A. MORTIMER STANLEY
from A History of Mendocino and Lake counties, 1914
Among the prominent and well known publishers of Lake county is the gifted editor of the Middletown Independent, a newspaper of large circulation in southern Lake county and one of a decided influence.
Mr. Stanley, popularly known as "Mort" Stanley, is an original writer, a clear and logical thinker, with a touch of wit and humor, yet kind-hearted and sympathetic, all of which attributes merit the popularity he and his paper enjoy.
The Independent was established by Pentecost & Read twenty-seven years ago and has been published continuously ever since under several different managers. Pentecost & Read were succeeded by J. L. Read, the present postmaster at Middletown, who owned the paper until 1902, when it was taken over by J. D. Kuykendall. He, however, retained it only one year, J. L. Read again assuming proprietorship and continuing until 1905. During this time it was edited by his son, W. E. Read, and it was issued by them until 1906.
The next proprietor was A. O. Stanley of Fair Oaks, Cal. His son, A. Mortimer Stanley, became editor and publisher, taking a half
interest and leasing the other half from his father, and about January 1, 1915, he expects to take over the entire Independent newspaper and job printing plant.
This plant has for its equipment two job presses, one lever press, two hundred fifty fonts of type, two stones, cases, paper cutter, typewriter, etc. In policy the Independent has embraced the idea
of county ownership of Clear lake and is now strenuously advo-
cating that the lake with its power and irrigation projects become the property of Lake county, thus saving to the people the most valuable asset of the community.
A. Mortimer Stanley was born at Lower Lake, Cal., September 23, 1888, in a camp wagon. His mother in her girlhood days was Miss Cora C. Anderson, a native of Texas, who came to Lake county with her parents at the age of ten. She was the mother of seven children, three of whom are still living: Julietta, now wife of W. D. Hays, a ranchman, living north of Middletown ; John Edwin, a rancher in Big Canyon, and Alfred Mortimer. When Mr. Stanley was six months old the family moved to Modoc county, where he lived the first ten years of his life. Then they moved back to Lake county. He was always a precocious child and began writing for newspapers at the early age of eleven.
Two years later he felt the lure of the outside world and left home to commence work as "devil" for the Surprise Valley Record in Modoc county. Here he advanced rapidly. Within a year he was setting type and at the age of seventeen was editor of the Middletown Independent under the direction of his father. The Stanley family consists largely of newspaper men and writers. A. O. Stanley, the father, contributed to weekly newspapers, and a sister, Melmoth, who died at the early age of seventeen, was a poet of some little promise.
Mr. Stanley was married at Lakeport to Miss Frances Waterbury, a native daughter of Middletown, and a granddaughter of A. S. Armstrong, Middletown's oldest white settler. To them has been born a daughter, Melmoth, now four years of age.
Before the Times Star