Former Colfax Messenger owner, editor and publisher Lyle Christianson dies at 82

Lyle and Inez Christianson
Lyle and Inez Christianson working on the Colfax Messenger. (Photo via Colfax Messenger)

Lyle Christianson, former owner, editor and publisher of the Colfax Messenger for nearly 30 years, died Sept. 4 at age 82 of prostate cancer.

Christianson and his wife Inez owned and operated the Messenger from 1968 to 1995.

A lifelong Colfax resident, Christianson began working at the Messenger before graduating high school in 1953. The owners at that time, Ken and Helen Reed, would later sell the newspaper to the Christiansons.

After selling the Messenger, Christianson continued to do commercial printing for the paper. He made posters, envelopes, letterhead, business cards and school calendars using offset presses and ink.

Lyle Christianson
Lyle Christianson sits at the Intertype machine. (Photo via Colfax Messenger)

Christianson was a “staunch supporter” of his hometown, and was known to write editorials chastising residents for not “shopping local.” He also was a strong advocate of open meeting laws and would write in favor of them.

In 1981, the Messenger won a first-place award for community service in the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. Thanks in part to Christianson’s efforts, the newspaper raised $12,500 to help build a new cattle barn at the local fairground. The initial goal was $1,000.

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