Courier’s lengthy legacy

Written by Baker City Herald Editorial Board December 16, 2013 07:48 am

The Record-Courier weekly newspaper has been a fixture in Baker County for more than a century.

And we’re pleased that the newspaper, which was started in 1901, will remain one.

But certainly things have changed.

For the first time in more than 80 years the Courier’s masthead doesn’t include the name “Brinton.”

The publication epitomizes the notion of a family newspaper.

Charles Brinton began the legacy, buying the Haines Record and the North Powder News in 1928.

Charles’ son, Byron, served as the Courier’s editor for a span that seems difficult to believe — 65 years, from 1934 until 1999. Byron, known to locals as “By,” also served as publisher from 1959 until 2004.

By and his wife, Roberta, had five children, and two of their three sons, Ross and Byron Dorsey — the latter better known as RonD — followed in By’s journalistic footsteps. Ross served as co-editor with his dad in the 1970s and ’80s. RonD took over as the Courier’s editor in 1999 and as its publisher in 2004.

By died on March 22, 2005, and Ron D. died barely a year later, on May 7, 2006.

RonD’s brother, Greg, took over.

Recently the Brintons sold the Courier to Lynn and Gina Perkins.

Several members of the Brinton family signed a poignant farewell column that’s available on the Courier’s website, www.therconline.com.

We understand why this transition is so emotional for the family. The Brintons’ Baker County roots lie deep not only in the traditional sense, but also in the unique sense of a family whose business was to chronicle the lives of their friends and neighbors.

And though we acknowledge our bias in the matter, we happen to think that’s a pretty important business.