Newspaper Notes Project

By George E. Pitchard

Salt Lake City, Utah

August 1, 1987

(Return to George Pitchard's Utah Railroads Scrapbook)

Introduction and Explanation

I started out on this project because I wanted to know more about the railroads of Utah, especially in the 19th Century, and was not happy with what little information I found in books. I soon discovered that a good deal of what was in books was wrong, by a little, or more often, a lot! So I then decided to read as many of the 19th century papers as I could get to, if the said papers were worth reading, and extract such railroad material as I felt was worth the effort. As of this writing, I believe that I have covered most of the surviving Utah papers having a worthwhile amount of railroad material, for the 19th Century. Some Idaho and Montana papers have been included, as well, for coverage of the Utah & Northern.

My aims in this project have been largely as follows: to recover 'lost' and presently unknown data, on these priorities--

1.) Equipment, first and foremost - the locomotives and cars of the various Utah lines, especially the narrow gauge roads;

2.) The building of the railroad itself, particularly such items as the arrival of rail, beginning of tracklaying, precise dates of arrival of track at specific locations, and so forth;

3.) Buildings, such as depots, enginehouses, and other railroad facilities, as knowing these things aids immeasurably in the correct dating of photographs;

4.) Personalities, prominent within the railroad community, and sometimes in the local community as well; and

5.) such other curious miscellanea as struck my fancy!

This was started purely for my own information, but as others have seen it, copies have been earnestly sought, so I will yield to this 'great popular demand', and make this book of notes available.

As will be seen, the majority of items are not quoted verbatim, as that was (and is!) too much like work, and was not my purpose. Notes on the pertinent data (engine numbers, cars, names and the like) served my purpose quite well. I did not feel that page and column numbers were necessary, as usually the paper is but four pages long, and the item is not very difficult to find, should a person desire to see the entire item. Certain highly important items are quoted exact, so as to eliminate any possible error in my interpretation; and some other items are quoted exact as well, if putting them in my own words would be as long or longer than the original item!

It should also be noted that by no means have I copied every railroad item in any of these papers. Many, if not most, of the items say very little, if anything, of any value. There was, then, lots of 'puff', typical Victorian writing, quite flowery, and something that could be said in a sentence or two frequently took a paragraph or two! And then too, especially in the Tribune in the 1890's, quite a bit of the railroad news column was taken up with material culled from the national publications, such as the Railroad Gazette. Many was the time when the 'Railroad Notes' column would be nothing but items about local employees; or a mix of that and national (sometimes international) material, none of which, to me, was generally worth copying, or noting, unless the person was of some prominence, or the national item had some bearing on matters here in Utah.

I do not feel that this work is finished, either. There are yet some things which I think ought to be in a paper somewhere, and I am going to continue to look for them. Supplements will be issued from time to time.

A List of the Newspapers so far read for this notebook:

Newspaper Name City Date Range
Blackfoot Register Blackfoot, Idaho 1880-1884
(moved to Eagle Rock as Idaho Register)
Butte Daily Miner Butte, Montana 1886
Corinne Reporter Corinne, Utah 1873
Deseret Evening News Salt Lake City 1869 - 1887
Daily Ogden Junction Ogden, Utah 1870 - 1881
(includes semi-weekly edition as well)
Ensign Nephi, Utah 1888
Ephraim County Register Ephraim, Utah 1890
Ephraim Enterprise Ephraim, Utah 1893-1894
Eureka Reporter Eureka, Utah 1907-1909
Denver Daily Times Denver 1873
Home Sentinel Manti, Utah 1885 - 1893
Idaho Register Eagle Rock, Idaho
(Idaho Falls)
(moved from Blackfoot as Blackfoot Register)
Logan Leader Logan, Utah 1879 - 1882
Logan Journal Logan, Utah 1890
Manti Messenger Manti, Utah 1893 - 1894
Nephi Ensign Nephi, Utah 1888
New North-West Deer Lodge, Montana 1881-1883
Ogden Herald Ogden, Utah 1881 - 1886
Ogden Junction Ogden, Utah 1870-1881
Park Mining Record Park City, Utah 1881 - 1884
Park Record Park City, Utah 1884 - 1901
Provo Daily Times Provo, Utah 1873-1874
Provo TriWeekly Times Provo, Utah 1874
Salt Lake Evening Times Salt Lake City 1890
Salt Lake Evening Chronicle Salt Lake City 1885
Salt Lake Daily Herald Salt Lake City 1871 - 1898
Salt Lake Daily Tribune Salt Lake City 1871 - 1903
Territorial Enquirer Provo, Utah 1879 - 1881
Utah County Times Provo, Utah 1874
Utah County Enquirer Provo, Utah 1877 (to Territorial Enquirer)
Utah Evening Mail Salt Lake City 1876
Utah Journal Logan, Utah 1882 - 1883, 1885-1889
Utah Mining Gazette Salt Lake City 1873 - 1874
Utah Mining Journal Salt Lake City 1872 - 1873

The quality of coverage varied rather a bit over the years. In general terms, the Deseret News was best in 1869-1871; the Salt Lake Herald seems to cover 1872-1875 best; and the Tribune covers 1881 to the end of the century rather well. There was very little going on in 1876-1879; 1880 just seems to fall in a crack somewhere! Also, it made something of a difference whose railroad it was; The Mormon papers tended to ignore anything not run by the faithful, while the others tended to ignore anything run by the Mormons! While there are exceptions, that tendency is quite noticeable, and sometimes quite irritating, too. The News/Herald versus Tribune 'war' would be quite comical, otherwise.

The reading of these papers has occurred, for the most part, at two places. The University of Utah Library has the best collection of Utah newspapers, as well as many Idaho and Montana, all on microfilm, unfortunately, but at least available. The Utah State Historical Society has tons, literally, of newspapers in the original, which I was happily able to read, thereby speeding up the process quite a bits for which I am most grateful. Some of the earlier reading was done at the Church Historian's Office; and the City Library has come in for its share as well.

Commentary and Notes

The Deseret Evening News

One of the numerous incarnations of the Deseret News, which began in June of 1850, the evening version, a daily, was commenced 29 November 1867, titled as at the head of this page. The name was changed back to "The Deseret News" in 1920. Pre-eminently THE Mormon paper in Salt Lake, it was either owned and directed by various well-placed Mormons, or actually owned by the Church itself. As late as 1938, it had not issued a paper dated Sunday in its entire life (except for an obituary extra in 1934). The fact of its ownership and/or control has made of it, at various periods, a practically worthless paper for anything outside of religious notes, of a local nature, or its attacks on (or defense against) the Salt Lake Tribune. This is especially true at certain times in the 1870-1900 period, and why the notes that follow are almost entirely in the 1870-1879 period, and there are few enough of those.

The Salt Lake Daily Herald

Volume 1, Number 1 was dated Sunday, June 5, 1870. It survived as the Herald into 1909, when began a string of mergers and combination names, ending in the suspension of them all in 1920. Nearly all issues of the paper survive. The Herald was very definitely a pro-Mormon paper; while it does not appear that this paper was ever actually owned by that Church, as was the Deseret News at various times, most of the owners/editors of the Herald, up until the paper was sold to Senator Clark in 1898, were very definitely Mormon, and took most reasonable opportunities to say so. Never as 'churchy' as the News, the Herald was more of the secular Mormon paper, but frequently found itself allied with the News in fending off some of the Tribune's more intemperate remarks. Still, more useful railroad news, as a rule, comes out of the Herald, in the 1870 to 1880 period, than from any other paper in the valley.

The Salt Lake Daily Tribune

Volume 1, Number 1, which was at that time called the Salt Lake Daily Tribune and Utah Mining Gazette, was dated April 15, 1871. It replaced the 'Mormon Tribune,' which was owned and managed by the same interests, but who had found the earlier name to be a source of confusion to those not 'in the know.' The paper was (and remained) rather anti-Mormon in its attitude. Because of this slant, which usually took up the whole paper, railroad news was not especially plentiful during the early years of the paper. The amount and quality of such news, however, improved considerably by the later 1870s, and for the remainder of the century (and beyond), the Salt Lake Tribune is easily the best, most consistent paper for railroad news of any of those contemporary to it in Salt Lake City. (ed. note: This continued until 1990, with the retirement of Robert Woody, who had been the business editor since 1966. In the early 1990s, newspapers began their confusion of business news with Wall Street financial news; two entirely different subjects.)

The Salt Lake Evening Chronicle

Volume 1, Number 1 was dated Thursday, November 2, 1882; edited by one Philip T. Van Zile, the paper was clearly anti-Mormon. Put out by the Chronicle Publishing Co., at 99 Main Street, in Salt Lake City. Paper was daily (evenings) except Sunday.

The volume ends with the issue of May 17, 1885, which was also the last issue of the paper. It was a very readable and literate paper, but because of its anti-Mormon attitude, it lacked business in spite of its literate qualities.

The Park Mining Record
The Park Record

This paper was issued Saturdays at Park City, Utah, beginning in February of 1880. It was called the Park Mining Record through the issue of November 22, 1884; with the issue of November 29, 1884, it was called the Park Record, and still is so known.

Most of the first year and a half of this paper is not on the microfilm, and does not appear to exist at present. Only a scattered few issues of the paper are on the film prior to Volume 2, Number 24, dated July 16, 1881. After that date, the representation is rather good. Happily, some of the more useful bits in the missing year and a half appear in the Salt Lake Tribune, as it was common practice at that time to 'borrow' from other papers on a regular basis. The Tribune regularly had a column of bits gleaned from the Park City papers, and will be found in the Tribune stuff.

There are only three papers from 1880 on the film; the only thing regarding the Utah Eastern in any of them is the mention of grading in progress at various points between Coalville and Park City. In 1881, railroad news of any sort is almost nonexistent.

Ogden Junction

Last issue was February 16, 1881; succeeded by the Ogden Herald in May 1881.

The Ogden Herald

Daily paper; Volume 1, Number 1 was dated May 2, 1881. Preceded by the Ogden Junction, the last issue of which was dated February 16, 1881. The last issue of the Ogden Herald was dated December 31, 1887. Followed by the Ogden Standard, the first issue of which was dated January 1, 1888.

The Logan Leader

This paper was issued at Logan, Utah, initially on Thursday but in 1880 (January 9th) it went to a Friday issue date. The paper was Mormon. The first issue of the paper was on Thursday, September 11, 1879, but the first several papers do not appear to have survived to the present. The issue of Friday, July 7, 1882 was the last of the Logan Leader.

The Utah Journal

This paper was published at Logan, Utah; Volume 1, Number 1 was dated August 1, 1882. It was a stock company, owned by quite a number of Cache Valley's leading lights, including George W. and Moses Thatcher. The Journal company bought out the Logan Leader, which had issued its last paper July 7, 1882.

Initially, the Utah Journal issued itself twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, but later altered this to Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The Utah Journal changed itself to the Logan Journal on December 25, 1889. In December of 1889, the name of the Utah Journal was changed to the Logan Journal, and in 1891 the name became simply 'The Journal.' As this, it continues well into the present century, and quite beyond the time of this monograph.

The Blackfoot Register

Blackfoot, Idaho, was about 24 miles north of Pocatello, by the railroad in narrow gauge days. The railroad had reached Blackfoot near the end of 1878. This newspaper, The Blackfoot Register, was started in mid-1880, Volume 1, Number 1 carrying the date of July 1, 1880. It was a weekly, issued Saturdays for its entire life in Blackfoot. In 1884 or 1885, the paper moved to Eagle Rock, now Idaho Falls, and continued for many years as the Idaho Register.

The Idaho Register

Eagle Rock, Idaho. Paper issued Saturdays.

The New North-West

This paper was issued weekly, Fridays, at least during the time period which your Editor has read it; my notes contain no information as to when it started or ended. It was located in Deer Lodge, Montana

Butte Daily Miner

Issued, as you might expect, at Butte, Montana; it was a morning daily paper.

The Utah County Enquirer
The Territorial Enquirer

Started as the Provo Daily Times, August 1, 1873. Changed to Utah County Times, then the Utah County Advertiser, which died at the end of June 1876, and was followed by The Utah County Enquirer, Volume 1, Number 1 being dated July 4, 1876. The last issue to be named the Utah County Enquirer was dated October 6, 1877; the next issue, October 10th, was named the Territorial Enquirer. As the Enquirer, it appeared twice weekly, Wednesdays and Saturdays. It was a Mormon paper.

When reading the film, I was not pleased to find that all of 1878, and all of 1882 through 1885, are apparently missing.

The Home Sentinel
The Manti Sentinel

Both the same paper; Volume 1, Number 1 was dated April 24, 1885, but no issues are known to exist, as all files before 1898 burned; the existing file is from Dr. G. W. Martin, who saved his copies, since Volume 1, Number 3, and presented them to the paper then in Manti, which file appears to be the one filmed, and the one at Utah State Historical Society, where I read them. This paper was issued Fridays, with an occasional Tuesday 'supplement.' The last of the Sentinel appeared in 1893, though it is somewhat unclear as to exactly when.

The Manti Messenger

Issued Friday at Manti, Volume 1, Number 1 was dated October 13, 1893. Still being published in 1938, when Alter did his book on Utah newspapers.

The Ephraim County Register

The County Register, Volume 1, Number 1, dated Wednesday, June 4, 1890, and weekly thereafter, on Thursdays. It died in 1891, and was replaced by the Ephraim Enterprise, also a Wednesday weekly, of which Volume 1, Number 1 was dated September 16, 1891.

The Nephi Ensign

Published at Nephi, weekly, Fridays. Volume 1, Number 1 was June 10, 1887. Paper fell on hard times in 1891, finally dying in 1892.

Utah Mining Journal

This paper was a daily, evenings, except Sundays; Volume 1, Number 1 was June 26, 1872. Started up with press and type from the Salt Lake Daily Review, which had died on February 14, 1872. Sometimes referred to as the Daily Journal, the name on the masthead became The Daily Journal on May 22, 1873 (apparently no issues survive); the last issue of the paper was August 14, 1873. It was 'independent,' which was then commonly a way of saying anti-Mormon, and it was rather devoted to the interests of the Gentile community in Utah.

Utah Mining Gazette

Volume 1, Number 1 was August 30, 1873; the paper was a weekly, and (except for its advocacy of mining, etc.) was not noticeably anti-Mormon. It did not last but a year, its last issue being that of August 22, 1874.

The Eureka Reporter

Issued weekly, at Eureka, Utah, starting in late 1900. Still going in the late 1930's. Issued on Fridays in 1907-1909, it was issued on Thursdays by 1928. This paper I have not read extensively, the pieces presented here being dug up in an effort to find out something on the early days of the Eureka Hill Railroad.