In an editorial on page 4 of the Sept. 4, 1919 issue of the Cleveland Leader, publisher Carl Tanner notified the readers that the name of the newspaper was to be changed to: the Cleveland American and Leader. Tanner had bought out the Enterprise and Leader and merged them to make the American and Leader. They used some of the equipment of the two papers, scrapped some of it and exchanged some of it for new equipment. They purchased a Linotype for the office, stating that now the paper would be set in new type each week.
The same editorial included: “...it is not our intention to run a partisan paper. Members of all political faiths are invited to use our columns in the discussion of all public questions provided personalities are not discussed and the articles are for the better understanding of public questions.”
A letter from a well known newspaper man in the state appeared in the Sept. 11, 1919 issue of The American and Leader. The letter was from Anderson A. Webb, who said that the Cleveland American, growing paper that it was, would help put Cleveland on the map.
In the next issue, Sept. 18, 1919, the nameplate on the front page read, “The Cleveland American, (Successor to the Cleveland Leader).” Thus, the name had been fully changed to the American, as it is today, 100 years later.
At that time, the American ran small advertisements on page one, but not as many as had been the policy of the Leader and Enterprise.
An article in another early issue commented on the fact that the citizens of Cleveland had hopes of the population reaching 4,000 in the near future.
The American, like any paper in a small town which has possibilities of becoming an oil center, became very interested in the production of oil wells in the area. Jumping ahead to 1920, an April edition of the paper carried a story with this headline: “Oil Excitement Runs High; Cleveland Likely to Eclipse Famous Texas Field / Many New Locations Soon.”
Another “first” for the American was the appearance of an editorial cartoon in the paper on July 15, 2020. The cartoon was by the now-famous comic strip artist, Chester Gould. Gould is known for his fearless detective character, Dick Tracy.
Our trip down memory lane continues next week.