John James Neimore

In 1879, John James Neimore established The California Owl as a means to help ease the black settlers’ transition to the western way of life. The Eagle provided many disparaged settlers with job, housing, and information on local charities.

When The California Eagle shut down its presses in 1964, it was one of the oldest black-owned and operated papers in the United States. John James Neimore had established it in Los Angeles as The California Owl in 1879, to ease black settlers’ transition to the West. The paper provided them with housing and job information, and other information essential to surviving in a new environment. 

The paper evolved into one of the leading papers of the day while under the control of Charlotta A. Bass (nee Spears) and her husband, John Bass. Charlotta Bass assumed control of The Owl following the death of Neimore in 1912, and renamed it The California Eagle.