.  Rival journalists were mentioned by name and characterized in 

terms that led to libel suits.  William Spalding, acting Express editor who 

would work for nearly all of the dailies over the years, and Herald editor 

Joseph Lynch engaged in a gun fight on the street outside the Herald's office 

in 1879 following a scathing denunciation of Spalding in a Lynch editorial.  

Neither was as good with a pistol as with a pen and no one was hit.  Although 

arrested, Spalding was acquitted when testimony indicated that Lynch drew 


    Otis never took part in a shootout but as editor of the Times he could hold 

his own in any exchange of slurs with fellow editors.  Most notable was his 

bitter rivalry with former partner Henry H. Boyce, then at the Tribune.  That 

led to a libel suit against the Times in 1887 forcing Otis to relinquish his 

position for several months while legal action ensued.  The Times resolved this 

dispute by printing a retraction, reportedly in an edition with a press run of 

one.  On other occasions the paper was forced to pay damages to plaintiffs 

angered by Otis' attacks.  The suits were so frequent that "Hayseed," above, 

cited them as an indication that newspapers must surely be profitable. 

                                1) THE EXPRESS

    Not all the abuse heaped on rival papers took place in the editorial column 

of the Times.  Otis used "Letters From The People" to antagonize and scorn his 

rivals, and over the years letters attacking the Express, Herald and Tribune 

constituted one of the most frequent topics offered by contributors.  The 

evening Express, perhaps because of its political non-alignment or because as 

an evening daily it was not in direct competition with the Times, fared better 

than the other two but drew its share of criticism.  Otis called it the 

"Evening Depress."   

    Jerry Illich ran one of the more popular restaurants in the city, one 

which catered especially to journalists and politicians.  Vicente Bernard's 

letter, which elicited an editorial postscript, is an indication of the rapid 

response frequently found in the letters column.  His reply ran on the morning 

of June 10, responding to a well-written Illich letter printed in the Express 

the night before.

                         {Times, June 10, 1885, p. 4}

                            Jerry Illich's Letter.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I read in the Evening 

         Express of June 9, 1885, "An Indignant Protest" from a man 

         who calls himself Jerry Illich and a Catholic.  I reply:

              First--That man is not a Catholic, for the reason that 

         he belongs to secret societies, which is not a secret.

              Second--He could not have written that letter, because 

         he don't know how to write or read.  Yours truly,

                                            VINCENTE BERNARD.

              [Jerry's able epistle to the Expressians bears ear-marks 

         of having been written in the Express office, or laboriously 

         edited by the editorial gopher who is constitutionally and 

         chronically "hard up" for a little cheap capital against the 


                         {Times, Sept. 24, 1885. p. 2}

                              Chunks of Science.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  The meteorological 

         "sharp" of an evening paper in Los Angeles informed its 

         readers yesterday that the hot weather was caused by the 

         burning of the brush on the Cucamonga mountains, etc.  Only 

         think, the thermometer raised 25 {degrees - Ed.} over an area 

         of a couple of hundred miles square, or more, by the burning 

         of some brush at Cucamonga mountain.  Has not science lost a 

         jewel by not having this weather-sharp in the Signal Services 



                                 2) THE HERALD

    Despite the fact that Los Angeles had long been a Democratic stronghold, 

the city's only Democratic daily in the 1880s was the Herald.  For nearly 

twenty years the paper was run by Joseph D. Lynch, whose political ambitions 

and strong Democratic feelings frequently caused Lynch and Otis to cross 

swords.  Otis mockingly referred to the rival paper as "the Hurled."  Times 

readers reflected the anti-Herald attitude held by their editor.  

    "Paterfamilias," who wrote before Otis became editor, contrasted Lynch's 

prurient treatment of female conditions with his apparent lack of interest in 

Republican President James Garfield's lingering death.  The Herald had reported 

that county resident Mrs. Francisco Cruz, after a pregnancy of three months, 

had suffered a miscarriage involving six female embryos.  

    "Plaindealer" noted the unusual eulogy Lynch pronounced upon the death of 

ex-President U. S. Grant, another Republican, in 1885.  "Protectionist," too, 

commented on the partisan nature of the Herald's news, while "Saxon" and Jaspar 

Menn poked fun at the paper's staff.   Connecticut's William T. Barnum, 

referred to by "Protectionist," chaired the Democratic National Committee in 

the mid-1880s.

                          {Times, Jan. 1, 1882, p. 3}

                            The Herald Criticised.

                                             Los Angeles, Dec. 31.

              Editor Times:  I desire, on behalf of my sons, who now 

         are at an age at which "the youthful fancy fondly turns to 

         thoughts of" the sexual relations, and finds fascination in 

         stealthy glances at the literature of reproduction, to render 

         hearty thanks to the Herald for the minute and interesting 

         details of the particulars of the prolific Mrs. Cruze, who 

         appears to be as inexhaustible as the widow's "cruse" 

         mentioned in the Scriptures.

              Mock modesty might suggest that such unfig-leaved 

         disclosures of processes not commonly discussed at the family 

         circle should be relegated to the columns of medical 

         journals; and a prurient imagination might declare that the 

         sensitiveness that could see nothing in all the long accounts 

         of the illness of the late President except what would shock 

         and disgust, would object to such publicity to all the 

         details of the throes of maternity and its reguela; but a 

         sensible person must admit that the prominent position 

         occupied by Mrs. Cruze, and the consequent feverish anxiety 

         of a sympathizing public to have the full particulars of her 

         pains, not only require but demand a fullness of detail in 

         describing all the symptoms and incidents of her case, that 

         would not be justified in the comparatively unimportant 

         office of the President.


                         {Times, Aug. 15, 1885, p. 4}

                         Where Does the Laugh Come In?


                            OF "UNMITIGATED GALL."

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  For some time I have 

         been fully persuaded that you did not quite understand your 

         editorial brother of the Herald.  You have seemed to regard 

         him as only a common man, strangely called to the use of the 

         quill.  But you are greatly mistaken.  All the signs show 

         that you are "off the scent."  In connection with the Herald, 

         brilliant conversations and "flamboyant" exhibitions are so 

         frequent as to mark its ruling spirit as a man of decided 

         originality.  For example: Irrespective of the establishment 

         of Methodism, to attempt anything like a portraiture of the 

         character and career of John Wesley; or, without regard to 

         the issues forced upon the Colonies by the British government 

         even to try to give a faithful account of Washington's career 

         and final success as a general, or, not so much as naming the 

         great anti-slavery movement of this country, to pretend to 

         delineate the character of Garrison, would impress most 

         people as a unique illustration of assinine ignorance and 

         stupidity, or a deliberate attempt to belittle the cause 

         which alone brought him before the public and gave him all of 

         his notoriety.  But this would only demonstrate the 

         obtuseness of people in general.  Your brother editor has 

         recently pronounced on Grant a eulogy, in which there is not 

         the slightest characterization of the rebellion, which alone 

         brought him to the front, and developed the wonderful power 

         he possessed, and solely by the suppression of which he 

         earned the gratitude and admiration of his country, and 

         achieved his peerless position in history;--a eulogy that 

         would not disturb in the least the morbid sensibilities of 

         his friend Jefferson Davis.  Now, sir, you must admit that 

         only a genius could do that.  Anybody could render Hamlet 

         with Hamlet in: but only a master mind could render Hamlet 

         with Hamlet out.

              But this is not all.  This modern Daniel sees numerous 

         reasons why Confederate soldiers who attended the services 

         held to commemorate the character and military career of 

         General Grant should have worn the insignia of the rebellion 

         in which they were so engaged, their herculean attempt to 

         destroy the country, but which Grant utterly thwarted.  That 

         is, had Benedict Arnold attended Washington's funeral it 

         would have been entirely proper for him to display there the 

         booty received for attempting to destroy his country, and in 

         the British uniform to have paraded with those who stood by 

         Washington to the last and thus secured freedom for the 

         country!  God pity us for our ignorance!  Had Judas lived to 

         repent sincerely, and had he afterwards been allowed to 

         associate with the other disciples, it had never occurred to 

         us that it would have been entirely proper for him to chink 

         in their hearing the thirty pieces of silver.  But it is well 

         to have some questions settled, and let us be thankful for 

         the genius that can settle them.            


                         {Times, Oct. 10, 1884, p. 2}

                    Encourage Home Industry and Home Liars.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Reading the "special 

         dispatches" to the Herald (which, by the way, are identical 

         with those furnished by the Democratic National Committee to 

         a hundred other Democratic organs throughout the country, 

         without cost to the publishers, doubtless) there occurred to 

         me, as being somewhat apropos, a "little story."  A certain 

         would-be correspondent wrote to a Boston newspaper asking if 

         he should furnish details of the last sea serpent that had 

         been recently observed in that vicinity.  The editor replied:  

         "No, thank you, we keep a regular liar of our own."  The 

         policy of the Herald in publishing these stereotyped fictions 

         every day as news is really censurable.  Being a Republican, 

         I am a firm believer in the policy of "home protection," and 

         I think that a paper which pretends to have for its object 

         the building up of Southern California should offer more 

         encouragement to native talent.  There are numberless gifted 

         beings in the Democratic party, right here in Los Angeles, 

         who can lie with as great fluency and vim as Chairman Barnum 

         and his secretaries, although possibly they lack the polish 

         of experience, which can only be gained in a position upon 

         the Democratic National Committee; yet they possess undoubted 

         genius and should not be discouraged by wholesale importation 

         of ready-made materials.  The latent resources of our city 

         and county will never be developed by such narrow-minded 

         policy.  Now let the Editor of the Herald, if he feels that 

         he himself is not capable of filling the position, call in to 

         his assistance one or more of the numerous "Colonels" or 

         "Majahs, by Jove, sah" that adorn the rank and file of this 

         party of "Reform" and at once establish a bureau for the 

         manufacture of fictions, so that he can inform Chairman 

         Barnum that it is no longer necessary for him to supply the 

         Herald with campaign literature, as he now keeps a liar of 

         his own!  Thus will the honor of Los Angeles be vindicated 

         and native talent not "blush unseen," or inodorous (?)


              Los Angeles, Oct. 22d. 

                         {Times, Oct. 31, 1883, p. 3}

                              What is "Newling?"

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  It is an acknowledged 

         fact that American journalism has given many expressive and 

         useful words to the English language.  The Herald is apt to 

         be editorially as correct in its style as it is indefensible 

         in its politics.  But by what wonderful inspiration did the 

         editor of the Herald find the word "newling?"  The connection 

         in which it is used, in reference to the extraordinary growth 

         of towns in the southern part of Los Angeles county, is as 

         follows:  "These spontaneous and newling settlements."

              Without any criticism as to the possibility of a 

         settlement being spontaneous, the ordinary man, not being a 

         philologist, would like to know what in the world is 

         "newling."  "Mewling" is a term which is accepted as applied 

         to cats and very young babies, but as for "newling," no 

         examination of Johnson, Worcester or Webster, no search 

         through Crabbe's Synonyms or Roget's Thesaurus, throws any 

         light upon the word.  Can anyone say what a "newling" 

         settlement is?


                         {Times, Oct. 12, 1888. p. 6}

                             A Scene at the Show.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 10.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         squandered a quarter on Sells Bros.' sideshow, today, for 

         two-bits was all I could scrape together, let alone the 

         dollar that is charged for the big show, but while in the 

         sideshow I witnessed something that was worth treble the 

         price of admittance.  I will try and give you an account of 

         it, for it is too good to keep:

              I had "taken in" all the other freaks and was standing 

         close to the Circassian freak when she held out her hand to a 

         gentleman, who had just stepped up, and said:

              "Good-day, wont you buy one of my pictures?"

              "No, thank you, I am a married man," he replied.

              "What's the difference?  She don't need to see it.  

         Here, I will give you a picture, for I like your looks; but 

         wait till I write my name on it."  After writing on the back 

         of it she held it toward him.  The poor fool took the picture 

         and was turning away smiling, when the freak said:

              "Hold on, my friend, you have not paid me for the 

         picture yet."

              "But you presented it to me free gratis."

              "Oh, you can have it for 25 cents; that isn't much."

              He dished up two-bits, with a I-wish-the-ground-would-

         swallow-me-up look, at the same time jamming the photo into 

         his pocket.  The little scene created quite a laugh from the 

         crowd that had gathered, as the man strode out of the tent.

              "Who was that poor sucker," I asked a bystander, and the 

         reply was:

              "Why, don't you know him?  He is one of the 

         high-muck-a-mucks of the Herald office."        

                                         JASPAR MENN.

              Moral--Don't "monkey" with the"buzz-saw."

                                3) THE TRIBUNE

    Otis and his readers directed their most biting criticism at the Tribune.  

When that paper's first issue appeared on Oct. 4, 1886, Otis welcomed it with a 

sarcastic editorial in which he ridiculed all the leading members of its staff: 

editor Edward Records, business manager Henry T. Payne {who was a recognized 

photographer} and former Times executive and co-owner Henry H. Boyce, the man 

behind the enterprise.  On Sept. 3, 1887, the Tribune ran a particularly 

personal criticism of Otis and his editorial attack on Lt. Gov. Robert 

Waterman, referring to Otis as the "Mugwump-in-Chief" of the Times.  The 

following day the Times ran a multi-column attack on Francis Eastman, who had 

replaced Records as Tribune editor, reciting his activities as a member of the 

infamous whiskey ring a decade earlier.  In the same issue, the Times ran this 

letter, which bears a similarity to the writing style of Otis himself.

                         {Times, Sept. 4, 1887, p. 4}

                             As to Editing Things.

              Los Angeles, Sept. 3.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         have noticed that the Tribune gang--to wit, Pop-eyed Payne, 

         Crooked-whisky Eastman and Busybody Boyce--have made much 

         feeble fuss, at different periods in the past, about The 

         Times, its editors, editing et cetera; to all of which you 

         appear to have been generally and brutally indifferent.

              Well, let me say that the Tribune gang have not had such 

         almighty big success in the editing business themselves that 

         they can afford to lift up very high or blow very loud the 

         horn of their rejoicing.

              Take, for instance, Payne.  He edited a photograph 

         gallery once, I believe, and subsequently applied for the job 

         of editing the city finances, but the people, "by a large 

         majority," would not have him; they refused to put the public 

         funds into his hands.

              Then there is Eastman.  He, it seems, was engaged for a 

         period of eighteen months or so in the business of editing 

         crooked whisky, until finally Uncle Sam, the great managing 

         editor, himself stepped in and discharged Mr. Eastman, 

         closing up his peculiar "editorial" shop and referring his 

         case to the United State Grand Jury for the Northern District 

         of Illinois.  The outcome of the examination into Mr. 

         Eastman's style of editing crooked whisky was described in 

         your paper some weeks ago.  [And will be found set out more 

         at length in other columns of this issue.--Ed.]

              Then there is Mr. Boyce.  He, too, is a great editor.  

         They say he was once engaged in the business of editing 

         school boards (not books) and Legislatures.  Later on he 

         tried his hand at editing political conventions, city, 

         county, district and State.  I have never heard that he 

         succeeded preeminently in any of these efforts.  

         Subsequently, I am told, he wanted to try his 'prentice hand 

         on The Times, but soon landed outside the sanctum.  Still 

         later he tried to be managing editor of a bank, but the 

         prudent stockholders, in the most brutal and unfeeling 

         manner, objected, and the financial sanctum now knows him no 

         more forever.  And now this great editor is, I believe, 

         engaged in the bussiness of editing real estate and that 

         truly remarkable and highly virtuous sheet, the Los Angeles 

         Tribune.  At least the latter frequently bears the ear-marks 

         of Mr. Boyce's great editorial fist, if I may be permitted to 

         mix up metaphors in the dizzy style of that other great 

         editor, Crooked-whisky Eastman.

              There be various kinds of editing, Mr. Editor, and I 

         just wanted to call your attention to some of them.

              Yours professionally,

                                   EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE BOOM.

    The Tribune, mockingly called The Trombone by Otis, claimed on its 

editorial page that it had the "Largest Circulation in Southern California."   

"Priest" offered this insight in the Times.

                          {Times, Aug. 30, 1888, p. 6}

                                 The Trombone.

                           "THE LARGEST CIRCULATION" 


              Los Angeles, Aug. 29.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         notice the Tribune frequently refers to its extensive 

         advertising patronage, etc.  In its small advertisements is 

         the following:

                A. Kohler, notary public and conveyancer, No.

                   45 Temple Block.

              Mr. Kohler (God rest his soul) has been in the grave 

         many months, so his card can neither serve or harm him.



    As the Otis-Boyce feud deepened in 1888 the Times pretended to have found 

mail intended for the Tribune letters column.  On several occasions that year 

readers were entertained by "Tromboniana," referring to Otis' pet name for the 

Tribune.  That Otis used letters to the editor, even bogus ones to a rival 

paper, as a vehicle in his war on the Tribune is indicative of the importance 

he attached to the legitimate letters that he regularly published.  Readers 

will soon note that the bogus letters repeat phrases frequently used by the 

Tribune in its description of the Times, and that they attack, as the Tribune 

did, editorial positions that the Times held, such as criticism of the excesses 

of the real estate boom and denunciation of the Prohibition party and its 

candidate, John P. St. John.  The "Prominent Banker" is a reference to I. W. 

Hellman, who purportedly financed Otis' effort to buy out Boyce in 1886.  For

the murder of Dr. Harlan, see the chapter on women.

                         {Times, Feb. 26, 1888, p. 2}


             Public Opinion on The Times--What is Thought of Us by

           Bankers, Barbers, Hod-carriers, Prohibitionists, Saloon-

                      keepers and Others--We Don't Care.

              While coming up New High street yesterday, a Times 

         reporter picked up a bundle of letters, addressed to the 

         Tribune.  As they are intended for publication, The Times 

         prints them herewith, thus achieving the double object of 

         getting in a glorious scoop on its detested contemporary and 

         at the same time showing the utter contempt for the opinion 

         of the measly public.

              As long as The Times can keep on hand its Presto press 

         and its "prominent banker" it will sit in its stone castle 

         and hurl defiance at opinion, both public and private.

              Here are the letters.  Their omission from the 

         Trombone's "Tribune's Letter Bag" column this morning will 

         cause that sheet to look very lean.

                               Coarse and Brutal.

                        [To the Editor of The Tribune.]

                                        Boomville, Feb. 25, 1888.

              The coarse and brutal Times has played itself out 

         entirely in this city.  Not a single copy is now taken here.  

         Its malicious and infamous attempt to destroy the glorious 

         future prospects of this Future Commercial Center has done 

         the business.   Think of its having called Boomville a town!  

         Why, Mr. Editor, we have here a magnificent $50,000 hotel of 

         nine rooms (nearly completed) five cottages (in course of 

         erection) half a mile of cement sidewalk (now being laid) and 

         a neat, cosy real estate office.  If this does not constitute 

         a city, in Southern California, then I should like to know 

         what does.

              All hail to the enterprising and impartial Tribune, for 

         its truthful and generous article on "The magnificent 

         possibilities of Boomville as a Natural Gas Center."

                                        J. A. W. BONE.

              P. S.  Please continue to send your free copy.  As soon 

         as the owners of the tract can get a man to take the hotel we 

         will have him subscribe for your noble paper.

                             Will Go to the Wall.

                        [To the Editor of The Tribune.]

                                        Los Angeles, Feb. 25, 1888.

              I write this to tell you my sentiments in regard to that 

         depraved and filthy sheet, The Times, of this city.  Its 

         constant covert sneers at the holy cause of Prohibition (even 

         going so far as to suggest that men who have devoted their 

         lives to the Cause should start Coffee Palaces) and its ill 

         concealed ridicule of our Noble Apostle, St. John, have 

         entirely alienated from it the Prohibition element.  The 

         Tribune is now our paper.  It is a clear, moral, family 

         paper, with a noble record, of which its subscribers may well 

         be proud.  The venal Times will go to the wall.  While we 

         believe in cold water (taken internally) we do not wish to 

         have it constantly thrown over us by that worthless sheet.

                                                A. PUMP.

         P. S.  I read your paper in the Society Rooms.  Your noble 

         generosity in furnishing the Tribune free is fully 

         appreciated by the Brothers who are deeply grateful to you.  

         May Heaven bless you!

                           From a Prominent Banker.

                        [To the Editor of The Tribune.]

              You will doubtless be surprised to hear from me, and 

         wonder who I am. I am the Prominent Banker to whom you have 

         several times referred.  As you are aware, I hold a mortgage 

         on everything in the Times building, from Otis's dress-coat 

         to the next week's wages of the assistant pressmen.  Now, Mr. 

         Editor, patience has ceased to be a virtue, and you may 

         announce officially in The Tribune (which is my favorite 

         paper) that I intend to foreclose on the whole outfit p. d. 

         q.  These continued coarse and brutal attacks on capital and 

         corporations have thoroughly disgusted me.  I believe that 

         Otis is an Anarchist in disguise.

                                             PROMINENT BANKER.

              S. S. After I foreclose I may arrange to rent you the 

         outfit. Do you think you could run two papers?

              P. P. S.   Please let your bill for subscription run 

         another month or two.  Collections have been very hard to 

         make of late.

                         (Times, April 24, 1888, p. 6}

                                TROMBONE TUNES.


              Another package of letters addressed to the Trombone was 

         picked up yesterday by a Times carrier on Spring street, near 

         the Toast Foundry.  With a combination of magnanimity and 

         journalistic pride we at once heap coals of fire on the head 

         of our envious contemporary and register a glorious scoop at 

         the same time.  We print 'em!

                            He Has Killed the Boom.

                        [To the Editor of The Tribune.]

              The Tribune is the people's paper.  I candidly believe 

         that Los Angeles would yet be an adobe village were it not 

         for The Tribune.  It is true you were not here when we began 

         to boom, but we knew you would come.  We knew Providence 

         would answer our earnest prayer for a pure Republican paper.  

         Otherwise we would not have boomed.

              Your strictures on the Times and its pestiferous editor 

         are too mild.  I know that your Purity bridles your tongue; 

         but in such extreme cases, Mr. Editor, a little judicious 

         malediction is permissible.  Even the Pope anathematizes one 

         who is utterly beyond hope, like Otis.  He has ruined Los 

         Angeles.  He has driven away our visitors.  Did he not day by 

         day call attention to our muddy streets?  Had he not done so, 

         our visitors would not have noticed them and would still be 

         here.  But reading so much about them in the Times, with its 

         exasperatingly large circulation, they were naturally led to 

         look, and of course found them with little difficulty.

              Otis killed the boom and he should be killed!


         P. S.  You can send my free copy to my brother in Mauch 

         Chunk, Pa.

                                From a Printer.

                        [To the Editor of The Tribune.]

              For seven years I was employed as a compositor on the 

         Police Gazette, where I gave complete satisfaction, and from 

         the proprietors of which journal I have the best references.  

         I came to this city on account of my health, and--not knowing 

         the character of the sheet--accepted work on the Times.  I 

         had not been there three hours, however, before I found that 

         the character of the matter which I was called upon to set up 

         was such as to cause the burning blush of shame to rise to my 

         face, and remembering the promise I had made to my aged 

         mother in Kalamazoo, to touch nothing which defileth, I at 

         once demanded my pay, which was brutally refused, whereupon I 

         left and refused to return, although Otis offered me a high 

         salary to edit the so-called religious department of his 


              In exposing the utter vileness of the Times you are 

         working in the cause of humanity.  Is there no society here 

         for the suppression of vice?  My daily prayer is:  God bless 

         The Tribune!


              P. S.--Please send my free copy after tomorrow to the 

         Y.M.C.A. building.

                               Is He a Murderer?

                        [To the Editor of The Tribune.]

              I came to this coast last fall, and have taken great 

         interest in the criminal business of your city.  After close 

         and dilligent examination, I have arrived at a conclusion 

         which more than bears out all you have said regarding the 

         criminal character of Otis.  My discovery is no less than 

         this:  Otis killed Dr. Harlan!

              If you will closely examine the course of the Times 

         during the trial, you will find ample proof of this 


                                           BOY DETECTIVE.

              Los Angeles, April 23, 1888.

              P. S.--If you continue to send free copy, I will furnish 

         you a cryptogram from the Times, showing Otis's confession of 


    The war with the Times went badly for Boyce and his Tribune.  Historians 

credit Otis' victory to the work of his future son-in-law Harry Chandler, who 

not only controlled the distribution of the Times but the Herald and Express as 

well.  One of Chandler's enemies later claimed that Chandler also controlled 

the Tribune's circulation.  Chandler reportedly sabotaged the Tribune by 

enticing the paper's delivery boys to play hooky and by encouraging subscribers 

to switch from the Tribune to the Times.  If Times subscribers became 

disenchanted, Chandler encouraged them to switch to the Herald rather than to 

the Tribune.  Eventually Boyce was forced to cut the size of his paper, leading 

to this letter from "Wellwisher."

                         {Times, Feb. 15, 1889, p. 5}

                              We Can't Afford It.

              Los Angeles, Feb. 14.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         notice that your 'temporary, the Tribune, claims to have 

         gained 30 subscribers a day by reducing its size one-half.  I  

         am interested in the success of The Times, and would suggest 

         that you show equal enterprise by adopting a similar course.  

         The result would no doubt be equally gratifying.


              P. S.--Does it cost much more to run a four-page paper 

         than an eight-page one?

      In January, 1891, as Boyce faced financial ruin, the sheriff sold the 

remnants of his paper.  The buyer?   Harry Chandler!