The San Mateo Times was founded as a weekly
on April 4, 1901, and passed through a series
of owners until Sept. 19, 1918, when Horace
Amphlett, who already had been associate editor
and business manager of the paper for a year,
On June 2, 1924, he converted it into a daily.
Then in January 1926, Amphlett bought the Daily
News-Leader, also published in San Mateo, and
consolidated operations into a recognized and
respected force on the peninsula.
His journalistic credo is one that might be emulated
with impunity by any worthwhile publication.
Set forth in one of his many fine editorials it
read in part:
“A newspaper which exists merely as a business
institution to the profit alone of its owner is false
to its trust. Only such newspapers as fill a definite
need in the community, supporting its institutions,
safeguarding its interests and protecting its character
abroad can hope to endure. Newspapers are
quasi-public institutions. They belong partly to the
public, irrespective of where their legal ownership
falls, if they are faithful to their purpose.
“A good newspaper is not always right but it is always sincere. Its stand on issues is not
taken from personal prejudice or haphazard
opinion but only after mature reflection and
deep deliberation has convinced the editor
of the wisdom of its course. For that reason
newspapers err far more rarely than the
Adhering to these principles, Amphlett’s
voice, heard via the printed word, was recognized
as honest and unbiased, and, therefore,
commanded attention and respect.
Amphlett’s friends were legion, including
four governors of California and a corps of
coworkers, who not only admired him but
found him exceedingly likeable. A popular,
magnetic speaker, he often was in demand
at fraternal events as well as important cultural
Amphlett’s strong and consistent advocacy
and influence were prime and indispensable
factors in bringing to fruition many a
worthwhile undertaking and enterprise in
regard to the welfare and progress of his
community, the Bay Area and the state.
His platform, regularly carried in the editorial
page of the Times, bespoke his abiding
interest and concern for the prosperity and
happiness of the population.
Amphlett was director of the San Mateo-
Hayward Bridge Authority and is generally
credited with having promoted the construction
of that important span linking San
Mateo County with the East Bay.
Although urged to, he never held office.
Nevertheless, he often was consulted on the
affairs of his city. As Aylett R. Cotton, onetime
mayor, and other dignitaries agreed,
his advice and counsel, always generously
and sympathetically given, was of immeasurable
assistance. Virtually every important
activity in San Mateo or the county in
general regarded his help necessary to success.
And he gave his time without thought
of personal gain and often without the least
Amphlett was a director of the San Mateo
branch of the Bank of America and chair of
the San Mateo County Republican Central
Committee for many years.
His affiliations numbered the San Mateo
Rotary Club, the Knights of Columbus, the
Peninsula Club, and in San Francisco, the
Press Club and The Family Club. He was
active in the Elks, serving as Exalted Ruler
of San Mateo Lodge No. 1112 and District
Deputy Ruler, also serving as secretary to
the National Grand Exalted Ruler. He was a
Philharmonic Society of San Mateo County
patron, a Friends of Music member, and
the San Mateo Preventorium director.
The San Mateo Times remained in the
Amphlett family for 78 years. In 1996, it
was sold to MediaNews Group. The newspaper
remains in publication as the San
Mateo County Times.