Over the last few weeks we have learned about the Highland newspaper, from its beginnings as the Citrus Belt by Owner J.M. Martin, to its transformation to the Highland Messenger by Opie Warner and Edward Wall.
We bring a new chapter in the paper's history in 1908, with the sale of the paper to William Eugene Westland.
A Michigan transplant, William Westland was born on Nov. 26, 1883 to Walter C. and Ella L Cosgrove Westland.
W.E. Westland's father, Walter C., came to California, settling in Upland, where he purchased two small newspapers.
Between 1909 and early 1910, William Westland married Susan Elizabeth Brown, originally of Ohio. The couple had three children: Janett M., William E., and Zoe M.
They purchased a home on Main Street, close to his new enterprise, the Highland Messenger.
After the death of the elder Mr. Westland, the business was run by his wife, Ella, and his son, W.E. Westland as E.L. Westland and Son.
In 1910, William Westland bought out his mother's interest in the business and conducted the Upland News for the next 17 years.
Newspaper men seem to have a penchant for running for public offices. True to form, Mr. Westland ran for Public Administrator on the Republican ticket in 1910. He lost to H.D. Blakeslee.
The Westland home on Main Street (lot 8 of Cole's Addition to Highland) was sold Nov. 12, 1914 to Rice S. Clark for the consideration of $1,600.
The Highland Messenger began a series of rapid exchanges beginning May 2, 1912, when Mr. Westland sold the paper to G.A. Clawson. Originally of Oklahoma, Clawson moved with his wife and family from Pomona to Highland.
However, by Aug. 10, 1912, Mr. Clawson sold his interest in the paper to James T. Alderson of Claremont who was "on the job" as of that date.
This announcement was made in the Sun on Dec. 15, 1914: "W. D.V. Hull has purchased the Messenger, a weekly newspaper and has gone to that town [Highland] to take over the management." "He is well known among the newspaper men of Colton, having been employed by the different local publications."
In April, 1916, there was a great fire which destroyed most of the wood frame buildings, among the oldest in Highland, on the east side of Palm Avenue.
Carl Barkow had just purchased the Messenger in March of 1916, and a home on Cole Avenue. It appeared that the business would be destroyed, when volunteers began removing equipment and ultimately the plant was saved. However, much of the stock was lost. This may account for the fact that we have no copies, or very few of the newspaper from this time.
In February 1919, the Messenger moved to a new location (unspecified) in the Linville block (east side of Palm Avenue.)
The Highland Messenger changes hand several more times. We will pick up again in 1921 with F.S. Hoselt.