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On this day in 1900, the Morning Call, which had been founded as the Vidette in August of 1892, ceased publication. Owners of the Union purchased the printing plant and name for about $2,500.

The Vidette was founded in 1892 by Daniel O’Connell McCarthy and his son J. Harvey McCarthy. Its motto was: “Thrice armed was he whose cause was just.”

According to Jerry MacMullen, a longtime San Diego journalist, author, historian and artist, the Vidette advertised itself as the “labor champion of the Golden West — an independent reform newspaper.” In his History of San Diego, William E. Smythe described the Vidette as, “a live and vigilant paper, independent and fearless, which attacked wrong and corruption wherever found.”

After McCarthy left the paper, a number of different owners tried to keep the enterprise alive until its final owner, Abraham Sauer closed up shop.

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Here’s how The San Diego Union and Evening Tribune briefly marked the passing on a onetime rival.

From The San Diego Union, Friday, March 9, 1900:

AFTER SEVEN YEARS.

Close Yesterday of the Career of the Vidette-Call.

Inside page of The San Diego Union, March 9, 1900.

Inside page of The San Diego Union, March 9, 1900.

(The San Diego Union)

After seven years of a somewhat precarious existence, the morning Vidette, recently rechristened the Call, has ceased publication. The plant and good will have been sold, and it likely that the printing portion of the outfit will be moved out of the city.

The vidette was established several years ago by D.O. and J.H. McCarthy. Some time ago it was sold to A.R. Sauer, and with the sale went the precariousness before referred to. Six weeks ago the proprietor came to the conclusion that there was something in a name and that he would get rid of the one he had. He did so, and when the Vidette went out of existence, the Call was born, and it was the paper of the newest name that ceased publication yesterday.

From the Evening Tribune, Friday, March 9, 1900:

LIFE’S FITFUL FEVER

Ends With the Vidette-Call and the Plant is Turned Over to Its Owners

The paper better known as the San Diego Vidette, and more recently as the Morning Call, which under various owners and lessees, has had a precarious existence for the past seven years, finally succumbed to the inevitable yesterday, as the fight to confiscate the city water company had passed by for this year, and the owners of the property concluded to stop its rather expensive existence, the principal object of which was no more.

As “one good turn deserves another,” and nothing in the life of the paper so became the sheet as its decease, there is no occasion for extended comment upon its not very credible career. The paper, however, with its three or four hundred subscribers, had no influence with the public and its demise was merely a question as to when the parties behind it would tire of furnishing funds for its support.

The plant was turned over to the owners yesterday by the lessee, and is being placed in the office of the morning paper.

Source: This post first appeared on sandiegouniontribune.com

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