Stands 5'11", medium of build with brown hair, p blue eyes. One hundred sixty pounds. Generally wears a sack suit with shirt & tye. Has a slight worn dark gray low top hat. When on the move, he wears the oldest of his clothes.
Traits & Characteristics
Fair and honest publishing. (+)
Tough when trouble comes. (-/+)
True to his given word or handshake. (+)
When forced he'll stand his ground. (-)
Phinn is a likable cuss unless a printed story sheds a poor light on you. He is, for the most part, friendly and outgoing. Generally likes people and considers everyone a friend until proven otherwise.
None at this time
Top writer and typesetter with the Grand Island Independent, Grand Island Nebraska 1869-1874
None at this time, but, it's early yet. You know how newspaper men can be.
1843 ~ 1850
Worked as a printers devil and lived at home. His schooling was working the type cases, counting sheets a paper to be printed. His mother took care of his writing, spelling and the like.
1850 ~ 1858
Ran away from home at 17. Pressman~Omaha World-Herald 1850
Columnist~Omaha World-Herald 1858~1861
Talk of secession was spreading throughout the country and being southern born and bred, Phin headed south to join up just as the war broke out. he was assigned to the Tennessee Mounted Rifles and met then privet Nathan Forrest.
1861 ~ 1865
He is a fair shot with either rifle or pistol from his time in the War Between The States. He served with Nathan Bedford Forrest onward in the 3rd Virginia Cavalry and through his commands to the Forrest's Cavalry Corps. He discharged at wars end as a First Sergeant.
1865 ~ 1869
Fairly disillusioned, Phinn sort of drifted one meaningless job to the next until he found himself back in Omaha in where he did odd jobs until he saw an ad for a columnist in Grand Island.
1869 ~ 1874
Not only did he win the job, but he also agreed to take on typesetting job for which he was well trained. Phinn emersed himself in the community where he met, courted and married Elizabeth "Beth" Howell if a middle-class family For the next three years they were the happiest couple in Grand Island. However, the winter of '74 was harsher than normal, Beth took a fall and contracted pneumonia. She could never regain enough strength to fight it and succumbed.
Once the funeral was completed, Phinn sold the hose and everything of value. Bought a wagon, two mules, a saddle horse, an old press and type cases along with paper and inks and headed west.
Possibly the 8th or 9th grade Languages Spoken:
Animals: A pair of grey mules to pull his wagon and black saddle horse
Every town needs a newspaper, Phinn fills the bill and then some.
Phinn smiled broadly, "Now that sounds like a great offer! I might just take you up on it." He replied tipping his low top hat as he turned and headed for his office. There were others he'd like to talk with, interview, be he had enough to start with. And he fully intended to keep his word to Addy, and in a manner of speaking to Kalispell as well.
This place just might be the last place he'd set up shop in.
"Of course, I need to respect the wishes of witnesses or never get another word from them on anything. Some don't understand that and twist words to suit their agenda." Phinn explained. "My job is to present the truth, not to impose my leanings one way or 'tuther is irresponsible publishing and there's enough of that going around this great nation, my thanks for your help on this." He extended his hand to the teamster. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance Miss Addy Chapple."
Phinn wrote as quickly as she spoke, trying to keep up and not miss anything important. Her request took him off balance. He looked at the shoulder area and the small blood stain. A slight furrow in the material under the blood was visible but looked to have coagulated.
“Well the shirt may need a couple of stitches, but the wound, if you’d call it that, is no longer bleeding, though I’d recommend seeing the doctor.” He said, then added. “Thank you for the story, I’ll report it accurately with no embellishment and I shall leave Miss Katherine out of the article with the exception that she was not interfered with. If that’s to your liking.”
Taking a breath, she added, "Me, I been in th' war...not fightin' specifically, mind ya, so I'm used ta facin' that sort'a thing, but Miz Katherine...she held up real well, but she don't need ta be reminded of it, nor questioned or given undue sympathy."
“I’m no sensationalist Miss Addy, not at all,” Phinn stated. “I seek only the news, and if something were to look harmful to the innocent, I leave it be. I have the only newspaper in town, so I need not sensationalize to sell papers.” He paused. “I should think that her arrival alone would be well received by this community. Her involvement or lack of it has no bearing on the fact that a much needed addition to our community has arrived here.”
"Well now," she mused, giving him a bit of a smirk, "I don't read yer paper. But I reckon yer gonna hear somethin'." She shrugged. "Was comin' from Whitefish, stopped at th' swing station ta switch out horses when th' Barnes boys decided they wanted my cargo...was a bit of a fight, but Marshal Steelgrave showed up an' we got th' upper hand...ya seen th' result, I'm sure...I'm here, he's here, they ain't."
“Actually Ma’am, an excellent recount of the incident, simple, to the point, may I quote you?” He asked really liking the no-frill blunt retelling. Now, his readers may not appreciate such a synopsis of the incident, but it was certainly clear as to what happened.
“I heard rumor that also on board was the new schoolmarm, and that is indeed a headline story for this community.” Phinn began, “would you care to comment on that?”
Phinn smiled as he approached the teamster. "Evening Ma'am. I suppose you know who I am and what I' about. My readers would certainly be interested in what transpired on the trail." He began, "And it most certainly would be better that the details come from you as opposed to something I have to guess at."
He knew there was a taint associated with the press, but Phinias McVay was a newspaperman first and foremost. He wanted the story and he wanted to print the facts, not some trumped up dime novel piece.
She tugged on the horse's reins, "You'll have to excuse me, Mr. McVay. I need to get these boys to the undertaker before they get any riper. Come by the Marshal's office in the morning and I will give you what details I can."
Phinn smiled, recognizing this was not the ‘bums rush’ to be rid of him, but a necessity of the moment. “Of course, of course, Deputy. I will make it a point of stopping by early and gathering whatever information you might have.” He closed his notebook and placed it in his vest pocket, along with the nub of a pencil he used.
As he watched her leave it dawned on him, the stagecoach was nowhere to be seen, meaning it would be out of sight, perhaps, he guessed the stables.
This was a story he wanted to have, one complete with a gun battle resulting in three dead men. He wished that the Marshal who had brought the bodies in would have been more forthcoming about the incident, but, he would get what he could from everyone involved and strode off toward the stables.
Minutes later Phinn arrived at the stables and indeed, there sat the coach. He picked up his pace.
It was three days getting the shop set up, slower than Phinn would have liked, but at last, it was ready it was ready for production.
A Printers Devil would be a nice edition and make things go a bit faster as he was sure whoever took the job would need to be trained. Well, that was easily done. Phinn was a patient man, and he was not attempting a daily, at least not for the foreseeable future. A weekly would suffice for a town long without a paper.
His first job was a poster advertising for a Printers Devil. He would run several for display in high traffic areas of town and then, as always, hope for the best.
WAGES $.60 PER WEEK
NEWS ITEMS ACCEPTED
"Well now, that's too bad, both for the Union and those who'll miss out on some easy money," Phin said. "But it's good to meet you. I'll just head over to the school and see what I can get done. Get the press up and running, get the first edition out as fast as possible." He said to no one in particular. He removed the money belt from around his waist. "Believe I'll not only pay you I'll also be opening an account. There'll be transactions for the paper and such."
Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.
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