Owen Cooper (b. 1916)

We maintained the individuality of the towns and the newspapers
  • Jane Wehrey
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)


Newspaperman Owen Cooper recalls more than fifty years in the Owens Valley publishing business in this 1991 conversation with Richard Potashin at Cooper’s home in Bishop. At Bishop-based Chalfant Press, publishers of newspapers, books, and magazines in the Eastern Sierra for over one hundred years, Owen Cooper managed book production, oversaw printing of the Chalfant Press papers, and was co-publisher between 1942 and 1982. Advancements in technology transformed the publishing business, he recalls, and went hand-in-hand with the social, cultural, and economic changes he also saw taking place after the 1930s in the small Owens Valley towns. There and across rural America, a rich local life and deep attachments to place and community were giving way to the more impersonal and fragmented connections of an urbanized society-at-large.


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  1. 1.
    Robert V. Hine, Community on the American Frontier: Separate But Not Alone (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980), 21.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1977), 145.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    atricia Nelson Limerick, “Making the Most of Words: Verbal Activity and Western America,” in Under An Open Sky: Rethinking Americas Western Past, William Cronon, George Miles, and Jay Gitlin, eds. (New York: WW Norton and Company, 1992), 178.Google Scholar

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© Jane Wehrey 2006

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  • Jane Wehrey

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