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Clare Bartlett Irvine
CLARE BARTLETT IRVINE, 3rd and last child of James Clarke Irvine and Ann Keturah Johnson, was born in Oregon, Mo., 24th Sept., 1865. His education was in local grade and high school and quite naturally his father’s writing proclivities turned his interests in the same direction. He is known to have arrived in Salem, Oregon, in the late 1880’s as a reporter then city owner. On 8th Sept., 1891 he was married to Edesse Plamondon, a long time resident of Salem of French descent, who bore him a son and daughter. Clare died 10:35 A.M. 28th Dec., 1928. The obituary and editorial comment to follow recount all that is known of his activities.
"CLAIRE B. IRVINE IS DEAD"
"Former Outlook Editor, and Resident here 25 Years. Prominent Bay District Resident for Long Time Succumbs at Culver City, at age 62.
Claire B. Irvine, a former editor of the Evening Outlook and also of the Ocean Park Journal, which has long since suspended publication, died yesterday a his home, 7017 Watseka Ave., Culver City, after more than 26 years of residence in the Bay District, during all of which time he was engaged in newspaper work. At the time of his death he was on the staff of the Los Angeles Examiner.
Mr. Irvine was 62 years old. Before coming to the Beach District he was owner and publisher of a daily paper at Salem, Oregon, the capitol of the State, and represented the Portland Oregonian to the Legislature.
For years after coming to Santa Monica Mr. Irvine was correspondent of the Los Angels times for the entire Bay district, and did much special work on their New Year’s edition. While still with the Times as correspondent he founded the Venice Vanguard as a weekly paper, but within a year sold it to the late Judge William Tennie, who afterward converted it into a daily.
In 1916, Mr. Irvine was at the editorial helm of the Outlook, but served the connection when the paper was sold to Dr. Lewis Thurbur guild. He continued his work with the Times and also the writing of trade and agricultural papers, at which we he was remarkable gifted and prolific.
MOVED TO CULVER
After serving his connection with all Beach papers, Mr. Irvine sold his Santa Monica property about 10 years ago, and moved to Culver City. He continued service with the Los Angeles Times and the writing of feature articles, and also edited the Palms Press, a weekly.
In recent years had represented the Los Angeles Examiner in the San Fernando Valey, but continued to make his home in Culver City.
His widow, Mrs. Edesse Irvine, and two children are left.
The daughter, Mrs. Myra C. Guardia, lived with her parents in Culver City, and a son, Clarke Irvine, well known in moving picture articles, is now in the Orient showing a picture, "The Birth of a Flower". Two brothers also survive Leigh H. Irvine and Louis C. Irvine. The former was one time editor of the Post Intelligencer of Seattle, Wash., and has been engaged in newspaper work in Pacific Coast States for many years.
The body is at the Todd and Leslie establishment in Santa Monica, and funeral announcement will be made later."
* * *
"Claire B. Irvine came to Southern California 25 years ago from Salem, Oregon, where he was printer and publisher of the daily paper of that place, and was reporter for the Oregonian Post at the State Legislature. Became news writer on the Los Angeles Times - later founded the Santa Monica Outlook and the Venice Vanguard. Won national fame for his promotional activities in bringing the national auto races to California, including the Vanderbilt Cup Races.
"About 1923 came to Lankershim (North Hollywood), representing Los Angeles papers, and made a study of the history of the valley, and which have transformed it from a desert to wheat fields, and the now thickly settled section which is the bright spot of the Los Angeles area. Much of the outside publicity of this section came from his pen, and for the past 2 years he has had in preparation in history of the valley which would dissipate many of the myths surrounding its development, supplanting them with authenticated facts to its early stirring events and its settlement.
"Three years ago, in addition to his outside correspondence and publicity work, he became a reporter on the Lankershim Press, under the management of the present writer, and for the last year before his death was news writer on the Sun. During these years we became intimately acquainted with his writings, and found min a well informed man, intelligently fair in his writings, faithful and untiring in his services. He loved the valley, and hoped to make North Hollywood his permanent-abiding place. Many years ago he had established his home in the heart of Culver City, and it had become valuable.
"A week ago Saturday he paid his last visit here, going home with a severe cold, which turned into pneumonia, and death took him in the short period of six days, at the age of 62. A desperate effort to save his life with special ray light was made, but to no avail.
"Funeral services were held from the Todd and Leslie Memorial Chapel in Santa Monica, and remains interred in Santa Monica Cemetery. Rev. W.C. Kernan officiating."
(Over 40 completed articles for his proposed ‘San Fernando Valley History’ were ready for printing at the time of his death.)
And now the views of a competitor editorial writer -
VAN NUYS TRIBUNE
Editorial Comment by Frank P. Clarkson
"In the sudden death last Friday of Claire B. Irvine, veteran news writer, the newspaper world of Southern California lost a $10,000 a year man. Mr. Irvine was not that salary, but that’s not saying he was not worth it. The editor of the Tribune has been rattling ‘round in the newspaper game for a great many years more than we care to remember, and Irvine was one of the best we ever knew, but he had long since passed the half century mark, and the editorial executive ‘yes men’ on the metropolitan papers could not ‘yes’ him. A former Van Nuys man now working on the herald says they have 50 reporters, and their newsroom is like "working in a madhouse". Lord knows what they do with 50 reporters.
"If you couldn’t take a dozen men like Irvine and get out a real newspaper - instead of a rehash of the late morning publications - and put some life and individuality into the sheet - we would take a red rattler down to the long wharf at San Pedro and hop into the Bay.
"Irvine was a newsman of the old school, thoroughly trained in the fundamentals, and thoroughly matured by experience. He had the cool assurance and pose of a newspaperman as were trained by Mellville E. Stone of the old Associated Press, by Joe Medill of the Chicago Tribune, and Senator Rosewater of the Omaha Bee, by McCullough of the old St. Louis-Globe-Democrat, and by Nelson of the Kansas City Star. No man ever kidded those men out of a job. A "yes man" would not have lasted half a day with them. You had to have the goods, and if you could produce - it didn’t matter how old you were.
"The only valley news feature ever published by a Los Angeles paper that was worthy the name was the page formerly carried by the Examiner. Irvine wrote that page, and it was a real one - but one of Hearst’s "yes men" turned it down because he thought Irvine was getting a bit old.
"For years he had gathered data on the early day history of this valley, an dreamed of the day of putting it into book form. He felt such a history would not pay expenses, but he wished to write it as his contribution to posterity. Had he lived, and written it, it would have been a real book - one that would have lived for all time.
"Claire Irvine was a man who could write a story about the burning of a Ford garage, or handle a holocaust like San Francisco. The old boy had the goods, and we rejoice that we personally told him so on more than one occasion. He is gone now, and all the good word they say and all the flowers they send will not do him any good. He was one of those men who never seemed to be in a hurry, but nevertheless he got over a lot of ground in a day. You never saw him taking notes but he was eternally on the job - always turning in a fine batch of copy - and always doing his share and more to make the paper readable. Irvine had a pleasing style, and the happy faculty of making his news stories something more than the stereotyped statement of fact. He would have made a great editorial executive, but the big boys either did not see him or else they thought he was too old."
(The news items uniformly spelled ‘Claire’ - my usage of the ‘Clare’ spelling is copied from Grandfather James Clarke Irvine’s "Pictorial Family Register".)
Issue of above and Edesse Plamondon :-