What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “The little white house on the corner of 4th Avenue and Pine Street has been transformed from a War Metal Exchange into the Children’s Orthopedic Bureau,” and, “Mrs. Theodore Haller…has been playing a leading role in a movie filmed recently in Los Angeles.” In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

The proud visage of Clark Nettleton graced the cover of the March 29, 1919 edition of the Town Crier. “Once upon a time our morning daily was the leading newspaper of the State of Washington,” the caption read. “That was in the days when real newspaper men, trained and skilled in the profession and business of journalism, were at the head of it.” The Crier was pleased that Nettleton was to be at the head of it. “Once again the P,-I. is a real newspaper because once again a real newspaper man is in charge of its destinies.”

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer ceased print publication in 2009 but continues online. The globe that sits atop the old P-I building is something of an icon. The newspaper has a storied history. The Post-Intelligencer was formed in 1881 through a merger of the Seattle Post and the Weekly Intelligencer. The Weekly Intelligencer was a successor of the Seattle Gazette, the city’s first newspaper, established in 1863. There were many iterations and owners in the early days of Seattle’s burgeoning journalism scene. The Seattle Post was backed by John Leary, a prominent Seattle lawyer, but was deeply in debt. With the Post and Weekly Intelligencer merging, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer came to be. Their first issue was on October 1, 1881.

It went through many iterations and owners through the years, including William Randolph Hearst, and was a rival to the Seattle Times throughout.  In 1983, financially struggling, the P-I entered a joint operating agreement with the Times. The publication continued to falter and ceased publication on March 17, 2009.

As for the man of destiny? Nettleton was the publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer until April 1921. His mansion still stands in Kirkland.

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