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Manito Park History Blog

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MANITO PARK - History Blog

Francis H. Cook, the Father of Manito Park –Part 2 

According to the book, “Manito Park: A Reflection of Spokane’s Past”:

Francis Cook was born in 1851 in Marietta, Ohio where he learned the printing trade and purchased his first newspaper at the age of 16. With only $15 in his pocket, he set out for the Pacific Northwest when he was 19 years old. Upon his arrival, he was employed by the Olympia “Puget Sound Courier”. He later bought the “Olympia Echo”, which he operated for three years before starting the first newspaper in Tacoma, the “Tacoma Herald”.

During his time in Western Washington, Cook became familiar with the beauty and potential of Eastern Washington. In 1878 he moved to Spokane Falls and started the “Spokan Times” Spokane’s first newspaper. The first issue was dated May 8, 1879. When Cook arrived in Spokane, there were differing opinions about the spelling of Spokane. Sometimes the final “e” was used, and sometimes it was not. Cook chose the latter as being more phonetically accurate. He believed people would give the “a” the long sound with the “e” placed at the end. As cook predicted, Spokane is still often pronounced “Spokayne” by outsiders.


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