About The Index

It’s hard to believe, but the Tacoma Daily Index’s history dates back almost as far as Tacoma itself.

Tacoma Daily Index in its first incarnation as the Daily Mortgage and Lien Record in Tacoma's California Building, circa 1890.

The Tacoma Daily Index's roots date back to May 1, 1890, when the first edition of the Daily Mortgage and Lien Record was published out of the California Building (pictured) in downtown Tacoma. The newspaper's neighbors included Merrick Brothers clothing and shoe store; St. John's Pharmacy; I.J. Sharick jewelers; Fidelity Rent & Collection Company; and even a photographer and "crayon artist" named Arthur French.

In 1875, when the city was incorporated, saw mills buzzed along the shores of Commencement Bay, and heavy locomotives rumbled into town after cross-country hauls, loading and unloading passengers and cargo in the “City of Destiny” — a title bestowed on Tacoma after the Northern Pacific Railroad picked the city as its western terminus.

Fifteen years later, on May 1, 1890, Tacomans picked up the first edition of the Daily Mortgage and Lien Record. The single sheet newspaper was published out of the California Building in downtown Tacoma, whose tenants included Merrick Brothers clothing and shoe store; St. John’s Pharmacy; I.J. Sharick jewelers; Fidelity Rent & Collection Company; and even a photographer and “crayon artist” named Arthur French.

Over the years, the name of our small legal newspaper changed — to the Daily Court and Commercial Index before, finally, settling permanently on the Tacoma Daily Index. It also passed through the hands of a small number of owners. Victor J. Hedberg and his business partner, J. D. Ogden, bought the paper in 1931 when then-owner H. H. Johnson, who owned the paper for 17 years, passed away. Before that, R. B. Whitaker, the paper’s original publisher, owned the Index for 24 years. But no one owned the paper longer than Marshall B. Skidmore, who led the publication for 37 years before selling it to Sound Publishing and retiring in 1997.

Throughout those changes, the Tacoma Daily Index’s mission has remained the same: to be a major source of information for Tacoma and Pierce County residents, attorneys, and business leaders looking to keep up on matters related to legal notices, new business announcements, property sales, calls for bids, permits, and other court information.

It’s a role this newspaper takes seriously.

Publishing legal notices in a newspaper of record ensures that decisions related to public debt, ordinances and laws, zoning, taxation and quality of life are made with transparency. Legal notices empower the public to get involved in the process and contribute to a reservoir of archived material for future generations.

Beyond legal notices, the rise of the Internet and social media have made the Tacoma Daily Index a valuable resource for general news and information about the City of Tacoma, Pierce County, the Port of Tacoma, state government, local colleges and universities, downtown development, and the local business community.

Thank you for visiting our website and reading the Tacoma Daily Index. We’re looking forward to another 100-plus years of publishing news and information important to Tacoma and Pierce County.