The home of the Provo Times and Enquirer was a typical Mormon town founded on the east shore of Utah Lake in 1849. While some Gentiles (non-Mormons) had moved into the area by 1873 when the first newspaper appeared, the community was still dominated and controlled by members of the Latter-day Saint Church, which was the cause of some tension.
Even though after twenty-four years of settlement Provo had well-established farms, businesses, and the beginnings of industry, it did not have a newspaper, although publications had been founded earlier in several other cities of the territory. In the winter of 1872-73 John C. Graham, a prominent Salt Lake City actor and journalist, saw newspaper possibilities in Provo and laid the foundations for the establishment of the Provo Daily Times. Graham was not able to participate in the actual founding because of a Church mission call to England. He did interest others, however, and the first issue appeared August 1, 1873, with four owner-editors listed: R. T. McEwan, R. G. Sleater, O. F. Lyons, and J. T. McEwan.
In April of 1874 the paper was changed to a tri-weekly, and in August of the same year a joint stock company was formed in an attempt to ease financial strain. Due to lack of patronage and after a controversy with the City Council over a charge of police negligence, the Times ceased publication in December of 1875.
Two former editors of the Times, Robert Sleater and Joseph McEwan, founded the semi-weekly Utah County Enquirer with the first issue appearing July 4, 1876. McEwan dropped out in June, 1877, and Sleater, unable to make a living from the paper, soon sold it to the recently returned John C. Graham.
The new editor assumed ownership of the County Enquirer September 5, 1877, and shortly after changed the name to the Territorial Enquirer. The paper prospered under Graham for ten years; then in order to enlarge facilities it was incorporated in November of 1887 and soon renamed the Utah Enquirer. In December, 1889, a Daily Enquirer appeared, with the Utah Enquirer continuing as a weekly country edition. The Enquirers lived until shortly after Graham's death in 1906, when the plant was sold and the name changed.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Anderson, Robert D., "History of the Provo Times and Enquirer 1873-1897" (1951). Theses and Dissertations. 4475.
Provo Times, Enquirer; Utah, Newspaper