Walter Nelson Interview, 1975


Walter Nelson


John Newhouse



Download Audio Interview (89.3 MB)

Download Transcript of Walter Nelson interview (355 KB)


Walter Nelson describes the transition in ownership of Montana newspapers from the Anaconda Copper Mining Company [ACM] to Lee Newspapers, located in Davenport, Iowa. He describes the job dissatisfaction among many of the reporters under ACM, and how they rarely saw their editor-in-chief or the publisher. He notes that things changed rapidly when Lee took over the papers, and Don Anderson came to oversee the transition. Nelson quotes extensively from a book written by his nephew about the history of newspapers in Montana and also mentions a book about Montana history written by K. Ross Toole. He notes that it was difficult for reporters to write anything critical of ACM when it owned the papers, and he also discusses the editorial policy of the Butte Standard. Nelson describes the fighting among various Montana newspapers during the war of the copper kings. He describes reporting under ACM was “journalism by omission,” noting that Lee Newspapers was much more involved in the day-to-day management of each paper.


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Document Type

Oral History


Lee Enterprises; Metcalf, Lee; Anaconda Copper Mining Company [ACM]; Newspapers, Montana; Newspaper reporters; Newspaper editors; Butte, Montana; Butte, Montana, newspapers; Missoulian; Anaconda Standard; Montana Standard; Montana Standard Post

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Lee Newspapers in Montana Oral History Project, OH 465, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections at the University of Montana, Mansfield Library.

Oral History Number

OH 465-017

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassettes (60 min. each): analog + 1 transcript (29 pp.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:10:28 minutes

Local Filename

OH_465_017.mp3; OH_465_017.pdf

Walter Nelson Interview, 1975