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Front Page » March 19, 2009 » Carbon County News » Owners switch focus of county newspaper
Published 1,857 days ago

Owners switch focus of county newspaper


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

When the Eastern Utah Telegraph changed hands in late 1891, the paper was just a fledgling publication that was 10 months old. With the ownership switch however, came some big changes.

The new owners (S.I. Paradice and J.H. Sarvis) had seen the political direction that the former owner had gone in and in their Nov. 6, 1891 issue ran the following statement.

"The Telegraph will in the future be independent in all things and neutral in nothing, but will not so blindly follow the dictates of any political party or faction as to lose sight of the people's interest, believing as we do that eternal vigilance of the press is the price of good government...The Telegraph will be no man's personal or political oran, nor the organ of any click or combine, but a paper for the people. We believe in like treatment for all, therefore we say 'With malice toward none and charity toward all...'"

The announcement of the papers partial sale actually had come two months earlier in September when it was announced that Sarvis and Paradice, both from Colorado had purchased the paper from their friend S.K. King. But by November, King was gone and Sarvis had taken over as editor and publisher entirely. King, it was noted had moved to Provo.

For the next three years Sarvis would run the paper, largely covering world and national news and commenting on local goings on. Interestingly enough he would also allow ads to run in the paper asking people to subscribe to the Salt Lake Tribune, which was covering much of the same news, only on a daily basis. They also regularly ran ads for the Salt Lake Weekly Herald and the Denver Republican too.

The first "Christmas edition" of the Eastern Utah Telegraph came on Dec. 25, 1891. All it said in the upper left hand corner was "Christmas Edition" Circulation 1200. There was no Merry Christmas on the front page, and no stories about the holidays, either local or national. Of course at the time there were no photos either. There were small references to the holiday throughout the paper.

That day a third of the front page was filled with ads, one of which advertised the papers ability to make busineses happy by comparing two drawn images of cats; one happy and sassy and the other disheveled and looking like he had been in a fight.

The ad stated "One of these chaps is a constant reader of the Telegraph and carries a display "add" the year round...The other one reads Show Bills, last years Almanac's and (other old newspapers) to save expenses. (You can see which) one has prospered."

An ad on the front of the paper shows the times; a complex ad for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway that posted a map and a description of the luxury surroundings one would have if traveling by train on their railway.

Each week too, the Telegraph would give the "Price Market Report." On Dec. 25 they gave the Christmas prices for various kinds of food and feedstocks.

Wheat was $1.25 per hundred weight, Oats were $1.50 per hundred weight, potatoes were 60 cents per bushel, hay was $6 a ton, shelled corn came in at $1.25 per hundred weight, butter was selling for 25 cents per pound and eggs were 25 cents per dozen.

Interestingly enough, real local news, was always located on the back page, whereas the front page was reserved for national and state news, opinion and some legal notices.

The inside of the paper was mostly stories with sections for "Young Folks" and "Campfire Stories."

The back pages local news consisted usually of little bits about people in the area that according to the Telegraph's editor was "...local lore as gathered by a corps of busy reporters."

Examples of that "news" for the Christmas issue included:

•The dance after the Christmas Tree (lighting?) last evening was an enjoyable affair.

•J.E. Johnson of Huntington was on the streets of Price one day this week.

•H.A. Atkinson has been appointed Deputy Sheriff at Price and has filed his bonds.

•(The) Emery County Merchantile Company has a fine selection of heating and cook stoves. Those that want good value for little money have a good chance. (An ad in the news section?)

•The Christmas Tree a the church Thursday evening afforded considerable amusement for the children, and judging from the presents that adorned the Tree, Santa Claus was very Liberal with the people of Price.

•Mr. Ballinger had the misfortune to get his new buggy smashed into.

The horse was latched at the charcoal pits, west of town, and at the approach of a train the animal became frightened and broke away (running) straight for the track.

The engine struck the buggy with the above results.

•The Merchants of Price have been rushed the past week. Some of them having to employ extra help to wait on their many customers.

•With Friday come sthe new year and with it a leap year and then the young ladies will have an inning. (Note: It apparently was the thing to have a Leap Year Ball every four years that was a girls choice dance.)

And so ended the first year of the Eastern Utah Telegraph's existence.

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