Seattle's first Swedish newspaper, Westra Posten, is issued about March 8, 1889.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 6/02/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3357
On about March 8, 1889, the first Swedish newspaper issued in Seattle is the Westra Posten (1889-1946). This weekly paper with various names lasted from 1889 to 1946. The newspaper offices are located at 806 Depot Street (later renamed Denny Way). This file contains a list of Swedish newspapers published in Seattle from 1889 to 1976.

The original publisher was the Swedish Publishing Company, incorporated on February 25, 1889. B. A. Anderson was President-Treasurer of the company and editor of the newspaper. Swedish Publishing Company Vice-President was Nils P. Lind and Secretary was T. Sandegren. In 1890, the Swedish Publishing Company apparently sold the Westra Posten to the Scandinavian Publishing Company and moved to the Chilberg block on the east side of Front Street (1st Avenue) near Blanchard Avenue. The firm also published the Norwegian weekly Washington Posten. By 1895, a new publisher took over the paper and boasted that the Westra Posten was the oldest Scandinavian paper in the northwest.

The first major name change came in 1902, when the Westra Posten merged with the Tacoma Tribunen (1890-1902) and on June 27, 1902 was renamed the Western Tribun. A few months later, on December 23, 1903, the paper again changed its name to Pacific Tribune. The Pacific Tribune was issued in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland. The final name change occurred in 1915, when the weekly became Svenska Pacific Tribunen (Swedish Pacific Tribune). On April 4, 1946, the Svenska Posten acquired the Svenska Pacific Tribunen. The publishing offices were always located near downtown Seattle.

The following is a list of Swedish newspapers published in Seattle from 1889 to 1976:

Westra Posten (1889-1946)

Washington Tidende (1889-1890). In 1889 the Erik Thuland published and edited the Swedish newspaper Washington Tidende. It apparently lasted till 1890.

Westra Tribune (1889). In about 1889 another Swedish newspaper was issued in Seattle called Westra Tribune. It sold out to the Westra Posten the same year.

Vaktaren (1902-1915). In 1902 the Swedish weekly Vaktaren (The Watchman) started in Seattle. The Publisher was Vaktaren Publishing Company and editor is E. G. Falk. The newspaper's office was located in the P-I Building. In 1908, the paper was sold to Svea Publishing Company and changed its name to Svenska Pressen (Swedish Pacific Press). It ceased publication in 1915.

Leading Star (1923-1992). In 1923, the Ledstjarnan (Leading Star), a monthly, was published by the Fraternal Order of Runeberg. It continued until 1992.

Svenska Journalen (1926-1936). In 1926 the weekly Svenska Journalen started publishing in Seattle. The Swedish American Publishing Company was the publisher and Harry Fabbe was the editor. In 1930, the newspaper office was located in the Seaboard Building at the northeast corner of 4th Avenue and Pike Street. By 1936, the paper was reduced to a monthly. In about January 1936, the Svenska Journalen (Seattle), Puget Sound Posten, and the Oregon Posten merged to form the Svenska Posten.

Scandinavian American (1938-1958). Apparently in 1938 the Scandinavian-American started publishing in Seattle. E. K. Carlson, publisher, stated that the monthly is "Dedicated to the interests of the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Icelandic population of the Great Northwest."In 1955, it was published at 2228 1st Avenue. In 1958, after a 20-year run, it ceased publishing.

Svenska Posten (1936-1976). On about January 30, 1936, the Swedish newspaper Svenska Posten began publication in Seattle. It published for 40 years, from 1936 to 1976. It formed from the merger of the Svenska Journalen (1926-1936 in Seattle), Puget Sound Posten, and the Oregon Posten. The editor and publisher in 1936 was Einar Carlson. In 1940 it was published at 1632 8th Avenue. In April 1946, the Svenska Posten acquired the Svenska Pacific Tribunen (1889-1946). By 1948, the paper moved to 2228 1st Avenue, where it remained until publication ceased on December 28, 1976.


Sources: Sources for Westra Posten(1889-1946):Polk's Seattle City Directory, 1889 (R. L. Polk and Co., 1889), pp. 77, 237, 422, 448, 553; Polk 1890, p. 94; Polk 1892, p. 814, 998; Polk 1895/1896, p. 21, 53, 727; Marlene Mitchell, "Washington Newspapers: Territorial and State: a Bibliography and Checklist," MA thesis in Communications, 1964, pp. 165-166, 179-180; University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Washington State Union List of Newspapers on Microfilm ed. by Gayle Palmer (Olympia: Washington State Library, 1991), pp.256, 358, 367, 425, 426; Douglas C McMurtrie, Washington Newspapers 1852-1890; A Supplement to Professor Meany's List (Seattle: Washington University Press, 1935), 32; Source for Washington Tidende: Mitchell, 176; Not in Union List; Sources for Westra Tribune: Mitchell, 180; Not in Union List; Sources for Vaktaren: Mitchell, 166, 170; Not in Union List; Polk, 1909, p. 131-133; Sources for Leading Star: Washington State Union List of Newspapers 188; UW Library Catalog; Sources for Svenska Journalen: Mitchell, 165, 166; Washington State Union List of Newspapers p. 358; Polk 1930, p. 2076; Polk 1935, p. 1757; Sources for Scandinavian American: Washington State Union List of Newspapers p. 310; Mitchell, p. 152; UW Catalog; Polk, 1955, p. 2545 Sources for Svenska Posten: Polk's Seattle City Directory, 1940 (R. L. Polk and Co., 1940), 2755; Polk, 1948/49, p. 2133; Polk, 1975, p. 190; Washington State Union List of Newspapers on Microfilm, 358; University of Washington Library Catalog.

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