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Ventura County










Considered one of the most attractive cities of Southern California because of its beautiful modern homes, fine schools and public buildings, and its location in the Santa Clara Valley of the south between two mountain ranges, Santa Paula is also in the center of one of the wealthiest agricultural sections of the southland. Oil fields in adjacent foothills also add to its material wealth.

One of the factors leading to its development has been a progressive newspaper, published since 1888. The Santa Paula Chronicle established and operated as a weekly until October, 1923, when it was changed to a daily publication, is known as one of the leading daily newspapers of Southern California. It is now published every evening except Sunday from its own plant at 113 North Mill Street, affording the people of the Santa Clara Valley daily news service on a par with that of larger cities, carrier delivery being maintained from Saticoy on the west to Piru on the east.

Leo A. Smith has been publisher of the Chronicle since 1924, when he first leased the plant from H. McPhee & Company, owners, and then purchased it in 1926. He incorporated the newspaper property under the name of the Santa Paula Chronicle Publishing Company, Inc., Ltd., in 1930, and is now president of the corporation, and publisher. Both a daily and weekly edition of the Chronicle is published.

Like many other publishers in California, Mr. Smith came to the state from the east. He had been on the staff of the Lynn Item at Lynn, Massachusetts, and the Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts. Locating in San Francisco in 1910 he was with the San Francisco Chronicle for several years, being in charge of the Berkeley editorial office of that newspaper during the time he attended the University of California. In 1914 he went to Marysville, where he edited the Marysville Appeal, which consolidated some years ago with the Marysville Democrat, now being known as the Appeal-Democrat.

It was in 1921 that Mr. Smith left the Sacramento Valley for Southern California, becoming associated with David J. Reese in the publication of the Ventura Free Press. Failing in an effort to purchase the Free Press at Ventura, Mr. Smith leased the Santa Paula Chronicle and moved to that city.

Mr. Smith is married, his wife being the former Miss Dorothy Gardiner, of Lynn, Massachusetts, member of one of the old New England families. She has been associated with him in the publication of the Chronicle, being vice president of the company. One daughter, Miss Dorothy Gardiner Smith, is a student at Immaculate Heart College, Hollywood.




Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: California of the South Vol. IV, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 51-52, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.

2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.