1920. Founded in the early 1920s, SmithBates Printing & Design is one of Oregon’s oldest commercial printing companies. W.O. Smith arrived in Klamath Falls when it was known as Linkville, an undeveloped town. After a stint in the lumber industry, he was approached to edit a weekly newspaper, The Klamath Falls Republican, which had 5 competing papers in a community of 3,000 people. In 1912, he sold the paper but retained the commercial printing company, building a model printing plant in downtown Klamath Falls. Shortly after establishing the W.O. Smith Printing Company, he added a partner, B.W. Bates, changing the name to SmithBates Printing Company.
SmithBates grew remarkably by securing business throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California from the mill and logging industries. After the death of Mr. Bates, Otto Smith [no relation to W.O. Smith] was hired to work in sales after he and his wife, Mildred moved to Klamath Falls from Oregon City. He later took over SmithBates and involved their daughter Phyllis Smith-Cavanaugh and her husband Barney in the business. They successfully ran it in the 1960s and 1970s.
After graduating from Oregon State University, their son Dan Cavanaugh returned to Klamath Falls and became a partner in the business. He has been a partner and owner for more than 30 years and now runs the company with his wife Ann. Business growth in the early 1990s led to additional production facilities in 1996 and the investment of a new Heidelberg Speedmaster and the latest in imaging technology. Then in late 2007, SmithBates merged all facilities into our current 20,000 sq ft building overlooking Klamath Lake and put on line our Heidelberg 6 Color Speedmaster with in-line Coater.
Today, equipped with an experienced staff of print and digital designers, copywriting resources, and decades of successful business management, SmithBates Marcomm Solutions collaborates with clients throughout the design process and helps them determine the optimal mix of printed and online materials that will help them achieve their objectives.