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Will G. Gilstrap

The editor of the Eugene Register is not only one of the most commanding figures in western journalism, but also one of the most cosmopolitan of men. Since 1892 he has conducted in all its details the most prosperous, and in many respects the most substantial and enterprising newspaper in Lane county, never for an instant losing control of its policy, always the initiator, always the leader. As is well known, his paper is the mouthpiece of the Republican party in this section, and the proprietor has a genius for politics. A brilliant and forceful writer, he has humor, business sagacity, a penetrating style as a paragrapher, untiring energy and amazing enterprise and keenness in the collection of news. As an exponent of moderate, conservative, and well balanced journalism, and of the  courtesy which more than aught else indicates an adherence to the worldwide mission of the
press, the Eugene Register is deserving of the respect and attention which it commands even among its opponents.

That Mr. Gilstrap spent many years of his life on a farm has certainly been in his favor, and is undoubtedly responsible for the nearness to nature so apparent in his sympathies. He was born on his father’s farm near Pleasanton, Kans., November 4, 1865, and the drudgery of the harvest field was varied by attendance at the district school. In 1882 he was graduated from the Pleasanton high school, and during 1883-84 attended the Fort Scott Normal College, where terminated his preliminary search for knowledge. His first business experience was acquired as a clerk in a large lumber concern, a position which he relinquished upon removing to Colfax, Wash., in 1888. In the spring of 1889 he moved to Oakesdale, Wash., and established the Oakesdale Sun, in 1890 increasing his responsibility by starting the Alliance Advocate, which was later disposed of to the Farmer’s
Alliance, and used by the latter organization as its official organ. Mr. Gilstrap came to Oregon in 1892, soon afterward succeeding to the editorship of the Eugene Register, a daily and weekly publication, easily ranking as one of the leading Republican newspapers in the state. A feature of the paper is that it is connected with the largest job printing plant in Lane county.

In Oakesdale, Wash., Mr. Gilstrap was married, October 16, 1891, to Lillian May Finch, who was born in Umatilla county, Ore., a daughter of S.E. Finch. Two children have been born of this union, Cosby Lucile, aged eleven, and Louis Frederick, aged two years. Mr. Gilstrap is a member and trustee of the Eugene Commercial Club, and is fraternally connected with the Maccabees, and the Woodmen of the World. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

source - "Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley", pages 1325-1326

This page last updated: May 4, 2003

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