Category Archives: The Democratic Times #2

The Democratic Times #2

October 20, , 2020

A reader responded to last week’s history trivia about the Democratic Times building at the corner of C and North 3rd streets, noting that anyone who thinks political opinion is too radical in 2020 needs to look back to the election of 1876 and the Times’ coverage.  So, for this week, Historic Jacksonville, Inc. thought we would follow that train of thought and expand on Jacksonville’s Democratic Times. The paper was established by Charles Nickell, a boy genius, who became sole owner at the age of 17.  It was a solid success from as early as 1869 right down to the 20th Century.  Aside from Portland papers, it had the largest newspaper circulation in Oregon.  Nickell’s editorial policy embraced the Democratic party and championed its leaders.  [This was before the Republican and Democratic parties switched policy positions and the Democratic party, which had been pro-Confederacy, continued in that vein, promoting states’ rights and opposing civil rights for African Americans.]  No one could accuse Charles Nickell of being objective. Today he would be sued out of business before nightfall, but at that time, readers apparently appreciated an editor who told them how to think.  Nickell seems to have enjoyed the tacit dispensation to do just that.  He was a distinguished and influential citizen until the turn of the century when he unfortunately brought about his own downfall by entering into some shady deals that were beyond the limits of the law.  But that’s another story….