Our principal aim shall be to make THE POST a successful local paper — a journal that will record matters of interest as they transpire from day to day and week to week in the community which affords its support, to make it a mirror of local events, and its pages a succinct and truthful history of the people who appear upon the stage of action.
— Amos J. Dickson, editor and proprietor, the Glenwood Post and Weekly Ledger Newspaper, Jan. 1, 1898
The changes to the Glenwood Post and Weekly Ledger Newspaper on Jan. 1, 1898, were imperceptible to the human eye. There was a slight change in layout, and perhaps a change in font. But the biggest change appeared in the editorial section, where, the name A.J. Dickson, editor and proprietor, replaced that of C.L. Bennett, which had appeared just a week before. For the community-minded Dickson, this was more than an ownership change. Dickson envisioned providing better service to the community with an eye toward recording the news of the week, providing information to his readership, and preserving the events of the past for reference in the future.
Prior to purchasing the Glenwood Post, the new editor and owner, Amos Jackson Dickson had resided for nearly a decade in the Roaring Fork Valley. Born in Illinois on May 6, 1861, he and his parents moved to Kansas where he grew up on a farm. He attended the University of Kansas and was a school teacher. When he came to Glenwood Springs, he sold real estate and brokered loans. Civically, he was a Grand Master of the International Organization of Odd Fellows. Religiously, he was a member of the Methodist Church. Politically, he aligned himself with Silver Republicans.
On Dec. 27, 1897, for the sum of $1,300, Dickson received all of the equipment, type, furniture, fixtures and patronage connected with the publication of the Glenwood Post located at 201 Eighth St. in Glenwood Springs. Dickson’s goals for the Glenwood Post were simple: to be a strong community newspaper and the best ever in Garfield County; to not allow partisan politics to influence reporting or his editorials; and to make the welfare of the people paramount to political objectives.
From the first edition of the newspaper under Dickson’s charge, it was evident he strove to live up to his goals. That first four-page edition recapped the Christmas events of 1897, carried advertisements for Glenwood Springs businesses, advertised unclaimed letters at the post office, dedicated space to national and international news, printed neighborhood columns for Eagle and Four Mile, and contained a concerned article regarding the well-being of a demented woman determined to make her way to the top of Lookout Mountain above Glenwood Springs. Subscriptions to his weekly newspaper were $1.50 per year, 75 cents for six months, and 5 cents for a single copy.
Within the first month, Dickson not only reported upon current events, but enlisted community founders to document the community’s past with a column titled “Pioneers I Remember.” Then, for the next three decades The Glenwood Post chronicled a changing world. Economic depressions, wars, mining strikes, the decline of railroads, the rise of the automobile, the building of roads and politics shared space with births, marriages, anniversaries, deaths and community news of interest. The actions of the honorable and of those less honorable equally made notice in The Glenwood Post.
As Dickson approached 70 years of age in 1931, he decided the future of the Glenwood Post should be passed to another editor and owner. He retired to his home at 1027 Blake Ave., and on March 22, 1942, passed away.
In his last will and testament Dickson left his typewriter to his daughter, Geraldine. He also willed to her his bound editions of the Glenwood Post from 1898 to 1931 “in the making and publishing of which I have poured out the best part of my life, the ambitions and enthusiasms of young manhood and middle age, and the more sage, considerate and conservative thought and effort of later years, and commend to her a careful and charitable perusal and study of the pages of these volumes, as they represent my earnest thought and endeavor to accomplish some good in the circumscribed field in which I have wrought, praying that she may forgive and overlook the radical and indiscreet utterance of an intense and impetuous nature, and give heed to and be governed and influenced by the more rational and conservative expressions of my real self.”
Amos Dickson’s editions of the Glenwood Post have been microfilmed by the Colorado Historical Society, with microfilmed copies available for “charitable study and perusal” at the Frontier Historical Society and Museum in Glenwood Springs.
Willa Kane is former archivist of and a current volunteer with the Frontier Historical Society and Museum. “Frontier Diary,” which appears the first Tuesday of every month, is provided to the Post Independent by the museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Fall, winter and spring hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 945-4448.