The Independent is a locally owned and operated weekly newspaper located in Chewelah, Washington. Founded by William Hunter Brownlow (1860-1946), The Independent has been a continuous publication since its first issue came off the press on June 19, 1903. With the help of his four sons—Truman, Ralph, Arthur, and Alex—Brownlow produced a weekly eight-page newspaper.
Half of the pages were ready print, meaning that they were printed elsewhere and shipped to Chewelah by stagecoach or train. These pages contained the most recent national and world news available.
The other four pages of The Independent containing the local news were written, edited, type-set, and printed by the Brownlows at their office in Chewelah. This general layout would be the format of the newspaper for decades to come.
In his initial issue, Brownlow called Chewelah “the future Butte of Washington”, saying that the newly incorporated town was “surrounded by mountains rich in mineral wealth, gold, silver, copper, iron, and marble of every known grain and color”.
Brownlow himself became involved in the local mining industry as president of the Chewelah Mining and Smelting Company. As such, he wrote several articles for east coast newspapers and magazines promoting the mining industry in this area and recruiting capital investors.
The June 26, 1903, issue of The Independent announced the arrival of J. P. Morgan from New York, who was staying at the Pomeroy Hotel.
Brownlow was also one of the five initial investors in the construction of the Yale Hotel. Furthermore, he served as mayor of Chewelah from 1906-1910.