Alden J. Blethen

Alden J. Blethen (December 27, 1845 – July 12, 1915) was a teacher and attorney, who was editor-in-chief of the Seattle Daily Times from August 10, 1896[1] until his death. He written referred to as Colonel Blethen.[2]

Alden J. Blethen
Alden J. Blethen - 1900.jpg
Photo Portrait of Blethen taken in 1900
Born(1845-12-27)December 27, 1845
DiedJuly 12, 1915(1915-07-12) (aged 69)
Seattle, Washington, US
Known forEditor in chief and co-owner of the Seattle Daily Times, 1896-1915

Born in Knox County, Maine,[3] Blethen first became a schoolteacher, then a lawyer. At age 34 he moved his family to Kansas City, Missouri and purchased part interest in the Kansas City Journal, becoming one of the incorporators of the Kansas City Club.[4]

In 1884 after little success in Kansas, he moved to Minneapolis and became part owner of the Minneapolis Tribune. For the next 12 years, he operated the paper successfully and began to be called "Colonel," an appellation he preferred for the rest of his life.

In 1896 with others, he purchased the Seattle Daily Times, a four-page daily newspaper with a readership of around 4,000,[5] and succeeded in turning it into a large newspaper, attaining much power and prestige in the Seattle community.

After his death in Seattle, the newspaper stayed in the family: Alden J. Blethen Jr. (1896–1915); Clarance Brettun Blethen (1915–1941); William Kingsley Blethen (1949–1967); John Alden "Jack" Blethen (1967–1982);[6] Frank A. Blethen (1945–present). Clarance sold 49.5% of the company's voting shares to Knight-Ridder.[7]



Boswell, Sharon; Lorraine McConaghy (1994). Raise Hell and Sell Newspapers: Alden J. Blethen and the Seattle Times. Pullman: Washington State University Press. ISBN 0-87422-126-9.

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