McEwan Daily Herald History, Pg. 1

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McEwan Daily Herald History, Pg. 1 - Herald Traces History Back 97 Years to Provo...
Herald Traces History Back 97 Years to Provo Times By N. La Verl Christensen Editor, The Daily Herald The magnificent new plant and equipment of The Daily Herald are a far cry from the modest facilities of this newspaper's great ancestor, The Proyo Daily Times which began publication Aug. 1, 1873. The centennial of the Times — whose history links up with the Herald through a series of mergers and purchases — will be commemorated in just over three years. But today the Herald has something of its own to celebrate — completion of a new plant and conversion to the photo offset system of printing, representing an investment of more than three quarters of a million dollars ... a considerable expression expression of faith in Central Utah's future. Modern Machines When visitors attend the Herald open house at 1555 N. 200 W. Sunday afternoon they'll see such marvels of the modern newspaper age as wirephoto, teletypes that bring news from the far corners of the globe, computer-type machines that set "type" through a photo process rather than with molten metal, and the giant Goss Urbanite offset press that has full color capability. These are a far cry from the tiny building, the old Washington hand press, and scant collection of type with which pioneer Provo newsmen published the Provo Daily Times in that 1873 venture. Historical Highlights There is neither time nor space here for a comprehensive Provo newspaper history. But on the occasion of this significant Herald milestone, we shall endeavor to present a brief history that will give readers the highlights of newspapering from the first issue of the Provo Daily Times to the advent of today's new Herald plant. Most of the material is taken from a history researched and prepared by this writer and published originally in the open house edition when the Herald displayed its last new building to the public 12 years ago. Provo was a pioneer town of only 2500 population when the Provo Daily Times, the great ancestor of The Daily Herald, published its first issue Aug. 1, 1873. Utah County's population at the time was about 9000. Weekly in 1856 Obviously there had been at least one earlier attempt to publish a local paper. The masthead of the Provo Herald in 1925 carried this line: "Established as weekly 1856..." A Herald link with that weekly would extend its history back to within seven years of the arrival of the first Mormon settlers on the banks of the Provo River in 1849. However, that early era of newspapering here is extremely vague. Such newspaper historians as J. Cecil Alter and Robert D. Anderson make no mention of any Provo newspaper prior to 1873, and the dawn of the Times in August of that year generally is accepted as the start of Provo's recorded newspaper history. Graham's Plan In 1870 John C. Graham of Salt BEAUTIFUL NEW home of The Daily Herald at 1555 N. 200 W., scene of open house May 17. FORMER HERALD building at 190 W. 400 N. in Provo, built new in 1957 and occupied until Feb. 16 of this year. Lake City, well-known pioneer- day actor prominently identified with the Salt Lake Theater, began to confer with Provo businessmen on establishment of a printing office and newspaper. It is said that Brigham Young approved the project, but stalled Mr. Graham's participation. The actor-journalist was called on a mission for the LDS Church to his native England a short time later. Before sailing, he advised his close friend, Robert G. Sleater, also of Salt Lake City, that Provo was "ripe" for a newspaper. Mr. Sleater, also a native of England, had come to the United States early in life and fought in the Civil War on the Union side as a first sergeant with General Sherman. For the Provo newspaper enterprise he formed a company with three partners — Oscar F. Lyons, a native of Nauvoo, El. who was a church leader and attorney; and Robert T. McEwan and Joseph T. McEwan, brothers, who had come from a family of printers in Scotland. The four bought a Washington hand press and launched the Provo Daily Times. Published every evening except Sunday, the Times usually consisted of only four pages 13% by 15% inches with 6 columns. Half of the front page of the first issue was devoted to advertising; half to news. Actually Actually there was but little news, as we think of it today. Rather, the "news" consisted mainly of official directories of state, county and local officers, literary contributions and small items of "local intelligence." First Home The home of the Times was a small adobe building at 154 W. Center, the site now occupied by Randall's Store. Mr. Sleater served as editor. The staff included Prof. W. H. Dusenberry and L. J. Nuttall, two men of letters, both serving part time. One of the Times' biggest stories that first year was completion of the Utah Southern Railroad Company tracks into Provo. The first official train reached Provo Nov. 25, 1873, frightening teams of horses which carried folks in wagons and buggies to witness the spectacle. The people held a celebration. The paper wasn't established in time to bring another big story of that year — production of the first cloth in the newly- completed Provo Woolen Mills in June. Mr. Sleater and partners found the going exceedingly rough, financially. Money was scarce; some folks paid for their subscriptions in produce; the greater part of the business was transsacted in local scrip of fluctuating value and the economy seemed to slip into a mild depression. Daily Discontinued Conditions didn't justify a daily paper, the owners decided. On Tuesday, April 7, 1874, publication was changed to tri- weekly. For that one day the name was changed simply to Provo Times, but the masthead read, Provo Tri-Weekly Times, starting with the next issue. Financial troubles continued. Aug. 2, 1874 a joint stock company, company, called Utah County Printing and Publishing Company, Company, was formed to increase capital. The paper took a new name, Utah County Times, on Sept. 1. Late in December 1875 the Times ceased publication. Mr. Lyons & Robert T. McEwan, two of the original partners, dropped out of the picture, apparently, at this point. But Mr. Sleater and Joseph T. McEwan were determined. On Jan 13, 1876, the Utah County Advertiser, believed published under their direction, appeared on the scene, according to Anderson's Anderson's "History of the Provo Times and Enquirer." Advertiser, Enquirer Issued twice a week, the Advertiser's subscription expenses expenses were borne by advertising advertising patronage. The Advertiser came to an early demise in July 1876. Stout-hearted Mr. Sleater and Mr. McEwan weren't through yet. They launched the Utah County Enquirer, a semiweekly, semiweekly, July 4, 1876. On a grander scale than its predecessors, the Enquirer was 17& by 23 inches, with 6 columns of 2%-inch width. Hard times continued. As 1877 progressed, the plagued Enquirer publishers ran appeals for subscribers to pay. Advertising Advertising fell off. In late June Joseph McEwan severed connections connections with the paper. Sleater, now on his own, mounted an all-out effort to build circulation but could muster only 290 subscribers as the last issue was published under his management — Sept. 5, 1877. By this time Mr. Graham had returned from his mission to England and he was still fired-up as to Provo's newspaper potentialities. Newspaper work was in his blood. One of the first in England to accept the Mormon Mormon faith, he started in newspaper work at 18, working for the LDS publication, Millennial Star, in Liverpool. Bold Entry Mr. Graham as the new man at the helm of Provo newspaperdom, made his entry boldly. He changed the name to "Territorial Enquirer," departmentalized the news, built up the advertising volume, and spearheaded a drive which brought circulation from 290 in 1877 to 2000 in July 1884. His appearance, in fact seemed to give all of Provo a shot in the arm as well as the newspaper. A master actor, he soon revived the Provo Amateur Dramatic Company which had gone into decay, and led a drive for an opera house. The Provo Theatre Company Opera House was dedicated July 22, 1885 and Mr. Graham played the title role in the first presentation, "The Streets of New York." (The opera house later became the Provo Armory. It was razed in favor of a parking lot several years ago.) Mr. Graham also became a member of the Provo City Council, entered state politics, became postmaster for awhile, and dominated many a drive for growth and improvement in Provo and Utah Valley. Criticized Grant Times and Enquirer editorials crusaded for a state mental hospital in Provo (which the community received), for location of the state capital here, and for reduction in taxes. They criticized the Ulysses S. Grant administration for unfulfilled campaign pledges, called territorial Gov. Samuel B. Axtell a "bungler and slanderer," and fouehf, Postmaster L. J. Kenny on grounds of holding the mails A new trend, the eight-hour work day, met opposition from the Enquirer. During much of the Enquirer's tenure, and particularly in the late 70's, the paper carried on a running battle with the Tribune of Salt lake City which it called bitterly non-Mormon. The Tribune, on the other hane, called the Enquirer "priesthood- controlled" which Graham vigorously denied. The Enquirer campaigned for education and lashed out at juvenile delinquency. The Territorial was sure that some Provo citizen was going to be killed by a group of young men who drove "around town too furiously in their buggies." John D. Lee Trial Crime news got big play- considerably more than in most newspapers today. The 1877 Utah County Enquirer was filled for weeks with the trial of John D. Lee convicted for his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. After an epidemic of cattle stealing in Utah County, Editor Graham recommended that "hot lead" be administered to the thieves if they could be caught in the act, regardless of law. Graham got himself into at least 17 lawsuits as a result of his sometimes over-vigorous policy. No mention was ever made of his ever losing a suit, says Historian Anderson. The Territorial had 7Ms colums of details on the execution by firing squad of C. Wilkerson, for a murder committed in Tintic. Reported 'Manifesto' The paper covered the Mammoth and other big gold strikes, bragged in 1890 that "Provo is now one of the best- lighted cities in the United States," supported temperance movements against the five saloons of Provo and covered (with relatively small play) the Church's Manifesto of September September 1890 which declared (See HERALD HISTORY, P. 18) To the employees and management of the Daily Herald congratulations on your magnificent magnificent new headquarters. All our services are Jor your enjoyment and convenience. On the occasion of the dedication of your new building, we dedicate our efforts to making your working days happy ones by providing the finest vending service available. HANSEN VENDING SERVICE 375-3390 820 WEST CENTER Provo

Clipped from
  1. The Daily Herald,
  2. 15 May 1970, Fri,
  3. Page 17

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  • McEwan Daily Herald History, Pg. 1

    mactwin1 – 06 Apr 2013

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