Newspapers of Utah County

The following has been compiled from the Utah Digatital Newspapers website, provided by the University of Utah.

American Fork Citizen Aug 1906 - Dec 1922

American Fork's first newspaper, the Weekly Gazette, began in 1868. Interestingly, it was a pen-and-ink manuscript and included items like original poetry, essays, and wit and humor. It was short lived, folding after only 12 editions. The American Fork Independent came along in March 1890 and provided coverage of Utah's mining industry for two years. Several other newspapers came and went until the Citizen appeared May 27, 1903. The newspaper provided citizens of American Fork with a mixture of local and national news, along with light-hearted material. In the summer of 1906 the Citizen included coverage of a visit by President Teddy Roosevelt to the Panama Canal Zone; a how-to-guide on dry farming, and the following: "Four [young girls] surrounded a big black snake the other day and stabbed it to death with hatpins. Oh that Mother Eve had been so courageous----and had possessed a hatpin!" In 1912, the Citizen changed hands and added the name of the town, becoming the American Fork Citizen. In 1979 the paper was absorbed by Utah County's largest newspaper, the Provo Herald which distributes an online edition of the American Fork Citizen.

Plesent Grove Review Feb 1929 - Sept 1947

Provo Daily Enquirer Jan 1881 - Nov 1897

As reported in the Manti Times-Reporter on August 27, 1892, "The Provo Enquirer claims to be the oldest paper in Utah outside of Salt Lake. Judging from the impression of much of the type, no one could doubt the assertion!"

Evening Dispatch Jan 1891 - Dec 1895

Founded in 1849 as Fort Utah, the city of Provo was the first Mormon "colony" outside the Salt Lake Valley. For three decades, Provo relied on the Church-run newspaper from the "metropolis," the Deseret News. That changed in 1873, however, with the founding of Provo's first newspaper, the Provo Daily Times. That paper, survives today as the Daily Herald. The Evening Dispatch appeared in 1891, a period of political turmoil in the territory of Utah. The Mormon church had recently announced an end to plural marriage in a bid to achieve statehood and an there was an economic boom in the city of Provo. Almost immediately, the Dispatch found itself under attack by the dominant Provo paper, known then as the Daily Enquirer. The Enquirer accused the interloper Dispatch of being nothing more than the "organ of the new Democratic Club." The newspaper was in fact established to promote Democratic Party causes and proved to be a formidable foe during its short existence. Sprinkled among everything carried by the Dispatch were items that promoted Democratic causes and disparaged Republican ones. The Dispatch folded in December 1895, its demise being too much amateur politics.

Lehi Banner and Lehi Sun Jun 1891 - Jul 1923

Lehi, Utah, founded in 1850, was a farming community as well as a stop along the route of the Pony Express. The establishment of the Utah Sugar Company in 1890 spurred its growth. The Lehi Banner first appeared on May 29, 1891 as the official newspaper of the new sugar factory. The format of local news, world events and beet-sugar industry analysis attracted readers and advertisers. Local interests and new growth continued to dominate its pages for years to come. In 1915 the Banner moved its publishing operation to American Fork as a cost cutting measure. Its main competitor, the Lehi Sun, bought the Banner in 1917 and gloated over the purchase by writing:

"We are pleased to announce that we have taken over the Lehi Banner, and in the future its subscribers will receive the Lehi Sun in its stead."

The Banner didn't officially die until the Sun removed its subtitle "combined with Lehi Banner" from the masthead on May 2, 1929.

Spanish Fork Herald Jul 1895 - Dec 1910

The area of Spanish Fork, Utah, about sixty miles south of Salt Lake City, was settled in 1850 by Mormon farmers seeking to establish homesteads on the rich bottom land of the Spanish Fork River. A handful of newspapers had come and gone in Spanish Fork before Andrew Jansen, editor and publisher, launched the Spanish Fork Press in 1902. It's very first edition boasted both a "local and long distance printing office". The Spanish Fork Press managed to succeed where a number of its predecessors in town had failed. Jensen owned his own printing office, located right in the middle of town, as well as a hand-operated press. By carrying a variety of local news items, along with wire service reports on interesting events from around the world, Jensen garnered the support of an assortment of local businesses. Jensen bucked recent journalistic trends by making a profit with the Spanish Fork Press, which he published weekly.

Utah Co. Democrat Aug 1898 - Dec 1908

Utah's struggle for statehood, during the late Nineteenth-century, precipitated changes in the Mormon Church, resulting in a more balanced, and volatile, political environment. Politics in Utah tended to fall along religious lines and elections would usually pit the Mormon People's Party against the Gentile Liberal Party (in Utah, non-Mormons are often described as "gentiles"). When the Mormon Church formally abandoned the practice of polygamy, during Utah's bid for statehood, Republicans and Democrats formed local parties. Following the granting of statehood in 1896, it appeared that Utah favored the Democratic Party.

The Utah County Democrat made its debut August 31, 1898 during the county's "blue" period. The paper, published three times a week in Provo, Utah, could always be counted on to castigate Republicans. During a fall primary, after the turn of the century, the Democrat opined: "The 'charmed circle' rule was evident at the Republican primaries last evening. It's a pity that some people have eyes, and can't see."

Being more than a political soapbox, the Democrat thrived for more than 10 years by offering readers news that mattered to them, including coverage of local government, and the latest from the agricultural and mining industries. The Democrat became independent in February 1909 and changed its name to the Provo Herald.

Springville Herald Feb 1924 - Jul 1957

The Springville Herald began in 1923 as “The Springville Herald and The Springville Beacon,” but was originally the Springville Independent which began publication in 1891. A fire destroyed the Springville Independent Publishing Company’s location in June, 1924, destroying most of the newspaper files before that date. By 1927, it was officially just the Springville Herald with N. C. Hicks as editor and manager. The paper was owned by the Conover family from 1936 to 2003.