The Tustin News celebrating 87 years

by Juanita Lovret
Reprinted courtesy of the Tustin News

Bill Moses (right) who published The Tustin News for almost 40 years, is shown with his son, William A. Moses III, and his father, William Chauncey Moses

Amazingly, The Tustin News which celebrates its 87th year of publication this month (Nov. 2009), was preceded by four other weekly publications, none of which lasted longer than one issue.

Dates are foggy, but there’s evidence, according to author-historian Jim Sleeper, that a paper called The Telegraph printed its premiere and only issue before 1900. Another publication, titled Tustin Sentinel, made a brief appearance shortly after that. Then there was a lull until the Enterprise appeared in 1911, followed by William Perry’s Tustin News in 1914.

Eight years later in November 1922, a tramp printer from Beaver City, Utah, Timothy Brownhill, printed the first edition of The Tustin News using equipment he had shipped from Utah. Brownhill operated a job print shop in downtown Tustin in conjunction with publishing a weekly paper which stressed local events. Warmly welcomed by Santa Ana’s Daily Register, the new publisher praised Tustin’s residents and businessmen for their support, but, despite his supposedly glowing success, he soon sold out to Rev. John Winterbourne and his sons Frank and Dale.They transferred their interest to F.H. Fowler in 1925 and he continued as publisher for 10 years.

Clyde and Gretchen Simmons, the next owners, also kept the paper for 10 years. But from 1945 until 1956, when William A. Moses II and his wife, Lucille, bought the publication, The Tustin News had five different owners.

Moses, a Stanford graduate, was an experienced newspaper man with service as a war correspondent, a reporter on the Bakersfield Californian and a religion editor at the Los Angeles Times. He always claimed that he bought The Tustin News as well as a home in the Tustin area because he wanted to be able to go home for lunch, but it soon became apparent that both he and his wife wanted to become an essential part of a small community.

Moses devoted almost 40 years of effort to projects bettering Tustin, helping to form a Chamber of Commerce, assisting Gerry Beck in establishing the Tustin Area Woman’s Club, helping to gain an off ramp from the 5 Freeway at Newport Avenue, and the victorious vote for sewer bonds on the third try.

He was the spark behind the first Tiller Days celebration and was 1958 Tustin Area Man of the Year. Lucille raised a son, William A. Moses III, better known as Scooper, and a daughter, Penny, in addition to writing poetry and a column for the Tustin News. She was active in the Tustin Area Woman’s Club, Jack and Jill Guild and Assistance League of Tustin as well as other organizations.

Moses sold The Tustin News to The Orange County Register in 1995. Both he and Lucille have passed on, but their son is a Tustin businessman.


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